MDiv Program FAQ

What are the requirements of the MDiv program?

The MDiv curriculum consists of 29 courses that require students to establish a breadth of competence in religious studies, develop a thorough understanding of scriptural, historical, and theological foundations for ministry, and integrate reflective practice with learning. Students engage in field education during all three years of the program.  For a comprehensive outline of the degree requirements, including a typical timeline, consult the Ministry Program Handbook.

What kind/amount of language work will I do as part of the MDiv curriculum?

Students acquire basic skills in Biblical Hebrew, New Testament Greek, Quranic Arabic, or another scriptural language relevant to their tradition. To do so, students usually take two quarters of grammar instruction and one quarter of exegesis during their first year of study.

What kind of advising do MDiv students receive?

MDiv students have a primary faculty advisor and are also in regular conversation with the leadership of the Ministry Program about coursework, vocational discernment, and professional development—both as part of the program’s colloquia and in formal and informal consultations. MDiv students may also consult with other members of the faculty in areas of study in which they do concentrated coursework.

I have a particular vocational interest in ____________________ (e.g. youth ministry, chaplaincy, faith-based advocacy). Does the Divinity School’s MDiv program have a track for that?

The MDiv program does not stipulate particular ministerial tracks, but most fields of study are possible in the Divinity School. Ministry students are able to take coursework at area seminaries to fulfil denominational ordination requirements.

Does the Divinity School accept MDiv students from non-Christian faith traditions? 

One of the unique features of the MDiv program at the Divinity School is that it is a multi-religious program, welcoming students from a broad range of religious traditions. Through careful conversation and discernment, students develop a program of study that makes sense in the context of their tradition and practice, making use of the breadth of expertise among the School’s faculty. 

Does the MDiv offer online coursework and distance learning opportunities?

No. The MDiv program functions on a cohort model and is committed to the notion that regular, probing conversation on the practice and exigencies of ministry and its vocations in seminar-style conversation is essential to the formation of successful public religious leaders.

I’m interested in public religious leadership in an international context; what resources does the Divinity School have to support students like me?

The Divinity School supports students with these interests through its International Ministry Study Grant program. This program sends students abroad each summer to study.

What makes the Divinity School’s MDiv program distinctive? 

MDiv students engage in more field education than do students in many programs elsewhere, and do so in the context of an MDiv curriculum that remains demanding, intensive, and academically rigorous. MDiv students at UChicago participate in field education experiences during all three years of residence. In the first year, students engage in a ministry of presence at sites like Chicago’s Night Ministry and the Cook County Jail chaplaincy program. During the second year, students complete a year-long congregational placement, and during the third year students complete an elective field education experience (often times a chaplaincy internship or an international ministry experience). Perhaps most importantly, each MDiv cohort is small, twelve to fifteen students. As a result, MDiv students get to know their colleagues in a deeply engaging way, and the Ministry Program directors are able to offer tailored support to students. To learn more about the role of field education in the MDiv curriculum, please feel welcome to reach out to the Divinity School’s Director of Field Education and Community Engagement, Erika Dornfeld.