27 Best MDiv/MSW Dual Degree Programs – 2023

Written By: Darby Faubion BSN, RN

Are you interested in a career where you can help people? Do you like to study religion and spirituality but think something other than a traditional faith-based role is right for you? If you could integrate your interest in religion to promote social justice and mercy, would you? MDiv/MSW dual degree programs offer an excellent opportunity for students to obtain the knowledge and skills needed to address human suffering and social issues with a faith-based approach.

You may have considered becoming a Master of Divinity or Master of Social Work but wonder, “What are the best MDiv/MSW dual degree programs? If this sounds like you, the information in this article may be what you have been looking for. In this article, I will share information with you about the 27 best MDiv/MSW dual degree programs for 2023. You will learn about program goals, curriculum, cost, and what it takes to get started. Additionally, you will discover answers to frequently asked questions. When you have finished reading, you will have the information needed to decide if a dual MDiv/MSW degree is the right path for you to accomplish your goals.



The goal of MDiv/MSW dual degree programs is to prepare students for positions of service and leadership in social agencies, churches, and the community. These programs aim to equip students to step into roles in various forms of ministry and services where administrative and clinical skills in theology and social work are needed. Dual MDiv/MSW degree programs provide students with the theoretical knowledge and practical training experience to become ministers, chaplains, or other religious or faith-based leaders with professional social work skills.


MDiv/MSW dual degree programs combine two graduate degrees and, as such, can be challenging. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses will help you identify areas of weakness so you can improve your chances of success. Additionally, being passionate about your degree helps keep you stay motivated and on track to graduate, even if it may be hard at times.


If you choose to earn your degree through one of the best MDiv/MSW dual degree programs, you will learn new skills and gain essential abilities that will positively impact those around you. Some of the most important skills and abilities you will gain include the following.

1. You will gain a vast and deep understanding of religious and cultural teachings:

Students in MDiv/MSW dual degree program learn about diverse religious and cultural beliefs. Your understanding of these topics will help you understand why people in faith-based settings feel and believe in certain ways. This understanding will help you make informed decisions and provide culturally competent, patient-centered care and counseling.

2. The ability to counsel congregation or religious group members:

MDiv/MSW dual degree programs teach you the skills and abilities necessary to counsel people who may need access to professional social work services. You can offer advice and counseling services that also respect and meet the needs of congregations or religious groups.

3. Leadership skills for professional religious roles:

Dual MDiv/MSW degree programs prepare you with leadership skills that you can implement in various roles in the religious sector. The leadership skills you develop will help you serve individuals, families, and communities by providing spiritually focused guidance and advocacy.

4. The ability to provide critical social services to commonly misunderstood and underrepresented communities:

In an MDiv/MSW dual degree program, you will learn to provide critical social services to underrepresented or misunderstood people. The knowledge and skills you gain will help you meet people where they are by removing the barriers to social services or spiritual guidance. You will learn measures to provide essential services which positively impact others.

5. You will learn to exercise therapeutic communication:

It is crucial for social workers and religious leaders to use therapeutic communication skills to establish rapport with others. Students in MDiv/MSW dual degree programs learn effective ways to demonstrate empathy and compassion to communicate effectively.


If you are considering earning your degrees through MDiv/MSW dual degree programs, chances are you want to know the pros and cons. The following are three main advantages of these programs.

1. The dual degree takes less time:

If you were to complete MDiv and MSW degrees separately, it could take five years or longer. Dual MDiv/MSW programs combine the curriculum of two programs, often with some credits overlapping, which reduces the time it takes to earn the degree. You may complete one of these programs in three or four years, depending on whether you enroll part-time or full-time.

2. Complementary Curriculums and Field Practicum:

MDiv/MSW dual degree programs offer excellent curriculum plans that complement each component. For example, your MSW program may require you to complete field experiences or practicums in religious or faith-based settings. The complementary curriculum plans provide you with a solid foundation upon which you will integrate the knowledge and skills of both specialties in private practice.

3. You can save money earning your degrees simultaneously:

One of the great things about MDiv/MSW dual degree programs is that you can earn two degrees, sometimes for the cost of one. Additionally, many seminary schools offering the MDiv degree offer excellent scholarships, grants, and other financial aid opportunities.


