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 the Master of Divinity, Master of Arts, or Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry degree.

About the Graduate Certificate in Urban Ministry Program

Those seeking the certificate must complete six 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. The Introduction to Urban Ministry class (MU01) and one practicum are included in the required courses. All others may be taken as electives. Masters degree students will receive credit toward the certificate for their required course Church and Society and must maintain a 2.5 or above overall GPA.

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.

Graduate Certificate in Urban Ministry Program Sequence

"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

Pittsburgh Seminary Blog

Did We Really Do Things Better Back Then?

November 17, 2017

On the Field I got to the soccer field five minutes before the end of practice, in time to hear the closing strains of a plaid-skirted mother’s rant to her friend about the way they teach math these days: “So I said, why are you beginning with centimeters? How hard is it to carry the ones?” (I’m just reporting what I heard, folks, not trying to make sense of it.) At first annoyed—get over it—I then dropped my stone and let it roll away, for I’ll admit it: I do the same thing. They did everything better when we were young. In the Classroom Take teaching a kid to play the [...]

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The Master of Divinity Will Challenge You

September 22, 2017

Getting my Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary is a lot like the video for Talking Heads’ “Once in a Lifetime”. No, really, stay with me here. If you’ve not seen the video, it features Talking Heads’ lead singer, David Byrne, wearing an ill-fitting suit with a bowtie and a pair of horn-rimmed glasses that would make George McFly jealous. He is visibly uncomfortable, sweating, seemingly out of breath, engaging in what could charitably be called dancing against a wavy turquoise background. Byrne spasms arrhythmically, epileptically, twitching and lurching like a marionette trying to avoid enemy fire, all the while talk-singing in a cadence reminiscent of a [...]

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