The 13 Best Methodist Seminary Schools

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by Stephen DeRose / published 3.26.2020

Best Methodist Seminary Schools 2
Best Methodist Seminary Schools 2

This is a ranking of the 13 Best Methodist Seminary Schools in the U.S.

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John Wesley dedicated himself to such a rigorous methodology in studying the scriptures that those around him began to call Wesley and his peers at Oxford “Methodists”.

This hard-working attitude eventually led Wesley’s reform movement within the Angelican Church to form its own group. Now, the Methodists are one of the largest Christian denominations in the world. Many know them for their substantial contributions to charity.

However, their disciplined approach to life also inspired them to found a large number of American universities. Many of these schools are now ranked among the best in the world.

This ranking lists the thirteen seminaries affiliated with the Methodist Church. Appearing after is a school list of seven universities and colleges also founded in the Methodist tradition (which includes a variety of research universities and small liberal arts colleges).

13 Best Methodist Seminary Schools Ranking Guidelines


13 Best Methodist Seminary Schools


1

Duke University
Duke Divinity School
Durham, NC

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School Type:
Private

Number of Online Programs:
3

Types of Online Programs:
Certificates

Degree Information:
Master of Divinity • Master of Theological Studies • Master of Arts in Christian Practice • Master of Theology • Doctor of Theology • Doctor of Ministry • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) • Master of Divinity/Master of Public Policy • Master of Divinity/Master of Social Work • Master of Theological Studies/Juris Doctor • Certificates

Methodists and Quakers founded Duke University. The school is known as the Ivy League of the south. Duke has many national and international accolades. The University is now non-sectarian. However, the Duke Divinity School is one of 13 seminaries supported by the United Methodist Church.

The Divinity School opened its doors in 1926 as the first graduate professional school of the University. The school encourages religious unity through the study of scripture.

The School is intentional about formation training and preparing students to enter ministry. Students have access to several opportunities which help students discern their vocational calling.

Duke Divinity encourages multi-discipline learning. Students may take classes through other Duke University departments including:

  • Medical
  • Art
  • Public policy
  • Environmental

The available educational programs include:

  • Master of Divinity
  • Master of Theological Studies
  • Master of Arts in Christian Practice
  • Master of Theology
  • Three dual master’s degrees available in Divinity and Public Policy, Divinity and Social Work, or Theological Studies combined with a Juris Doctorate through the Duke Law School
  • Doctoral programs in Theology or Ministry

In each program, the School emphasizes strong scholarship and church commitment.

The school recently announced three new certificates that students can earn alongside master’s degree programs:

  • Certificate in Black Church Studies
  • Certificate in Faith-based Organizing, Advocacy, and Social Transformation
  • Certificate in Faith, Food, and Environmental Justice.

These certificates join 10 existing certificates and concentrations that give students the opportunity to focus their coursework on a particular area of ministry or study.

The diverse student body includes an age range of 20s to 70s. Several students come straight from undergraduate studies. Others are working pastors seeking further education and ministry enrichment.

Admissions: Most of the Divinity School programs require students to submit previous transcripts, a resume or CV, statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation. The number of letters of recommendation and other supplementary materials, such as a writing sample or GRE scores, varies from program to program.

Accreditation: Duke Divinity School receives accreditation from the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada.

Accreditation:
Duke University receives accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).


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2

Emory University
Candler School of Theology
Atlanta, GA

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School Type:
Private University

Number of Online Programs:
0

Types of Online Programs:
None

Degree Information:
Masters in Divinity • Masters in Theological Studies • Masters in Religious Leadership • Masters in Religion and Public Life • Masters in Theology • Dual degrees in Bioethics and Theology • Business and Theology • Development Practice and Theology • Law and Theology • Public Health and Theology • and Social Work and Theology • Doctorate in Ministry

Emory University is in Atlanta, one of America’s cultural capitals. This allows students access to major institutions like the Center for Disease Control or America’s largest airport. The University named the Candler School of Theology after Asa Griggs Candler. Asa was the founder of the Coca Cola company. He also provided the land grant which moved the school to Atlanta.

Following the Wesleyan tradition, the Chandler school emphasizes:

  • An ecumenical mind-set
  • Evangelical piety
  • A concern for the social issues of the day

Students can expect high standards of academic research, relevant field work, and an international perspective.

