Master of Divinity (MDiv) Christ-centered preparation for pastoral leadership

At A Glance

78 Semester credit hours
$590* Cost per semester credit hour
4 Years Average completion time**

Accreditation

ATS (Association of Theological Schools), NWCCU

Format

Virtual, with BridgeWeek face-to-face in Portland each semester

Application Deadlines

Rolling application deadline; apply now for the next fall cohort

* All stated financial information is subject to change. Financial aid available.

** Based on taking 8 credit hours of study per term in the fall and spring semesters and 4 credit hours for 1-2 summers

3 seminary students in a classroom

For those called to be Christian leaders, it is essential to have a firm understanding of Christian heritage and theology as well as the wisdom to apply one’s knowledge in love and service.

As a Master of Divinity graduate, you will be prepared to take on the role of church planter, pastor, chaplain or nonprofit leader. This is the program for you if you’re looking to be both listened to and challenged so that you might in turn inspire personal and social change in your ministry context.

At the heart of Portland Seminary is a commitment to the spiritual formation of each student. Formation into Christlikeness prepares us to engage the world for the sake of Christ, and no matter what program you pursue, you will engage in an intentionally designed spiritual formation curriculum.

Specializations

  • Biblical Studies: You are interested in studying theology and spiritual formation at a more advanced level
  • Chaplaincy: You have a heart to be a chaplain who serves people going through crises or trauma
  • Christian History and Theology: You want to study the diversity of the body of Christ and Christian tradition
  • Spiritual Direction: You desire to work in a pastoral or soul-companion role or as someone who provides pastoral and leader support
  • Spiritual Formation and Discipleship: You plan to serve in specific ministries or as a spiritual director in any capacity

What Will I Experience?

  • Interact with Christian Scripture, history and theology to analyze, interpret and express findings faithfully 
  • Pursue an ever­-deepening sense of the reality of Jesus Christ through spiritual formation
  • Learn how to relate to others as people created in God's image 
  • Support the transformation of societies through personal and social holiness motivated by love
  • Engage in spiritual formation that involves the intersection of Scripture, theology, psychology, biology and social-cultural factors
  • Exercise pastoral care, preach, equip, and lead the diverse and local church body and Christian communities at large
  • Practice classic spiritual disciplines as well as intentional holistic awareness
  • Be held accountable by a cohort community to continue practicing what is taught in the academic environment

Program Experiences

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  • WaterFront is a required three-day orientation for new students (with the exception of those enrolled in the spiritual direction certification program) every August. This event is full of opportunities for students to connect with faculty, other new students, make final preparations for studies, and participate in spiritual formation activities.
  • BridgeWeek is the seventh week of every semester when all distance students come to Portland for face-to-face intensives. Special events are offered in the evenings.

Flexible Format

2 students discuss classwork

The Master of Divinity is a four-year program in which you study with diverse faculty and cohort peers.

Our hybrid format blends online learning with intensive in-person instruction at two points during the year.

What does a hybrid format look like?

  • Connect with a vibrant cohort of learners who grow in faith and ministry skills through a variety of experiences: traditional classroom lessons, special off-site events and “hybrid” online courses.
  • Meet periodically through video chat for hybrid online courses, all held on Thursdays or meet weekly on Mondays through fully online courses
  • Attend BridgeWeek in Portland every October and February (7th week of classes)
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The Word Must Become Flesh

Joel in a red sweatshirt standing in front of a mural

For Joel Sommer, pastor of vision and formation at Access Covenant Church, a multi-ethnic and multilingual congregation in Southeast Portland, the challenge of impacting a community and seeing lives transformed begins with a simple premise: “The Word must become flesh.”

In short, trite greetings and feel-good sermons don’t get the job done.

“We are a community that emphasizes contemplation and Scripture, so it’s key for us to allow the Word and Spirit to lead us to action in the place we live,” says Sommer, a 2011 graduate of Portland Seminary’s Master of Divinity program who founded the church in 2013.

Read more of Joel's story

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Questions?

Photo of Michael Simmons

Michael Simmons, MA

Admissions Counselor, Seminary