Central’s Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree prepares students for ministry. The program is designed to ensure graduates are innovative leaders and professionals. Whether you’re pursuing a position as a chaplain, full-time clergy, bi-vocational minister, lay leader, or nonprofit leader, a Master of Divinity is perfect for establishing yourself as an expert trained to excel at leading others.
We work with students from all over the world with unique paths towards spiritual discernment. Let us help you create a plan for success that fits your life while you pursue a Master of Divinity degree at our diverse, welcoming seminary community.
The Master of Divinity program is fully available in either English or Korean. Complete 100% of coursework online. Contextual education courses may require in-person work.
|Session||Start Date||Application Deadline|
|Easter Trimester 2023||May 8, 2023||May 1, 2023|
$375 per credit before scholarships (scholarships and tuition assistance available for all degree-seeking students. Payment plans are available.)
$250 per term
Start your application anytime. Classes begin in August, January, and May.
Official transcripts, character references, and an autobiographical statement will be required for admission. Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited educational institution. A limited number of students without an earned baccalaureate degree or its equivalent may be admitted to the MDiv program through the completion of coursework in the Diploma program.
Students participating in the English program for whom English is not their first language will be required to demonstrate their English proficiency.
Required MDiv Courses
You can add the following classes to complete the Graduate Certificate in Chaplaincy in addition to the MDiv degree:
Add the following classes to complete the Graduate Certificate in Peace and Justice Ministry in addition to the MDiv degree:
Central Seminary’s international resources include all necessary forms needed, information about maintaining status, your graduation, employment, and admissions.
MDiv Programs are fully available in Korean.
Other Korean programs at Central are Doctor of Ministry in Missional Church Studies, Master of Arts in Missional Church Studies, Master of Christian Care and Counseling, and a Diploma in Christian Foundation.
The Master of Divinity degree forms and equips innovative leaders who will serve both within and outside traditional structures and boundaries of Christian ministry and service.
Upon successful completion of the Master of Divinity degree the student will be able to:
In addition the student will reflect appreciation for certain human and vocational values presented as threaded themes throughout the Master of Divinity curriculum:
The MDiv program is more comprehensive, especially with the contextual learning opportunities. It is best for someone who has a dream or a vision for what [he or she] wants to do in life and ministry. The MDiv gives you the opportunity be fully prepared for the ministry you are called to do.
MDiv '21, MATS '22
The MDiv program will empower you with a vision for ministry and equip you to become a transformative agent in the evolving global Christian community. Many churches and denominations require an accredited MDiv degree for ordination, and chaplaincy jobs may list the MDiv as a qualification for employment. If you are ready to pursue a graduate-level degree in theology at a diverse, affordable seminary, consider the Master of Divinity program offered at Central Seminary.
The Master of Divinity program has a theologically diverse atmosphere where all perspectives are welcome. Your peers in this program will be from various faith denominations, with a wide variety of reasons for pursuing the degree centered around leadership roles. Central students have diverse backgrounds and come from a wide variety of global cultures and languages, which provides a healthy environment for learning and acceptance.
Central Seminary is an innovative online education provider since 2010.
The online Master of Divinity program is available with capabilities to make your experience as rich as an in-person program. Online MDiv programs provide interaction with peers and professors, remote classroom technology, and all the skills necessary for leadership traditionally found within the Master of Divinity program.
Central has an excellent low tuition rate and 100% of degree-seeking students are eligible for scholarships. Individualized payment plans are also available to make your education affordable or you can choose to participate in a pay-as-you-go plan.
View common questions and answers about MDiv programs.
A Master of Divinity (MDiv) differs from a Master of Arts Theological Studies (MATS) in a number of ways. The first is the length of the program. The MDiv is 72 credits and the MATS 36 credits. While the MATS provides a solid foundation for Bible, theology, and Christian heritage, the MDiv provides a much more in-depth study of all those areas, combined with numerous courses designed for practical ministry applications such as biblical interpretation, preaching and leadership, as well as an opportunity for hands-on ministry experience through contextualized education.
The Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree is a traditional and flagship program of many seminaries in the preparation of clergy. However, ministry work goes beyond the pulpit. Central’s innovative Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree program is designed to help you craft a ministry that is unique to your calling, either as chaplain, full-time clergy, bi-vocational minister, lay leader, non-profit sector leader, or as a professional in any number of leadership roles.
The MDiv is a professional degree that combines the most rigorous and comprehensive curriculum to prepare students for the greatest number of career options. Many churches and denominations require an MDiv for ordination, and many institutions including the military required the MDiv for chaplaincy positions. While it is the longest program in terms of credit hours, it will also be the best preparation for the diversity of career options that one will encounter throughout their career.
Contextual education is a hands-on learning experience, similar to an internship where students will be serving/leading in a ministry context. At Central, this experience is separated into three courses plus a capstone. Experience occurs in Formation, Cross-Cultural and Public Practice and challenges learners to apply pastoral care/compassion skills to a contextual setting.
The short answer is, maybe. Check with your church or denomination to figure out the rules for ordination or ministering in your setting. In some traditions, local churches may ordain with little to no theological education. In other traditions, prospective pastors may be required to complete an MDiv program and then proceed through another ordination process.
Yes, 100% of your coursework can be completed online. Your contextual education courses may require in-person work.
There is always a need for gifted individuals willing to serve the congregation. To have the most opportunity, when possible, prospective pastors should be open to various pastoral positions including associate level, children or youth positions, pastoral care positions and even part-time positions.
While there are many full-time pastors or ministry professionals, there are a growing number that are splitting their time between two or more roles, one of which being pastoral or ministry. Read more about bi-vocational ministry and some Central alums working in the field here (link to Voice article).
Full-time students can expect to take 4 years to complete the MDiv degree. Part-time students require 6+ years to finish degree requirements.
Tuition: $375 per credit before scholarships (scholarships and tuition assistance available for all degree-seeking students)
Registration fee: $250 per term
Graduation fee: $250
Payment plans are available. (Amounts shown are for the academic year 2022-2023 and only represent basic costs. Consult the current academic catalog for complete financial information.)
The seminary offers a range of scholarships depending on need and donor criteria. Students are highly encouraged to seek outside scholarships to help with costs. There are a number of organizations in addition to churches and denominations that offer aid to theology students. You can begin to investigate your options through our financial aid page.
The seminary does not participate in the federal loan program currently. Instead, we work hard to keep our costs low and help students avoid the burden of additional loans.
The MDiv at Central Seminary can be a good fit for students who want to develop a deeper knowledge of theological studies while seeking personal growth and mastering applied ministry skills.
After completing the degree program, students should be able to perform effective ministry functions using the competencies gained through the four main pillars of the program: interpretation, contextualization, performance, and formation.
The Master of Divinity program places an emphasis on helping students improve the way they perform, communicate, and practice with integrity. As a result, students can translate their knowledge and personal spiritual journey into a ministry that is engaging and results in positive, life-giving outcomes.
Becoming theologically articulate is one of the essential components of effective ministry-based work. Having comprehensive biblical knowledge and a strong understanding of Christian heritage is at the core of your ministry practice.
The curricula will guide you through understanding and interpreting the Bible and Christian ethics in ways you can apply to modern ministry. Students also take courses that cover media, creativity, innovation, and leadership topics that help them contextualize their knowledge to improve their ministry performance.
A Master of Divinity degree allows graduates to immediately start looking for professional jobs, although some wish to continue and pursue a Doctorate. Some of the fields you can begin applying for directly after graduation include pastor or minister, religious education teacher, chaplain, missionary, activist, or non-profit professional.
For the online programs, students will only need a desktop or laptop computer with strong internet access. Software commonly used include tools like Zoom, Microsoft Office, Google Docs, and Outlook.