Seminary students visiting at a table

As we make our way through times of upheaval, uncertainty and change, many are discerning a call to ministry. 

Saint Paul School of Theology offers degree programs that prepare graduates for leadership roles in the local church and beyond. Specializations and electives within each program give students the hands-on experience and academic training they need to fulfill their unique callings.

The Office of Admissions can help you choose the degree program best suited to your ministry goals. Let’s take a look at some of the careers students might pursue with different degrees from Saint Paul. 

Ministry in a Local Church Setting

Group of worshippers outdoors

Many students come to Saint Paul to fulfill their call of serving as a local church pastor or to build upon their existing roles as leaders in the church. Others come to gain tools to serve as worship leaders, Christian educators or outreach coordinators to their surrounding communities.

Master of Divinity (MDiv) students prepare for these and other roles within a church setting. Students gain both practical and critical understanding of the Bible to apply to their diverse contextual experiences. The MDiv program satisfies the requirements necessary for ordination in many denominations including the United Methodist Church. Specializations include Wesleyan Studies; Women, Society and Church Studies; and Evangelism. 

The Master of Christian Ministry (MACM) program is intended for both ordained and lay leaders in various church roles. Students develop their cultural, social and theological understanding, which enables them to provide informed, ethical ministry. Specializations include Prophetic Witness and Service and Deacon Ministries. The latter may meet the requirements for ordination as a Deacon in the United Methodist Church.  

Ministry Outside of the Church

Music minister playing guitar in worship

Students in the Deacon Studies specialization can also prepare for a number of ministry settings outside the church walls. Examples include prisons, hospitals, counseling centers, rehabilitation facilities and hospice programs. Deacons may also work with unhoused persons, those experiencing unemployment or those recovering from natural disasters. 

The MDiv program can prepare students for the chaplaincy, which provides another vital form of ministry in many settings. Healthcare chaplains, for instance, work with patients, families and medical professionals in hospitals, mental health centers, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes and hospice programs. Military chaplains serve active service members who are preparing for deployment, those currently deployed and veterans who have completed their service. Other chaplaincy settings include prisons, police departments, children’s homes and retirement communities. 

Advancing Social Justice Leadership

Pastor giving a sermon

As the U.S. passes the grim milestone of over half a million deaths from COVID-19, the pandemic has brought renewed attention to long-standing societal inequities. 

Those in ministry find themselves looking for new ways to engage in the hands-on work of building a more just society. How can faith communities have fruitful conversations that lead to meaningful action on such pressing issues as poverty, systemic racism and environmental destruction?

Saint Paul addresses this need through our Doctor of Ministry (DMin), Spiritual Leadership in Unsettled Times. The program is offered in partnership with United Methodist Church of the Resurrection and Metro Organization for Racial and Economic Equality (MORE2), which is affiliated with the Gamaliel Foundation. Participating students develop innovative models of leadership in the local church and beyond that can be shared with others for leading social justice ministries. 

Students wishing to prepare for doctoral study but who do not possess previous theological education can enroll in the Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MATS). Designed specifically for those intending to pursue a doctoral degree, the MATS program builds self-critical awareness as a theological basis for one’s chosen vocation. 


At Saint Paul, our degree programs and curriculum reflect the many ways in which one can answer God’s call. If you need more information, we encourage you to contact our Admissions office at or 913-253-5084. You may apply for admission by filling out our online application.

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