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United Theological Seminary Degrees & Programs

United Theological Seminary appears in our ranking of the 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Theology Degree Programs Online.

Programs at the United Theological Seminary are offered at the graduate and doctoral levels, as well as in certificate program form. Students can take many of their classes online, as well as via traditional study on the campus in Dayton, Ohio or in a hybrid format that requires online and on-campus study.

At the graduate level, students can earn their Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Christian Ministries, a Master of Ministry, or a Master of Theological Studies. The seminary also offers a Doctor of Ministry and a handful of certificates. Available certificate programs include those in Supervision, Church Planting, Disability Ministry, and Teaching & Learning.

When enrolled for classes, students may be eligible to transfer some of their previously-earned credits from other graduate and post-graduate degree programs. Students may qualify for shared credit when they have earned a degree in the last ten years or transfer credit for classes taken at other institutions where a degree has not yet been earned.

Students who have an undergraduate degree in certain areas from Lindsey Wilson College, Dakota Wesleyan, Vision International College Australia, Seminario Juan Wesley, or the University of Indianapolis may be eligible to eliminate up to 18 hours of the 78 required credits for the Master of Divinity program. Those students may also qualify to reduce the 45-credit requirement for the Master of Arts in Christian Ministries by nine credits.

A final option for study at the United Theological Seminary is a series of non-degree graduate programs that include a pre-doctoral program, a Certificate of Theological Studies, or the Basic Graduate Theological Studies program. All programs, classes, and certificates offered at the seminary are offered online and on-campus, so students can choose the learning mode that suits their individual needs.

Classes a student may take in their graduate-level program include Introduction to the Old Testament, History of Christianity, Foundations for Evangelism, and Contextual Ministry. Alongside classroom requirements, students will also need to participate in orientation classes, undergo mid-program evaluations, create a graduate portfolio, and receive final advising from a faculty member before graduation.

Students who want to enroll at the doctoral level will need to have already earned a Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent before enrolling. Applicants to the doctoral program must also have at least three years of previous experience in the ministry.

Students are expected to complete their doctoral program in around six semesters but can extend their graduation date to a total of nine consecutive semesters with permission from the Associate Dean of Doctoral Studies. Students will begin each semester with a five-day meeting in Dayton before embarking on their classes that session.

About United Theological Seminary

Established in 1871, the United Theological Seminary was founded by the father of the Wright brothers of aircraft fame. The school is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and has around 450 students attending classes at its Dayton, Ohio location. The suburban campus covers 80 acres, and students who attend often come from other denominations beyond the Methodist Church.

The seminary hosts several events and meetings each year with workshops, lectures, and conferences available to students and visitors. Popular events include the Holy Spirit Seminar, which is an annual meeting that has met each year since 2012. The seminary welcomes famous speakers throughout the year and is also one of the primary sponsors of the yearly Change the World Conference.

United Theological Seminary Accreditation Details

Several programs offered by the United Theological Seminary are accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools. Accredited degrees include the Doctor of Ministry, Master of Ministry, and the Master of Divinity, as well as a handful of other programs. The seminary is also officially affiliated with the United Methodist Church as one of the thirteen approved seminary institutions in the United States.

Regional accreditation for the United Theological Seminary comes from the Higher Learning Commission, which ensures students can transfer their classes to other, accredited institutions, as well as qualify for financial aid. The seminary also belongs to the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement group, which allows students from other states to enroll in classes in the seminary’s distance learning programs.

United Theological Seminary Application Requirements

Prospective applicants to the United Theological Seminary will apply as master’s students, doctoral students, or non-degree students. For graduate admission, students will submit an application fee, a background check form, their official transcripts from undergraduate school, and three to four letters of recommendation. There are also two short essays required, as well as a letter of intent.

Students should expect to receive word regarding their admission status after a few weeks. The admissions office will contact the applicant if there are any deficiencies in the application. Students who want to study at the doctoral level will submit the same items as a master’s degree student, as well as a two to three-page spiritual autobiography and a one-page essay about the current ministry in which the student is involved.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition for Master of Divinity students at the United Theological Seminary is $15,250 per year. The seminary estimates that students will also spend $1,000 on books and $4,564 on transportation. When living expenses are included, the seminary estimates the total cost of attendance to sit at $38,402 each year.

All other master’s degree students will pay $13,900 for tuition and fees with a total student budget reaching $37,052 per year. Doctor of Ministry students will pay a fee based on the entire length of the program. When all semesters are included, Doctor of Ministry students will pay $33,250 for the program.

Students must have their tuition and fees paid when they enroll for classes. Late payments may result in a delay of when the student can enroll for classes. Students can apply for financial aid to attend United Theological Seminary and may qualify for federal student loans, as well as grants or scholarships. To qualify for aid, students must submit their Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

To qualify for scholarships at the seminary, students must maintain certain enrollment standards and GPA standards. For example, students in master’s degree programs at the United Theological Seminary must maintain a course load of at least six credits while maintaining a minimum GPA of 2.5 while enrolled.