Master of Divinity in Lutheran Studies

The MDiv in Lutheran Studies program prepares you for pastoral ministry or other rostered leadership within the Lutheran Church. This particular program is designed around the ELCA requirements for seminary preparation and includes a “Lutheran year” or equivalent of coursework which can be taken at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN.

This program may be a good fit for you if you plan to pursue a career in ordained ministry as a rostered leader in the Lutheran Church (ELCA) including, but not limited to, such roles as a pastor in a local congregation or as a chaplain in a hospital or other professional or ministerial setting.

Concentration Learning Outcomes

In addition to achieving the core MDiv degree learning outcomes, a graduate of the Lutheran Studies program will be able to:

  • interpret a selected biblical passage from multiple historical and contemporary perspectives and using one or more critical methods, demonstrating understanding of the influence of their own situatedness on that interpretation;
  • conduct a personal theological interpretation of a selected biblical text that demonstrates understanding of the influence of their own situatedness on that interpretation and that engages the situatedness of contemporary readers from a context different from their own;
  • critically interpret, analyze and reflect on a selected 1st–17th Century Christian theological text or perspective in its historical context as well as through the lens of modern questions and challenges;
  • demonstrate skills for effective, professional, ethical, and compassionate pastoral and spiritual care to a diversity of persons; 
  • craft, deliver, and reflect on a sermon or public address that demonstrates effective speaking form/style and content based on a selected context; and
  • demonstrate competence in Systematic Theology and Christian Ministry Praxis (see Luther Seminary).


United’s MDiv at a Glance

  • 72 credits
  • Twenty-four 3-credit courses, including two field experiences
  • A final thesis or project is not required, but you can choose to complete a thesis as an elective course
  • Can be completed in three years if you take a full-time course load (24 credits per year)
  • Most MDiv concentrations, including Lutheran Studies, can be completed entirely via distance learning; many courses can be taken completely asynchronously


Program Course Guide Sheet for Academic Year 2023-2024

Religious Texts 4
Introduction to Religious Texts
Hebrew Bible
New Testament
Biblical Exegesis
Theological Tradition 4
Invitation to Theology: Truth, Goodness, and Beauty
History of Christian Theologies
Lutheran Confessional Writings*
Constructive Theology
Ethics/Justice 2
Christian Ethics
Choose one:
Queer and Trans Theologies
Black and Womanist Theologies
Formation 2
Introduction to Spiritual and Personal Formation
Organizational Leadership and Administration
Cultural Contextualization 1
Choose one:
Global Christianities
World Religions
Arts and Theology 1
Choose one:
History of Arts and Theology
Art, Religion, and Contemporary Culture
Social Transformation 1 Leadership and Strategies for Social Change
Integration 1 MDiv Capstone Seminar
Vocational Contextualization & Skills 8
Introduction to Pastoral and Spiritual Care
Preaching and Your Public Voice
Public Worship*
Congregational Internship* (6 credits)
CPE Internship
Two Luther Seminary elective courses*
* Courses completed in affiliation status with Luther Seminary. Consult with Synod Candidacy Committee/Luther Seminary.


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