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

Origami as a Spiritual Practice

April 5, 2018

For more than 30 years, I have enjoyed the Japanese art of origami. For most of that time, creating objects by folding a single sheet of paper was a hobby. Scrap paper is literally everywhere, so finding material has never been a problem. A brightly colored ad from a magazine would become a flower. A discarded memo would end up as a crane, or a dragon. A sticky note was easily turned into a fish or a butterfly. Early on, folding paper became a way of losing myself in the creative process. Origami, like many arts, is a way of making something special out of the mundane. It is a [...]

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Easter Dawns in Pittsburgh’s Riverview Park

March 29, 2018

“Easter Sunrise Service in the park. It sounded good to our family. But the only one we knew about in Pittsburgh was held in Schenley Park, way on the other side of the city. It would mean at least an hour’s street car ride to get there, so, of course, we didn’t go. That was in 1932.” So recalled Northside resident Helen Nichols in 2008. She went on: “Then one day we heard that a group of people in our area were starting a sunrise service to be held in Riverview Park. That was in our backyard! So of course, we attended.” And thus began what has become a nearly [...]

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