Top Picks: The 25 Best MDiv Programs in America with No Entrance Exam Requirements

Best Mdiv Programs with no entrance exam badgeEarning a master’s degree in divinity is as much about answering a calling as establishing a career. Religion is an intensely deep and personal field so there is nothing more important when picking an MDiv program than ensuring that the philosophy and precepts behind it align with both your own values and with the expectations of the ministry in which you hope to practice.

An MDiv is recognized by most major religious organizations in the U.S. as being the single most important credential you can possess prior to being ordained. In many churches, it is a prerequisite to that ordination. So it also fulfills a process necessary to your career in the ministry in many cases.

You’ll have to find a program that will both meet your personal religious needs and have the right ecclesiological, theological, and liturgical elements that align with the ministry you will serve.

All those factors come together to make finding the best possible MDiv program something of paramount importance.

We feel confident saying that the schools we selected for this list are the best in the nation, and somewhere among them you will find the right choice for you.

Specialty Accreditation Is a Gatekeeper In Religious Degrees

To be considered for the list, every school had to be fully accredited by one of three specialty accreditors specific to this unique field of study:

Recognized by both CHEA, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the United States Department of Education, you can count on a stamp of approval from these agencies as verification of the general quality and thoroughness of an MDiv degree program.

Each maintains the highest possible standards for determining the quality of instructors, curriculum content, administrative competency, and ecumenical compatibility of MDiv programs. Through on-site visits, comprehensive documentation requirements, and ongoing evaluation, they validate compliance with standards of faculty, administration, resources, and curriculum that combine to offer the best possible approaches to modern divinity education.

Identifying the Best MDiv Programs Goes Beyond Accreditation

Accreditation was just a minimum requirement, however. When we went to identify the best, we looked far deeper to find the qualities that stretch beyond the academic and go to the personal level, touching on all the things you need to consider when making your selection.

Regional Schools Keep You Close To Home

There aren’t an unlimited number of schools offering MDiv programs, and the ones that are out there are sometimes clustered in urban areas and other centers that, unless you are lucky, may not be close to home. That can require you to relocate for your degree, which is both expensive and disruptive. Still, by focusing our list on regions, we tried to ensure that you can find schools not unreasonably far from home that will still be a good fit for you. And thanks to the growing prevalence of multi-state residential tuition compact agreements, sticking with the options within your general part of the country means there’s a better chance you’ll qualify for the deeply discounted in-state rate if you happen to be looking at a public institution.

Flexible Options that Accommodate the Needs of Busy Grad Students

With modern technology, of course, there isn’t necessarily any reason to relocate at all. Online programs can give you the opportunity to get the same great education as you would sitting in a classroom, all while sitting with your laptop at the kitchen table.

A program doesn’t necessarily have to be delivered entirely online to offer the flexibility that today’s working grad students are looking for. Often programs with multiple, easily accessible campus locations provide the perfect option for students. In other cases, a blended format that delivers much of the didactic coursework online, while requiring occasional on-campus intensives provide students with exactly what they need. In any case, a program that offers a reasonable level of flexibility is always the right fit for today’s MDiv students, so we gave considerable weight to programs that give attention to convenience and flexibility.

Your Heart Had Better Be Where Your Treasure Is For The Right MDiv

Even when preparing for a career in the service of your fellow man, you’ll still need to give consideration to how you’re going to pay for school. It’s a fact that you’ll need to have a budget to match the program you pick. Some of the schools break the $50,000 mark for total tuition, which is not small change to someone planning to live on a pastor’s salary. While we encourage you to contact the schools you’re most interested in directly for accurate pricing details, we did take cost into consideration when assessing the overall value of each program.

In A Personal Field, a Customizable Courses Of Study Can Be An Advantage

Although all MDiv programs have a certain baseline of curriculum they have to follow in order to become accredited, the best programs include an array of concentrations to choose from, plenty of dual degree options, or otherwise leave room for electives that allow you to customize your course of study. Finding a program with more electives and more options for customizing your curriculum improves your ability to address the unique needs of the congregation you will be serving. And for that reason, a customizable curriculum also improved a program’s chances of making it on to our list.

