Enriched, low-residency program emphasizes contextual learning and formation

Re-designed in 2016, Bexley Seabury’s low-residency Master of Divinity degree program prepares lay and ordained individuals for ministerial leadership. The program’s overarching goal is to foster students’ theological education and spiritual formation as continually context-aware, reflective, and responsive ministry practitioners.

Four key strengths of Bexley Seabury’s MDiv degree program are:

1: Bexley Seabury’s unique approach to field education

Our MDiv students, most of whom will live at a distance from Chicago, will have a three-year field education experience at field sites that have agreed to participate as Communities of Learning and Formation (CLFs). CLF sites may include congregations, chaplaincies, campus ministries, or other church organizations.

Each student’s field education experience will be:

  • Developed in and with CLF sites in students’ own local communities, under the direction of Bexley Seabury’s Director of Formation and Contextual Learning.
  • Shaped by the charism of his or her place of ministry.
  • Guided by dialogue with a core group of CLF leaders, expanding the teaching-learning community to include supervising clergy and the people with whom they minister.

>  More about Bexley Seabury Communities of Learning and Formation

2: We help students develop as leaders and as strategic thinkers.

Our MDiv curriculum equips students to exercise effective leaderships and deploy practical tools for community building and engagement. Six core courses are particularly focused on this goal:

  • Four doctoral-level Congregational Leadership and Development courses taken alongside experienced practitioners from diverse ministry contexts. These courses include study in family and organizational systems theory; relational community organizing; asset-based community development; and non-profit management.
  • Scriptural Reasoning, a practice of interfaith reading of sacred texts. This course helps students develop interpretive and interpersonal skills that are essential for effective church leadership in today’s pluralistic religious culture.
  • One required travel seminar, such as Learning from London: Mission and Evangelism in the 21st In this travel seminar, participants experience congregational development strategies at work in global Anglican and multi-cultural contexts.

3: Learning linked to experience for all courses

Bexley Seabury’s MDiv program contextualizes and integrates all academic disciplines. In all courses—scripture, theology, ethics, church history, and practical theology—students are challenged to connect what they learn with what is happening in the world, the church, and in their local ministry settings.

4: Low-residency, high flexibility

The Bexley Seabury MDiv program offers the convenience of low-residency coursework that includes online and hybrid courses. In most cases, MDiv students are able to complete the degree in three years while maintaining professional, family and ministry responsibilities.

  • Classroom sessions in required Bexley Seabury courses are scheduled for three weekends over three months, or for one-week intensives in January or June.
  • For required courses taken in conjunction with Chicago Theological Seminary, students have a 100-percent-online study option.
  • Students may also take electives at one of six member schools in the Association of Chicago Theological Schools (ACTS) at no additional expense.




If you are ready to apply, please complete an online application.

QUESTIONS?: Please send an email to Jaime Briceño or phone Jaime at 773.380.7045.