Academic programs

Prospective students should have a well-rounded undergraduate education that includes training in critical reasoning, the thoughtful assessment of texts, standard library research techniques, and written communication.

You will find it helpful to have studied English language and literature, history, philosophy, natural sciences, social sciences, fine arts and music, Biblical and modern languages and religion. You should also have basic computer literacy skills, as these abilities are required for research and writing. Most important, however, is your demonstrated capacity for creative learning, self-discipline and the pursuit of excellence.

Degree and Certificate Offerings

Earlham School of Religion offers several degree and certificate options for our students. Below, learn more about each program, as well as how to audit a course or take one for credit as an Occasional Student.

Master of Divinity

The M.Div. degree prepares you to exercise broad competency in ministry through foundational and practical studies that are deep, rigorous, and adaptable to your interests and concerns.

Master of Arts in Religion →

A scholarly companion to the M.Div., an M.A. in Religion allows you to hone your research skills, follow a career in parochial or Quaker education or pursue doctoral studies.

Master of Arts in Peace and Social Transformation →

This degree provides theological education and practical experience enabling you to pursue ministries of social change.

Master of Arts in Theopoetics and Writing →

This degree empowers you to write and think at the intersection of creativity, faith and meaning through written communication and other media that bring spirituality into public conversation with the whole of life. 

Certificate programs →

Earning an ESR certificate can support vocational endeavors, personal development or expand your opportunities for ministry, while acquiring credit that can be applied to a future graduate degree.

Take a course →

Interested in taking seminary courses for professional or personal reasons? Try out an ESR course for credit via our Occasional Student Program, or audit a course.

Compare Degrees & Programs

Degree/ProgramCredit Hours &
Access or ResidentialResidency RequirementConcentration or EmphasisFinancial
MDiv/MMin Master of Divinity    75   Residential in 3 years Access in 5 yearsBothYes      Pastoral Care
Pastoral Ministry
Peace & Justice
Quaker Ministry
UU Ministry
Full-tuition scholarships available for residential & Access, Need-based aid for full-time students
MATW Master of Arts:
Theopoetics & Writing
36   Residential or Access in 2+ yearsBothNo Full-tuition scholarships available for residential & Access, Need-based aid for full-time students
MAPST Master of Arts in Peace & Social Transformation

36   1 year in specific sequenceResidentialYes3 courses from the curriculum focused on an area of concentrationTuition free for qualified students
MA Master of Arts in Religion    42   Residential in 2 years Access in 3+ yearsBothYesBiblical Studies
Christian Theology Studies
Quaker Studies
Peace and Justice Studies
Full-tuition scholarships available for residential & Access, Need-based aid for full-time students

18   2 years,
some in specific sequence
Both but some have residency requirementsSomeBivocational Ministry Entrepreneurial Ministry
Quaker Studies Spiritual Formation Writing for Ministry
25% tuition discount
Occasional ProgramUp to 6 credit hours/semesterBothNo 50% tuition discount for first class

Take a Course When You Need It

Interested in taking a course for professional or personal development? Apply for admission to our Occasional Student Program and register for residential or Access classes.

We also offer the option to audit a class for students who are not seeking academic credit.

Next steps

Ministry isn’t just a vocation or a calling—it’s a way of being in this world, seeking to make it whole. ESR is ready to support you in answering your own call to ministry, whatever shape it takes.