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 Judaeo-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.

How the M.Div./JD Program Works

Due to the nature of the professional requirements of the practice of law and ministry, neither the School of Law nor the Seminary can surrender any of its required courses. However, the School of Law may award elective credits, not to exceed 19 in the day division and 15 in the evening division, for some Seminary courses; while the Seminary may award elective credits for courses taken at the School of Law, up to 18 hours. The faculties have determined the list of courses which are agreed upon to be credited by the other institution.

Since 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.

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. Please note that the admissions deadline for Pittsburgh Theological Seminary is Feb. 1 and the Law School is May 1.

Inquiries about the School of Law at Duquesne University should be directed to Duquesne University School of Law at 412-396-6300 or

M.Div./JD Program Sequence

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

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