S.T.M. for Ministry Professionals

Graduates of theological schools of recognized standing who have obtained the M.Div. degree and who have accumulated at least three years of experience in professional ministry may be admitted to a program of studies leading to the Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.) degree program for Ministry Professionals.

The program is the same as that for the regular S.T.M. degree, except that it requires only one semester in residency.  Students begin the program with a fall semester in residency, accumulating 12-15 credits; the remaining credits toward the degree are completed by way of week-long intensive 3-credit courses, offered in January, March, and June; 1-credit transformational leadership courses (maximum of three); and/or an independent, faculty-advised  project or thesis.  An extended paper, an independent thesis, or a project in the candidate’s area of concentration is required for the S.T.M. degree.  All other policies regarding the S.T.M. are applicable to the S.T.M. for Ministry Professionals.

Financial aid is not available for this degree program.


M.Div. degree and 3 years of experience in professional ministry


1. Fall semester in residency = 12-15 credit hours (up to ½ Yale course offerings taken outside the Divinity School)

Students would be required to start the program with the semester in residency (ordinarily the Fall) in order to build a connection with the YDS community and become acclimated to the learning environment and expectations.

2. Project/Thesis (3 credits, or 6 credits with the first three completed during the semester in residence) OR extended paper completed in connection with 3-credit course in residency or week-long intensive course

The project/thesis proposal will be developed during the student’s semester in residency.  The student and project/thesis advisor will work out a schedule for regular meetings, whether face-to-face or via videoconferencing.  The project/thesis will be due in the semester for which it is registered.   An extended paper would be written in conjunction with the regular requirements for courses credited toward the S.T.M. degree.  The length of an extended paper normally exceeds the usual requirement for a term paper by one-third to one-half.

3.  Transformational leadership courses (1 credit each, maximum of three)

4. Week-long intensive seminars (one course offered each January, June, and March)

Intensive courses will require the completion of pre-reading and the submission of written assignments following the week-long in-person course.  The number of contact hours would be the same as for a semester-long seminar.

 A week-long intensive seminar would count as part of a faculty member’s regular teaching load for the year.  A June course would be counted as part of the prior year’s teaching.  Faculty would be invited to submit intensive course proposals for the following academic year in February of each year.  Every effort will be made to distribute opportunities to teach intensive courses, insofar as compatible with offering courses that represent the full range of curricular areas.  Students in the STM for Ministry Professionals program would be given priority to register in these courses, but they would be available, space permitting, to other degree-seeking YDS students and students in approved exchange programs. 

Intensive seminars would be open to YDS students in other degree programs, space permitting.  Students on academic probation would not be eligible to enroll, and students in other degree programs would be limited to one intensive seminar per year.