Skip to content »

Master of Divinity (MDiv)

At Garrett-Evangelical, we equip students to serve as servant leaders who can listen, recognize, analyze, and respond to the needs of our communities out of a radical theological imagination rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As a MDiv student, you will take an active part in exploring and defining your strengths, background, gifts for ministry, and vocational calling through our integrative curriculum. Whether you are called to parish ministry, campus ministry, advocacy work, or still discerning God's calling for your life, our MDiv degree prepares you for a variety of ministry settings in the 21st century.
Inquire Apply Now
Diamond Pate
Garrett-Evangelical gave me the perfect balance of academic exploration and practical application that allows me to feel prepared for ministry. - Diamond Pate, MDiv

A Shared Journey

Rooted in the United Methodist tradition, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is where people from 30+ different denominations and 18+ countries journey together. Whether you begin online or on campus, community defines the Garrett-Evangelical experience. You’ll see it everywhere on our engaged campus, but even better, you’ll experience it. We foster a culture that celebrates and learns from the unique gifts and experiences of each individual within a community that seeks to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ and to lead transformative change for the well-being of all persons and creation. The result is a theological education and tightly-woven community that will transform you so that you can help transform the world.

A Commitment to Spiritual Formation

Beginning with its first spiritual formation class in 1984, Garrett-Evangelical has long been at the forefront of Protestant seminaries in supporting faculty and developing programs in this area. As one of the only Protestant seminaries in the United States to have an endowed faculty chair in spiritual formation, Garrett-Evangelical is committed to nurturing spiritual leaders.

As a MDiv student, you will be introduced to designated personal spiritual practices, the historic “rule of life,” Wesleyan perspectives on spiritual formation, and covenantal communities through the Practice and Theology of Christian Spirituality course in your first year. Outside of the classroom, you will have the opportunity to participate in various spiritual formation opportunities, attend weekly chapel services and twice weekly communal prayer services, engage in student-led bible studies and spirituality groups, and more.

A Cross-Cultural Education

Our faculty are committed to providing a comprehensive theological education that brings to the center cross-cultural competencies, sexual and racial identities, and spiritual formation. In the classroom, you’ll learn from one of the most diverse faculties in the nation and be immersed in an inter-cultural and inclusive community.

As a MDiv student, you will also complete a cross-cultural immersion course in concepts and approaches basic to intercultural understanding and learning, including biblical and theological resources; virtues, skills, and strategies for meaningful intercultural engagement; opportunities for substantive immersion in a cultural context not one’s own; and assessment tools to enable effective feedback and continued growth as a Christian leader. This course provides first-year students with the foundational building blocks needed for cultivating meaningful, effective, and transformative ministry in a culturally diverse world.

Learn from a Renown Faculty Dedicated to the Practice of Ministry

Our diverse and renown faculty bring a wealth of expertise and experience not only to Garrett-Evangelical, but to the church and our global community. They are members and leaders in local, national, and global organizations, denominations, and societies. They have published hundreds of books and articles, and several hold places of international recognition and preeminence in their fields. Outside of the classroom, you’ll find many of them preaching from the pulpit, teaching Sunday School, organizing for the common good, and more.

Meet Our Faculty

Discern Your Call and Hone Your Gifts in Field Education

Without exception, Garrett-Evangelical graduates point to their field education experience as key to their seminary education. As a MDiv student, you will complete two years of field education. Combining hands-on experience with peer group discussion, our field education program reflects the Seminary’s philosophy that students mature into ministry by knowing, doing, and being. Learn more about our field education program at

Access to Abundant Resources

With Garrett-Evangelical, an abundance of resources are at your fingertips to enhance your education and equip you with the practical experience you need to effectively lead. The Chicago metropolitan area is our home as well as our learning laboratory. As a student, you can cross-register at Northwestern University and ten other seminaries in Association of Chicago Theological Schools consortium. Through our vast partnerships with local churches, non-profit and health organizations, and more, you will have unique field education opportunities to discern, test, and refine your call to ministry.

Our Styberg Library is one of the top ten theological libraries in the country. Thanks to our partnership with Northwestern University, you will have borrowing privileges to Northwestern University Library’s 5 million volumes and 14 terabytes of unique digital content. You will also have access to another 2.1 million books, 5,500 currently received periodicals, electronic media, and modern language laboratory facilities through the libraries in the Association of Chicago Theological Schools consortium.

Affording Your Education

One Student. One Scholarship.

At Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, every master’s degree student receives a scholarship. Scholarships are available for full-time and part-time students and are designed with an eye toward your passion and our mission. Scholarships range from 25% of tuition up to 100% of tuition with stipends and each year we award over $2.5 million in scholarship aid. To learn more about all of our scholarship opportunities, please visit

With our Early Action Scholarships, you'll receive an admissions decision no later than December 15th, and have the opportunity to qualify for scholarships ranging from 65% to 100% of tuition.The application deadline for Early Action Scholarship consideration is November 15th of each year. There is no separate scholarship application.

