Academic Programs


The Master of Divinity and Master of Ministry degrees are equivalent degrees, with the same requirements. Students may elect to have their diplomas indicate either degree name. This degree is available in both a residential and a distance-learning format, ESR Access.

This degree is designed as a three-year degree in its residential format, while five years is anticipated in ESR Access. Many students, however, find that other commitments will not allow that level of enrollment throughout the three years. It is common for a student to complete the program over four or five years. Either format requires eighty-four credit hours for graduation. This will be accomplished through a combination of semester long and intensive classes.

This Master of Divinity/Master of Ministry degree is designed to help equip graduates for a variety of ministries, including pastoral ministry, Quaker ministry, religious leadership, chaplaincy, hospital ministries, religious education, campus ministry, spiritual direction, peace and justice, and writing ministries. Some of these ministries may require further preparation beyond ESR, and in some cases, certification by certifying bodies. Some students choose this degree in preparation for further work in doctoral studies or advanced professional programs.

Certain courses are required of all students in this degree program. These include formational courses (e.g., Spiritual Formation and Personal Practice), foundational courses (e.g., Introduction to New Testament), and integrative courses (e.g., Comprehensive Seminar). Formational and foundational courses provide the basic requirements of theological education, preparing students to identify and develop their gifts for ministry. Integrative courses provide evidence of student’s progress and readiness for ministry.

In addition to these required courses, the residential M.Div./M.Min. program allows students to choose the focus of their degree through the declaration of a ministry emphasis and choice of an internship. The ESR Access format utilizes a competency in ministry model rather than ministry emphases, and also requires an internship. This curriculum provides the academic and practical training at ESR for the particular form of ministry the student has chosen.

Residency requirements affecting transfer students stipulate that at least twenty-seven of the eighty-four semester hours required for the degree be taken at ESR, including SC 380 Comprehensive Seminar.