In 1983 Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and the School of Law at Duquesne University established a joint degree program leading to the Master of Divinity and Juris Doctor (JD) degrees.

In the Judeo-Christian tradition the relationship is very close between justice and law and the ministry of the people of God. The practice of ministry is frequently intertwined with the administration of law. This joint effort enables students to receive both the M.Div. and JD degrees in five years of post-baccalaureate study instead of the usual six.

The joint degree program provides a full course of study in both theology and law. This is accomplished by allowing certain courses taken in each school to be used as electives in the other.

Careers for M.Div./JD Grads

Graduates of the program work in a wide array of professional tasks, such as law firms specializing in serving religious institutions as clients, church boards and agencies, and parish ministries of various kinds.

Application Instructions

Admission to the joint program may be obtained prior to the first year of study at either school. Admission into the program is determined by each institution separately; admission into one institution does not guarantee admission to the other. Interested candidates to the joint degree program should refer to each school’s program brochures or websites for specifics on admission requirements. Prospective students should be advised that admission into the JD portion of this program does require satisfactory LSAT scores. JD applications should be received by March 1 for priority consideration. 

Inquiries about the School of Law at Duquesne University should be directed to Duquesne University School of Law at 412-396-6300 or lawadmin@duq.edu.

When I told people about my joint degree program they didn't understand how the two could fit together. It’s always made sense to me though. Central to both the Christian and Western legal traditions are the concepts of equity and justice. If church and law don’t immediately conjure these concepts for people, then they are missing the point. - Darren Belajac ’12

Pittsburgh Seminary Blog

Eugene Peterson: A Pastor to Pastors

October 26, 2018

Today I feel like I lost a friend and mentor that I have never met. Author and pastor Eugene Peterson died earlier this week at the age of 85. According to reports, Peterson was put in hospice last week with dementia and congestive heart failure. Some of his last words as he looked up to heaven were, “Let’s go.” He is probably best known for his paraphrase of the Bible called The Message. I have heard critiques of this, with people saying it is not a good translation of the Scripture. It is not a good translation, but it was never meant to be. As Eugene Peterson paraphrased his sermon [...]

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A Pastor’s Proper Work: How I’ll Remember Eugene Peterson

October 22, 2018

I only met Eugene Peterson once. In 2014, a friend and I published a collection of essays by a number of pastors and scholars engaging Peterson’s vision of the pastoral life. In the fall of that year, Western Theological Seminary hosted a conference based on the book, and they invited Peterson. To my surprise Peterson—in his early 80s and largely retired from public appearances—agreed to attend. The conference fell on his 82nd birthday. At dinner on his birthday, I sat at his table. I remember our deference to his age and wisdom. I remember listening to his stories. I remember how he made us laugh. I remember how he smiled as [...]

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