United Theological Seminary Partnership

Earn an MBA and M.Div. through one program.

United and DWU logo

Dakota Wesleyan University and United Theological Seminary have partnered together to offer one program with two master’s degrees.


First, complete coursework towards a Master of Divinity at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.

  • 57 core credits
  • 6 denominational credits
  • 2, 3-day ministry retreats
  • online courses available


Second, earn a Master of Business Administration at DWU.

  • 30 credits
  • 7-week courses
  • 100% online courses
  • no thesis required

Two degrees, one program. What’s the difference?

To meet the demand of expanding leadership and administrative expectations for ministry professionals, this program offers you an innovative and educational experience that reaches well beyond the traditional seminary preparation. Each degree is tailored to meet the unique needs of today’s church and prepare you as a spiritual leader to make measurable impacts at the congregations you will serve.


Scott Kisker

“DWU has demonstrated its ability to equip those in the nonprofit 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.”

Dr. Scott Kisker, associate dean for master’s programs at United

Fredel Thomas

“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. 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. It became evident early in the conversation that we both had so much to offer each other and our students.”

Fredel Thomas, vice president of admissions and marketing at DWU


NPA 610 Financial Stewardship

3 Hours

This course will discuss the current state of giving within the church, examine the underlying tenets of giving from a scriptural and a human perspective, and explore different approaches for cultivating giving within the church that will enable short and long-term sustainable resource development. The second portion will focus on how to manage resources and will provide students with fundamental knowledge about processes like budgeting and developing and reading financial statements.

NPA 620 Stewarding Human Resources

3 Hours

In this course, students will learn the different roles and responsibilities of governing boards, staff members and volunteers, and learn how to navigate roles, responsibilities and relationships within these structures. Students will discover ways to respond to challenges, and how to design appropriate structures and methods for recruiting, training, developing, sustaining and retaining the right talent for important roles and responsibilities in the church.

BUS 606 Adaptive Leadership and Change Management

3 Hours

Organizations are faced with constant and rapid changes in their local and global environments. This perpetual change necessitates that leaders have skills in resiliency, adaptation and innovation. During this course, students will explore theories of adaptive leadership, reflect on their adaptive leadership skills and develop strategies for improvement. In the second part of the course, students will explore principals of change management, learn how to uncover and address resistance to change, develop change plans, and implement and monitor change progress. Students will be able to: incorporate strategies to improve resiliency and adaptation in their context, conduct a stakeholder analysis, and address resistance to change through appropriate behavior change plans.

BUS 635 Coaching and Mentoring in the Workplace

3 Hours

Coaching is a trending competency in progressive organizations. Having an executive coach helps leaders move more quickly and more intentionally in their leadership journey. Coaches can be internal to the organization, working from within, as well as external to the organization, serving as a consultant. This class will help students gain skills and experience for coaching internal and external professionals. Coursework will explore coaching theory, adult learning styles (andragogy), and decision-making styles. Students will be able to: apply adult learning (andragogy) to personal change, develop executive coaching skills at the personal and managerial level, and deploy a variety of decision-making styles.

BUS 626 Data-Driven Decision Making

3 Hours

This practical managerial decision-making class will incorporate analysis of financial statements and accounting metrics. Using case study and application students will: improve their ability to use data to drive financial, marketing, and operational decisions as well as use appropriate metrics to measure performance. Students will be able to: analyze financial statements, use financial analysis for business planning, and use statistics and data to drive business decisions.

BUS 625 Practical Economics

3 Hours

Students will explore aspects of the global economy including resources acquisition, development, global shocks, international business, and trade. Students will investigate globalization and seek to provide an understanding of today's interdependent world. Students will be able to: evaluate elements of global economics and reflect on their impact to local context, analyze economic interdependencies created by globalization, and synthesize economic metrics for financial, marketing, and operational performance. Prerequisite: an economics course, equivalent experience or an approved leveling course.

NPA 650 Stewarding Vision

3 Hours

Each church has a unique vision. Each board and congregation bring a different perspective on what their purpose is. Each pastor is tasked with determining the appropriate ways to execute this vision and purpose. This course delivers content about how to develop and evaluate vision, mission, and purpose as well as how to design, implement and evaluate the effectiveness of a strategy at both the organization and program levels.

BUS 655 Project Management

3 Hours

Contemporary business leaders are often tasked with leading the execution of projects. Throughout this course students will learn tools and techniques for connecting the organization’s mission and vision to organizational deliverables. Experiential work will engage in development of a project plan that benefits an organization of their choosing using tools such as WBS, PERT, Gantt charts and heat maps. Students will be able to: use appropriate project management techniques and tools for project design and delivery, and demonstrate principles of benefits realization management.

NPA 661 Stewarding Community

3 Hours

In this course, students will develop an understanding of their church’s alignment with the needs of their congregational community as well as the needs of their community of geographic proximity. Students will explore a variety of mediums and communication strategies to design (or modify) methods of internal and external communications, develop skills in marketing and messaging to and for their church, and evaluate and engage strategies for effective outreach.

BUS 660 Regulatory/Reporting Environments

3 Hours

Coverage in this course begins with building understanding of how contracts are formed, the rules of contract law, and remedies the law has created to address harm that may result, when formal contract rules do not apply. Students will learn more about how legal liability arises, the consequences of such liability and how to avoid or mitigate these liabilities. Legal forms of organizations will also be reviewed, along with secured transactions, sales, and warranties. The latter part of the course specializes in evaluating various ethical issues encountered in business and the questions they raise for the individuals involved. It will cover both theory and philosophical notes as well as how they must be applied daily in actual organizations.

Are you ready to learn the practical and applied knowledge to effectively manage a church?


United Theological Seminary was founded in 1871 and is a seminary of The United Methodist Church. Learn more about United.