Graduate Degrees

Theological degrees of academic rigor and meaningful engagement


Graduate Degrees

Theological degrees of academic rigor and meaningful engagement

Built upon a foundation of spirituality and social justice, our programs can be tailored to meet your vocational goals, learning style, and family needs.

Doctor of Ministry

As religious professionals and faith leaders, we are all asking the same question: How do I stay on the pulse of what’s meaningful to my community? The Doctor of Ministry program at SFTS brings together a wide variety of active ministries to learn, explore and envision creative approaches to community growth and spiritual connection.

Throughout its 50 year history, the program’s hallmark has been the ecumenical and international character of the student body and faculty, and its engagement with forward-looking scholarship at the intersection of spirituality and social justice. The Seminary’s collaborative environment is an incubator for the research and development of alternative understandings, new tools, and novel resources for ministry in a rapidly-changing world.


A Master of Divinity degree prepares you for Church ordination or to pursue other professional ministries where advanced leadership skills are essential. Those ministries include congregational pastor, healthcare and military chaplaincy, campus ministry, spiritual direction, pastoral counseling, not-for-profit work, and other community based ministries. Unlike some master of religious education programs, our MDiv combines a framework of academic disciplines—Bible studies, theology, history, homiletics, liturgics, counseling, and Christian spirituality —with practical ministry experience.

The program fulfills the education requirements of most major denominations. Core MDiv courses are taught in San Anselmo, but many elective and upper level courses are offered in Berkeley and at other GTU schools.


We now offer a 2-year Master of Arts in Theological Studies with a concentration in Spiritual Care and Compassionate Leadership as a Shaw Scholar.

The MATS fosters development of theological understanding as part of educational, professional, and spiritual growth. The MATS is a general academic degree, providing balanced exposure to the theological disciplines while allowing for focus on an area of interest. This degree is for spiritual “generalists” who want to apply the principles of compassion to their vocations and professions, but do not necessarily want to seek a formal vocation path into religious leadership or chaplaincy:

  • Lawyers/law students
  • Professional business people
  • Healthcare professionals
  • Physicians
  • Medical residents/students
  • Healthcare workers
  • Teachers

Through Spiritual Care theory, practice, and research methods, Shaw Scholars learn to focus their care on discovering and meeting the expressed, unexpressed, structural and underlying spiritual needs of those they serve so that learning flows out of caring activities that meet actual needs within one’s specialty.

Let's have a conversation

In this world poised for healing, do you feel called to bring compassionate presence to others? Get in touch with your questions, and I’ll be very happy to help you explore ways in which the Shaw Chaplaincy Institute is able to help you bring your whole self into service.

- Rev. Paul Gaffney,
Program Manager of Education, Community Relations and Spiritual Care Services