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School of Theology & Christian Ministry

Master of Divinity: Online or On Campus

The Master of Divinity at Anderson University provides a broad preparation for ordained ministry with a solid seminary curriculum in Bible, church history, theology, mission, and pastoral ministry. This degree is the ministerial leadership degree for those preparing for ordained ministry. 

Anderson University School of Theology and Christian Ministry offers two paths to the same 78-hour degree. You may complete it on campus in Anderson, Ind. or with the 100% online option. Both programs offer the same curriculum taught by the same scholars and teachers.

Whichever path you choose, the purpose of the seminary Master of Divinity degree is the spiritual and intellectual formation of people in the Christian ministry of biblical reconciliation in both the church and society.

Most Affordable Mdiv

Your AU Story Begins Now

More than ten years ago, I enrolled in the AU School of Theology because I feared God was calling me to pastoral ministry. With a passion for theatre, music, and the arts, however, I felt ordained ministry was no place for me. I now see the creativity of God differently. Attending again has been a tremendous blessing in my life. Perhaps the greatest of them has been the encouragement to fuse my calling with my passion for the arts. I look forward my future.

— Nichele Washington, MDiv candidate ’12

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Start your AU story

Preparation for Service

The MDiv seminary degree has been designed especially for men and women who are called to serve as pastors of traditional congregations as well as serving in the emerging church, institutional chaplains, missionaries, and denominational leaders. The Anderson University Master of Divinity degree aims to prepare graduates to accomplish the following:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to accurately read scripture and other literature of humanity, as well as congregational and cultural contexts.
  2. Behave with Christian integrity.
  3. Demonstrate ongoing interpersonal relationships that are caring, supportive, collaborative, and ethical.
  4. Serve in a ministry position or enroll in further graduate education.
  5. Be adequately prepared for biblical preaching and teaching, pastoral care, mission, evangelism, leadership in the church, worship (including ordinances, weddings, and funerals), and church administration.

The Anderson University School of Theology and Christian Ministry faculty has carefully developed an MDiv curriculum plan intended to assist all students to reach the five goals listed above. The MDiv degree is designed not only to help a person prepare for ordained ministry but also to help them as leaders to equip others for ministry within the life of the church.

Degree Requirements

To complete the Anderson University School of Theology and Christian Ministry Master of Divinity degree either on campus or online, the following requirements must be met:

  • Complete the formal application process for Anderson University School of Theology and Christian Ministry.
  • Remove, within the first 12 hours of seminary graduate work, any undergraduate academic deficiencies identified at the time of admission to the Anderson University School of Theology and Christian Ministry.
  • Complete the seminary’s orientation and testing program.
  • Complete a minimum of 78 graduate-level semester hours.
  • Achieve a grade of C- or higher in all required courses.
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5.

For detailed information on these courses, sequence, and the program structure, see the current Anderson University School of Theology and Christian Ministry catalog.


A student – whether on campus or online – who attends full-time and satisfactorily completes the courses listed in this sequence may expect to graduate in three years. A student who attends part time will need more than three years to complete the degree. Note that any academic deficiencies must be removed during the first 12 hours of courses.

Platform (22 hours):

  • Orientation to Graduate Theological Studies
  • Hermeneutics and Critical Reflection in Theological Education
  • Faith and Life Through the Hebrew Scriptures
  • New Testament Seminar: Jesus and the Caesars
  • Faith Seeking Understanding
  • History of Christianity
  • Missio Dei: Introduction to Culture Studies
  • Spiritual Formation

57 additional hours from: 

