Master of Divinity (MDiv) - Princeton Theological Seminary

Master of Divinity (MDiv)

Prepare to lead a congregation, pursue an advanced degree, or engage in chaplaincy or other forms of ministry around the world. The foundational professional degree for ministry, the Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree program equips you to answer God’s call while providing the flexibility to pursue your own specific interests.

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At a Glance

Application Deadline

January 15 – Final deadline – merit scholarship applicants, international applicants

April 15 – Final deadline – US citizens and residents


3 Years

On Campus

Is the Master of Divinity Program for Me?

Do you:

  • Want to engage in hands-on ministry experience as part of your training?
  • Want to complete the standard seminary degree for ordination requirements?
  • Plan to pursue a church vocation in congregational leadership, advanced study in theology, chaplaincy, or other forms of ministry?

The MDiv provides a broad theological foundation along with the flexibility to customize your education to meet your goals—no matter how you plan to follow the Spirit’s call.

What You’ll Study

Delve deeply into the biblical, historical, practical, and theological traditions, and integrate theoretical perspectives with the practices of ministry and Christian life. Through discerning engagement with diverse cultural and religious contexts, build a critical awareness of your own and other cultures.

What You’ll Do

Beyond the classroom, engage in experience-based learning that fits your calling and prepares you to serve compassionately and wisely in an ever-changing world.

  • Field education experiences immerse you in opportunities to lead worship, provide pastoral care, train volunteers, teach, or craft liturgy. Engage in at least two field education placements. With close to 300 field education sites to explore, you have the chance to go beyond the classroom to answer the critical questions of our time. In settings ranging from schools and churches to nonprofit organizations and farms, lead worship, provide pastoral care, train volunteers, teach, or craft liturgy.
  • The Alternative Context Requirement seeks to provide ministry experience, skills, and competence in cross-cultural contexts. You can meet this requirement through a travel course or a field education placement in a location significantly different from your own.
  • Second-Year Discernment gives you the opportunity to reflect on your vocational path and engage in conversation with members of the Seminary community.

MDiv Program Details

As part of your MDiv studies, you may focus your coursework on a subject area of particular interest. From race and gender to environmental stewardship and justice, our concentrations organize your learning journey and provide space for fellowship with faculty and students who share your interests and concerns.

The following concentrations are available:

  • Black Church Studies
  • Christian-Jewish Studies
  • Lutheran Studies
  • Public Theology
  • Reformed Theology
  • Theology, Ecology, and Faith Formation
  • Theology, Women, and Gender

The Master of Divinity requires successful completion of 78 credits from six primary categories. Students take at least three courses from each academic department of the Seminary.

Foundation Courses (20 credits)

  • Introductions or Foundations in the following areas (18 credits):
    • Biblical Studies: OT 2102 – Orientation to Old Testament and Exegesis, NT 2102 – Orientation to New Testament and Exegesis
    • History and Ecumenics: WCCH 2102 – World Christian History I, WCCH 2103 – World Christian History II
    • Theology: Doing Christian Theology
    • Practical Theology: A course in either Education and Formation or Pastoral Care
  • Speech Communication in Ministry I and II (2 credits)

Additional Department Courses (20 credits)

  • One close reading of the text course in Biblical Studies
  • One elective course in History and Ecumenics
  • One doctrine course in Theology
  • One Ethics course or Constructive Theology course
  • Introduction to Preaching course
  • One elective course in Practical Theology in remaining area of Education and Formation

Core Commitment Courses (15 credits)

One course from each of the following categories:

  • A Life Together course
  • A Theological Imagination course
  • A course designated as fulfilling the Christian Leadership: Church, Religion, and Society core commitment
  • A course designated as fulfilling the Renewal of Creation, Self, and Communities core commitment
  • A course designated as fulfilling the Spiritual Practices of the Faith core commitment

Field Education (4.5 credits)

  • Students take the Introduction to Field Education and Vocational Discernment course during their first year (.5 credit for the year). They then engage in two field education placements: one typically during the fall and spring of the second year (2 credits) and a second typically during the summer preceding or following the second year (2 credits). Field education placements range from local to international locations.

Second-Year Discernment Process (.5 credits)

  • Students sign up for the Second-Year Discernment during the fall or spring semester of their second year. It provides an opportunity for students to reflect on their vocational trajectory and engage in conversation with members of the Seminary community.

General Elective Courses (18+ credits)

Sample Courses

  • Ethics and the Problem of Evil
  • Political Theologies – Beyond Liberation?
  • Divine Omniscience and Human Freedom
  • Modern Christology
  • The Idea of Pentecost

To qualify for admission, you must have an undergraduate degree (typically a BA or BS) from a school accredited by one of the accrediting agencies recognized by our faculty. Please submit the following:

  • A completed admissions application
  • Unofficial transcripts from all post-secondary institutions previously attended
  • Three letters of recommendation: one pastoral endorsement, one academic, and one additional
  • Application fee of $50

Interviews are required for merit scholarships and are strongly recommended; learn more about our interview process, including when and how to schedule.

Outcomes with a Master of Divinity Degree

The MDiv is a flexible degree that equips you for congregational leadership, chaplaincy, specialized ministry, or advanced study in theology and related disciplines. Our students go on to positions in parish ministry and other careers where they can engage their faith and serve with hope.

In Their Own Words

Next Steps

Take the next step toward your vocational call and your lifelong journey of faith. Request more information about the Master of Divinity (MDiv), schedule a visit, or apply today.