Graduate Theology Degree Programs

Perkins offers eight theology degree programs that allow prospective students customized options to follow the path best suited for their vocation.

Degree Programs

Many of our theology degree programs are also structured to allow a concentration in a particular area of interest.

Perkins programs are differentiated by their courses, timelines and overall goals and outcomes, allowing prospective students to follow a path best suited for them that aligns with their vocation.

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Find the right fit.

Review the degree programs below.

God’s call to ministry can be full of surprises and will likely take one in many directions. Those who believe they have been called by God to become a preacher or a leader in a mainline denomination are perfect candidates for an M.Div degree.

The Master of Divinity Degree is designed primarily for students who are longing to become an elder or an ordained minister in The United Methodist Church or a church of a different Christian denomination, and want to lead, teach, serve in Word and sacrament, preach and administer communion, and guide a congregation. Students can also earn their Master of Divinity online through our hybrid program.

Program Details

The Master of Arts in Ministry Degree is an ideal pathway for those who want to become an ordained Deacon in The United Methodist Church or another Christian denomination, but do not want to be the lead minister of their church (although it may be acceptable for lead pastor in some denominations).

The M.A.M. degree program is intended to prepare students for faith-based ministry. The goal of the program is to increase students’ knowledge about the heritage of the Christian faith, the church, and its ministries. Students can also earn their Master of Arts in Ministry online through our hybrid program.

Program Details

The Master of Sacred Music Degree will prepare students for professional music leadership in the church and academic work in church music. Music and theology courses, professional practicum and leadership development, and other opportunities prepare students to engage with a wide range of literature, performance practices and skills, and to apply this learning in both academic and church settings.

This program is jointly sponsored by Perkins School of Theology and the Division of Music of Meadows School of the Arts as preparation for professional music leadership in the church and, if one chooses, ordination as a Deacon.

Program Details

The Master of Theological Studies Degree will assist those with a desire to strengthen their theological education for personal enrichment, leadership in the church as a lay minister, or to lay the groundwork for an academic doctorate in religious studies.

While offering a solid foundation of theological disciplines, this unique program enables students to plan their studies so that they serve both their personal theological interests and professional goals.

Program Details

The Master of Theology Degree is uniquely created for those who want to enhance the practice of ministry through advanced study of a particular theological or pastoral discipline. In addition, Th.M. students examine specific aspects of Christian traditions and prepare for more advanced study at the doctoral level.

The Th.M. degree is also a great opportunity for pastors who are looking for sabbatical and taking a year to revisit or re-study religious teachings.

Program Details

The Doctor of Ministry Degree helps students seek vocational depth and direction; gain theological knowledge and understanding of vocational and leadership identity in tandem with developing skills for relevant practices of ministry that build communities in context; and acquire knowledge, critical insights and skills to exercise leadership grounded in Christian vocation in contexts of transition and change within the Church and the community.

Program Details

The Doctor of Pastoral Music Degree is a great fit for church musicians that want to re-tune their vocation in the context of the changing demands of music ministry.

The Doctor of Pastoral Music degree is designed for experienced church musicians who have achieved a Master of Sacred Music degree or its equivalent and who are devoted to increasing their effectiveness in broadening their vision of the pastoral dimensions of music ministry into the larger community.

Program Details

The degrees of Doctor of Philosophy in Religious Studies and Master of Arts in Religious Studies are offered by SMU's Dedman College. The primary goal of both degree programs is to prepare persons for professional careers as teacher-scholars in colleges, universities, and schools of theology. The MA degree program also aims to accommodate the qualified nonprofessional student interested in advanced work in religious studies within the context of the liberal arts and sciences.

Program Details

Christian Watkins

"I have been and will be continuously blessed by relationships cultivated through Perkins.

Classmates, professors and administrators whose mere presence encourage me to be a better man and minister, to keep loving, learning and fighting for justice, and to stay grounded in prayer."

– Christian Watkins (M. Div. '19)

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