  • 1 OLDT course
  • 1 NEWT course
  • Hebrew or Greek (two years)
  • 1 HIST course
  • The Quest for Holiness and Unity A History of a Reconciling People or (Denominational) History and Background
  • Clinical Pastoral Education
  • Theological Ethics for Life in Church and World
  • Missio Dei: Religions and Cultures
  • The Ministry of Biblical Reconciliation
  • Homiletics
  • 1 THST course from those below:
    Meeting God: Toward Understanding the Doctrine of the Trinity or
    Who Do You Say that I am? The Person and Work of Jesus the Christ or
    The One Who Brings Back Life: The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
  • 1 PAST course from those below:
    Missio Dei: Equality in Servanthood or
    Theory and Practice of Discipling in the 21st Century or
    Leadership in Ministry: Worship, Evangelism, Administration
  • 1 PAST course from those below:
    Psychology of Religious Behavior or
    Pastoral Care and Counseling or
    Pastoral Care of Grieving Persons and Families
    Group Counseling in Ministry Setting
    Advanced Pastoral-Care Seminar
    Pastoral Preaching
    Finding Your Preaching Voice
    Expository Preaching
    Marriage and Family Counseling
  • Choose courses totaling 6 hours from:
    Internship in Educational Ministry
    Clinical Pastoral Internship
    Level II CPE
    Internship in Pastoral Ministry
    Missional Internship ( Forge Middletown)
Ministry Preparation

Ministry preparation within Anderson University’s School of Theology and Christian Ministry is rooted in some important values. First of all, we value Scripture. Faculty take the Bible seriously and encourage students to read it, take seriously its claims, become familiar with its stories, and work with critical questions about how it came to be and how it is used.

We value good theology. Theology is as much a practice as a system of belief, and good ministry involves sound thinking about important issues. It doesn’t mean doing so alone, however, nor does it mean carrying around a set of stale answers. Good theology is a living, breathing activity done with others in light of particular challenges.

We value people and the many places where they can be found. We don’t assume that reviewing someone’s status updates, knowing if they are a “Boomer” or “Gen X,” or classifying them as “red” or “blue” is the same as knowing that person. There is more to every human being created in God’s image than the labels that person might be given, and we encourage students to become familiar not only with categories, but with people in particular ministry contexts.

We value the Church. We affirm that ministry is a characteristic of authentic Christian community. We see ministry as being open so that God’s good news works through each person’s giftedness to affect individuals for good at the point of their real needs. It is no one’s private property. We affirm the ministry of congregations and encourage students to have a meaningful connection with a particular setting for ministry—to observe, to offer their contribution, to learn, to critique when necessary, and to grow.

We value ministry. We recognize that callings differ. At the same time, we do not encourage the kind of specialization that would keep us apart or make us competitors. There should be a connection and a coherence about Christian ministry, which is why we don’t have a separate major for every one of its forms. In the same way, we work on building character more than crafting charisma, and we value the cultivation of wisdom more than the collection of techniques.

We value education. We help students draw on deep wells that will sustain their work rather than encourage the strategy of scrambling for resources to “plug in” to their program. We embrace and explore critical questions, and we encourage students to question certainties that are reached prematurely.

We value you. At graduation, we would much rather shake the hands of people who have been changed by important questions from various fields of knowledge, than wave goodbye to tourists who had a nice time and are leaving with a few items they picked up along the way. We consider students' whole academic career—and their other educational experiences—to be part of their preparation for ministry. We encourage them to view life itself as a learning opportunity.

Seminary Admissions Checklist

We strive to offer a smooth process for applying for Seminary study. Here are the steps to the next part of your journey and calling!

1.   Fill out the Online Application for Graduate Programs in our School of Theology and Christian Ministry

2.   Ask (3) references to fill out our Online Reference Form:

  • (1) Pastor/Church Leader
  • (1) Professor/Employer
  • (1) Personal


Email your transcript(s) to:

Mail your transcript(s) to:

Anderson University
Attention: AGS Processing
1100 E. 5th Street
Anderson, IN 46012

4.   Submit School of Theology Essays

5.  Submit your Application Fee

Seminary Studies Costs

Master of Theological Studies, Master of Arts in Christian Ministry, Master of Divinity

  • Per semester hour: $446
  • Deposit Fee: $50

[Textbooks purchased independently.]


Let’s connect during your campus visit.

