Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree programs are designed to prepare you for a career as an ordained minister, chaplain, or for a role in the realm of religious leadership. MDiv programs often consist of coursework in a range of religious topics and ancient languages, such as Greek or Hebrew, as well as fieldwork experiences or internships. Below, you can explore some of your options for attending an MDiv program that is located in Chicago, Illinois.
Chicago-Based MDiv Programs
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago's Master of Divinity degree program requires 29 courses that span different areas of religious studies, including theology, philosophy, ministry, and scripture. You are also required to acquire basic skills in a textual language, such as Arabic, Greek, or Hebrew. In addition, this MDiv program requires that you complete field education experiences within the community and a practicum on ministry practice. You must then complete a senior ministry project, which consists of a thesis and a public oral presentation.
Chicago Theological Seminary
The Master of Divinity degree program at the Chicago Theological Seminary allows you to choose from different concentrations, including LGBTQ studies, Muslim studies, Islamic chaplaincy, black faith and life studies, chaplaincy studies, and interreligious engagement. This 3-year program requires core coursework in Christian thought and ethics, interpreting the Gospels and Hebrew Bible, preaching, and pastoral care. You also take electives within your chosen concentration. Your field placements take place at two different sites and include a clinical pastoral education and a parish or community field placement.
Loyola University Chicago
Loyola University Chicago offers a 72-credit hour Master of Divinity degree program that consists of coursework on scripture, Christian doctrine, and moral theology. You also take classes that center on ministerial practice and pastoral leadership. This program can be attended on-campus or online in a full- or part-time format. In addition to coursework, you must complete field experiences, a clinical pastoral education requirement, and a final integration project that consists of a written work of 35-50 pages.
North Park University
North Park University's Master of Divinity degree program requires 90 total credits and can be completed in about 3 years when attending full-time or in 5 years when attending in a hybrid format that consists of online and on-campus classes. Your coursework in this program includes classes on Greek, the Old and New Testaments, Christian history, theology, preaching, and pastoral counseling. You must also complete various field education requirements, including an internship and a clinical pastoral education experience. While there is no thesis or final project, you must pass a mid-program review and vocational and psychological evaluations.
Meadville Lombard Theological School
Meadville Lombard Theological School offers a Master of Divinity degree program that can be completed in 3 years with full-time attendance or at a flexible pace with part-time attendance. This program requires 90 credits with classes on such topics as community studies, queer theology, biblical narratives, and political theology. You are also required to complete internship hours throughout your MDiv degree program and attend intensive classwork sessions. Last, you must complete a 10-week clinical pastoral education over the summer and meet with teaching and pastoral mentors during the entire program.
Admittance Information for MDiv Programs
Many MDiv degree programs require that you hold a bachelor's degree in order to apply. Along with your application, you must also submit transcripts as well as 2-4 letters of recommendation that come from an academic source, a professional source, and/or a ministerial professional. Most MDiv programs also require that you submit an essay or a personal statement that speaks to your academic and ministerial goals as well as your personal faith. Some programs, but not all, might also require a resume and a writing sample.
Master of Divinity degree programs can usually be completed in about 3 years if you attend full-time. These programs mainly consist of coursework but also require real-world internships or field placements that allow you to practice the profession of ministry.