Opportunities for International Immersion

A global perspective is a natural part of the Christian worldview, and for many, international mission work is part of the Christian experience. This makes getting an education that includes an international component a natural part of preparing for a life dedicated to church leadership. That’s exactly why we gave extra consideration to programs that help facilitate international mission and outreach work, or otherwise offer opportunities to study abroad.

What’s In Your Heart Is Important, But A Good Reputation Never Hurts

On the theory that the best people to tell you about a program are people who have been through it, we looked at information that previous graduates have left about their experiences in these programs. We also considered the ranking assessments conducted by other organizations, such as U.S. News & World Report, who make it their business to track how programs compare to one another.

Top Picks for the Best MDiv Programs in America with No Entrance Exams

We know you want an accredited MDiv program with no entrance exam requirements, but there’s a lot more to consider when looking for the perfect match. In the end, your choice of MDiv program will have to come down to what is in your own heart, but the more information you have, the more likely you will be to make the right decision.

You’ll find exactly that information here on our list of selections for the very best master’s in divinity programs in America.



Midwest

Bexley Hall Seabury-Western Theological Seminary Federation, Inc.
Chicago, Illinois
Website

Non-Residential MDiv (hybrid)

  • ATS-Accredited
  • Unique learning model focuses on the value of practical experiences
  • Three-year field education experience is focused on ministerial leadership

We love the non-residential MDiv at Bexley Seabury for its distinctive take on field education. A departure from the traditional MDiv model, this program elevates the value of practical experiences, which are centered on Communities of Learning and Formation (CLF), field sites designed to reflect your ministry of choice and supported by chosen CLF leaders and supervising clergy. A focus on ministerial leadership, accomplished through four congregational leadership and development courses, the integration of elements of the school’s DMin in Congregational Development, and participation in a global travel seminar are woven into this program’s three-year field education experience. The fully/partially online curriculum reinforces your ministerial experiences and allows the bulk of your education to take place in the congregation instead of the classroom for a truly exceptional learning experience.

Moody Bible Institute
Chicago, Illinois
Website

MDiv (on-campus*, online, hybrid)

  • Pastoral Studies
  • Ministry Leadership
  • Spiritual Formation and Discipleship

*program also offered at the Plymouth, Michigan campus

  • COA, ATS-Accredited
  • Features your choice of online, on-campus, or modular (hybrid) courses
  • Moody Bible Institute boasts a superb community of graduates: more than 47,000 living alumni are serving around the world

Moody Bible Institute’s MDiv switches up the rules of conventional MDiv programs with a format that can be adjusted to fit your lifestyle, not the other way around. This program gives you the option of studying online, studying on-campus in Chicago (or at the Plymouth, Michigan campus), and even let’s you combine the perks of an online format with on-campus study through modular classes. Customize this course of study with an emphasis in pastoral studies, ministry leadership, or spiritual formation and discipleship and choose your preferred method of delivery for the most convenient path to earning an MDiv available. This program’s long history of success includes more than 47,000 living alumni serving around the world!

Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary
Elkhart, Indiana
Website

MDiv Campus (on-campus)

  • Pastoral Ministry
  • Chaplaincy
  • Christian Faith Formation
  • Theological Studies: Bible
  • Theological Studies: History
  • Theological Studies: Theology and Ethics
  • Theological Studies: Peace Studies
  • Theological Studies: Environmental Sustainability Leadership

MDiv Connect (online, hybrid)

  • Pastoral Ministry
  • Chaplaincy
  • Christian Faith Formation

 

  • ATS-Accredited
  • Two, distinct programs are designed to accommodate the unique needs of today’s learners
  • MDiv Connect requires just two, weeklong visits to campus each year

Two, distinct programs, one superb degree—Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary’s MDiv, offered as the MDiv Campus program or the MDiv Connect program, is what a contemporary course of study in Christian ministry looks like. Choose the MDiv Campus program and you’ll complete a residential course of study that’s focused on personal mentoring within the tight knit seminary community. Or choose the MDiv Connect and you’ll be able to earn this distinguished degree without relocating, thanks to a blend of online and hybrid courses. Just two, weeklong visits to campus each year are required for the MDiv Connect. A third option, the MDiv for United Methodist Students, is a unique program designed with specific courses from the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois.

