Fact Sheet

Iliff prepares students to inspire, lead, and transform a spiritually, socially complex world and deeply engage religious and cultural traditions.

Iliff Facts

Fact Sheet2-page printable pdf


The Iliff School of Theology is a graduate theological school related to the United Methodist Church. Its central mission is the education of persons for effective ministry in Christian churches and other religious communities, for academic leadership, and for the cultivation of justice and peace in local and global contexts.

Essential to this mission is the critical appropriation of the historic resources of the Christian Church and other world faith traditions, esteem for rigorous academic scholarship, respect for cultural and theological diversity, concern for the enhancement of character, and a commitment to justice in the social order.

Denver Campus

Iliff’s eight-acre campus contains six buildings in a beautiful park-like setting. Facilities range from the stately Iliff Hall, built in 1892 as the school’s first building, to the strikingly modern Skaggs Hall. Students may live on campus in one of four different options, from apartment style housing on campus to individual houses nearby. Located conveniently near downtown’s restaurants, museums, and galleries, but just minutes away from excellent hiking and skiing, Iliff students enjoy the “best of the west.”

Iliff Graduates

More than 2,000 Iliff graduates work and serve – in denominations, to non-profit organizations, to corporations – in countries around the globe. Since 1892, Iliff students have learned from a variety of experiences inside and outside of the traditional academic classroom that help them encounter the “real” world with freshness and excitement.

Degree Programs

Iliff is one of 13 United Methodist theological schools in the United States. The school is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and the Association of Theological Schools. Iliff offers masters degrees, one doctoral degree, and a growing number of graduate certificate programs:

Master Degrees

  • Master of Divinity (MDIV) is the most recognized theological degree for those who seek vocations in ministry; including parish ministry, chaplaincy, not-for-profits and a variety of other settings. The MDiv is the primary way to meet educational requirements for those seeking ordination in most traditions. This degree can be acquired in both a residential or flexible residency track of study.
  • Master of Arts in Social Change (MASC) is a professional masters degree for students who may be interested in employment through religious organizations, non-profit agencies, educational institutions, the media or corporate settings. This may include persons seeking ordination/consecraton as a deacon or lay minister in many denominations.
  • Master of Arts in Pastoral and Spiritual Care (MAPSC) is for those who may be interested in employment as chaplains or spiritual caregivers through religious, healthcare, or hospice organizations. For military chaplains interested in learning more about spiritual care to those experiencing post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the MAPSC for Military Chaplains is a professional degree for those already holding a MDIV that draws on courses across the curriculum and allows for specialization, such as a focus on PTSD. See video. For students wishing to pursue licensing, Iliff offers the opportunity to work concurrently with the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver (DU) to earn a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree.
  • Master of Theological Studies (MTS) is designed for those who want to explore various areas of theological studies. It is also of interest for those pursuing doctoral studies in religion or theology.
  • Master of Arts (MA) is for students who plan to study at the doctoral level.

Doctoral Degree

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Religious and Theological Studies is offered jointly with the University of Denver (DU).

Graduate Certificate Programs

Graduate Certificates are available in a growing number of areas, including:

  • Anglican Studies
  • Biblical Studies
  • General Theological Studies
  • Pastoral and Spiritual Care
  • Religion and Social Change
  • United Methodist Studies
  • Women and Religion

The specific certificates available and details of requirements are subject to change. More detailed information about Graduate Certificates is available from the admissions office at 303-765-3117, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Iliff’s ecumenical, multi-ethnic faculty brings a wealth of experience to students and provides an educational resource unique to Iliff. The educational background of this group is both varied and extensive. Iliff’s faculty is active in church leadership, scholastic research and publishing, as well as in social and community service. Iliff also utilizes the rich resources of adjunct faculty from the Denver area and is host to visiting faculty from around the world.

View Iliff Faculty

The Ira J. Taylor Library

For more than 50 years, the Ira J. Taylor Library has served the research and information needs of the Iliff community and the public. The library contains the largest theological collection in the Rocky Mountain Region. The library catalog and other resources are accessible through the library’s home page.

Historical Highlights

  • 1884 Announcement by Elizabeth Iliff Warren of an offer of $100,000 to endow a theological school
  • 1892 The Iliff School of Theology formally opens, affiliated with the University of Denver
  • 1903 Iliff incorporates as an independent institution from the University of Denver
  • 1936 Accreditation by the newly formed American Association of Theological Schools
  • 1956 Ira J. Taylor Library opens with 45,000 volumes
  • 1973 Accreditation by the North Central Association of Colleges as a professional doctoral degree-granting institution
  • 1981 Iliff and the University of Denver jointly inaugurate the Doctor of Philosophy in Religion and Theological Studies degree program
  • 1990 Justice and Peace Studies begin
  • 2009 Graduate Certificates begin


For additional information, contact the Office of Marketing Communications –
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), 303-765-3109, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), 303-765-3110,
1-800-678-3360, or immediate assistance 303-229-8042.

2201 S. University Blvd., Denver, CO 80210-4798