The master of divinity (MDiv) is a three-year full-time program, in which students work at the intersections of the academic study of religion and the practices of religious communities, the past and the present, classroom study and field study, and the convictions and practices of their own religious tradition and the convictions and practices of traditions other than their own. The MDiv prepares students for ministerial engagement in a wide range of settings.
The MDiv is a hands-on degree in ministry, with professional and academic components. MDiv students learn how to read carefully, write and speak expressively. Students learn the nuances of religion, spirituality, history, practice, and the human experience. Students may focus on one or more tradition, and become fluent in the histories, theories, practices, language, and writings of that religion. Engaging in the Field Education Program enables MDiv students to integrate theory and practice from the classroom with Read more about How should I explain an MDiv degree to my family?
If you do not plan to become ordained, an MDiv can also prepare you well for interfaith work, chaplaincy, lay ministry in your own tradition, or any other field you are interested in, such as nonprofit work and community organizing. This is true for people of all faiths as well as those who are not part of a faith tradition. Unitarian Universalist students, who are not Christian, pursue an MDiv for ordination toward a vocation as a community minister.
MDiv students at HDS come from all of the above traditions, many more, and none. Students meet with a faculty academic advisor to craft their path of study based on their unique educational and vocational goals. In addition to the academic goals, students engage field education as integral to the MDiv degree.
Students engage in field education placements to explore various vocational paths. They work in non-profit agencies, health care and educational settings, as well as in congregations or other places of worship.