Many dual MDiv/MSW programs are offered as a collaborative effort between two schools, and each component of the dual degree may have a different start date. Some schools allow students to choose which component, MDiv or MSW, to begin first, while others have a set curriculum plan. Be careful to consider the start dates for each component of the program before committing to a school. The following are examples of start dates for some of the nation's best MDiv/MSW dual degree programs.

Washington University in St. Louis offers an MDiv/MSW dual degree program in collaboration with the Eden Theological Seminary and Brown School of Social Work. The MDiv and MSW programs begin in the fall of each year. Most students begin the dual degree by pursuing the Master of Divinity and then transfer to the MSW program.

The MSW/MDiv program at Baylor University and Truett Seminary begins in the fall semester yearly.

The School of Social Work at the University of Georgia and Emory University’s Candler School of Theology offer another excellent dual degree MDiv/MSW program. Classes for both the MDiv and MSW program components begin in the fall semester. You may choose the pathway you prefer to begin your studies.

Andrews University has a collaboration between the School of Social Work in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Seventh-Day Adventist Theological Seminary to offer an MDiv/MSW dual degree program. The MSW program component has start dates in the spring, summer, and fall semesters. The Theological Seminary offers one start date in both the fall and spring and three start dates in the summer semester.

At the University of Louisville, you can begin the MSW portion of the dual degree MDiv/MSW program in the summer, fall, or spring. The MDiv portion of this dual degree, which is offered through Louisville Seminary, starts once a year in the fall.


The curriculum for MDiv/MSW dual degree programs is established by the schools offering the programs. Most programs require students to complete between 100 and 130 credits to satisfy the dual degree criteria. The credits each student needs may vary, depending on previous academic achievements and whether there are transferable credits from a prior degree. The list below outlines credit requirements at some of the top MDiv/MSW programs in the nation.

The MDiv/MSW dual degree program offered at Union Theological Seminary features a 105-credit hour curriculum.

The University of Georgia’s dual MDiv/MSW degree program, offered in collaboration with Emory University, features a 128-credit curriculum. 68 credits are earned from the MDiv component and 60 in the MSW component.

The dual degree MDiv/MSW at Duke Divinity School leads to a Master of Social Work degree conferred by the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a Master of Divinity awarded by Duke University. Students complete 110 credits, 50 from the MSW program and 60 from the M.Div. program.

The MDiv/MSW dual degree program offered at the University of Texas at Austin requires students to complete 101 semester hours or credits. In this program, you will earn 45 MSW credits and 56 MDiv credits.

The MSW/ Master of Divinity dual degree through Washington University in St. Louis- Brown School and the Eden Theological Seminary requires 114 credits.


On average, you can earn your degree from one of the best dual MDiv/MSW programs in four years. The time it takes you to complete the program will be determined by whether you pursue your degrees part-time or full-time and the number of credits you need to graduate. The following are examples of how long it takes to complete five of the top MDiv/MSW dual degree programs in the nation.

The MDiv/MSW dual degree program through Northeastern Seminary at Roberts Wesleyan College takes four and a half years to complete. Two and a half years are spent in seminary, and two years are spent in the MSW program.

Western Theological Seminary’s dual track Master of Divinity -Master of Social Work can be completed in as little as four years if you enroll full-time. The school also offers a part-time, five-year option with a distance-learning format.

The MDiv/MSW dual degree program AT the University of Georgia can be completed in four years of continuous full-time study.

The University of Pittsburgh’s MDiv/MSW joint master’s degree can be completed in four years.

The MSW/M.Div. dual degree from Rutger’s University and the Princeton Theological Seminary can be earned in three years.


The cost of MDiv/MSW dual degree programs varies from one school to another. Some programs cost around $50,000, while others cost as much as $200,000. Many schools offer scholarships and grant opportunities, as well as work-study programs or opportunities for paid internships, which can help reduce the cost of the programs. The following are examples of the cost of five of the top dual MDiv/MSW degree programs in the nation.

The MDiv/MSW dual degree offered at Boston University costs $37,838 per year. The program takes four years to complete, making the total tuition cost $151,352.