The Candler School offers 16 degree programs including:

  • Master’s degrees in Divinity, Theological Studies, Religious Leadership, Religion and Public Life, and Theology
  • Dual degrees are available in Bioethics and Theology, Business and Theology, Development Practice and Theology, Law and Theology, Public Health and Theology, and Social Work and Theology
  • Doctorate program in Ministry
  • Several certificate programs

Licensing of certified candidates is available through the joint effort of the Office of Methodist Studies, the South Georgia Annual Conference, and the North Georgia Annual Conference.

Other institutes and initiatives that the Candler School supports include:

  • The Laney Program in Moral Leadership
  • The Leadership and Multi-faith Program
  • The Youth Theological Initiative
  • The World Methodist Evangelism Institute

Admissions: Degree seeking students applying to the Candler school must submit all previous transcripts, a resume, an academic writing sample of four to seven pages, an autobiographical statement, and three letters of recommendation. Students may also need to submit a Plan of Study Statement based on the desired degree program.

Admissions evaluates transfer applications on a case-by-case basis. Transfer students must submit a Letter of Good Standing from their previous institution.

Accreditation: Programs within the Candler School receive accreditation from the Association of Theological Schools in the U.S. and Canada.

Accreditation:
Emory University receives accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


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3

Southern Methodist University
Perkins School of Theology
Dallas, TX

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School Type:
Private Methodist Research University

Number of Online Programs:
63

Types of Online Programs:
Masters, Doctorates

Degree Information:
Master of Divinity (MDiv) • Master of Sacred Music (MSM) • Master of Theological Studies (MTS) • Master of Theology (ThM) • Doctor of Ministry (DMin) • Doctor of Pastoral Music (DPM)

Southern Methodist University is a private research university. It manages the Perkins School of Theology. The Perkins School emphasizes:

  • Service through faithful leadership
  • Diversity through cross-cultural immersion
  • Overall academic excellence

There are seven major academic programs available:

  • Master of Divinity (MDiv)
  • Master of Sacred Music (MSM)
  • Master of Theological Studies (MTS)
  • Master of Theology (ThM) which is also available in Spanish
  • Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
  • Doctor of Pastoral Music (DPM)

Several of the degree programs offer areas of concentration such as:

  • African American Church Studies
  • Church/Nonprofit Management
  • Theology and Social Justice
  • Urban Ministry

Students can also pursue a Doctorate or an Master of Arts in Religious studies. However, this is available through the Dedman College and not the Perkins School of Theology.

Other excellent resources available for students through the Perkins School include:

  • The Bridwell Library, the Perkins Intern Program
  • The Houston-Galveston Extension Program
  • The Spiritual Formation Program
  • The Global Theological Education Immersion Program

Admissions: For most degree programs students must submit the following – all previous official transcripts, biographical and church information, three letters of recommendation, a resume, and a four to seven-page essay on a provided topic.

Accreditation: Perkins School of Theology receives accreditation from the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada.

Admission Requirements for Undergraduate Students:Applicants must submit official transcripts, SAT/ACT scores and a counselor recommendation. Applicants also can submit a teacher recommendation. Depending on the program, an audition or portfolio may be required.
Admission Requirements for Graduate Students:Applicants must submit transcripts, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, a resume and a statement of purpose.


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4

Boston University School of Theology
Boston, MA

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School Type:
Theological Seminary

Number of Online Programs:
0

Types of Online Programs:
None

Degree Information:
Master of Divinity • Master of Theological Studies • Master of Sacred Music • Master of Sacred Theology • Doctor of Ministry • Doctor of Philosophy

The Boston University School of Theology is a United Methodist seminary that is open to students in all traditions. The School of Theology has one of the leading theological faculties in North America. The faculty are outstanding teachers and mentors, field-shaping researchers, and leaders in academic and community life. School of Theology students are passionate, smart, and committed to justice and compassion for our planet.

In addition to dual degrees and certificate programs, the School offers:

  • Master of Divinity
  • Master of Theological Studies
  • Master of Sacred Music
  • Master of Sacred Theology
  • Doctor of Ministry
  • Doctor of Philosophy

The School of Theology encourages students to cross train with other Boston University divisions such as:

  • the Schools of Management
  • Social Work
  • Education
  • Hospitality Administration
  • Fine Arts

Students also have access to the Boston Theological Interreligious Consortium. This is a partnership with nine regional divinity schools and seminaries. This provides additional networking and cross-registration opportunities.

