Embedded Certificates

McAfee’s Master of Divinity students have the opportunity to earn one of five specialized certificates embedded within their M.Div. degree program. Certificates provide for students further specialization within their field, opportunities for professional development, and increased depth in both theory and practice. Certificates are offered exclusively to M.Div. students and awarded upon the completion of their degree.


Certificates are open to all McAfee School of Theology Master of Divinity students as part of the degree program. Students must complete all requirements of both the Certificate they are seeking and the M.Div. degree in order to receive the Certificate. Students in the Graduate Certificate in Theological Studies and other Non-Degree Students, as well as MACM and MTS students are not eligible to participate in this certificate program.

Christian Ethics

The Certificate in Christian Ethics is designed for students who recognize the centrality of moral character, moral discernment, and moral witness in Christian discipleship, ministry, and church life, and who are pursuing vocations that will specialize in such efforts.

Congregational Ministry

The Certificate in Congregational Ministry is designed for students with a vocational calling to church ministry. Students will engage in courses and professional formation that will augment their knowledge and skills for leadership, preaching, pastoral care, and faith formation in diverse congregational settings.

Faith-Based Social Transformation

This certificate is for students seeking to engage in advocacy work, community organizing, ecclesial transformation, and related forms of social, political, and economic witness from a Christian basis. Such work can either be a part of congregational ministry; local, national, or international nonprofit work; social justice activism; or involve the delivery and governance of public education, health, welfare, prison injustice, food scarcity, or housing. This certificate provides an opportunity for students to build the networks needed for this work with others outside of the McAfee community who share a similar sense of vocation and a framework for students seeking to learn how to address the political dimensions of cultivating thriving communities.

Interfaith Dialogue

The Certificate in Interfaith Dialogue is designed for students who recognize that global peace and reconciliation is possible only when adherents of the world’s religions recognize their mutual dependence upon each other, learn to understand each other, and determine to work together to meet global challenges. The Certificate program helps students to frame an adequate theology of religions from within the Christian tradition that can serve as a foundation for dialogue and collaboration with persons of other faiths.

Spiritual Care

The Certificate in Spiritual Care is designed for students who are called to ministries of emotional support and spiritual guidance in a variety of settings, including congregations, public and private institutions, and community ministries. The Certificate offers two areas of focus. The chaplaincy/pastoral care focus prepares students for vocations as chaplains in institutional settings (e.g., hospitals, prisons, military, universities) or as ministers of pastoral care in congregational settings. The spiritual formation focus prepares students for careers as spiritual directors in congregational or other settings.

Trauma and Theology

The Certificate in Trauma and Theology is designed for students who recognize the need to address theological responses to trauma within various ministry contexts. Courses listed as eligible advanced electives may examine individual and communal traumas from historical, cultural, theological, pastoral, and/or clinical perspectives. Students who participate in this certificate program will better prepare themselves to minister in response to trauma.