Your Guide to Getting a Seminary Degree

Date Published

May 17, 2023

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Published by Calvin Seminary

Are you ready to explore the benefits of a seminary degree? Are you wondering what degrees are available, and how to get started? This guide is designed for you. Read on to be introduced to the joys of seminary!

What Is a Seminary Degree?

A seminary degree is an advanced, graduate degree in theological education. A degree program from a Christ-centered seminary will be taught through a Christian perspective.

Types of Seminary Degrees

Master’s Degrees

Explore these master’s degrees from Calvin Theological Seminary:

  • Master of Divinity (MDiv): Start your journey to pastoral leadership and ordination. Your role in ministry, including as a preacher, will be enhanced through this rigorous, advanced theological degree.
  • Master of Arts in Bible & Theology: Through a comprehensive study of the Bible and theology, you will better understand the historic Christian faith and life of the modern Church.
  • Master of Arts in Christian Leadership: Christian leadership takes on a variety of forms. Be prepared for your calling through this broad and welcoming program, featuring electives that are customizable to your specific goals.
  • Master of Theological Studies (MTS): Explore faith through the lens of Scripture, language, theology, and apologetics. Grow personally in your faith and vocationally in your calling.
  • Master of Theology (ThM): After earning an MDiv or MTS degree, you are ready to begin your Master of Theology program, which provides a chance to focus further on your chosen area of research.

Doctorate Degrees

Calvin Theological Seminary offers the following doctorate-level degrees:

What Can You Do with a Seminary Degree?

Some careers that seminarians pursue after obtaining their degree include:

  • Ordained pastor
  • Missionary
  • Parachurch ministry leader
  • Nonprofit leader
  • School principal
  • Author
  • Speaker
  • Coach or consultant

How to Get a Seminary Degree

1. Determine Your Goals

Knowing your goals for during and after seminary can help you determine which degree program is right for you. Take time to be reflective and prayerful about your calling, asking others to pray with you as you consider your next steps before God and your community.

2. Research Seminary Programs

When you are comparing seminary programs, consider such features as course delivery formats (online, hybrid, or in-person), accreditation, concentrations, financial aid, and program length. While your program will likely challenge you in a variety of ways, it still should be sustainable so that you have the best chance of completing your program—without interruption—from beginning to end.

3. Apply to Seminary

Your application starts with a simple form. As your seminary application process goes on, you will be asked to provide necessary documents and supplemental materials, as needed for your degree of choice. However, the first step is simple, and you can do it right now. Begin your online application with Calvin Theological Seminary today, and let us walk you through the process. We’re here to support you!

4. Seek Support

Once you receive your acceptance to a seminary, you will receive a financial aid package. In addition to the financial aid and scholarships you are awarded, consider other financial benefits a seminary might offer. For example, Calvin Theological Seminary subsidizes the cost of seminary housing, provides financial counseling, offers on-campus jobs for students, and provides a clothing closet and food pantry to qualifying students. All of these services are offered to students through the work of Calvin Theological Seminary’s supportive staff team.

5. Stay Committed

Throughout your program, it is important to remain committed not only to your seminary degree and your goals, but also to your relationship with God. While studying in your Calvin Theological Seminary program, you are encouraged to attend chapel, get involved in a local church, participate in the public reading of Scripture, and consider the many on- and off-campus opportunities that can help to build a strong personal faith within Christian community.

Benefits of Getting a Seminary Degree

There are many benefits of a seminary degree! Consider the following:

  • Faith formation: Completing Christian seminary coursework should form your heart and mind. It should be an integral part of your sanctification journey and help you to be transformed into who you are becoming in Christ. In addition, your coursework will help you to better serve others through ministry due to your reflection, knowledge, and understanding of God and His world.
  • Career prospects: In addition to the benefits of seminary coursework for spiritual formation, a seminary degree can open up new job and vocational opportunities to you. An accredited seminary degree shows that you have put in the work and thought deeply about how you are called to participate in God’s kingdom, while learning about best practices for being a ministry leader.
  • Greater sense of community: Going to seminary can help connect you to the global church through esteemed faculty, leading Christian centers and institutes, community and church partners, and peers in your program.

Pursue a Calvin Theological Seminary Degree

This blog post is only the beginning. Take a look at our full digital (and printable) resource, Your Guide to the Seminary Search, our complimentary gift to help you on your journey.


Visit Calvin Theological Seminary’s Campus

We can’t wait to host you on campus! Schedule your visit today, or, if you need more time to find a date that works for you, please request information so we can continue the conversation about supporting your calling!