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Wilfrid Laurier University Waterloo Lutheran Seminary
April 19, 2014
Canadian Excellence

Master of Divinity

"My time in the WLS community contributed enormously to my formation as a Christian and a pastor, and I know WLS will be there to help continually expand my knowledge and skills. Thank God for the people and the work of Waterloo Lutheran Seminary; I am proud to be a graduate of this wonderful, Spirit-filled place!"
--Susan Climo, M.Div.

"Returning to school in my mid forties is likely one of the most terrifying things I have ever done, but it has also been one of the most rewarding.  WLS provides a safe caring community where I can explore my many questions of faith and life. It is a place where not only am I allowed to ask and explore the tough questions, but it also provides an atmosphere that encourages it.  Every day I am amazed at how my knowledge base is expanding, how my skills for ministry are being shaped, and the amount of confidence I am gaining. WLS is providing me with a solid education that will ensure my success as an ordained pastor."
--Stephen Hoffard, M.Div.

For more student testimonials, click here

About the Program

The Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree prepares students for a vocation in ministry. This program provides both the theoretical and practical tools necessary for the rewarding, yet challenging, profession of Christian service. Waterloo Lutheran Seminary welcomes students from a variety of denominations into this program. In preparation for parish, institutional, and administrative ministries, students in the Master of Divinity program take courses in theology, biblical studies, counselling, ethics, church history, liturgics and administration.

Why Choose This Program?

 Degree covers the Bible, church history, systematics, ethics, counselling, liturgics, practical theology and administration
 Contextual and non-contextual streams
 Bursaries guaranteed for all full-time students
 Flexibility to complete program full or part-time
 No thesis requirement
 Bachelor degree preferred but not required for admission
 Church endorsement not required for admission
 All denominations eligible for admission
 Can complete degree jointly with a Master of Social Work (see MDiv-MSW program)
 Graduates eligible to apply for the Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Leadership or Spiritual Care and Counselling
 Career examples for graduates: Ordained minister/pastor, chaplain, religious educator, social service worker, Registered Social Worker (MDiv-MSW graduates)

Admission Requirements

The Master of Divinity is a graduate professional degree that normally requires a Bachelor's degree from an accredited post-secondary institution with a B grade point average as the basis for admission. In addition, students are expected to show aptitude for the practice of ministry prior to graduation. Applicants for the Contextual Stream must be endorsed by their denomination in accordance with the policies of the denomination. The Non-Contextual Stream does not require denominational endorsement.

Students who do not hold an accredited Bachelor's degree may apply for exceptional admission if they present a minimum of 10 undergraduate courses with a minimum grade point average of B along with a record of significant experience and endorsement by a recognized church judicatory. Computer literacy is expected of all WLS students. One year paid or volunteer experience in social services is an asset.

Completion of the program typically includes three years of course work, as well as a one year internship in the fourth year of study.   Applicants may also take this program jointly with the Master of Social Work and earn a double Masters degree.  For more information on the joint degree, please click here.

Transfer Credit and Advanced Standing

Applicants with a significant amount of practical experience, or those who have obtained graduate-level credit at other academic institutions may be eligible for credit or advanced standing towards their program.

To be considered, students may file a petition:

Program Requirements

The Graduate Calendar contains the most up-to-date program requirements, as approved by the Waterloo Lutheran Seminary Senate. The most up-to-date version can be found on the left-hand side of the Grad Studies homepage.

View the 2013-2014 Master of Divinity for program requirements.

The MDiv can also be obtained in conjunction with the Master of Social Work. See below for further information.

MDiv-MSW Program (4 Year Program)

View the 2013-2014 program requirements on the Academic Calendar for program requirements.

The MDiv - MSW program is offered jointly by the Waterloo Lutheran Seminary and the Faculty of Social Work. It integrates the curricula of both degrees into four years of study. This program is particularly valuable for those who are interested in positions of leadership in the social services of the church and the community at large.

Such positions would include special ministries in a hospital, prison, leisure or counselling centre setting, placements in social work agencies that work closely with the church, and occupations in groups that are involved in broad-based programs of leadership development and community renewal.

The combined MDiv - MSW program normally involves two years of registration in the Seminary and two years of registration in the Faculty of Social Work. The program length is 26 MDiv courses and 15 MSW courses plus 3 Practica in four-years full-time. Students in the contextual stream of the MDiv-MSW will complete an additional 9-12 month internship for a total of 5 years full-time. Students pay fees and are only eligible for scholarships, bursaries and awards applicable to the program in which they are registered.

There are a limited number of positions in the joint MDiv - MSW program. Normally no more than six students are admitted to the program in any particular year. Therefore, it is desirable to apply for admission to this joint program at the earliest possible date. The application deadline for the joint program is January 15th each year for the following Fall term start.

MDiv-MSW Model of Studies:




Term 1




Term 2




Term 3

SPE (Joint setting where possible)



Term 4




Term 5




Term 6



Term 7

TH501A* or TH501B*
3 hr Sys-Sys



Term 8

TH501A* or TH501B*
2 hr Interp. elect.


1 elective

Term 9

SK643 (practicum subject to availability)

SK643 (practicum subject to availability)

Term 10

3 hr Sys-Con



Term 11

3 hr Exeg. elect.
3 hr. Hist. elect.

2 electives

1 elective

For the application instructions, please click here. Please note that the MTS-MSW is no longer open to new admissions.

Student Resources

The WLS suggests that all students make an appointment with their Faculty Advisor to ensure they are on the path to graduation. Please bring a copy of your course summary (available on your LORIS account).

The Faculty Advisor for Master of Divinity students is Dr. Mark Harris.

Application Instructions

Application instructions are below: