Frequently Asked Questions

Can I prepare to do hospice or hospital chaplaincy during my MDiv?

Students across faith traditions prepare for health care, university, military and prison chaplaincy. Students explore various forms of chaplaincy through Field Education placements. HDS offers courses in chaplaincy, counseling, ethics, and child and adult development, and spiritual psychology. Additionally, students may earn field education credit for units of Read more about Can I prepare to do hospice or hospital chaplaincy during my MDiv?

I am not Christian. Should I get an MDiv?

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.

In addition, many students of diverse faiths will complete an MDiv before going onto further professional school, such as law, Read more about I am not Christian. Should I get an MDiv?

How should I explain an MDiv degree to my family?

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?

What is the difference between an MDiv and an MTS?

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 Read more about What is the difference between an MDiv and an MTS?

What is the difference between Harvard Divinity School and a seminary?

Harvard Divinity School was established in 1816 as the country's first nonsectarian theological school. It is dedicated to educating future leaders in religious life and thought with the resources and support of the wider Harvard University. Seminaries are typically affiliated with a particular religious denomination, and may or may not be affiliated with a larger university. We recommend that you contact the denominational seminaries that interest you for additional information about their programs, resources, and student life. We are happy to share detailed information about HDS.

What can I do with an MDiv or MTS degree?

Our graduates go on to a wide variety of professions and vocations, including ordained and lay ministry; chaplaincy; higher education teaching and research; public and private secondary education; community development, advocacy, and human services; management and consulting—especially nonprofit; public policy, law, conflict resolution, and mediation; arts, publishing, communications, and media. The training HDS students receive is meant to prepare graduates for important work across fields.