Master of Divinity (MDiv)

The Master of Divinity (MDiv) prepares students to serve as rostered leaders in the ELCA and other Christian denominations for both traditional and emerging forms of faith communities, their neighborhoods and the world through a unique program of theological, biblical, ministerial and contextual studies.

Build Your Degree

PLTS offers a variety of options toward completing the MDiv. Choose the option that makes the most sense for your life and work circumstances and that prepares you for your vocational goals.

1. Choose Your Format

You can pursue your MDiv in residence or through distributed learning. Both formats place you in local contexts where you collaborate with mentors and peers. Both residential and distributed learning students will be together at PLTS two to three times a year for Colleague Gathering Weeks.

  • Residential
    This format includes face-to-face and asynchronous** courses, and contextual course placements in congregations and community organizations.
  • Distributed Learning
    This format includes synchronous* courses, asynchronous** courses, on-campus course sessions during Colleague Gathering weeks, and contextual course placements in congregations and community organizations. This option makes the PLTS MDiv accessible to students who choose not to relocate to the Bay Area for their seminary education.

2. Choose Your Pathway

PLTS offers three pathways toward completing the MDiv. All pathways can be completed in either the residential or distributed learning format.

  • 3 Years: The Fast-Track Pathway
    The fast-track pathway is a compact, full-time, three year program of research-oriented, practical, and contextual learning. This includes 2 years of coursework and 1 year of full-time internship. Distributed learning students on this pathway will be on campus two to three times a year for Colleague Gathering Weeks.
  • 4 Years: The Extended Pathway
    The extended pathway is a full-time program of four years of research-oriented, practical, and contextual learning. This includes 3 years of coursework and 1 year of full-time internship. Distributed learning students on this pathway will be on campus two to three times a year for Colleague Gathering Weeks.
  • 5 Years: The Flex Pathway
    The flex pathway is a half-time program of five years of research-oriented, practical, and contextual learning. This includes 4 years of half-time coursework and 1 year of full-time internship. Distributed learning students on this pathway will be on campus two to three times a year for Colleague Gathering Weeks.

Learn more about the MDiv:

 

* Synchronous courses mean that distributed learning students are virtually present in the classroom alongside residential students via live streaming video technology.

** Asynchronous courses are online courses that allow students to access course material on a more flexible schedule without requiring real-time participation.


A Bold Vision for Forming Leaders

The PLTS MDiv program is designed to prepare leaders for ministry in today’s world by teaching from the following orienting perspectives:

Nurturing a life-giving relationship with God includes embracing and sharing the life-changing power of God’s love through Jesus and cultivating spiritual practices and skills for building community that strengthens people spiritually.

Intellectual engagement with Scripture, faith traditions, and the world involves hearing and interacting with theological voices from the margins of power and privilege and putting Christian beliefs and practices into collaborative engagement with other religious traditions and secular disciplines.

Faithful social transformation grounded in the good news of Jesus Christ endeavors to build communities of resistance and hope by integrating the spiritual and political dimensions of life through theological reflection, social analysis, and implementing strategies to work for justice and ecological healing.

Learning through a socio-ecological lens that looks at race, class, gender, and earth in order to develop competencies for effective community engagement in diverse cultural and political contexts.

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