Master of Divinity (MDiv)

Program overview

What can you do with a Master of Divinity Degree?

An MDiv at Seattle Pacific Seminary prepares you for ordained ministry and general pastoral leadership responsibilities. Comprehensive and in the context of SPU’s evangelical Wesleyan heritage, this MDiv will develop your knowledge (Scripture, church history, and theology), skills, and multicultural sensitivities needed to understand the Christian faith. 

Discover how you can more effectively serve the contemporary church.

Program Overview

Focus of this degree

If you are interested in preparing for ordained ministry and for general pastoral leadership responsibilities in churches as well as parachurch, mission, and other settings, then the Master of Divinity degree program is for you. It is also the recommended first theological degree for admission to doctoral programs oriented to theological research and teaching.


  1. Depth of knowledge
    The Master of Divinity incorporates knowledge of Christian heritage (Scripture, church history, and theology), understanding of cultural context, growth in spiritual depth and moral integrity, and capacity for ministerial and public leadership.

  2. Comprehensive
    The MDiv degree program provides you with a breadth of exposure to the various theological fields of study so that you are educated for a comprehensive range of pastoral responsibilities and skills.

  3. Broad understanding
    As an MDiv student, you will develop the knowledge, skills, and multicultural sensitivities needed to understand the Christian faith and put it into faithful and effective practice for the benefit of the contemporary church and the postmodern world.

  4. Serving the contemporary church
    You will be equipped to apply what you have learned and experienced in this program to the pressing needs of the contemporary church and the postmodern world, whether it is in a church, parachurch, mission, or other setting.

  5. Personal growth
    You will also experience rich opportunities for worship, fellowship, and personal spiritual growth in the context of SPU’s evangelical Wesleyan heritage.

  6. Dual degrees
    Do you feel called to add a theological component to a business degree, counseling degree, or an MFA? The Seminary offers dual degree programs in partnership with other SPU schools to let you earn two advanced degrees in less time earning the same two degrees separately.


The MDiv degree requires you to complete 108 credits. 33 credits are taken in the Core Curriculum common to all Seattle Pacific Seminary degree programs. This curriculum consists of the following:

  • Three 2-credit intensive courses in spiritual formation and mission.
  • Three courses each in Bible, church history, and theology/ethics.

The remaining credits are taken in a number of theological and practical disciplines.

Course List for SPS’ MDiv degree (for students matriculating after 2023).

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The MDiv degree incorporates knowledge of Christian heritage (Scripture, church history, and theology), understanding of cultural context, growth in spiritual depth and moral integrity, and capacity for ministerial and public leadership. In addition, the MDiv degree provides a breadth of exposure to the various theological fields of study, educating students for a comprehensive range of pastoral responsibilities and skills. It consists of 108 quarter credits (equivalent to 72 semester credits). 

The first 33 quarter credits are in a core curriculum, upon which all graduate programs in the Seattle Pacific Seminary are based. The Core Curriculum consists of three courses each in Christian Formation, Christian Scripture, Global Christian Heritage, and Theology/Ethics.

The remaining 75 credits include 42 credits in “basic” courses in theology and practical ministry, 6 credits in Christian Scripture courses, and 24 credits in elective courses in a variety of disciplines, including theology, business and economics, education, industrial/organizational psychology, and marriage and family therapy.

University and program requirements for admission into the Master of Divinity (MDiv) program include:

  • A minimum of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • You must have had a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 in the last 45 quarter credits (30 semester credits) of coursework completed before applying for admission or in all undergraduate work, whichever is higher.
  • Successful submission of all other materials and documents required for admission.
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2023–24 Tuition and Fees

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per credit

Total $64,260 minimum

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$50; $150

application fee; one-time matriculation fee

See additional fee details.
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108 credits

to complete

All tuition, fees, and other charges stated here are payable in U.S. dollars ($US).

In addition to direct instructional costs, Seattle Pacific Seminary’s Master of Divinity tuition covers academic and student support services. Other benefits include use of athletic facilities (e.g., gym, locker room, and fitness rooms), the SPU Library, and the Kingswood House.

Scholarships and financial aid

Scholarship and other financial aid is offered to newly admitted and continuing students of SPS. For eligibility requirements, download the SPS Scholarship application. To apply for a scholarship, you should complete the application prior to the March 31 deadline. Scholarships will be distributed evenly across the Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters of the academic year for which a scholarship is awarded.

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Applying to Seattle Pacific Seminary 

Admission to Seattle Pacific Seminary is a two-way process of discernment. You, the applicant, must determine whether SPS offers the kind of theological education and spiritual formation appropriate to your vocational objectives. You do so by studying our promotional materials, by visiting campus (if possible), by talking with our faculty, staff, and students, by praying for God’s guidance, and by consulting with trusted spiritual advisors.

Conversely, the SPS Admissions Committee must determine whether you are spiritually and academically prepared to succeed in one of our programs. We do so by carefully and prayerfully studying your application materials and by assessing how your gifts, graces, and sense of vocation fit with the mission and ethos of the Seminary. We admit women and men who can demonstrate a vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ, a commitment to the proclamation of the reign of God, an ability to succeed academically in master’s level work, and an emotional and spiritual readiness to undertake graduate theological study.

To be considered for admission into the Master of Divinity program, you must apply online. Find the help you need with the admissions process of the program of your choice through Graduate Admissions

If you are an international student, also refer to International Graduate Students information about additional admission requirements. 

In your Seminary application

In addition to fulfilling general SPU graduate admissions requirements, you will provide these items specific to Seattle Pacific Seminary:

A typed, three- to four-page personal statement, including:

  • Your career objectives.
  • A narrative of your personal Christian experience. In your personal statement, you may consider reflecting on those people (e.g., parents, pastors, friends, teachers), institutions (e.g., schools, congregations, ministries), and/or “mountaintop experiences” (e.g., retreats, conferences, life-changing conversations) that have most influenced your spiritual growth.
  • Your rationale for seeking the degree and choosing Seattle Pacific Seminary.
  • Other insights you deem appropriate.

Two letters of recommendation

We ask you to secure letters of recommendation from two persons, both of whom know you well, but in different capacities, and who can therefore speak to different aspects of your preparedness for the challenges of graduate theological education.

  1. Spiritual/emotional preparedness: This letter should be from a pastor, church staff person, chaplain, parachurch professional, youth leader, Bible study leader or college religion professor. It should describe the depth of your Christian faith, as evidenced by the way you live your life, serve your neighbors, and participate in the ministry of a Christian community (local congregation, parachurch organization, chapel program, etc.).
  2. Academic preparedness: This letter should be from a former college professor who knows your academic work well and can describe your intellectual curiosity and your skills in research, writing, critical thinking, problem-solving, and time management. If you cannot secure a letter from a former professor, a letter from an employer or manager who can address these matters will be accepted with approval from the Seminary Director, Ashley Skinner Creek (; in such cases, an interview may be required. You may request permission to submit an alternative letter of reference by emailing

Transfer credits

If you wish to apply graduate-level coursework completed at a regionally accredited university or an ATS-accredited divinity school or seminary toward your MDiv program, you must provide official transcript(s) and, in some cases, course syllabi. You may transfer up to 36 quarter credits from other graduate programs. To receive transfer credit:

  • Each course must be at least three graduate-quarter credits and be equivalent to courses taught in the Seattle Pacific Seminary.
  • Each course will be considered on a case-by-case basis as to the fulfillment of specific curricular requirements.
  • A minimum grade of “B” will be needed for transferred work.
  • All courses applied toward the graduate degree must be taken within seven years of admission.
  • The final 36 MDiv credits must be taken at SPU, in all cases.

Application deadlines

Students can apply to Seattle Pacific Seminary to begin Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters, and to begin during Summer Sessions, though most students choose to begin their program in Autumn Quarter.

  • Autumn Quarter: July 31
  • Winter Quarter: November 15
  • Spring Quarter: February 15
  • Summer Sessions: May 1

Non-degree students

You may take up to nine credits of graduate theology courses as a non-degree student, if you:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • Fill out a short application form with the Seattle Pacific Seminary office.
  • Receive permission from the dean or associate dean of the School of Theology.

Contact the Seattle Pacific Seminary at or 206-281-2342 for more information.

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Career Opportunities

Career opportunities

The Master of Divinity from Seattle Pacific Seminary prepares you for ordained ministry and for general pastoral leadership in congregations and other settings. It is also the recommended first degree if you plan to pursue admission to doctoral programs in theology.

Here are just a few examples of careers that can open up to individuals with a Master of Divinity degree:

  • Pastor
  • Chaplain
  • Speaker
  • Author
  • Christian camp director
  • Educator
  • Counselor
  • Missionary

Job leads

Supporting the careers of our Seminary students and alumni is a high priority for Seattle Pacific Seminary. The following career resources are available:

  • The Center for Career and Calling Resources for Current Graduate Students, which offers online vocational resources and résumé tips, workshops, and events. 
  • Job leads through SPU’s job posting board Handshake and Falcon Connect, the online community where you can engage and connect with the SPU network.
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International Students

International students

In addition to the SPU general and Seminary’s additional admission requirements for the Master of Divinity, international students must also submit:

  • An official confidential affidavit of financial support covering the first year of intended enrollment. Without this document, SPU cannot issue an I-20 immigration form.
  • Students holding undergraduate or graduate degrees from colleges, universities, and/or seminaries located outside the U.S. are expected to have their transcripts evaluated by a professional credential agency. Such an evaluation is required before an application for admission to SPS can be granted and before any graduate credits taken elsewhere can be applied to an SPS degree.
  • If you earned an undergraduate degree in a country other than the United States, or your degree is in progress, an official course-by-course credential evaluation must be submitted from a NACES member-recognized credential service. Acceptable credential services include, but are not limited to, World Education Services (WES) and Foundation for International Services (FIS).
  • In addition to the evaluation report, we also require official transcripts and diplomas to be submitted, in English. International applicants are responsible for all costs associated with this service.
  •  English language proficiency: If you do not speak English as your first language, you must also submit scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A minimum score of 600 on the TOFEL paper or 250 on the TOEFL-CBT, or 100 on the TOEFL-iBT is required. ACE scores will not be accepted.
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