Seventh-Day Adventist Theological Seminary of Andrews University
Berrien Springs, Michigan
Website

MDiv (on-campus, hybrid)

  • MDiv/MA in Communication
  • MDiv/Master of Social Work
  • MDiv/Master of Public Health
  • MDiv/MS in Community and International Development

 

  • ATS-Accredited
  • Choose from an on-campus or hybrid course of study
  • Convenient hybrid program features online courses that are supplemented with one-week on-campus intensives and one-week summer intensives

Seventh-Day Adventist Theological Seminary’s MDiv stays true to its roots by offering a traditional biblical curriculum that’s taught by leading theological scholars in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. But this program has also evolved to meet the needs of today’s working graduate student by offering a hybrid curriculum alongside its traditional, on-campus curriculum at the beautiful Andrews University campus. The hybrid MDiv features online courses that are supplemented with one-week on-campus intensives and one-week summer intensives. Simply choose the method of delivery that works best for you! And if you’re looking to take your MDiv one step further, consider participating in study tours to locales like Israel or Cuba, or pursue one of the university’s dual degree programs.

Covenant Theological Seminary
St. Louis, Missouri
Website

MDiv (on-campus, hybrid)

  • Pastoral Ministry
  • Specialized Ministry
  • Church Planting
  • CMI Missional Discipleship option (includes 9 credit hours from the City Ministry Initiative)

 

  • ATS-Accredited
  • Features a student-centered learning experience that promotes personal mentoring and peer engagement through a close cohort model
  • Group facilitators encourage peer bonding throughout the program

The MDiv at Covenant Theological Seminary is all about the experience, making this program our top pick for superb student engagement. Choose this program and you’ll quickly become part of a vibrant, on-campus community that stresses personal mentoring, long-lasting relationships, and enhanced field education. You’ll learn alongside seasoned ministers, grow with your peers as you live and study together, and take part in dynamic field experiences with local ministries. This engaging cohort model brings together groups of 8-10 first-year MDiv students who are guided by group facilitators as they learn in a supportive, Christian community. And for students who can’t devote between two and three years to on-campus study, Covenant has introduced a new hybrid option that features online study with a handful of on-campus intensives.

Methodist Theological School in Ohio
Delaware, Ohio
Website

MDiv (on-campus, hybrid), General or UMC Ordination

  • Biblical Languages and Texts
  • Black Church and African Diaspora Studies
  • Chaplaincy
  • Ecology and Justice
  • Feminist and Womanist Studies
  • Interreligious Contexts
  • Spirituality
  • Youth and Adult Ministry

Dual Degrees:

  • MDiv/MACM – Pastoral Care and Counseling (Track I)
  • MDiv/MACM – Addiction Counseling (Track II)
  • MDiv/MACM – Pastoral and Professional Counseling (Track III)
  • MDiv/MAPT
  • MDiv/MTS

 

  • ATS-Accredited
  • Program available in two, distinct pathways: Connections Pathway features a blend of online and on-campus study and the Traditional Pathway includes your choice of weekday, weekend, intensive, and hybrid courses
  • Opportunities to broaden your educational experience through dual degree options and cross-cultural immersion trips

Methodist Theological School in Ohio’s MDiv stands out as a leader among MDiv programs for its fantastic curriculum options. In fact, a custom curriculum is easily achieved here, thanks to your choice of eight specializations, all of which are contemporary and relevant as to best address the most pressing issues of today. But that’s not all; this degree is available in two, distinct pathways that are designed to fit your lifestyle. The Connections Pathway features a blend of online and on-campus study, requiring students to attend classes just one day per week, while the Traditional Pathway includes your choice of weekday, weekend, intensive, and hybrid courses. And for an even more comprehensive course of study, Methodist Theological offers a number of dual degrees and opportunities to participate in cross-cultural immersion trips to places like Korea, South Africa, Cuba, and Israel.

