Master of Social Work/Master of Divinity

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh present the unique opportunity to receive a joint degree in Master of Divinity (M.Div.) and Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) for those students passionate about pursuing their call to social work both inside and outside of a church setting.

What Makes Us Special?

As the oldest continuous joint degree program in the country, established in 1967, the MDiv/ MSW joint Masters degree program allows students to complete their coursework and graduate in four years of post-baccalaureate study instead of the usual five. Within the joint program students will still be provided a full course of study in both theology and social work, along with the academic support and one-on-one attention given by our excellent faculty. In order not to skip any required courses and still graduate in the four years, the MDiv/MSW program counts certain courses taught in one school as electives in the other and vice-versa, along with developing specialized field placements.

Who Is This Program For?

This joint masters program is built for those seeking to integrate their love of theology with their heart for social work and to make a change, along with those interested in pursuing a career in pastoral counseling or other forms of counseling. Positions that have been held by MDiv/MSW graduates in the past include: chaplain/clinical pastoral education supervisor for a health care facility, associate director of campus ministry, chaplain/chair committee holder at a nursing home, executive director of a pastoral institute, Christian counseling, various work with nonprofits, and so many more.

With the Seminary's campus located in the East Liberty / Highland Park neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PTS is within driving distance of other cities in Pennsylvania like Johnstown, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, State College, Allentown, Scranton, and other rural regions as well. Pitt classes meet at the University of Pittsburgh in Oakland.

How the MDiv/MSW Degree Works

Candidates for the joint degree who enter the program through the Seminary will concentrate on theological studies during the first two years. Application should be made to the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Social Work during the first term of the second year at the Seminary. The third and fourth years will be spent predominantly at the School of Social Work. Being that degrees in the joint program will be awarded concurrently, it is important to note that a student who resigns from one program will be subject to all requirements for graduation from the remaining degree program.

The easiest way to apply to the Master's Degree in Social Work Program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work is to use our online application.

Please note that you will also need to complete an application with the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. 


After earning her joint Master of Divinity/Master of Social Work degrees in 2005 from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and the University of Pittsburgh, alumna Elizabeth Trexler went on to be a missionary in Southeast Asia and then served as associate director of Catholic campus ministry at Bloomsburg University. She says, "The joint degree program with masters in social work and masters in divinity is something that you can’t put a price on. It just works so well together.”

MDiv Program Curriculum Sequence

Courses are generally three credit hours. When followed on a full-time basis (12-13 credits), the program is completed in three academic years. Student pastors are encouraged to spread their degree work over four academic years.