Students pursuing the dual MDiv/MSW degree at the University of Denver pay a per-credit tuition rate for MSW courses and an annual tuition rate for the MDiv program. In-state students pay $786 per credit, and out-of-state students pay $1,284. The MSW component requires 81 credits, making that part of the dual degree cost between $63,666 and $104,004, depending on your residency status. The MDiv component takes two years to complete and costs $19,824 per academic year. The total degree costs in-state students an average of $103,314 and out-of-state students $143,652.

The MDiv/MSW dual degree program at Yale University is a collaborative effort between the University of Connecticut School of Social Work and Yale Divinity School. Students pay tuition at the school they are currently attending. The MSW portion of the program takes two years and costs in-state students $38,364 and out-of-state students $82,188. The MDiv degree costs approximately $103,236. This means in-state students pay approximately $141,600, and out-of-state students pay $185,424 to earn both degrees.

Students pursuing the dual MDiv/MSW degree at Princeton Theological Seminary complete three years at the school and one year at Rutger University to complete the MSW component. Tuition for three years at Princeton Theological Seminary costs an average of $59,250. At Rutgers, in-state students pay $18,696, and out-of-state students pay $31,800. Therefore, the total program cost for in-state students is $77,946 and $91,050 for out-of-state students.

Emory University and the University of Georgia partner to offer another excellent MDiv/MSW dual degree program. You will complete two years at the Emory-Candler School of Theology, which costs $49,400. The remaining two years are completed through the University of Georgia School of Social Work and cost $17,396 for residents and $49,352 for non-residents, and $98,752 for non-residents.


The minimum GPA requirement for admission to dual MDiv/MSW programs varies. Most schools require applicants to have at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. However, some schools use a holistic approach to evaluate candidates and use the GPA as only one part of the admission review. The following are a few examples of GPA requirements for some of the top programs.

At Boston University, there is no minimum GPA required for the traditional MSW track, which is one component of the MSW/MDiv dual degree. However, the School of Theology requires applicants to have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 for all college coursework.

Candidates seeking admission to the Yale University dual MDiv/MSW degree program must have a minimum college GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Admission to the MDiv/MSW dual degree program at Howard University requires a minimum 3.0 college grade point average.

Prospective students applying to the dual MDiv/MSW program at the University of Texas at Austin must have a 3.0 or higher college GPA.

Applicants who wish to pursue the MDiv/MSW dual degree program at Baylor University must apply to both the Baylor University School of Social Work and George W. Truett Theological Seminary. Admission to the MDiv pathway requires a minimum 2.7 undergraduate GPA. The School of Social Work reviews applicants holistically but prefers candidates with at least a 3.0 grade point average.


Many MDiv/MSW dual degree programs require you to complete applications for both the MSW and MDiv degrees, which means you may need to meet admission criteria for each program separately. The following is an overview of the admission requirements for five of the top programs featured in this article.

Northeastern Seminary requires applicants to meet the admission criteria for the MSW program at Roberts Wesleyan College and the seminary requirements through Northeastern. The combined requirements include the following. Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree earned at an accredited college or university, a minimum GPA of 2.75, the ability to complete graduate coursework, and the completion of prerequisite classes. You must submit two recommendations, a written personal statement, a resume, and official transcripts.

The dual MDiv/MSW program at Union Theological Seminary is offered in collaboration with Hunter College of New York. Prospective students must apply to both schools. Union Theological Seminary requires candidates to submit three letters of professional recommendation, a statement of purpose, a resume, and previous academic transcripts. With your application to the Hunter College New York School of Social Work, you must provide two letters of professional recommendation, a writing sample, and complete an admissions interview. Hunter College requires applicants to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0.

Prospective students wishing to earn a dual MDiv/MSW degree at Texas Christian University must apply to the TCU Department of Social Work and Brite Divinity School. Candidates must have a baccalaureate degree and a minimum college GPA of 3.0. You must submit official transcripts from any college or university you attended and complete prerequisite coursework. Additionally, candidates must provide three letters of professional and/or academic recommendation, a personal statement, and a professional resume. You will also participate in an admissions interview with Brite Divinity School program faculty.