The School of Theology has several centers and programs that foster research and training including:

  • Religion and Conflict Transformation Program
  • Anna Howard Shaw Center
  • Center for Global Christianity and Mission
  • Center for Practical Theology
  • Faith and Ecological Justice Program
  • Raíces Latinas Program in Theology, Leadership,  and Research

Admissions: The majority of programs require that students submit all prior academic transcripts, three letters of reference, a personal statement of 500 words or less for Master programs and 2000 words or less for Doctoral programs, an application essay question for Master programs, standardized test scores, a resume or CV, and a sample of scholarly writing for Doctoral programs.

Admissions does accept transfer students to the School of Theology.

Accreditation:
Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada.


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5

Drew University
Drew Theological School
Madison, New Jersey

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School Type:
Private University

Number of Online Programs:
0

Types of Online Programs:
None

Degree Information:
Master of Arts in Religion • Master of Divinity • Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry • Master of Sacred Theology • Doctor of Ministry • Doctor of Philosophy

Drew Theological School opened its doors in 1867 for the education of Methodist Episcopal Church ministers. To this day, the School continues in the Wesleyan and Methodist tradition. The goal is to educate student leaders in:

  • Creative thought
  • Social justice
  • Religious faithfulness
  • Neighborly peace

Drew Theological School is the only school chartered by the General Conference. It also maintains the unique United Methodist Archives and History Center. Students will find all six of the denominational courses that the United Methodist Church requires for ordination available through the Theological School.

The academic programs available include:

  • Master of Arts in Religion
  • Master of Divinity
  • Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry
  • Master of Sacred Theology
  • Doctor of Ministry
  • Doctor of Philosophy

Several certificate programs are also available. Classes are flexible and available all year round with enrollment options of:

  • On campus
  • Evening-hybrid
  • Blended
  • Weekend intensive
  • Week-long intensive
  • Online options

The Theological School maintains several centers and initiatives for advanced training, networking, and hands-on ministry experience. These include:

  • The Center for Christianities in Global Contexts
  • The Center on Religion, Culture and Conflict
  • The Institute for Ecstatic Naturalism
  • The Social Justice Leadership Project
  • The Summer Music Institute

Admissions: The majority of programs require students to submit prior academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and standardized test scores. Requirements may vary based on the specific program of interest.

The Theological School does accept transfer credits.

Accreditation: The Theological School receives accreditation from the Association of Theological Schools.

Accreditation:
Drew University receives accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


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6

Claremont School of Theology
Claremont, California

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School Type:
Graduate School

Number of Online Programs:
21

Types of Online Programs:
Masters, Doctorates

Degree Information:
Master of Divinity • Master of Arts in Religion • Master of Theological studies • Doctor of Ministry • Doctor of Philosophy in Practical Theology • Doctor of Philosophy in Religion

The Claremont School of Theology has the same religious roots and educational goals as other Methodist schools. What sets Claremont apart is the goal to ‘desegregate’ religious education. Claremont does this by increasing religious diversity on campus and in the classrooms.

Claremont believes that this diversity helps students to come to a deeper understanding of their own faith. Students also learn to be more understanding and respectful of the faith of others. Following the Methodist tradition, the overall curriculum of the School emphasizes:

  • Scripture
  • Tradition
  • Experience
  • Reason

These are the necessary tools to equip students for roles in ministry, leadership, and service.

There are six main degree programs available:

  • Master of Divinity – A 72-unit degree for those who wish to pursue ordination with an emphasis on spiritual formation and social engagement
  • Master of Arts in Religion – A 48-unit degree for students who wish to pursue higher education with various concentrations available
  • Master of Theological studies – A 48-unit degree with a variety of concentrations for students who are seeking an in-depth knowledge of their faith
  • Doctor of Ministry – A 28-unit degree excellent for pastors seeking further faith formation
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Practical Theology – A 48-unit degree with two areas of concentration for students with a prior Masters degree
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Religion – A 48-unit degree with five areas of concentration for those with previous graduate work and a desire for a deeper faith understanding

Additionally, there are several certificate tracks.

Claremont encourages students to take part in Internship and Field Education experiences. Students also have access to a variety of research centers for further education and networking experiences including:

  • The Center for Global Methodism
  • The Center for Pacific and Asian-American Ministries
  • The Center for Sexuality, Gender, and Religion
  • The Center for Spirituality and Sustainability

Admissions: Admissions requirements vary by program. However, most degree tracks require students to submit prior academic transcripts, a resume or CV, a personal statement, and three letters of recommendation. Most programs do not require standardized test scores.