Northeast

Boston University
School of Theology
Boston, Massachusetts
Website

Master of Divinity (on-campus)

  • Pastoral Ministry
  • Global and Community Engagement
  • Chaplaincy
  • Church and the Arts
  • Religion and the Academy
  • Theology/Social Work (dual degree)

 

  • ATS-Accredited
  • Contemporary tracks ensure a personalized course of study
  • Practical placement supported by opportunities to reflect on your experiences and learn how to best integrate them into your overall learning experience
  • Exciting study abroad opportunities available

Boston University’s MDiv earns a top spot for its outstanding program design. In fact, choose this program and you’ll not only enjoy choosing from a variety of free electives, you’ll also customize your program by choosing from one of six, distinct tracks designed to suit your vocational goals. Contextual education is also emphasized here, with a yearlong practical placement complementing your classroom theory. Thanks to ‘Integration of Theology and Practice’ (ITP) groups, you’ll reflect on your experiences and learn how to best integrate them into your overall learning experience. Choose Boston University for your MDiv education and you’ll be part of the oldest seminary in North America, which boasts more than 34,000 students from more than 130 countries, three campuses, and strong international connections that can help link you up with exceptional global study and research opportunities.

Northeastern Seminary at Roberts Wesleyan College
Rochester, New York
Website

Program (on-campus, online)

  • Christian Spiritual Formation
  • Transformational Leadership
  • Theology and Social Justice
  • Advanced Biblical Studies
  • Denominational Studies (United Methodist, Free Methodist, Wesleyan)

 

  • ATS-Accredited
  • Program offered through an intimate and supportive learning environment
  • Fully online program features an interactive virtual classroom for superb communication and collaboration

The first thing you’ll notice about Northeastern Seminary’s MDiv is that it’s not your typical college program. Case in point: Each month, faculty members invite students to discuss theology, the MDiv, or any other relevant topic of interest over coffee. It’s this intimate environment and focus on a supportive learning community that make this program a leader in divinity education. And if a residential program isn’t a feasible path for you, Northeastern Seminary also offers the MDiv as a fully online program. But don’t let this distance-based program fool you; support and guidance are plentiful here, too, thanks to a dynamic virtual campus that ensures close collaboration and communication with your peers and professors.

Lancaster Theological Seminary
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Website

MDiv (on-campus)

  • ATS-Accredited
  • Outstanding blend of foundational and contemporary courses and experiences
  • Program includes a superb, cross-cultural immersion experience

Can an MDiv be based both in tradition and contemporary religious engagement? The answer is a resounding yes if its Lancaster Theological Seminary’s MDiv program, which is grounded in a nearly 200-year-old graduate school of theology yet built upon a relevant, dynamic curriculum that addresses the church’s most pressing issues. This means fewer credit hours and a more focused course of study that features a blend of foundational and contemporary courses and the inclusion of a superb, cross-cultural immersion experience. This on-campus course of study features your choice of two tracks: a weekday track that includes classes held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and a weekend track that includes classes held on Friday evenings and Saturday morning/afternoons.

