Stay in your community while being formed in ours--experience an accredited, high-quality seminary program in a way that suits your schedule.
Join Pittsburgh Theological Seminary through our hybrid seminary master's degree programs that flexibly combine weekly online courses and in-person gatherings each semester on our campus. We offer the master of divinity (M.Div)., master of theological studies, master of arts in pastoral studies, and joint seminary degrees in hybrid format.
Our hybrid seminary degrees allow students maximum flexibility to study theology and ministry through both in-person and weekly synchronous online classes that integrate on-campus gatherings twice a semester. You can plan your schedule to fit your individual needs. Students desiring weekly in-person courses can opt for a more traditional residential program with fewer hybrid courses. Distance learners can complete their program by enrolling in only hybrid courses.
The Seminary’s hybrid program balance two crucial assumptions: first, good theological education requires a community of engagement—one in which faculty and students have significant opportunities for interaction; diverse students can learn from each other; intellectual and pastoral skills are honed; and spiritual growth is supported through a variety of shared practices.
Second, for students enrolled at a distance—sometimes referred to as rooted learners—their home context is a primary site of student formation. Whether students plan to join us as a residential student, a mostly-remote learning, or a combination of the two, PTS is your neighborhood seminary, meaning you can immediately apply what you learn in your particular context instead of waiting until after graduation.
Pittsburgh: One seminary. Many neighborhoods.
I am an out-of-state student, and commuting several days a week is not practical (time, gas, wear and tear on vehicle, finding someone to look after loved ones). In the hybrid program, I get to be part of the online interaction and discussion with classmates and professors, and I get to be with them in person.
As a working mother who also happens to be an active member of a church ministry, and in the PTS community, the hybrid program helps with work-life-student balance.
The hybrid program makes seminary feasible for students working full-time. Beyond that, it was the hospitality of the administrative staff, the intellect and care of the faculty, and the strong theological curriculum that made me know that PTS will equip me to pursue my vocational goals.
Check out more about the hybrid program by exploring these frequently asked questions.
The Seminary’s dedicated core faculty teach in the hybrid program including the M.Div., master's of pastoral studies, master of theological students, and joint degrees. Meet the Seminary's faculty.
Their pedagogical commitments inform instructional delivery. Because courses are offered on a rotation, no class is locked into one instructional format. Students will have clear knowledge of their path to graduation with a predictable rotation of courses. Generous financial aid is available to all qualified students. This program intentionally integrates residential and non-residential students through semester gatherings which invite all students to participate in community and formational activities.
Students enrolled full-time can complete the hybrid M.Div. program in three years and the hybrid master of arts programs in two years. Part-time students can complete the hybird M.Div. program in five years and the hybrid master of arts programs in four years.
No. All students, including residential students, will take some hybrid courses, which means some portion of your program will require weekly, online, synchronous classes with PTS faculty and attendance at 2.5 day gatherings on our Pittsburgh campus twice per semester. However, students who prefer in-person instruction will be able to take a majority of coursework in that format—the program does allow you to select in-person sections of courses and electives based on your needs.
No, though your weekly courses will be online, you will be required to come to PTS twice per semester for community learning and events.
Classes meet weekly or bi-weekly at set times. See the Seminary’s semester course schedules for more information.
All hybrid seminary students are required to come to campus two times per semester for 2.5 days for in-person formational activities. Gatherings occur at set times each semester. In the Fall Semester, it’s the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday following Labor Day and the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday before Reading Week. In the Spring Semester, we’ll gather Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of the first week of class and the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday before Reading Week.
Our commitment to theological study and Christian leadership training emphasizes the importance of supportive engagement with faculty and fellow students. The PTS formative experience is rooted in this model of engagement.
Each semester a select few elective seminary courses are offered fully online. See the current semester course schedule for more info.
The combination of online and in-person classes in our hybrid seminary degree programs depends on student needs and preferences, as well as the desired time to completion. Full-time students who prefer in-person instruction can take the majority of their courses at our Pittsburgh campus, though they will have a percentage of hybrid courses each semester, and can complete the program more quickly. Students taking only hybrid courses can complete the M.Div. program in four to five years and the master of arts programs in three to four years.
The Seminary’s core faculty teach in the hybrid program. Learn more about our professors.
Individual arrangements for Field Education will be based on your situation and location. You don’t need to relocate to complete this requirement of your seminary degree.
Even if you’re not tech savvy, the Seminary’s faculty and staff will assist you in getting acclimated to online learning. Needed tools include a computer with reliable Internet access and a webcam. Beyond that you’ll use a learning management tool and Zoom, which we will provide. Our service-oriented IT staff can always help too.
Aid is available to all students who qualify. The Seminary offers merit, need-based, and other funding. Visit our financial aid website for more information. Unlike some institutions, the master’s hybrid program is subject to the standard credit rate and does not include additional fees related to the program.
During the on-campus gatherings each semester, all students will meet in person on the PTS campus with fellow students and their professors. Programming will include worship, community meals, time for one-on-one consultations with staff and faculty, formational activities, and opportunities to explore local ministry contexts across the city of Pittsburgh in addition to class time. There is also ample time for students to connect with on another outside of structured activities.
Here is the Year A Sample Schedule.
|7:30-9:0 a.m.||Community Breakfast|
|9:30-9:50 a.m.||Welcome to Campus and Preview of Gathering Weekend|
|10:00-11:15 a.m.||Hybrid Class Session I|
|11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.||Chapel|
|12:15-1:30 p.m.||Community Lunch|
|1:45-4:45 p.m.||Contextual Engagement at St. Nicholas Croatian Church|
|4:45-5:00 p.m.||Evening Prayer at St. Nicholas|
|5:00-6:45 p.m.||Dinner on Your Own|
|7:00-8:15 p.m.||Hybrid Class Session II|
|7:30-9:0 a.m.||Community Breakfast|
|9:00-9:20 a.m.||Community Morning Prayer|
|9:30-10:45 a.m.||Hybrid Class Session III|
|10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.||Self-Directed Time|
|12:15-1:30 p.m.||Community Lunch|
|1:45-2:45 p.m.||Discernment Activity|
|3:00-4:15 p.m.||Hybrid Class Session IV|
|4:45-5:00 p.m.||Community Evening Prayer|
|5:00-6:00 p.m.||Student Activities Fair|
|6:00-8:00 p.m.||Student Association-led Community Cookout|
|After 8:00 p.m.||Student Assocation-led Offsite Entertainment|
|7:30-9:00 a.m.||Community Breakfast|
|9:00-10:15 a.m.||Hybrid Class Session V|
|10:30-11:00 a.m.||Examen Practice|
|11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.||Community Worship at Rodman Street Baptist Church|
|12:15-1:30 p.m.||Community Lunch at Rodman St. Baptist|
Students enrolled in one or more hybrid courses in a given semester are required to attend two on-campus gatherings in their entirety in addition to regular attendance in weekly online class sessions. Gathering attendance is a course requirement for every hybrid course. Read the full attendance policy.
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary's hybrid master's degrees allow students to benefit from a more accessible seminary degree that still provides the time and space to connect as a seminary community.