Do you feel called to help others? To lead in ministry? To draw upon your faith to change the world?
Shenandoah and Wesley Theological Seminary (WTS) offer a fast-track, 3+3 program for students interested in pursuing graduate work in church and faith-based nonprofits leadership. You’ll seamlessly earn your bachelor’s degree and master’s degree, beginning your church leadership experience sooner, and with less academic debt.
This is a 3+3 program, which provides Shenandoah Religion Majors and/or students in the university’s Christian Leadership Certificate Program with a six-year path to earning both Shenandoah’s Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree and Wesley’s Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree.
Students can be admitted to the 3+3 fast-track program in one of two ways:
- Students are admitted to the program during their senior year of high school, during the freshman application process to Shenandoah University.
- Shenandoah students may be admitted to the 3+3 program during their freshmen year, working with and applying directly with the Office of Spiritual Life.
Once accepted into the 3+3 Fast-Track program, Shenandoah students must meet the following requirements by their junior year to move onto their Master of Divinity studies:
- Maintained a 3.0 GPA as evidenced by the Shenandoah transcript
- Completed at least 90 credit hours
- Completed all degree requirements including general education requirements and all required coursework for the religion major, or another major and the Faith Seeking Justice Christian Leadership program, leaving only BA electives to be completed.
- Complete all graduate program application materials by February 1 of the student’s junior year:
- Submit all official college transcripts to WTS.
- Exhibited the academic and emotional maturity necessary to enter graduate studies, confirmed by a letter from the Shenandoah religion department chair to the WTS director of admissions.
- Exhibited potential for Christian leadership, demonstrated by the submission of two additional letters of recommendation.
Completion of a personal statement.
- Submit one academic writing sample, at least five pages in length, for WTS admission and faculty review and approval.
Should the GPA, letters of recommendation, personal statement, and/or writing sample indicate that the student is unprepared to proceed to WTS, Shenandoah and WTS will work together with the student to determine next steps and alternative possibilities.
After students have met the junior year criteria for maintaining active status in the 3+3 program, the next three years lead to an MDiv based on the following path:
- Students who have completed at least 90 but fewer than 96 credits at the end of junior year must enroll in summer courses between junior and senior year, at either Shenandoah or WTS, to complete at least 96 credit hours prior to starting 4th year coursework at WTS. With any course that will be used toward both degrees, tuition will be paid directly to the institution providing the course(s).
- 4th year (first year in graduate studies), students must successfully complete no fewer than 24 semester hours of courses within the first 12 months, as designated by WTS, to complete the BA degree and fulfill the first year of the MDiv degree, in order to continue master’s-level studies.
- If, in those first 12 months, the student does not complete his/her bachelor’s degree at Shenandoah, his/her Wesley matriculation will be suspended until the BA degree is complete and the final transcript has been submitted to the WTS registrar.
- A student will be awarded a bachelor’s degree and designated an M.Div.-degree-seeking student at Wesley upon completion of the 24 credit hours, provided a student has met all requirements for the bachelor’s. An official Wesley transcript will be sent to Shenandoah’s registrar. Upon official student request, a copy of the final Shenandoah transcript will be submitted to the WTS registrar for this change of status.
- Students will complete the remaining 57 credit hours at Wesley and fulfill all requirements toward the M.Div., which will be awarded by WTS.
WTS will provide access to scholarships and financial aid to Shenandoah 3+3 program students for the WTS coursework to complete the final year of the B.A.
Learn More About the Partnership
Shenandoah University and Wesley Theological Seminary, both affiliated with the United Methodist Church, have once again partnered to benefit the church and the young leadership coming through their ranks. An agreement between Shenandoah and Wesley offers a streamlined approach for those who feel a call to leading the church and faith-based non-profits from both a clergy and lay perspective.
A 3+3 fast-track agreement will allow Shenandoah University undergraduate students to forgo their senior year and take classes at Wesley Theological Seminary instead. The credits will then transfer back to Shenandoah as electives.
This is not the first partnership between the schools. We have partnered on Calling 21, a summer internship opportunity for college students at Virginia Conference United Methodist congregations since 2006, and the Shenandoah University Youth Theology Institute, which begins this summer and is funded by a $600,000 Lilly Endowment grant. The Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church has also partnered with Shenandoah and Wesley in support of Calling 21 and the Youth Theology Institute.”
—Shenandoah University’s Assistant Vice President for Student Life Justin Allen, D.Min.
You’ll have the opportunity to study with a diverse core of deeply qualified and broadly experienced faculty with specialized expertise in spirituality and ethics.
Imagine participating in interesting conversations led by engaging professors who’ve already done what you dream of doing. You’ll be in a small class — the average class size is approximately 12 students — with professors who know your name, care about your success and provide advice as you pursue your academic and career goals.
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Shenandoah University works on rolling admissions and accepts applications throughout the year. Applications are reviewed individually and holistically.
Submit your application, review required admission materials, and find our admissions standards.