Lancaster Bible College | Capital Seminary & Graduate School
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Website

MDiv (hybrid)

  • Bible Exposition
  • Christian Apologetics
  • Christian Care
  • Church Planting
  • Cultural Engagement
  • Formational Children & Family Ministry
  • Leadership Studies
  • Pastoral Studies
  • Youth & Adult Ministries

 

  • COA-Accredited
  • Flexible learning format features a cohort-based learning model with hybrid course delivery
  • Opportunity to earn your MA as you work toward the MDiv

Balanced, engaging, and built for tomorrow’s church leaders, Lancaster Bible School’s MDiv offers a truly unique blend of biblical and theology study that seamlessly combines the MA in Biblical Studies with the MA in Ministry. In fact, thanks to the unique structure of this program, you’ll have the opportunity to earn an MA at the same time you work toward the MDiv. This program also earns a top spot for its flexible learning format, which features an accelerated, cohort-based learning model that combines the convenience of online study with dynamic, in-person residencies. Each six-week course is a unique blend of five weeks of online study complemented by two days of residency. And thanks to a nice variety of concentrations, you’ll be able to personalize your curriculum to suit your goals and interests.

South

Beeson Divinity School of Samford University
Birmingham, Alabama
Website

MDiv (on-campus)

Dual Degrees:

  • MDiv/MBA
  • MDiv/Master of Music
  • MDiv/JD
  • MDiv/Master of Social Work

 

  • ATS-Accredited
  • Outstanding commitment to a community-based, face-to-face program that values interaction with your peers and professors
  • Superb record of student success includes a job placement rate of 92%

Beeson Divinity School’s MDiv is based on a true appreciation of the face-to-face theology education. As a student here, you’ll learn among a small group of peers as you receive guidance, support, and mentoring from a renowned faculty who oversees a traditional, ministry-focused curriculum. While this program requires a full-time, on-campus commitment, its flexible class schedule includes Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday courses only. The school’s belief in fostering a community-based learning environment is supported by an outstanding student-to-faculty ratio of just 7:1, while its superb, 92% job placement record among graduates reveals the program’s ability to deliver real results and exceptional student outcomes.

South Florida Bible College & Theological Seminary
Deerfield Beach, Florida
Website

MDiv (on-campus, online)

  • Chaplaincy
  • Ministry
  • New Testament Exegesis and Theology

 

  • COA-Accredited
  • Program customization available through course delivery and your choice of specialization
  • Consistently ranked among the top affordable MDiv programs in the nation

South Florida Bible College & Theological Seminary’s MDiv offers convenience, accessibility, and affordability wrapped up into one, comprehensive program that will help you spread the word of God in a variety of ministerial settings. So, instead of asking what this program offers, the better question may be what doesn’t it offer? In addition to being consistently ranked among the most affordable MDiv programs, this program features your choice of an on-campus or fully online course of study…options to personalize your program through your choice of specialization…small class sizes…and military/veteran benefits.

Candler School of Theology of Emory University
Atlanta, Georgia
Website

MDiv (on-campus)

  • Catholic Studies
  • Criminal Justice Ministries
  • Formation and Witness
  • Justice, Peacebuilding, and Conflict Transformation
  • Leadership in Church and Community
  • Religion, Health, and Science
  • Religion and Race
  • Scripture and Interpretation
  • Society and Personality
  • Theology and the Arts
  • Theology and Ethics
  • Traditions of the Church

Dual Degrees:

  • MDiv/MBA
  • MDiv/Masters in Development Practice
  • MDiv/JD
  • MDiv/MPH
  • MDiv/MSW

 

  • ATS-Accredited
  • Part of Emory University, consistently ranked among the top 25 universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report
  • Outstanding selection of relevant specializations add depth and value to your MDiv

You’d be hard-pressed to find a program that offers not just as many specializations as the Chandler School’s MDiv, but as many contemporary, relevant specializations. Among these are Religion and Race, Criminal Justice Ministries, Society and Personality, and Theology and the Arts. This outstanding selection of specializations allows you to dive deep into an area of interest and increase the value of your MDiv. And that’s not all; the Chandler School offers a number of dual degrees that add another dimension to your master’s program. Part of Emory University, which has been consistently ranked among the top 25 universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, the Chandler Schoolboasts a distinguished faculty, a superb alumni network, and a job placement rate of 90% among graduates.