Accreditation:
Claremont School of Theology receives accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and The Commission on Accrediting of The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. Additionally, the University Senate of The United Methodist Church recognizes Claremont as an approved theological school for the education of United Methodist clergy.


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7

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
Evanston, Illinois

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School Type:
Graduate School of Theology

Number of Online Programs:
0

Types of Online Programs:
None

Degree Information:
Master of Divinity (MDiv) • Master of Arts in Christian Education (MACE) • Master of Arts in Music Ministry (MAMM) • Master of Arts in Pastoral Care and Counseling (MAPCC) - Optional Clinical Track • Master of Arts in Public Ministry (MAPM) • Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation and Direction (MASFD) • Master of Theological Studies (MTS) • Doctor of Ministry • Doctor of Philosophy

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary opened its doors in 1853. Garrett was the first Methodist seminary in the Midwest. The Seminary is on the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. The University itself is nonsectarian. In contrast, the Seminary keeps ties with the United Methodist Church. The Seminary emphasizes an ecumenical emphasis and an international mind-set.

The Mission of the Seminary is to:

  • Encourage a deep gospel-based spirituality
  • Pursue works of service and justice
  • Lead transformative social change

There are several degree programs available. At the Master level students may choose:

  • Master of Divinity (MDiv)
  • Master of Arts in Christian Education (MACE)
  • Master of Arts in Music Ministry (MAMM)
  • Master of Arts in Pastoral Care and Counseling (MAPCC) – Optional Clinical Track
  • Master of Arts in Public Ministry (MAPM)
  • Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation and Direction (MASFD)
  • Master of Theological Studies (MTS)

The Doctor of Ministry program offers six tracks:

  • Community Organizing
  • Congregational Leadership
  • Preaching as Leadership in Hispanic/Latinx Congregations
  • Spiritual Direction
  • Strategic Leadership for Black Congregations
  • Preaching

The Doctor of Philosophy also offers six concentrations:

  • Biblical Studies
  • Christian Education and Congregational Studies
  • History of Christianity and Historical Theology
  • Liturgical Studies
  • Pastoral Theology, Personality and Culture – Optional Clinical Track
  • Theological and Ethical Studies

Admissions: The majority of programs require students to submit prior academic transcripts, a Statement of Purpose, resume, and three letters of recommendation. The Doctor of Philosophy program also requires standardized test scores.

Accreditation:
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary receives accreditation from both the Association of Theological Schools and The Higher Learning Commission.


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8

Gammon Theological Seminary
Atlanta, Georgia

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School Type:
Seminary

Number of Online Programs:
0

Types of Online Programs:
None

Degree Information:
Master of Divinity • Master of Arts in Christian Education • Master of Arts in Church Music • Master of Arts in Christian Education and Master of Divinity • Master of Arts in Church Music and Master of Divinity • Master of Arts in Church Music and Master of Arts in Christian Education • Master of Divinity and Master of Public Health • Doctor of Ministry • Doctor of Theology in Pastoral Counseling

Gammon Theological Seminary dedicates itself to the needs of the black ministry context. Gammon participates in the six-member Interdenominational Theological Conference. This Conference is an alliance among African American schools in the Atlanta region. Students at Gammon experience the social justice tradition and religious diversity of Methodism.

Degree programs available include:

  • Master of Divinity
  • Master of Arts in Christian Education
  • Master of Arts in Church Music
  • Dual Master of Arts in Christian Education and Master of Divinity
  • Dual Master of Arts in Church Music and Master of Divinity
  • Dual Master of Arts in Church Music and Master of Arts in Christian Education
  • Dual Master of Divinity and Master of Public Health
  • Doctor of Ministry
  • Doctor of Theology in Pastoral Counseling.

There are certificate programs also available. As a whole, the curriculum encourages:

  • Independent thinking
  • Effective communication
  • Spiritual development
  • Intellectual growth

The Seminary emphasizes spiritual leadership and faith formation. Students gain these experiences through Christian Education programs and educational centers such as:

  • The Center for Chaplaincy
  • The Center for Race and Religion
  • The Gammon Retreat Center

Admissions: Admission requirements vary by program. All students must submit an autobiographical essay of up to four pages.

Gammon does accept transfer students. Transfer students must present a letter of good standing from their previous institution.

Accreditation:
Gammon Theological Seminary receives accreditation from the Association of Theological Schools and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


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9

Wesley Theological Seminary
Washington, D.C.

