Sunday, July 24, 2022

A Master of Divinity in Humanist Studies Program is Now Available!

At long last, there is finally an accredited Master of Divinity program with a Humanist track! United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities and the American Humanist Association Center for Education have partnered to make this possible.

The Humanist Studies Program is one of the key offerings of the AHA Center for Education, and it is composed of the following courses:

  • Humanist Worldviews: Then & Now (Pre-requisite)
  • Humanist Philosophies and Understandings
  • Humanist Aesthetics & Practices
  • Humanist Leadership: How to Run Organizations
  • Capstone
At a rate of $665 per credit hour, the cost of each of those courses and the Capstone is $1,995. The objective of this program has always been to prepare people to be better, more effective Humanist professionals, and they are offered at the graduate level. Now, through this relationship with United Theological Seminary, these courses can be taken for credit. 

The two Master's degrees available through UTS that include these courses are the Master of Divinity (MDiv) and the Master of Arts in Leadership (MAL). The difference between the two is that the MDiv is the standard degree required for ordained ministry in many religious denominations, and as such it might not be for everyone. Coursework is included in ministry, while the MAL does not have this emphasis. 

United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities is affiliated with the United Church of Christ, which is a very progressive Christian denomination. The seminary does not, however, identify solely with that tradition in its coursework. Here is the full range of MDiv tracks currently offered:

Clearly this is an ecumenical and interfaith seminary that is focused on preparing people for ministry in a wide range of contexts. 

Courses are offered online, through either synchronous or asynchronous programming. The Humanist Studies coursework will be signed up for via the seminary but taken directly from the AHA Center for Education in a synchronous format. Synchronous classes take place for three hours once a week, and at present the Humanist Studies courses are provided on weekday afternoons, which could be something of a barrier for some people. 

Hopefully word of these Humanist Studies degrees will get out and people will take advantage of the opportunity to deepen their Humanism and develop as professionals within the Humanist community.