Master of Divinity in Social Transformation

The MDiv in Social Transformation program will prepare you to combine the classic functions of ministerial leadership, such as leading worship, preaching, providing pastoral care, forming people of faith, and leading a congregation, with the skills you need to lead and sustain social transformation work within your organization. You’ll be equipped to think critically about socio-political dynamics and reflect constructively on the role of spiritual and theological traditions in movements for social justice. This is a professional, ministerial program that combines the tools and methodologies of social change and activism with practical and constructive theology to prepare innovative and effective leaders for an increasingly pluralistic and complex world.

The MDiv in Social Transformation differs from the MAL in Social Transformation in that includes training in ministerial competencies along with social transformation skills.

This degree program may be a good fit for you if you are interested in:

  • Increasing your proficiency and leadership within your current vocational context
  • Integrating ministerial competencies with social transformation skills in preparation for work in a congregational ministry, a faith-based justice ministry, or a secular context to which you wish to bring the theological and practical arts of ministry
  • Launching your own social ministry


Concentration Learning Outcomes

In addition to achieving the core MDiv degree learning outcomes, a graduate of the MDiv in Social Transformation degree program will be able to:

  • articulate a constructive theological proposal that is conversant with core theological categories and addresses a social or political issue that relates to students’ vocational context;
  • demonstrate cultural competence and strategic skills necessary for just and effective engagement in diverse social, cultural and political contexts;
  • understand and relate historical and contemporary knowledge of social transformation movements in a variety of cultural settings;
  • utilize a variety of tools and methodologies to critically analyze sociopolitical issues. (i.e. race, class, gender, sexuality, disability, nationality etc.);
  • identify appropriate strategic points of leverage for transformational change for a specific social issue that demonstrate a deep understanding of complex organization and social dynamics;
  • demonstrate transformational leadership through the intentional, real world application of hermeneutical and strategic frameworks for faithful public witness and action in the world;
  • provide documentation, reflection, and evaluate a social transformation project which offers a contribution to the field;
  • develop a social enterprise project that utilizes a theory of change model, business concept generation, and a proposal to test the model; and
  • craft, deliver, and reflect on a sermon or public address that demonstrates effective speaking form/style and content based on a selected context.


United’s MDiv at a Glance

  • 72 credits
  • Twenty-four 3-credit courses, including one field experience
  • 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 Social Transformation, 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
Two 2000-level Religious Texts courses
Choose one:
Biblical Exegesis
One additional 2000-level Religious Texts course
Theological Tradition 4
Invitation to Theology: Truth, Goodness, and Beauty
History of Christian Theologies
History of Modern Theologies
Theology for Social Transformation
Ethics/Justice 2
Choose one:
Christian Ethics
Comparative Religious 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
Preaching and Your Public Voice
Social Analysis and Community Engagement
Social Enterprise
Three elective courses
Social Transformation Practicum
Social Transformation Capstone


Learn More

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