Redesigned Programs Offer Greater Flexibility to Seminary Students

PORTLAND, Ore. – Multnomah University is redesigning its seminary degrees to help students balance the academic demands of the programs with the responsibilities of everyday life. The changes, which involve reducing the number of required credits to earn MA and MDiv degrees, will take effect in fall 2017.

“We recognize that getting through seminary can be a balancing act,” said Derek Chinn, dean of Multnomah Biblical Seminary. “Students have a variety of priorities that can include a spouse, children, work, church responsibilities and social life. The reduction in credits and courses required for a seminary degree helps our students graduate sooner while reducing their financial liabilities.”

The core components of the MDiv and MA programs have been retained with slight reductions in credit hours and coursework. For the MDiv, the elective pool also has increased to 13 credits, allowing students to focus on their specific degree tracks and strengthen their studies based on their calling.

“The quality of the program has not been lessened in any way,” Chinn said. “All of the core elements have been retained. In addition, the redesign puts a greater emphasis on degree personalization and faculty mentorship so students can craft the MDiv to match their intended life goals.”

Chinn noted that some students have struggled to complete the three- and two-year programs on time. The redesigned programs respond to that reality and allow students to get into full-time ministry sooner.

“We view ourselves as partners in their education,” Chinn said. “By giving students a little more margin in terms of time and money, we’re hoping this will help them manage the obligations they have toward others, work and church.”


About Multnomah University

Multnomah University is a fully accredited, private, non-denominational, Christian institution of higher education located in Portland, Oregon, with a teaching site in Reno, Nevada. Composed of a college, seminary, graduate school, degree completion program and online distance-learning program, Multnomah issues bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees, as well as professional certifications and endorsements. For more information, visit

March 23, 2017 | News