Master of Divinity / MA in Sustainability

The Master of Divinity / Master of Arts in Sustainability joint degree acknowledges the growing demand for professionals in religious leadership venues who have the knowledge and the skills to lead communities to respond to critical ecological and other social issues. Congregations and other religiously affiliated organizations are increasingly interested in sustainability concerns and seek leaders who can guide their efforts to respond to these concerns. Knowledge from the biological, physical, chemical, and earth sciences are critical to any working professional who designs and implements sustainability practices. The humanities and social sciences incorporate information about spirituality, religious beliefs, and an understanding and appreciation of our relationship to the natural world.

This degree is a collaborative project shared by the Wake Forest University Center of Energy, Environment, and Sustainability (CEES).

Plan of Study and Requirements


The MDiv / MA in Sustainability joint degree is designed to be 96 credit hours completed in seven semesters plus one full summer session (based on full-time enrollment).


Semester by Semester Overview
Fall Spring Summer
Year One Divinity Divinity
Year Two Divinity Divinity
Year Three Divinity Divinity Sustainability
Year Four Sustainability


Requirements specific to the Master of Divinity degree
48 hours
Biblical Studies
BIB 521 Old Testament Interpretation I 3 hours
BIB 522 Old Testament Interpretation II 3 hours
BIB 541 Introduction to New Testament 3 hours
Choose one of the following:
BIB 542 Interpreting New Testament Letters 3 hours
BIB 543 Interpreting New Testament Gospels 3 hours
One area elective in Old or New Testament 3 hours
15 hours
Historical and Theological Studies
HIS 501 History of Christianity I 3 hours
HIS 502 History of Christianity II 3 hours
THS 501 Christian Theology 3 hours
Ethics requirement 3 hours
Theology elective 3 hours
18 hours
Ministerial Studies
MIN 501 Art of Ministry I 2 hours
MIN 551 Homiletics and Worship 3 hours
Spirituality requirement 1 hour
MIN 631 Ministry of Pastoral Care 3 hours
9 hours
Nine divinity credit hours from the following:
 MIN 561 Food, Faith, and Health 3 hours
Any ethics elective 3 hours
Any leadership elective 3 hours
Any church and community elective 3 hours


Requirements specific to the Masters of Arts in Sustainability degree
17 hours
Global Human Systems 3 hours
Resource Management and Energy Science 3 hours
Sustainable Organizational Management 3 hours
Environmental Law and Policy 3 hours
Applied Sustainability 2 hours
Any sustainability elective 3 hours
The descriptions of all Sustainability courses can be found online.


Requirements shared by the two degree programs; these courses constitute the integrative foundation of the joint degree
13 hours
Master of Divinity
MIN 601 and 602: Art of Ministry Internship (two semesters, 6 credit hours) – In consultation with advisers from both degree programs, students will complete an 8-10 hour per week internship in a setting in which they can utilize and explore sustainability concerns.
Master of Arts in Sustainability
Practicum in Applied Sustainability (2 credit hours, plus 1 hour divinity directed reflection = 3 hours total) – This course provides opportunities for students to experience sustainability in action in a variety of settings. Students will enroll in the course through the sustainability program and will be assigned a divinity faculty mentor to facilitate directed theological reflection on the experiences.
Research Thesis or Extended Practicum
(4 hours – summer term) – This requirement combines capstone courses from both degree programs. In this summer term, students will prepare a research thesis, under the guidance of a faculty advisor on a topic approved in advance by the sustainability program director and the academic dean of the School of Divinity. Alternatively, students may participate in a summer practicum or internship. If they select that option, they will meet with a faculty advisor periodically to discuss their internship, which will culminate with a written reflection on their experience submitted to a designated faculty person in one of the two programs.
18 hours
Remaining 18 hours of joint degree credits will be made up of a combination of elective hours from both degrees.


Policies and Procedures

Advising and Supervision

Students will be assigned a primary faculty advisor from each of the degree programs.The Sustainability Program Director and the Academic Dean for the School of Divinity will consult on appropriate advising for joint degree students. During the semester preceding the thesis or capstone project, the primary advisor from each degree program will meet with the student to discuss appropriate program and course options. If a student chooses to complete the degree program with a capstone project (extended practicum), the Sustainability Program Director and the Art of Ministry director will work together to determine a placement and placement activities. If a student elects the thesis option, one of the student’s primary adviser or a faculty mentor with experience in the student’s area of research will oversee thesis development.

Retention, Candidacy, Graduation

Continuing eligibility requirements prior to the student’s enrollment in the thesis or capstone project during the final summer term will be based on School of Divinity continuing eligibility requirements stated in the 2014-2015 Bulletin (pps. 24-25). Prior to beginning the thesis or capstone project, a committee composed of student faculty advisers from both programs, the Sustainability Program Director, and the School of Divinity Academic Dean will consider a student’s overall performance to that point and determine by consensus if the student is suited to continued candidacy. Once a student enters the final phase of the joint degree program, the academic committee will evaluate the thesis or project and determine whether to award the degree. If the committee requests revisions, the student will return a satisfactory thesis or deliverable within the following semester in order to graduate.

How to Apply

Candidates for the joint degree must apply both to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Divinity, following the admissions’ requirements of the respective programs, and be accepted to each program in order to pursue a joint degree.

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