For each entering class, Union aims to assemble a student body that represents a diversity of gifts and talents, academic backgrounds, scholastic and personal experiences, professional aspirations, ages, genders, sexual orientations, races, ethnicities, and religions. Applicants for most degrees are not required to have previously studied religion, but strong preparation in the liberal arts is expected.
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Master of Divinity
The Master of Divinity (M.Div.) is a three-year professional graduate degree. It is the traditional ministerial degree for those looking to become ordained and serve in a religious setting. At Union, however, the vocation of ministry includes other forms of service as well, such as chaplaincies at universities, hospitals, or prisons; professional counseling; secondary school or university teaching; and careers in business, law, government, journalism, nonprofit work, or other professions.
Master of Arts
The Master of Arts (M.A.) is a two-year academic degree undertaken in preparation for a variety of professional positions, although it is not intended to prepare a candidate for ordination. Many M.A. students progress to or aspire towards Ph.D. study after graduation, while others choose the M.A. in order to focus their studies in a particular area. An M.A. candidate must specify an area of concentration, as approved by the faculty advisor to the program. Examples include: Bible, Church History, Systematic Theology, Ethics, Interreligious Engagement, Psychology & Religion, Preaching & Worship, and Interdisciplinary. To discuss potential concentrations, please contact the Union admissions office.
Master of Divinity & Master of Science in Social Work (Joint Degree Program)
Union Theological Seminary offers the Master of Divinity/Master of Science in Social Work (M.Div./M.S.S.W) in partnership with Columbia University. This program is designed for those who plan to seek vocations within traditional religious ministries, or for those considering careers in the helping professions. Candidates can complete requirements for both degrees in one four-year program, and are required to apply and gain admission to both Union and Columbia’s School of Social Work. Applications can be made concurrently, or application to Columbia can be made after admission to the M.Div. program.
Master of Sacred Theology
The Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.) degree is a one-year program offering an opportunity for a relatively open structure of advanced theological study. It is for those who already have a Master of Divinity, Master of Arts, or its equivalent as determined at the time of application. International students should demonstrate that they have studied in a baccalaureate program of comparable rigor, and attained a high standing. The S.T.M. program does not accept any transfer credits.
Read more about the S.T.M. program here.
Doctor of Philosophy
The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) prepares individuals for careers in teaching and research at colleges, universities, and seminaries. The program also trains students for leadership positions in religious institutions, or at social service or social justice agencies.
Read more about the Ph.D. program here.