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School Type:
Seminary

Number of Online Programs:
0

Types of Online Programs:
None

Degree Information:
Master of Divinity • Master of Arts • Master of Theological Studies • and Doctor of Ministry • Dual degree in Master of Theological studies and Master of Arts degree in International Peace and Conflict Resolution or International Development

Wesley Theological Seminary is a member of the Washington Theological Consortium. It is also one of the 13 recognized graduate theological school of The United Methodist Church. The Seminary maintains a global, ecumenical vision. But also remains rooted in the biblical teachings and traditions of the Methodist Church. The Seminary’s comprehensive curriculum includes classroom theory and practical field experience. Students gain ministry experience through the local churches and hospitals.

There are four degree programs:

  • Master of Divinity
  • Master of Arts
  • Master of Theological Studies
  • Doctor of Ministry

Dual degrees are available combining the Master of Theological Studies from Wesley with the Master of Arts degree in International Peace and Conflict Resolution or International Development from the neighboring American University.

The Master of Divinity program offers specialization in:

  • Emerging ministry
  • Arts and theology
  • Missional church
  • Urban ministry

Admissions: The majority of degree programs require students to submit prior academic transcripts, a personal statement, resume, and letters of recommendation. Other requirements may vary by program.

Admissions does accept transfer students.

Accreditation:
Wesley Seminary receives professional accreditation from the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, religious accreditation from the University Senate of The United Methodist Church's Board of Higher Education and Ministry, and regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.


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10

Oklahoma City University
Saint Paul School of Theology
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

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School Type:
Private University

Number of Online Programs:
3

Types of Online Programs:
Masters

Degree Information:
Master of Divinity • Master of Arts in Christian Ministry • Master of Arts in Theological Studies • Doctor of Ministry • Certificate in Theological Formation • Deacon Studies degree program • United Methodist Course of Study

Saint Paul School of Theology operates out of two locations. The first location is out of Leawood, Kansas. The second is on the Oklahoma City University’s home campus. Saint Paul and the University often collaborate, but are otherwise unaffiliated with each other.

There are three Masters programs available:

  • 79-credit Master of Divinity
  • 38-credit Master of Arts in Christian Ministry
  • 49-credit Master of Arts in Theological Studies

Saint Paul also offers one 30-credit Doctor of Ministry program with a focus area of Spiritual Leadership in Unsettled Times. Students seeking further education but need less of a time commitment may enjoy:

  • The Certificate in Theological Formation
  • The Deacon Studies degree program
  • The United Methodist Course of Study (a continuing education program for licensed pastors)

Each program’s curriculum strives to combine intellectual growth with practical hands-on experience. Saint Paul encourages students to take part in opportunities for personal growth and ministry experience. These may include:

  • Internships
  • Congregational site visits
  • Small focus groups
  • Case studies
  • Spiritual formation retreats
  • A year-long mentorship

Saint Paul offers online, on-campus, and hybrid classes for all their degree programs.

Admissions: Interested applicants must submit prior academic transcripts, three to four letters of recommendation, and a Personal Statement. Doctoral candidates must also submit a theological writing sample.

Accreditation: Saint Paul receives accreditation from the Association of Theological Schools.


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11

United Theological Seminary
Trotwood, Ohio

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School Type:
Seminary

Number of Online Programs:
6

Types of Online Programs:
Masters, Certificates

Degree Information:
Master of Divinity • Master of Ministry • Master of Arts in Christian Ministries • Master of Theological Studies • Master of Arts • Doctor of Ministry

United Theological Seminary is in the larger Dayton, Ohio area. United is a Methodist school with a strong emphasis on inter-denominational dialogue. It has also has a strong presence in the civil rights movement. The Seminary strives to educate spirit-led, Christ-like leaders. The Seminary emphasizes global transformation and the historical faith.

The school’s schedule is flexible and thus very accommodating towards busy pastors. Classes are available in a variety of formats including on campus, online, hybrid, or week long intensives. There are six main degree programs:

  • Master of Divinity
  • Master of Ministry
  • Master of Arts in Christian Ministries
  • Master of Theological Studies
  • Master of Arts (a self-directed program supporting a wide range of interests)
  • Doctor of Ministry

United also offers a pre-doctoral program. This is for students who are interested in the Doctor of Ministry but who lack a Master of Divinity. Several continuing education and certificate courses are also available.

