MDiv or MA? It starts with a question.


MDiv or MA? It starts with a question.You’re hearing God’s call—maybe it’s in a whisper, maybe it’s through a megaphone. You’re discovering that a call to ministry is also a call to preparation. Now you wish God could be more specific: do I need a Master of Divinity or a Master of Arts degree?

Northwest Nazarene University’s School of Theology & Christian Ministries offers both—fully online with no residential requirements.

Discerning whether to pursue the MDiv or the MA starts with asking yourself an important question: How do you sense God is leading you?

If the answer is “the ministry,” then there’s no doubt about it: The MDiv is the way to go. It’s still the gold standard for ministry preparation, whether you’re looking for full-time ministry employment or if you’re seeking ordination in your particular tradition.

Historically, the MDiv has always been a large degree. Most face-to-face seminaries require as many as 100 semester credits, taking most students 5-6 years to complete their MDiv. But NNU’s MDiv is leaner at just 74 credits. Taking just one course at a time, students graduate with our degree in about 4½ years.

So what about an MA? Start with that same basic question: How do you sense God is leading you? The MA is perfect for laypeople wanting to test the ministry waters, so to speak, or for anyone seeking personal spiritual development. If you’re already in ministry and want to put more tools in your toolkit, the MA is a great way to go.

Most of NNU’s MA degrees can be completed in as little as 21 months—with summers off! And if you get into your MA studies at NNU and want to keep going, you can always switch to the MDiv without losing ground.

But maybe your answer to “How do you sense God is leading you?” was “I don’t know.” That’s a perfectly acceptable answer.

If you need help discerning, we’re here for you. Let’s talk. Request more information about online theological studies at NNU or contact us.

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May 2013

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