Vanderbilt University Divinity School
Nashville, Tennessee
Website

MDiv (on-campus, online)

  • Black Religion and Culture Studies
  • Chaplaincy
  • Pastoral and Prophetic Congregational Leadership
  • Global Christianities and Interreligious Encounter
  • Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies
  • Prison and Carceral Studies
  • Religion and Economic Justice
  • Religion and the Arts
  • Religion, Gender, and Sexuality
  • Spirituality and Social Activism

 

  • ATS-Accredited
  • Fantastic selection of contemporary concentration options
  • Vanderbilt’s Divinity School is one of the oldest interdenominational schools in the South and one of just a few university-based interdenominational schools

The culturally relevant, interdisciplinary, and robust concentration options for Vanderbilt University Divinity School’s MDiv are nothing short of impressive. From Spirituality and Social Activism, to Black Religion and Culture Studies, to Global Christianities and Interreligious Encounter, among many others, the concentration options here allow you to focus your degree on your vocational interests and are considered to be a “crucial component” of your program. In addition to 12 credit hours of classroom study, your chosen concentration will include a praxis-oriented course or experience that provides you with an opportunity for truly immersive learning.

Regent University School of Divinity
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Website

MDiv (on-campus, online)

  • Biblical Languages
  • Chaplain Ministry
  • Christian Theology
  • Church & Ministry
  • Church History
  • Cyber Theology
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Marketplace Ministry
  • Missiology
  • New Testament
  • Old Testament
  • Spiritual Formation
  • Worship & Media

 

  • ATS-Accredited
  • University ranked among the top national universities by U.S. News & World Reportin 2019
  • Superb selection of contemporary concentrations
  • School of Divinity is recognized among the fastest growing seminaries in the U.S.

An undeniable leader in seminary education, Regent University’s School of Divinity is recognized among the fastest growing seminaries in the U.S. and its MDiv ranks among the top 10 largest MDiv programs offered through ATS-accredited seminaries. Whereas smaller programs can sometimes be limited in scope and options, Regent’s MDiv offers everything you’d expect from a top program of this size, including your choice of on-campus or fully online study…a renowned faculty of leaders in biblical studies, Christian history, and more…and a fantastic selection of concentrations that allow you to focus your MDiv curriculum to suit your vocational interests. Regent University also offers a variety of student resources and services designed with your success in mind. For example, the Center for Student Happiness is home to success coaching, tutoring, webinars, and more.

Perkins School of Theology
Dallas, Texas
Website

MDiv (on-campus)

  • ATS-Accredited
  • Home to the Perkins Intern Program, a nationally recognized program that ensures the finest, hands-on learning experiences
  • Perkins School of Theology boasts more than 40 experienced professors
  • Exciting opportunities to gain an international perspective through global theological education immersions

If you’re looking for exceptional experiential learning opportunities, Perkins School of Theology’s MDiv can’t be beat. The Perkins Intern Program is a well-established, nationally recognized program that includes three, full-time intern faculty members who are there to ensure your classroom experiences are complemented with the finest, hands-on learning experiences in a ministerial setting. As a student of this program, you’ll have access to intern faculty members who assess your vocational goals and interests and then pair you with an experience that best meets your goals…a trained mentor pastor who provides you with the best in professional and theological supervision…and a lay teaching committee that provides you with feedback on your performance. The experience is complemented with an internship seminar that arms you with the tools you need to make the most out of your experience. Choose the Perkins’ MDiv and you’ll also enjoy access to a superb faculty of more than 40 professors and opportunities to gain an international perspective through immersive global theological education trips to places like Israel, Cuba, Rome, and England.

The King’s University
Graduate Theology School
Southlake, Texas
Website

MDiv (on-campus, online, hybrid) with optional concentration in Messianic Jewish Studies

  • COA-Accredited
  • Options to fully customize the program with your choice of online or on-campus courses
  • University partners with Gateway Church, one of the fastest growing churches in America

A complete educational experience that’s also flexible and convenient? Yes, it’s possible through The King’s University’s MDiv, a comprehensive course of study that features outstanding practical ministry experiences and the opportunity to customize the program to suit your needs. Collaborate with your peers and engage in lively discussions through on-campus courses in the day or evening, or choose convenient, online courses if personal and professional obligations make on-campus appearances difficult to manage. Or, design a blend of online and on-campus courses for the best of both worlds! The King’s University partners with Gateway Church, one of the fastest-growing churches in America, to provide students of the MDiv with outstanding opportunities for experiential learning.