Loyola University Chicago has a more streamlined admissions process, allowing candidates to apply for admission using one application. You must provide all official college transcripts, two professional letters of reference, a written statement of purpose that answers specific questions provided during the application process, and a resume. International students will need to fulfill additional language requirements.

When applying for the MDiv/MSW dual degree program at Howard University, you must submit separate MSW and MDiv applications. Admission requirements for entry into the dual degree program include the following. Candidates must have a minimum GPA of 3.0, and a liberal arts background from their undergraduate degree. Applicants enrolled in the MSW program must complete field placements in faith-based organizations.


The best dual MDiv/MSW programs offer high-quality, rigorous curriculum plans from two distinct programs. The following are examples of classes you will take at some of the top programs.

Courses for the MDiv/MSW dual degree program at Western Theological Seminary include Old Testament Foundations, Foundations of Christian Life, Church History, Worship Foundations, New Testament Foundations, Christian Interior Life, and Systematic Theology.

Some of the courses you will take at the University of Pittsburgh include Genesis through Esther, Foundations/ Christian Story, Intro to Caring Ministry, Ethics and Society, Social Work Practice with Diverse Populations, Social Welfare, and Human Behavior & Social Environment.

Courses for the Boston University MDiv/MSW dual degree program include Human Behavior, Intro to Social Work Clinical Practice, Communities & Organizations, and Racial Justice. MDiv courses include Intro to Christian Traditions, Practicing Faith, and Christianity Engaging Modernity.

The University of Texas at Austin dual MDiv/MSW program curriculum includes Theories & Critical Perspectives of Human Behavior & the Social Environment, Dynamics of Organizations & Communities, Clinical Assessment & Differential Diagnosis, Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, Introduction to Homiletics, Pastoral Counseling, and Historical & Contemporary Issues in Mission & Evangelism.

The MDiv/MSW dual degree program offered by Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary includes classes such as Foundations of Social Work Practice, Social Work Research, Advocacy in Social Work Practice, Religions in the City: Introduction to Interreligious Engagement, Socially Engaged Buddhism, and Women in the Black Freedom Movement.


MDiv/MSW dual degree programs have a practical training component students must complete. Each school determines the practical training requirements for its programs in accordance with state and federal guidelines and guidelines set forth by accrediting agencies. The following are examples of some of the practical training requirements for some of the programs featured in this article.

Students enrolled in the MDiv/MSW dual degree program at Loyola University Chicago complete two MSW internships, accumulating at least 1,000 hours of experience. The MDiv component of the program includes Clinical Pastoral Education designed to allow you to exercise and learn pastoral skills under the supervision of a certified pastoral supervisor. Most CPE training occurs in hospital settings.

Washington University in St. Louis’s MSW practical training requirements include two practicums. The first is a foundation practicum totaling 360 hours, and the second is a 600-hour concentrated practicum. Program faculty assist students in finding clinical training sites and preceptors. Practical training for the MDiv part of your degree at Eden Theological Seminary involves contextual education, which is a mix of community and congregational seminars that occur throughout your program.

The practical training at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and Duke Divinity School are seamlessly integrated to provide you with specialized training to ensure your future career success. You will complete two units of field education for your MDiv degree, one working with a faith-based congregation. Students can complete the MDiv practical training in 10 weeks full-time during the summer semester or in 30 weeks part-time. The MSW portion of the dual degree program includes two field education experiences. MSW field training occurs during the third and fourth years of the program. The first MSW training is 450 hours, and the second is 665 hours.

At Andrews University, MSW/MDiv students will complete 900 field hours to fulfill the requirements of their MSW degree. 400 hours will occur during your first year, and 500 hours will occur during your second year. You will have four different placements to give you experience in a variety of different settings. You will take courses at the same time as your field hours to help you connect your coursework with the hands-on skills you will be learning. There are no specific additional practical training requirements for the associated MDiv degree from the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary.

