Today, more than 80 percent of the U.S. population—and 50 percent of people worldwide—live in and around urban centers.
The Graduate Certificate in Urban Ministry is a flexible program allowing community members and seminarians to explore their Christian vocation in urban settings. This program allows students from all denominations to think about how to apply their faith to where they work, live, and play.
The Metro-Urban Institute combines the theory and practice of collaborative community ministry with a program of urban theological education that prepares students for excellence in any context of ministry, but with particular attention to public realities affecting the urban environment.
Courses are offered during the day and evening. Pittsburgh Seminary alums who have completed certain courses within the last 10 years may qualify for advance standing. This program is offered through the Seminary's Metro-Urban Institute and can be completed as a stand-alone certificate program or combined with a master’s degree program.
About the Graduate Certificate in Urban Ministry Program
Those seeking the certificate must complete four classes (three credit-hours each) of graduate-level course work related to urban ministry with a grade of B or better in each course of the urban focus. Required courses include those in urban ministry, contextual analysis, and additional elective options.
Students interested in this certificate program must complete the Seminary’s standard application for admission process, and will ordinarily have an undergraduate degree.
Student Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the certificate:
- Students will demonstrate competence in narrating how social factors, theological understandings, and church practices shape the work of ministry in urban contexts.
- Students will apply sociological and theological analysis to explore and critique urban ministry approaches and ministry with attention to ever-evolving demographic, cultural, psycho-social, and socio-structural complexities of 21st century urban life.
- Students will describe how ministry extends beyond church walls by narrating the potential of God’s movement in an array of institutions and human initiatives.
- Students will demonstrate awareness of theologically and sociologically grounded approaches to church engagement with society, including the advancement of collective spiritual and ethical formation in pursuit of progressive political witness and comprehensive socio-economic development.
"The church is uniquely located where Christ-centered ministry can have great impact for the Kingdom of God and positive change for the community.” - Eric McIntosh ’12
- Master of Divinity (M.Div.)
- M.Div. Emphasis in Church Planting
- M.Div. / Master of Social Work Joint Degree
- M.Div. / Juris Doctor Joint Degree
- M.Div. / Master of Science in Public Policy and Management Joint Degree
- Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies
- Master of Arts in Theological Studies
- Masters with Graduate Certificate in Urban Ministry
Praying with People Grieving Loss from Suicide
4I am counted among those who go down to the Pit; I am like those who have no help, 5like those forsaken among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, like those whom you remember no more, for they are cut off from your hand (Ps 88:4-5). These poignant verses express some of the pathos both of persons contemplating suicide and people who have lost a loved one to suicide. It is important to recognize that praying with people contemplating suicide is a distinct topic from praying with people grieving loss from suicide. In the former situation, it is essential that the individual involved find help from a [...]
Trusting God in the Middle of Uncertainty
I live in San Sebastián, Puerto Rico. On Sept. 20, 2017, Hurricane María struck our island as the strongest cyclone in modern history with winds up to 175 mph and rainfall measuring up to 37.9 inches. My mother is the executive director of El Guacio, Puerto Rico’s only Presbyterian camp. Here, we passed the storm. Each of the events that occurred in the camp resulted in great stories of faith and resilience. Power, water, and communications completely fell a few hours in. When we were able to come outside, we saw we were trapped beneath many feet of branches. With help of the community, it took two days [...]