B.H. Carroll Theological Institute
Irving, Texas
Website

MDiv (on-campus, online)

  • COA, ATS-Accredited
  • Carroll collaborates with numerous partner churches to provide the MDiv through in-person or online study
  • Many professors travel to global sites to teach courses that are delivered to students around the world

Its reach is undeniable, its educational experiences superb. B.H. Carroll Theological Institute is a global seminary that prepares students for Christian ministry and service through robust partnerships with local churches. This means that earning your MDiv could be as close as your local church! As a student here, you have the option of learning in a classroom at one of the school’s network teaching churches (most of which are located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area); learning via online courses; or learning via live video conferencing delivered straight to you at home. Carroll is home to a superb faculty that includes more than 85 pastors and teachers, many of whom travel to locations like Vietnam, Russia, and China to teach courses. These same courses are also delivered to students around the world via video conference. These unmatched learning opportunities make Carroll a leader in ministry education, not just in Texas but throughout the world.

West

Azusa Pacific Seminary
Azusa, California
Website

MDiv (on-campus*, hybrid)

*also offered at the San Diego regional site; Korean MDiv offered at the Los Angeles regional site

  • ATS-Accredited
  • Program features some online courses for maximum convenience and flexibility
  • Outstanding Mentored Ministry Program ensures dynamic practical experiences

Azusa Pacific Seminary understands that an effective MDiv program isn’t complete without superb practical learning experiences, which is why its MDiv features a proven mentored ministry approach that’s designed to provide you with the support and guidance you need to make the most out of your real world learning experiences. The Mentored Ministry Program includes a supervised ministry experience in a church or other setting, along with a Mentored Ministry Reflection Group, an opportunity to connect with a faculty mentor and take part in case study discussions focused on integrating your ministry site experiences with classroom learning. It’s these types of experiences that make Azusa a leader in the study of theology, earning it a top spot among the nation’s colleges according to assessments performed by esteemed publications like U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, and the Princeton Review.

Church Divinity School of the Pacific
Berkeley, California
Website

MDiv (on-campus, hybrid)

  • ATS-Accredited
  • Church Divinity School of the Pacific is the only Episcopal seminary on the West Coast
  • Offers both residential (on-campus) and low-residence options (online study supplemented with twice-yearly on-campus intensives)

A superb course of education in theology from an Episcopal Church perspective, the Church Divinity School of the Pacific’s MDiv is designed to prepare the next generation of ordained priests through an education that’s rich in scholarship, worship, spirituality, and practical ministry experiences. It also holds the distinction of being the only Episcopal seminary on the West Coast. Located on the Church Divinity School’s beautiful and historic Berkeley campus, the MDiv offers a robust course of study that features an intimate learning environment. For students unable to study full-time on campus, the school also offers a low residence program that features twice-yearly, on-campus intensive sessions combined with online study.

Fresno Pacific University
Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary
Fresno, California
Website

MDiv (on-campus)

  • ATS-Accredited
  • Relevant curriculum has been developed with input from 30 area pastors from 17 different denominations
  • All courses include on-site class sessions with respected, local pastors
  • Exciting opportunities to study in Israel each summer

Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary’s MDiv makes its mark among MDiv programs for its comprehensive, rigorous curriculum that’s been thoughtfully designed with input from 30 area pastors from 17 different denominations. This relevant, non-denominational course of study is also highly focused, resulting in a curriculum that includes fewer units yet is more robust and complete. Plus, all courses here are complemented with class sessions from local pastors at their home churches! Other perks of the MDiv here include: an experienced faculty…opportunities to study in Israel each summer…select online courses…and opportunities to attend the Hispanic Summer Program.

