Many people who pursue Master of Divinity (MDiv) degrees simultaneously pursue degrees in fields like social work, business administration, or counseling, for a formal education that goes beyond theological studies. These dual degree programs are sometimes offered fully online or as hybrid programs with a residency requirement. The following article will explore several types of dual degree programs.
Degrees Commonly Paired with an MDiv
One of the more frequent pairings with an MDiv in a dual-degree program is a Master of Social Work (MSW). An MSW will give the student an accredited clinical education that includes a field work experience. The student could also learn about navigating social issues from both an administrative and interpersonal perspective. Students who complete this dual degree program might bring their social work education to bear in a church setting as a pastor, or they might find a job as a social worker in a religiously affiliated organization where a graduate theological education is also relevant or required.
Another degree one might find paired with an MDiv is a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Those in pastoral roles are often charged with the running of a church in addition to spiritual leadership. An MBA earned alongside an MDiv gives potential pastors or church leaders a more practical and nuanced education, and might make them more attractive to potential church communities. In addition, completing an MBA alongside an MDiv gives the student more professional flexibility should they want to pursue work outside of a church setting.
MA in Counseling
A Master of Arts in Counseling is sometimes found paired with MDiv programs. Since people working in pastoral roles often have the responsibility of counseling their parishioners in both formal and informal settings, this dual degree program can give students the training to fulfill those expectations. Students who join such a program might also be interested in counseling in a clinical setting, a career in chaplaincy, or pursuing further graduate education in psychology.
Common Admissions Requirements for MDiv Dual Degree Programs Online
MDiv dual degree programs often involve a collaboration between two different schools or universities, in which case, prospective students usually have to submit separate applications for each school/program; once accepted to both, the prospective student can then enroll in the dual-degree program.
In order to apply for admission into an online or hybrid MDiv program, one generally needs to have completed a bachelor's program and achieved a certain GPA. MBA programs typically require prospective students to submit standardized test scores (such as the GRE or GMAT) in addition to transcripts from a bachelor's degree, references, and personal statements. Similarly, MSW programs typically require prospective students to submit standardized test scores (such as the GRE), transcripts from a bachelor's degree, references, and personal statements. An MA in Counseling program will also require a bachelor's degree, letters of reference, a personal statement, standardized test scores, and potentially, academic or professional experience related to counseling or psychology.
There are many options for those who are interested in pursuing a theological degree online and want to supplement their program with education in another field. Admission requirements can vary depending on the program, so prospective students should do thorough research to find out which program works best for them.