Admissions: Students interested in the Master’s programs must submit official transcripts, three to four letters of recommendation, and answers to one to two short essay questions. Doctoral students must submit official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a two to three-page ‘spiritual autobiography’, and a one-paragraph description of their current ministry context.

Accreditation: United Theological Seminary receives accreditation from the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools and the Higher Learning Commission.

Accreditation:
United Theological Seminary receives accreditation from the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools and the Higher Learning Commission.


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12

Iliff School of Theology
Denver, Colorado

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School Type:
Methodist theological school

Number of Online Programs:
9

Types of Online Programs:
Masters, Certificates

Degree Information:
Master of Divinity • Master of Arts in Pastoral and Spiritual Care • Master of Arts in Social Justice and Ethics • Master of Theological Studies • joint Doctor of Philosophy

The Iliff School of Theology is a small school named after John Wesley Iliff. It is one of the thirteen places of theological instruction affiliated with the Methodist Church. Nevertheless, many students of other faiths also study here. Iliff is an excellent school for students interested in interdenominational dialogue. The school is across the street from the University of Denver and the two institutions maintain a working relationship.

There are five main degree programs available:

  • Master of Divinity (MDiv) – a three-year program for those seeking ordination
  • Master of Arts in Pastoral and Spiritual Care (MAPSC) – a professional degree ideal for those seeking chaplaincy
  • Master of Arts in Social Justice and Ethics (MASJE) – a two-year professional degree for those interested in leadership for social change
  • Master of Theological Studies (MTS) – a two-year interdisciplinary program
  • Doctor of Philosophy (JDP) – a joint program between Iliff and the University of Denver for those interested in independent research and teaching

Within the MDiv and MTS programs there are several concentrations to choose from including:

  • Black Religious Studies
  • Historical Studies
  • Leadership in Emerging Contexts
  • Systematic/Constructive Theology

Admissions: Most of the degree programs require students to submit transcripts, resume, references, application essay, and a financial plan. Application requirements may vary slightly based on the program of interest.

Accreditation: Iliff Seminary receives accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada.


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13

Methodist Theological School
Delaware, Ohio

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School Type:
Graduate Theological School

Number of Online Programs:
0

Types of Online Programs:
None

Degree Information:
Master of Divinity • Master of Arts in Counseling Ministries • Master of Arts in Social Justice • Master of Theological Studies • Master of Arts in Practical Theology • Doctor of Ministry

The Methodist Theological School in Ohio, often called MTSO, is one of the younger Methodist schools in America. The seminary seeks to implement words with its actions. For example, to support sustainability the school runs an organic farm and operates many outdoor facilities. In 1973, MTSO combined with Trinity Lutheran Seminary and the Pontifical College Josephinum to form the Theological Consortium of Greater Columbus.

Students may choose from five graduate degrees:

  • Master of Divinity
  • Master of Arts in Counseling Ministries
  • Master of Arts in Social Justice
  • Master of Theological Studies
  • Master of Arts in Practical Theology
  • Doctor of Ministry

Several certificate programs and continuing education opportunities are also available. Each curriculum encourages hands-on training through various churches and other ministry organizations. The Office of Field Education manages these placements.

Beyond the classroom, students will find opportunities for personal and spiritual growth through:

  • The Student Enrichment Program
  • The Cross-Cultural Immersion experience
  • The Schooler Institute on Preaching
  • The Williams Institute for guest speakers
  • The Annual Lecture on World Religions and Inter-religious Dialogue

Admissions: Most degree programs require potential applicants to submit prior transcripts, a statement of vocational goals, a current resume or CV, and three letters of recommendation. Doctoral candidates must hold a prior Master of Divinity degree and have a minimum of three years professional ministry experience.

Admissions does accept transfer students and evaluates transfer credit on a case-by-case basis.

Accreditation:
The Methodist Theological School in Ohio receives accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada.


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7 Notable Methodist Colleges and Universities


1

American University
Washington, D.C.

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School Type:
Private

Number of Online Programs:
33

Types of Online Programs:
Master's, Certificates

Degree Information:
Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy • Bachelor of Arts in Religion • BA/MA in Philosophy • Certificate program in Applied Ethics and Professional Responsibility • Master of Arts in Philosophy • Master of Arts in Ethics, Peace, and Human Rights

In the late 19th century Methodist bishop John Fletcher Hurst dedicated himself to the creation of a Methodist research university in America’s capital. Since then, the American University has become a significant, private research university located in the middle of America’s epic center of power. It is also located across the street from Wesley Theological Seminary and runs joint degree programs with them. The school offers a variety of degrees ranging from undergraduate through masters and all the way to doctoral programs.