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  • School of Theology and Christian Ministry
Merle Strege, an employee of Anderson University in Indiana

Dr. Merle D. Strege

Professor of Historical Theology (Associate Faculty)

Merle Strege, an employee of Anderson University in Indiana
Dr. Merle D. Strege

Merle D. Strege is Professor emeritus of Historical Theology in the Department of Religious Studies at Anderson University. Additionally, he is an adjunct professor in AU’s School of Theology. Professor Strege also holds the post of Historian of the Church of God and serves as president of the Church of God Historical Society. He is the author of nine books and has contributed to numerous journals and scholarly anthologies. Professor Strege is also the recipient of several scholarly grants and service awards. For twenty-five years he wrote lessons for the adult Sunday school curriculum of the Church of God and also served as a consultant in curriculum development to Church of God Ministries. In addition to his work as a college professor, he is committed to the church’s thought life, serving Mountain Park Community Church in Phoenix as scholar-in-residence for five years. Professor Strege’s area of academic interest is the historical study of Christianity and American religion. He teaches courses in history of the interpretation of the Bible, history of the Church of God, the Liberal Arts Seminar and the undergraduate honors program course “Christ and Culture.” Prior to coming to AU he taught at Warner Pacific College in Portland, Oregon.

Professor Strege joined the AU faculty in 1980 and taught in the School of Theology until 1993, when he moved to the undergraduate Department of Religious Studies.

Contact Professor Strege:

Professor emeritus of Historical Theology
B.A., Anderson University
M.Div., Anderson School of Theology
Th.D., Graduate Theological Union

Jason Varner, an employee of Anderson University in Indiana

Dr. Jason Varner

Assistant Professor of the History of Christianity

Jason Varner, an employee of Anderson University in Indiana
Dr. Jason Varner

Dr. Jason Varner serves as an Assistant Professor of the History of Christianity at the Anderson University School of Theology and Christian Ministries.

After earning bachelor's and master's degrees (History and Bible & Religion; Master of Theological Studies) from Anderson University, Varner moved to Scotland where he studied early modern history at the University of St Andrews. Upon completion of his MLitt. and Ph.D. degrees, Jason returned 'home' to Anderson University, where he enjoys teaching courses in the History of Christianity, Intellectual and American History, and Biblical Studies.

Dr. Varner's research interests include European encounters with 'the Other' in seventeenth-century America, the changing notion of the 'Self' in modernity, and the early years of the Church of God movement.

Varner joined the School of Theology and Christian Ministry faculty in 2016.

Hear an Andersonian interview with Dr. Varner

Contact Dr. Varner:
(765) 641-4522
Assistant Professor of the History of Christianity
M.Div., Anderson University
Ph.D., St. Andrews University

Nathan Willowby, an employee of Anderson University in Indiana

Dr. Nathan J. Willowby

Assistant Professor of Theology and Ethics

Nathan Willowby, an employee of Anderson University in Indiana
Dr. Nathan J. Willowby

As assistant professor of theology and ethics, Dr. Nathan Willowby teaches courses for both undergraduate and seminary students at Anderson University in the areas of ethics and theology as well as introduction to the Bible.

After earning a bachelor's degree in Bible and religion and business administration at AU, he spent one year studying at the School of Theology before eventually earning a master of divinity degree from Duke Divinity School and a Ph.D. in theology and ethics at Marquette University, where he wrote on the intersection of holiness, scripture, and political theology. Prior to coming to AU, Willowby served as pastor of Crossroads Church of God in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for seven years. He was active in statewide unity services and was the president of the Wisconsin Assembly of the Church of God from 2013-2016.

In his courses, Willowby seeks to enable students to consider the essential doctrinal and ethical texts and doctrines, but also invites students to consider the ways that the Christian claim that Jesus is Lord has sweeping implications for all aspects of personal and corporate life. A child of the church, Willowby has served Church of God congregations as janitor, youth counselor, sound technician, Sunday School teacher, camp meeting groundskeeper, pastoral intern, softball ringer, and is pleased now to serve in the ministry of higher education.

Willowby has served at Anderson University since 2016.

Contact Dr. Willowby:
(765) 641-4529
Assistant Professor of Theology and Ethics
B.A., Anderson University
M.Div., Duke University Divinity School
Ph.D., Marquette University

Follow Dr. Willowby on Twitter