• Cynthia Lindner, Director of the Ministry program, speaking to the incoming cohort at orientation.
  • Kiva Nice-Webb, MDiv student, offering a prayer during the Open Space service in Bond Chapel.
  • Anne Kristin Lynch, MDiv, studying Hebrew in the 4th floor ministry suite.
  • Our cohort-based system begins with Orientation in the fall

Program overview

A life of public ministry demands a public education—responsible, rigorous, and lively dialogue between disciplines and professions. 

One of the hallmarks of the Divinity school is the intentional interplay of scholarly and pastoral perspectives: ministry students and other master’s-level and doctoral students share classrooms, course work, and a single faculty of world-class scholars, whether their studies lead to careers in teaching and research, ministry, or another form of public service.

Divinity school students have access to the resources of the entire University, and they often take courses in the humanities and social sciences graduate divisions or from the professional schools of law, social work, and public policy. Hyde Park is also home to several free-standing seminaries and the Disciples Divinity house, affording ministry students at the Divinity school an endless selection of course work, connection, and community in their own traditions, with theological faculty from all over the world.

Here education is truly an ongoing conversation, in the classroom and the congregation into our communal life at the Divinity School. Ministry education here employs a distinctive cohort formation model, which means that our average incoming MDiv class size is 15 to 18 students per year, students who represent a broad span of denominations and faith traditions. Each class fits around a common discussion table; this intimate cohort structure draws you into a three-year conversation with colleagues exploring ministry who are just as passionate and curious as you are. It means more attention from faculty, but also a richer, deeper, and more personal community with fellow students that continues across your theological education—collaborations that will continue to enrich your professional practice long after you’ve left Swift Hall. For more information about the MDiv course of study, please refer to our Ministry Handbook.

Why Chicago?

Virginia White, MDiv'16 and past Divinity Students Association Treasurer, discusses the cohort model and the first-year field education experience.

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