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.
The questions we hear the most:
Q: Can the Journey MDIV be completed fully online?
A: The Journey MDIV offers the flexibility of completing much of your coursework online but one-third of the degree must be in a residential format. At this time, fully online is not available with any theological school accredited through the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). To meet the accreditation residential requirements, students in the Journey MDIV attend one-week intensives on campus as well as a few days during each term for hybrid classes. Relocation to Denver is not required.
Q: How often do I need to come to Denver?
A: Three times a year. 7 days in the fall, and 2-4 days in the winter and 2-4 days in the spring.
Q: When does enrollment begin?
A: The Journey Program begins in the fall term. Classes begin online in September, followed by a one-week on-campus component in October.
Q: What will my schedule look like?
A: There are many ways you might structure your schedule, depending on your lifestyle and commitments. In the fall, you will be on-campus in Denver for one week. From there, in the winter, and spring, you may register for fully online courses or elect to take hybrid courses. A hybrid course is completed at distance with the expectation that you will attend a residential session for 1-2 days mid-term. Additional flexibility includes weekend options or summer classes.
Q: What is a hybrid class?
A: A hybrid class combines elements of an online class and a traditional face-to-face class. While the majority of the coursework is completed online, they require attendance on campus over a 1-2 day period.
Q: What is an online class?
A: When you take an online class, discussions take place through postings, you communicate via email or chat, and your assignments are submitted electronically. Although much of the coursework is completed independently, there are established deadlines, enrollment periods, and completion dates. Distance courses follow the same term as traditional face-to-face courses and require at least as much time. They provide the same quality of education as our residential courses with the added flexibility of attending class from any location with internet access.
Q: How do I know if online learning is right for me?
A: While it is true that online learning may not be for everyone, you may be surprised how engaging and relational online learning can. In general, students who succeed with online learning are comfortable using the internet, engage with social networking, manage email, read blogs, have time management skills for self study, and are comfortable using new technology. We suggest that you speak with one of our Admissions Representatives to determine if this is the right program for you.
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 Journey MDIV are the same for students taking courses through other residential-centric formats.
The Journey MDIV option offers a program comprised primarily of online and hybrid classes, with short visits to Iliff’s campus in Denver. You do not need to move to Denver to complete your degree.
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 Representatives. Know that Iliff’s Journey MDIV program is accredited and has been approved by the Association of Theological Schools as part of our comprehensive distance education offerings.
For those who are United Methodist and seeking ordination as an Elder, the denomination allows two-thirds of the Master of Divinity degree online, with one-third required to be in residence (University Senate, January 27, 2011). There are a number of options available to fulfill the residency requirements set forth by the denomination. Speak with an Admissions Representative 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, and also able to work independently
• Technologically proficient. See our Online Learning Checklist.
Q: How do I apply for this program?
A: Complete application instructions are available at Get Started
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.
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.
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, meals and accommodations while you are in Denver. These costs can be covered by financial aid.
Q: Where do I stay when I come to Denver?
A: Iliff has a partnership with the Holiday Inn—Denver Cherry Creek. Reservations should be made through Iliff. The hotel is located near Downtown and the heart of Cherry Creek.