Our Plus Scholarships include all of our scholarships that include tuition PLUS a stipend. The application deadline for Plus Scholarship consideration is March 1st of each year. There is no separate scholarship application.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Divinity is an 80-credit hour program that can be tailored to serve each individual's calling, with an option to take 3-9 additional hours to complete a concentration or denominational requirements if needed.

Capstone Project

One important part of the MDiv curriculum is the Senior Colloquy, a capstone seminar that helps MDiv students create a final project integrating theology and practice. The goal of the Senior Colloquy is to help students integrate their seminary training with their future work as community leaders in a guided and supportive seminar. You can read about some of the capstone projects from members of the Class of 2020 here.


Admissions Lunch and Learn

Grab your lunch and join us for our Admissions "Lunch & Learn" sessions! These hour-long virtual chats will give you the opportunity to learn more about being at student at Garrett and ask questions.

Learn More


Online Learning

While we honor the traditional methods of instruction and rich heritage of academia, we also embrace non-traditional methods such as online learning and hybrid classes. The maximum number of courses which may be taken in an online format is 1/2 of the degree. Students receiving advanced standing or transfer can take no more than 1/2 of remaining credits toward the degree in an online format. Students seeking ordination should check with the appropriate church authorities to see if there are more specific guidelines that must be met.

Learn More


Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a general knowledge of:
    1. Scripture
    2. History and doctrine
    3. Practices of the Christian traditions
  2. Interpret Scripture and tradition critically and constructively in the varying contexts of contemporary life
  3. Demonstrate a growing depth of understanding and practice in personal and corporate spiritual discipline(s)
  4. Promote prophetic inquiry and witness for the sake of justice
  5. Engage in critically informed analyses of gender, race, culture, social and economic structures that shape human beings
  6. Articulate critical and multi-faceted expressions of the gospel and invites others to receive it
  7. Demonstrate the capacity to nurture further Christian formation through the practices of ministry (e.g., prayer, liturgy, preaching, pastoral care, and teaching)


Tailor Your Degree to Your Call

Your calling is unique. Our MDiv program will prepare you to thrive as a creative, innovative, and spiritually-centered leader, regardless of where you will serve. With 15 hours of open electives and the option to take an additional 3 to 9 more hours to complete ordination and/or concentration requirements, you can tailor your degree to your specific calling.

MDiv Concentrations

While a concentration is not required, declare a concentration to further tailor your degree to your ministry context. Current concentrations are available in:

  • Church History
  • Theology
  • Ethics
  • Ecological Regeneration
  • Worship
  • Pastoral Care and Counseling
  • Christian Education
  • Spiritual Formation
  • Evangelism
  • Pastoral Leadership
  • Congregational Leadership
  • African American Church Leadership (interdisciplinary)
  • LGBTQ Studies (in conjunction with Chicago Theological Seminary)
  • Peace Studies (in conjunction with Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary)
  • Other concentrations are possible with appropriate faculty consultation and support


Dual Degree Options

Contact our Admissions Office at for more information on how to do a dual degree at Garrett-Evangelical.

Master of Divinity and Master of Social Work

Garrett-Evangelical and Loyola University Chicago's School of Social Work have a cooperative agreement for a dual degree program leading to the Master of Social Work (MSW) at Loyola and the MDiv at Garrett-Evangelical in four years of full-time study. Students must be admitted to both schools. Interested students should apply to Garrett-Evangelical first and then apply to Loyola during the fall of their first year of MDiv studies. Students begin taking courses at Loyola no sooner than the spring of the first year of studies. Selected courses may be applied to the respective degrees at each school.

Master of Divinity and Master of Arts

Students can enhance their MDiv by specializing with a Master of Arts degree. The MDiv/MA allows students to become specialists in one of the following four areas:

  • Christian Education (with an option in Youth Ministry)
  • Pastoral Care and Counseling
  • Spiritual Formation and Direction

To learn more about the MA degrees, click here.

Master of Divinity and Master of Theological Studies

Students seeking to do more in-depth research and analysis on a specific topic  to compliment their MDiv degree can also pursue a Master of Theological Studies (MTS). This is a way to obtain the necessary education requirements for ordination (in particular as an elder in The United Methodist Church) while also preparing for further doctoral study. Learn more about the MTS here.

Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
  • An undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
  • Proficiency in the English language

Admission Process

Detailed information for the application requirements and process can be found here.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. The Admissions Committee reserves the right to determine, in its sole judgment, whether an applicant is a suitable candidate for a specific degree program or for the vocation that the program represents. International student applications are due by March 1st.

The application deadline for Early Action Scholarship consideration is November 15th of each year. There is no separate scholarship application.

The application deadline for Plus Scholarship consideration is March 1st of each year. There is no separate scholarship application.