Pacific School of Religion
Berkeley, California
Website

MDiv (on-campus)

  • ATS-Accredited
  • Progressive course of study features opportunities to become involved in today’s most relevant social issues
  • Pacific School of Religion is part of the Ashoka U Changemaker Campus network—a global network committed to social entrepreneurship

We love the Pacific School of Religion program for its progressive take on the traditional MDiv education experience. With a prime location in Silicon Valley, home to countless social justice agencies, the MDiv is right at home in the Pacific School of Religion. In fact, the school’s commitment to social entrepreneurship earned it recognition for being the first divinity school within the Ashoka U Changemaker Campus network—a global network that includes esteemed institutions like Brown, Duke, and the University of Maryland. Earn your MDiv here and you’ll be part of a learning community that includes outstanding opportunities for immersive learning experiences that address the most pressing social issues of today. Courses through the Graduate Theological Union, workshops through the Ignite Institute, and activities through the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry are just some of the ways MDiv students here engage in the school’s progressive, advocacy-focused approach.

SUM Bible College and Theological Seminary
El Dorado Hills, California
Website

MDiv (hybrid*)

Program offered at cohort locations throughout the U.S.

  • COA-Accredited
  • Partnerships with local churches create two-way classroom interactions at sites across the country
  • SUM boasts a 25-year history with 86% of graduates still in ministry

SUM Bible College and Theological Seminary’s MDiv turns the notion of distance learning on its head. While online learning is touted for its convenience and flexibility, the value of in-person communication and collaboration is often lost. But thanks to SUM’s unique, distance-based cohort model that provides live, two-way classroom interactions through a number of SUM local church partners, you’ll be able to connect with your peers and study under esteemed instructors through study groups that meet at locations across the U.S. So, while you’ll be studying remotely, you’ll remain connected and engaged, assuring you get the most from your educational experience.

George Fox University
Portland Seminary
Portland, Oregon
Website

MDiv (on-campus, online)

  • Biblical Studies
  • Chaplaincy
  • Christian History and Theology
  • Creation Care
  • Intercultural Studies
  • Leadership
  • Spiritual Direction and Supervision
  • Spiritual Formation and Discipleship

 

  • ATS-Accredited
  • George Fox is ranked among ‘The Best Religiously Affiliated Colleges’ by Forbes and recognized as a first-tier regional university by U.S. News & World Report
  • Superb opportunities for international study and service learning

Whether online or on-campus, George Fox University’s MDiv gives you all the tools you need to succeed in ministerial leadership. This nationally recognized course of study has earned a top spot on Forbes’ list of ‘The Best Religiously Affiliated Colleges’ and among U.S. News & World Report’s first-tier regional universities. And it’s no wonder; George Fox is a decidedly student focused university aimed at student growth and success. Just a few of the programs and services designed to work toward this goal include personalized academic guidance, faculty mentoring, and career advising. This school’s commitment to outreach and international study allows students like you to explore opportunities for service learning to locales like Africa, Romania, India, Ukraine, and more.

Seattle University
School of Theology and Ministry
Seattle, Washington
Website

MDiv (on-campus) with optional Chaplaincy specialization

  • ATS-Accredited
  • Seattle University consistently ranked among the top universities in the West by U.S. News & World Report
  • Superb collaborative environment achieved throughpartnership agreements with 14 Christian denominations and relationships with 24 community organizations

Collaboration is paramount at Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry and is one of the reasons why the MDiv here earned a spot on our list of top MDiv programs. In fact, the School of Theology and Ministry has signed formal partnership agreements with no less than 14 Christian denominations and collaborates with 24 community organizations. It’s these Christian partnerships and collaborations that ensure a truly diverse learning community with outstanding mentorship opportunities. This exceptional program is right at home at Seattle University, consistently ranked among the top universities in the West by U.S. News & World Report.