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DWU and United Theological Seminary to partner for new graduate degrees

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MITCHELL, S.D. – Dakota Wesleyan University of Mitchell, S.D. and United Theological Seminary of Dayton, Ohio, have joined forces to offer a new program in which future church leaders can earn two master’s degrees.  United, a seminary of The United Methodist Church founded in 1871, and DWU, a Methodist-affiliated university opened in 1885, will provide students with the opportunity to earn a Master’s of Divinity from United and a Master’s of Business Administration from DWU in one joint program.

Students will complete 57 core credits and six denominational credits from United, then finish 30 MBA credits from DWU.  The intent is to provide new divinity graduates with the practical and applied knowledge to move into effective church management.

According to Dr. Scott Kisker, associate dean for master’s programs at United, “DWU has demonstrated its ability to equip those in the non-profit sector, especially pastors, to think and act effectively in the business situations they encounter in their ministries. At United, we have the expertise to equip pastors to minister faithfully and fruitfully through spiritual formation, and grounding in the theological and pastoral disciplines. It just made sense for the two institutions to partner, to the benefit of future pastors.”

For Fredel Thomas, vice president of admissions and marketing at DWU, this was a logical partnership to develop.  “United is such a well-respected seminary, and DWU’s strength in preparing pastors for the administrative and strategic courses in our MBA program made for a win-win program.  It became evident early in the conversation that we both had so much to offer each other and the students.”    

Thomas is excited about the possibilities for students who enroll in the program.  “The responsibilities and roles that churches are asking their pastors to assume today are far broader and more complex than they were only a generation ago.  In addition to preaching and discipleship, pastors are often asked to manage resource development, personnel management, strategic planning and church communications.”

Thomas continues, “To meet the demand of expanding leadership and administrative expectations, Dakota Wesleyan University offers an innovative educational experience that reaches well beyond traditional seminary preparation. Our joint MDiv/MBA program is tailored for students to meet the unique needs of churches and to apply course content in their day-to-day professional lives in order to make measurable impacts on the churches they serve.”

The MBA from DWU is offered 100% online.  The MDiv from United includes two 3-day ministry retreats, with the remaining courses available online. Depending on the program track, students will require as few as three years to finish both degrees. 

For more information about the programs, visit http://united.edu/request-information/ or https://www.dwu.edu/admissions/request-information.