Though the University does not manage a seminary or School of Theology, American University does offer undergraduate and graduate studies in philosophy and religion through the Department of Philosophy and Religion in the College of Arts and Sciences. Undergraduate students may be interested in the Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Bachelor of Arts in Religion, or the combined BA/MA in Philosophy. Undergraduate minors and a certificate program in Applied Ethics and Professional Responsibility are also available. The curriculum in each program exposes students to a range of disciplines and skills integral to a well-rounded, liberal arts based education.

Graduate students may pursue a Master of Arts in Philosophy or a Master of Arts in Ethics, Peace, and Human Rights. In addition to classwork, students also have the opportunity to pursue research and practical experience for a diverse educational experience that prepares them for further study or careers in the field.

Admissions: First year students must submit high school transcripts, standardized test scores if not Test-Optional, a teacher recommendation letter, and a guidance counselor recommendation letter.

All graduate program applications require previous academic transcripts, a statement of purpose, and a resume or CV. Additional requirements based on the program may include standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, and a portfolio or writing sample.

Accreditation:
American University receives accreditation from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and recognition from the University Senate of the United Methodist Church.


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2

Hamline University
Saint Paul, Minnesota

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School Type:
Liberal Arts College

Number of Online Programs:
36

Types of Online Programs:
Master's, Certificates

Degree Information:
Bachelor of Arts in Religion.

Named after Leonidas Lent Hamline, Hamline University was the first institution for higher education in Minnesota and is one of the five members of the Association Colleges of the Twin Cities. The University was founded by Methodist visionaries and maintains affiliation to the United Methodist church to this day. There are over 50 areas of study for undergraduates as well as 12 Masters degrees and two doctoral programs available. Hamline remains a small university with a 12:1 student to teacher ratio and an average class size of 23.

Hamline’s Department of Religion continues to uphold and encourage the United Methodist emphasis on ecumenical openness. To this end, the Department maintains a global perspective and encourages the investigation of all faiths and religions. The Bachelor of Arts in Religion major requires eight courses, six of which are electives, and two semesters of colloquium. Students have the option of pursuing this major through the Law School Early Admission (3-3) Program. The minor in Religion requires six courses, three of which are electives. The curriculum emphasizes skills such as research, problem solving, and critical thinking and analysis. The degree prepares students for further education in seminary as well as entry level positions in education or the non-profit sector.

Admissions: Undergraduate students must submit academic records, standardized test scores, and at least one letter of recommendation.

Accreditation:
Hamline University receives accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


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3

University of Evansville
Evansville, Indiana

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School Type:
Private University

Number of Online Programs:
0

Types of Online Programs:
None

Degree Information:
Bachelor of Arts in Religion.

The University of Evansville first opened its doors in 1854 under the name Moores Hill Male and Female Collegiate Institute. In 1919, the institute moved to Evansville and was renamed to the University of Evansville. Today, the University is divided into three colleges and one school: the Schroeder School of Business, the College of Education and Health Sciences, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, and the William L. Ridgway College of Arts and Sciences. Throughout its history, the University has maintained affiliation with the United Methodist Church.

The University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Religion. Students must complete a minimum of thirty hours in religion, however, the curriculum remains flexible for individual customization. Advisors encourage students to choose an area of focus such as religion and culture, social justice, or New Testament and Early Christianity. Some sample classes include Philosophy of Religion, Anthropology of Religion, and New Testament Greek Exegesis. Students also have the opportunity to participate in field study through internships and study abroad options. Graduates of the program have gone on for further education and have entered the workforce in a variety of areas such as non-profit ministry, social services, and business.

Admissions: First year students must submit high school transcripts, standardized test scores, and an application essay. Students may select to apply as Test Optional.

Accreditation:
The University of Evansville receives accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


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4

Emory and Henry College
Emory, Virginia

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School Type:
Liberal Arts College

Number of Online Programs:
0

Types of Online Programs:
None

Degree Information:
Bachelor of Arts in Religion.

Emory and Henry College was built on a commitment to faith and civil engagement, which is why it is named after Methodist Bishop John Emory and Founding Father and Virginia’s first governor Patrick Henry. The founding organization for the College was the Holston Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Today, Emory and Henry College continues to remain one of 122 institutions affiliated with The United Methodist Church. Both undergraduate and graduate level study is available.

The College manages a Department of Religion which offers a Bachelor of Arts in Religion or a minor in Religion. The major requires the completion of 31 credits, nine of which students may apply towards electives. The degree remains flexible and interdisciplinary to allow students to meet their educational and career goals. Students often pair the study of Religion with other areas such as History, Psychology, Music, Political Science, and Philosophy. The program encourages students to seek out additional opportunities for a well-rounded educational experience including internships, community service, campus student organizations, and the Church Leadership Fellows program scholarship.

Admissions: First year applicants must submit high school transcripts, standardized test scores, and a 250-word essay. Students may submit up to three letters of recommendation as an optional addition.

Accreditation:
Emory and Henry College receives accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


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5

Morningside College
Sioux City, Iowa

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School Type:
Liberal Arts College

Number of Online Programs:
27

Types of Online Programs:
Master's, Certificates

Degree Information:
Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies.

Morningside College is making a name for itself as a private, four-year, liberal arts institution located in Sioux City, Iowa. The College maintains an ongoing affiliation with the United Methodist Church. There are over 65 majors and pre-professional programs available with small 13:1 student to faculty class size ratios allowing for a more personalized educational experience. Though most available programs are for undergraduates, Morningside also offers a completely online graduate program in Education, Master and Doctoral programs in Nursing, and a two-year post-bachelors Teacher Intern program.

The College offers a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies. The program is flexible and allows students to choose their own minor or area of study interest. The curriculum emphasizes cross cultural understanding, research and communication skills, empathy, and critical thinking. The global perspective prepares students for a variety of continuing education and career field options including law, medicine and healthcare, journalism, social work, and more.

Admissions: Undergraduate enrollment is easy and quick with only the incoming freshman’s high school GPA and standardized testing scores as the basic application requirements.

Accreditation:
Morningside College receives accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


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Southwestern University
Georgetown, Texas

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School Type:
Liberal Arts College

Number of Online Programs:
0

Types of Online Programs:
None

Degree Information:
Bachelor's in Religious Studies.

Southwestern University is a small liberal arts college in Texas with the distinction of being the first institute of higher learning in the state. It has formal ties to the Methodist Church, although like many religiously affiliated schools without a seminary or divinity school much of its curriculum is secular. Southwestern offers undergraduate degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Education, Bachelor of Music, and Bachelor of Fine Arts spread across numinous areas of study.There are no graduate degrees currently available.

Southwestern currently offers a major or a minor in Religious studies. The major requires 36 credits, while the minor requires only 20 credits. Students will find the curriculum to be diverse and inter-disciplinary in nature. One available paired major combines Religious studies with Feminist studies. The courses prepare students for further study at the graduate level and are well suited for those considering seminar education.

Admissions: Applicants must submit prior transcripts, a secondary school counselor recommendation letter, and an application essay. Admissions holds a test-optional policy for most students. Admissions encourages, but does not require, a personal interview and a mid-year school report.

Transfer students must have a minimum of 12 credits for transfer.

Accreditation:
Southwestern University receives accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


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DePauw University
Greencastle, Indiana

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School Type:
Liberal Arts College

Number of Online Programs:
0

Types of Online Programs:
None

Degree Information:
Religious Studies major and minor.

Francis Asbury, the first American bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, originally gave the name of Indiana Asbury University to what is now known as DePauw University. The University first opened its doors in 1837 as an ecumenical institution with a Methodist backing in response to the opening of the University of Indiana at Bloomington which, at that time, was more Presbyterian. Today, DePauw University continues to maintain affiliation with the United Methodist Church through an ongoing relationship with the Indiana Conference.

DePauw University offers a Religious Studies major and minor to undergraduate students as well as a bridged major that combines Religious studies with another discipline. The major requires nine courses which may cover topics such as New Testament, Buddhism, Death of God, Modern Hinduism, and Liberation Theology. With its broad liberal arts background, the Religious studies major prepares students further education at the graduate level as well as career paths in areas such as journalism, law, business, and education.

Admissions: Incoming freshman must submit high school transcripts, a secondary school report, and at least one letter of recommendation from a teacher, counselor, or church leader. Submitting standardized testing scores is optional.

Admissions does accept transfer students.

Accreditation:
DePauw University receives accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


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13 Best Methodist Seminary Schools


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