The MSW practical training requirements at Marywood University include 920 field hours. 440 hours occur in the first year, and 480 hours occur in the second year. You will collaborate with the Field Education Director to locate and secure practical training sites and qualified preceptors. This will be an opportunity for you to select locations that align with your MDiv program for a more individualized experience. For the MDiv portion of your program, which is completed through the Moravian Theological Seminary, you will complete supervised ministry and intercultural immersion experiences. These experiences involve working with ministry leaders to learn about their roles and become immersed in local, national, or international cultures to enhance your life and educational experiences.


(Based on our ranking methodology, the following are the 27 Best Online and Campus-Based Dual MDiv/MSW Programs in the nation for the year 2023.)

1. Washington University in St. Louis - St. Louis, MO

2. University of Chicago - Chicago, IL

3. Columbia University - New York, NY

4. University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, NC

5. The University of Texas at Austin - Austin, TX

6. Boston University - Boston, MA

7. University of Denver - Denver, CO

8. Duke Divinity School - Durham, NC

9. Yale University - New Haven, CT

10. Howard University - Washington, DC

11. Rutgers, The State University Of New Jersey - New Brunswick, NY

12. University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh, PA

13. Emory University - Atlanta, GA

14. Loyola University Chicago - Chicago, IL

15. University of Georgia - Athens, GA

16. University of Louisville - Louisville, KY

17. Baylor University - Waco, TX

18. Princeton Theological Seminary - Princeton, NJ

19. Saint Louis University - St. Louis, MO

20. Texas Christian University - Fort Worth, TX

21. Marywood University - Scranton, PA

22. Andrews University - Berrien Springs, MI

23. Union Theological Seminary - New York, NY

24. Western Theological Seminary - Holland, MI

25. Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary - Austin, TX

26. Northeastern Seminary at Roberts Wesleyan College - Rochester, NY

27. Virginia Union University - St, Richmond, VA



Graduates of MDiv/MSW dual degree programs work in a variety of settings. The following are three of the most common places graduates may work.

1. Religious and faith-based organizations:

MDiv/MSW dual degree holders work in many religious or faith-based settings and can fulfill roles such as chaplain, minister, and spiritual advisor, to name a few. There are many opportunities within these organizations to use your degree and provide services.

2. Clinical settings where counseling services are provided:

Many religious non-profit organizations, churches, and faith-based organizations offer counseling services to the communities they serve. As a graduate of MDiv/MSW dual degree programs, you will be highly qualified to provide services and work within these clinical settings.

3. Social justice organizations:

The unique skills that MSW/MDiv graduates possess are highly valuable in social justice organizations. The dual degree program will prepare you with a rich understanding of diverse cultural and religious perspectives, which allows you to become an effective advocate dealing with spiritually relevant social justice issues.


Like there are many job settings where graduates of dual MDiv/MSW programs work, there are also several jobs you can get after graduating. The following are three of the top jobs for program graduates.

1. Chaplain:

Chaplains provide essential support and counseling services to patients and their loved ones within hospitals, hospices, and other healthcare facilities. They can also hold more traditional roles in churches and other organizations. Providing holistic support by incorporating spirituality within your social work practice will benefit everyone you serve.

2. Clinical Social Worker:

You can choose to work in this more traditional role while offering the unique perspective and knowledge that comes from your MDiv degree. As a clinical social worker, you can specialize in areas of clinical practice such as mental health or substance abuse and provide a unique spiritual perspective that can better serve these populations.

3. Pastoral Counselor:

Provide counseling services that combine both a spiritual and emotional component that better meets the individual needs of people within the faith or religious communities. While counseling services they receive outside of their community may meet their emotional needs, it may not acknowledge the spiritual aspects of their life that can be just as important.


New graduates of dual MDiv/MSW programs earn approximately $19.37 per hour, $775 per week, or $3,360 per month. This pay is equivalent to $40,280 per year.



The average annual salary for graduates of dual MDiv/MSW programs is $66,700. This pay equals $5,560 per month, $1,283 per week, or $32.07 per hour.



The job outlook for graduates of dual MDiv/MSW programs is positive. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects graduates will see an 11.09% growth rate between 2021 to 2031. This positive job outlook reflects the growing need for qualified social workers who can provide critical counseling services. The added benefit of having both degrees also positively impacts your job outlook as you can serve communities in diverse settings that others may not feel comfortable working within.

