The University of Aberdeen has trained Christian ministers since it was founded in 1495 by Bishop William Elphinstone who devoted learning to ‘the pursuit of truth in the service of others.’ The new flexible Master of Theology in Ministry Studies programme has been designed to enable church leaders to reflect deeply upon the theology and practice of Christian ministry in today’s world.

This is a distance learning programme.

A two year, part-time degree programme in Practical Theology, the MTh in Ministry Studies combines an intellectually challenging and practically significant introduction to the nature of Christian ministry in today’s world.

This programme has been carefully created so that it is accessible to those who are already engaged in either full-time or part-time, ordained or lay Christian ministry. It is built around four one-week intensive modules held in September and January that will be delivered at Zomba Theological College over a two year period.

Zomba Theological College is a modern self-sustaining independent Christian University offering quality education based on Christian principles and values. It trains people based on these principles and values to become productive citizens for the transformation of the society spiritually, politically, morally and socio-economically while also providing advisory services through consultancy and research.

A unique aspect of this programme is that there are various exits points, leading to different qualifications:

  • Four courses and a dissertation leads to the MTh (180 credits).
  • Four courses leads to the Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) (120 credits).
  • Two courses leads to the Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) (60 credits).

Students may also attend individual courses that can be accumulated towards either the Masters degree, the Diploma, or the Certificate over an extended period of up to four years.

Recruitment will take place biannually and the programme will run from September 2019. The deadline for applications for the September 2019 intake is 30 April 2019.

Degree marketing image

Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
Distance Learning
Degree Qualification
24 months
Study Mode
Part Time
Start Month

What You'll Study

Year 1

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Patterns and Principles of Church Leadership (DR504L)
Spiritual Formation (DR554M)
Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses

