Online and hybrid theological education offers you a number of exciting opportunities – small class size, a pace that lets you explore your topics of interest in depth, and the chance to study at your convenience.
For optimal flexibility, the Iliff School of Theology offers their popular Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Social Change, Master of Arts, and Master of Pastoral and Spiritual Care programs, and a variety of graduate certificates by way of online or hybrid options.
Journey Master of Divinity (MDIV)
The “Journey” Master of Divinity (MDIV) degree program at Iliff is a progressive and comprehensive graduate program offered in a combination of online, hybrid, and on-campus courses. Designed for those seeking careers in ministry, non—profits, and other religious leadership areas, it is the most widely recognized theological studies degree, and the primary way to meet educational requirements for those seeking ordination in most traditions*.
Read our Journey MDIV frequently asked questions for more information.
Iliff’s online graduate certificate programs offers students the opportunity to obtain a certificate by completing four courses in a specific area of concentration. All of the following certificate areas may be taken online:
- Anglican Studies – Courses from within the Anglican Studies curriculum or related courses
- Biblical Studies – Biblical Ethics; Teaching the Bible; Praying with Scripture
- General Theological Studies – Courses across the curriculum selected on the basis of subject matter by the student and approved by the dean
- Pastoral and Spiritual Care – Applicants for this certificate must complete an interview with faculty before acceptance
- Religion and Social Change – Race, Gender, Class; Ethical Perspectives on Justice and Peace; Social Construction and Selfhood; Impact of War on the Pastoral Care of Families; and more
- United Methodist Studies – United Methodist History and Doctrine; Discipline and Polity; Mission and Evangelism
- Women and Religion – Feminist Theology, Women in American Religious History, Feminist Interpretation of the Bible, or Women in Early Christianity
Recently recognized as one of the top 20 theological schools engaged in multi-faith education, the Iliff School of Theology is located in Denver, Colorado – a dynamic and diverse city with a wide range of cultural, educational, recreational activities. The beauty of the Rocky Mountains is just minutes from Iliff’s eight-acre campus, which is located in the University Park neighborhood just minutes from downtown.
*Students should consult with their own denominational judicatory regarding residency requirements for ordination.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Journey MDIV Flexible Residency Option*
Q: Is the Journey MDIV degree option the same as taking the MDIV offered by Iliff through its traditional, residential program?
A: This degree option has the same entrance and educational requirements, as well as the same overall learning goals. Degree requirements for students taking courses through the flexible residency option that the Journey MDIV option affords are the same for students taking courses through other residential-centric formats. The MDIV requires:
At least 120 quarter credits (or 80 quarter credits and a two-year theological degree from an accredited seminary) are needed for completion of the degree program. These include:
- 72 credits from required Sequence courses
- 10 credits in Personal and Professional Formation
- At least 38 elective credits
The Journey MDIV option offers a program comprised primarily of online and hybrid classes, with short visits to Iliff’s campus in Denver up to four times per year. You do not need to move to Denver to complete your degree. Instead, you come to campus for two weeks in August for Journey Days and once during each term when enrolled in hybrid classes for Gathering Days (hybrid courses are courses that are mostly online with one short visit to Denver in the middle of the term).
Q: Can the Journey MDIV be completed fully online?
A: The Journey MDIV offers the flexibility of completing much of your coursework online, but cannot be completed fully online at this time. Students in the Journey MDIV option must attend “Journey Days” at the start of their program and at the midpoint of their program, as well as “Gathering Days” when they are taking hybrid courses. Relocation to Denver is not required.
Q: How do I know if the Journey MDIV meets my denomination’s residency requirements?
A: It is up to each student to ascertain their denomination’s residency requirements. You should contact your local judicatory or denominational office for this information. Iliff is happy to help you with meeting your denomination’s requirements through a variety of course delivery options – online, hybrid, on-campus or weekend – just speak with one of our Admissions Advisors. Know that Iliff’s Journey MDIV program is accredited and has been approved by the Association of Theological Schools through 2018 as part of our comprehensive distance education offerings.
For those of you who are United Methodist and seeking ordination as an Elder, the denomination allows one-third of a master of divinity degree to be accessed online or via hybrid delivery (effective July 1, 2011). There are a number of options available to fulfill the residency requirements set forth by the denomination. Again, just speak with an Admissions Advisor to learn more.
Q: Who teaches in the Journey MDIV program?
A: Iliff’s internationally renowned faculty teach the courses in the program, just as they do in our residential programs. All of Iliff’s faculty are dedicated to teaching/scholarship, as well as to developing caring, collegial relationships that nurture and challenge every student. Learn more about our faculty.
Q: How long does it take to complete the Journey MDIV?
A: The Journey MDiv can be completed in a minimum of three years and a maximum of 10 years.
Q: Is Iliff accredited?
A: Yes. The Iliff School of Theology and its programs are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, as well as the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the U.S. and Canada. Iliff is listed by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church as an official seminary of the denomination. Our degree programs have also been approved by the Colorado State Approving Agency for Veteran’s Education and Training.
Q: What are the requirements to enter this program?
A: The requirements to enter the program are as follows:
- Baccalaureate degree from a college or university accredited by an agency acceptable to Iliff
- Cumulative G.P.A. of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale
- Self-motivated, work independently
- Technologically proficient See our Online Learning Checklist.
Q: How do I apply for this program?
A: Complete application instructions are available at apply now
Q: Do classes meet at the same time?
A: Courses progress as the weeks in the quarter progress. You are not required to be online at the same time as your classmates, but will need to submit assignments per the requirements specified in your course syllabus.
Q: When do I meet my classmates and faculty?
A: You will meet your classmates and faculty during “Journey Days” at the start of your program. During the 2010-2011 academic year, those dates are August 2-12, 2010.
Q: What is the difference between “Journey Days” and “Gathering Days?”
A: Journey Days are those days where Journey MDIV students come to campus for 10 days at the beginning of both the first and second years of their program. Gathering Days are days that all students taking hybrid courses come to campus for on-campus learning opportunities.
Q: When are Journey Days and Gathering Days during the 2010-2011 academic year?
A: Dates are as follows:
- August 2-12 – Journey Days
- October 13-16 – Fall Gathering Days
- February 9-12 – Winter Gathering Days
- April 27-30 – Spring Gathering Days
Q: When will I know to order my textbooks? Where will I buy them?
A: Book lists for courses are available one month in advance. Textbooks can be ordered through most online bookstores, including Cokesbury which also has a bookstore on Iliff’s campus.
Q: How much does the Journey MDIV cost?
A: Tuition costs are available on Iliff’s Web site. In factoring your costs, you will need to budget for your travel and accommodations for Journey or Gathering Days. Housing, airport transportation, and meals should be included in your budget – these costs can be covered by financial aid.
Q: What will my schedule look like?
A: There are many ways you might structure your schedule. Typically you will be taking courses (beginning in the summer term of your year of entrance) year around.
In the summer terms for (typically) the first two years, you will be on-campus in Denver for about 10 days (we call these “Journey Days”). From there, in the fall, winter, and spring, you might sign up for fully online courses or elect to take one or more hybrid courses. A hybrid course can be completed at distance with the expectation that you will attend a residential session for 1-3 days mid-term. Therefore, the courses taken in the summer will count as fully residential courses, while a four-credit hour hybrid course will count as one “residential” credit and three “online” credits.
In order to successfully complete the MDIV program 40 credits or more (of the 120 credit program) must be completed residentially. Additional flexibility is available in the form of fully residential courses (including weekend options) on our campus throughout the academic year and week-long intensive courses (both of these options are fully “residential”) in the summer term.
Q: How often do I need to come to Denver?
A: You will need to travel to Denver for Journey Days and for a few days during terms in which you are enrolled for hybrid courses (Gathering Days).
Q: Where do I stay when I come to Denver?
A: Iliff has a partnership with Marriott to provide access to Towne Place Suites in Denver. Reservations should be made through Iliff. The Towne Place Suites are located near downtown, in the heart of Cherry Creek. For things to do nearby, see What to Do in Denver.
Q: Will transportation be provided for me when I’m in Denver?
A: Transportation between the Towne Place Suites and Iliff will be provided during Journey Days and Gathering Days at specified times. All other transportation should be arranged by you. Denver’s Regional Transit District system offers an extensive bus schedule. Taxi, shuttle, limousine and car rental services are also available.