Frequently Asked Questions - Ministerial & Religious Studies (M&RS)

What programs are offered through the Ministerial and Religious Studies (M&RS) program?

  • Master of Divinity (M.Div.) - designed for students, holding a bachelor's degree, who are interested in religious studies or becoming a Unity minister. It includes the possibility of Unity licensing and ordination and provides a Unity-conferred graduate degree.
  • Diploma in Unity Ministry - designed for students, without a bachelor's degree, who are interested in becoming a Unity minister. It includes the possibility of Unity licensing and ordination and provides a Unity-conferred certificate of completion, but not a degree.
  • Non-degree Program - Courses may be audited through our Non-degree Program, which is open to anyone interested in taking graduate level courses without earning a degree or certificate.

How long will it take to complete these programs?
The Master of Divinity (M.Div) and Diploma in Unity Ministry require completion of 90 credit hours, about three years full-time. These courses may also be engaged on a part-time basis. Students may have up to seven years to complete their program.

Must I be a full-time student?
No. These programs are designed so that you can attend full- or part-time.

Is there a student association for ministerial students?
Yes, the Unity Ministers Student Association (UMSA) supports and represents all UWSI ministerial students. More information on UMSA is available at unitymsa.org.

I don't want to enter the M.Div. or the Diploma in Unity Ministry program. Can I still take any of the M&RS courses?
Yes, if the M&RS courses are marked as "open" in the catalog and any prerequisite requirements for the course have been fulfilled. Open courses can be taken without entry into the M.Div. program or the Credentialing track if that criteria is met.

Do I need a bachelor's degree to enroll in the M.Div. program?
You must have a bachelor degree before receiving a Master's degree from UWSI.

I am interested in becoming an ordained Unity minister; should I do anything else besides enroll in UWSI and register in M&RS courses?
Students may enroll in UWSI and begin taking courses at any time. However, students interested in becoming an ordained Unity minister must also apply to Unity Worldwide Ministries' Ministry Path Program in order to be considered for ordination. It is recommended that students apply for UWM's Ministry Path Program as soon as possible after enrolling in UWSI.

Those interested in ordination should review the information found on UWM's "Become a Minister" webpage and the contact UWM's Credentialing Coordinator, Rev. Lynn O'Dell (lodell@unity.org).

Why won't the courses I'm interested in taking in the M&RS program be offered until next year?
During UWSI's pilot (first) year of (2016-17), we will be developing our online courses from term to term. In order to maximize our development resources, we cannot offer any more courses than the foundational ones we have planned for the year.

Both first and second year courses will be offered beginning Fall 2017. Note: The M&RS courses contain significant live components that require the courses to be taken only when scheduled. To ensure adequate attendance in M&RS courses during UWSI's pilot year, the courses will be offered only once per year; thus supporting the progression of full-time learners through their course schedule

UMSA is the Unity Ministers Student Association supporting and representing all UWSI ministerial students. UMSA is organized primarily via their online presence, and it provides opportunities to meet online and in person. More information can be obtained at their website at unitymsa.org.