(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


MDiv/MSW dual degree programs can be expensive, with some costing as much as $200,000. The average annual income for program graduates is $66,700. If you attend one of the more expensive programs, it could take you four or five years to earn a return on your investment. However, after that time, you should see a positive return. Another thing to consider is that many people pursue this dual degree because of the personal rewards, such as the satisfaction of helping people in need and being an advocate to bridge the gap between faith and social issues.


Once you decide to pursue a degree through dual MDiv/MSW programs, the next step is to apply. Admission to some schools can be competitive, but there are ways to make your application stand out. The following are three tips for helping enhance your application and improve your chances of getting accepted into top dual MDiv/MSW programs.

1. Volunteer with faith-based social service agencies.

Find social service agencies near you that serve faith-based or religious communities and volunteer. When you volunteer at these agencies, you demonstrate a commitment to service relevant to both degrees, which makes you a favorable candidate for admission.

2. Carefully choose qualified references.

MDiv/MSW dual degree programs require applicants to submit letters of recommendation with their application. You should choose the sources of your recommendations carefully, as admission faculty consider their opinions important. Choose people who can speak to your academic abilities, character, religious experiences, and influence.

3. Write a powerful admissions essay/statement of intent.

While letters of recommendation are essential and carefully considered, your admissions essay or statement of intent is your opportunity to speak for yourself and let admissions faculty get to know you. Your statement should be well thought out, professionally crafted, and demonstrate a genuine desire to earn the dual degree. Discuss why you chose this dual degree path, feel the school is the right choice for you, and believe you are the right candidate for admission. Clearly define your personal and professional goals and why you believe they are essential.


If you want to earn both Master of Divinity and Master of Social work degrees, it is natural to wonder, “What are the best MDiv/MSW dual degree programs?” There is much to consider before committing to a dual MDiv/MSW degree program. If you feel this career path is something you want to pursue, the 27 best MDiv/MSW dual degree programs for 2023 featured in this article are excellent options to help you achieve your goals.


1. What Is The Best MDiv/MSW Dual Degree Program In The Nation?

Per our research findings, the best MDiv/MSW dual degree program in the nation is offered at Washington University in St. Louis.

Washington University in St. Louis - St. Louis, MO

2. What Is The Minimum GPA To Get Into MDiv/MSW Dual Degree Programs?

The minimum GPA requirement to get into MDiv/MSW dual degree programs ranges from 2.75 to 3.0.

3. What Is The Typical Cost-Per-Credit For Dual MDiv/MSW Programs?

The typical cost-per-credit for dual MDiv/MSW degree programs ranges from $400-$2,000. The large variance is due to where you live and the tuition differences between the MSW and MDiv schools.

4. What Are The Most Difficult Classes In Dual MDiv/MSW Programs?

Which classes are the most difficult in MDiv/MSW dual degree programs is a matter of opinion. A class that you find challenging may be easier for another student and vice versa. While there is no way to determine which classes you will find most challenging, some of the hardest in the curriculum are believed to be World Christianity through World Literature, Pluralism, Dialogue, & Witness, Communities & Organizations, Racial Justice, and Clinical Assessment & Differential Diagnosis.

5. Can I Work Part-Time And Complete This Program?

It is possible to work part-time and complete this program. It takes careful planning and good time management skills, but success is possible.

6. Can I Work Full-Time And Complete This Program?

In MDiv/MSW dual degree programs, you will take regular classes and must participate in field training which takes a lot of time. You may be able to work full-time, but it can present challenges.

7. How Much Do New Graduates Of This Program Make?

New graduates of MDiv/MSW dual degree programs make approximately $40,280 per year.


8. On An Average, How Much Can Graduates Of This Program Make Per Hour?

Graduates of dual MDiv/MSW programs make an average of $32.07 per hour.


9. On An Average, How Much Can Graduates Of This Program Per Month?

The average monthly income of MDiv/MSW dual degree programs graduates is $5,560.


10. On An Average, How Much Can Graduates Of Dual MDiv/MSW Programs Make Per Year?

The average annual salary of graduates of dual MDiv/MSW degree programs is $66,700.


Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years' experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels.