Master of Divinity (MDiv)


About the program

The Master of Divinity (MDiv) program is the degree that prepares you for ordained ministry and for general pastoral leadership responsibilities in congregations and other settings. It is also the recommended first theological degree for admission to advanced doctoral programs oriented to theological research and teaching.

The MDiv degree at Seattle Pacific University supports SPU’s mission and vision to engage the culture and change the world with the transforming gospel of Jesus Christ. The degree is built on the classical theological disciplines of Scripture, church history, theology, and ethics. The learning obtained from these fields of study is applied to the pressing needs of the contemporary church and the postmodern world.


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 (i.e., 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 course work completed before applying for admission or in all undergraduate work, whichever is higher.
  • Successful submission of all other materials and documents required for admission, as detailed below.

Admission requirements

To enroll in Seattle Pacific University's Master of Divinity (MDiv) program, you must submit:

  • A graduate online application for admission.
  • A $50 processing fee.
  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate institutions.
  • Two letters of recommendation: (1) one from a clergyperson, church staff person, or parachurch professional who will attest to the your emotional, spiritual, and academic readiness for graduate theological study; and (2) one academic reference from a former professor who knows your academic work well.
  • A typed personal statement. Statements should be three to four pages in length (double spaced). The statement should address your career objectives, a narrative of your personal Christian experience, rationale for seeking the degree and choosing to attend SPU, and other insights you deem appropriate.

International students

  • Applicants who are not citizens or permanent U.S. residents must provide 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. 
  • 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.

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, you must provide official transcripts 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 3 graduate-quarter credits and be equivalent to courses taught in the School of Theology at SPU.
  • 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.
  • In all cases, the final 36 MDiv credits must be taken at SPU.

Credit for prior coursework

You will have your transcripts evaluated during the admissions process for the following:

  • If you have been granted a master’s degree from another regionally accredited university
  • If you have taken graduate-level coursework in theology or a field related to the cross-disciplinary courses offered in the student ministry and culture or business and applied theology tracks
  • If you have taken coursework related to the MDiv degree

Application deadline

Applications are due May 15, but it is recommended that you complete application materials before April 1 to be eligible for financial aid.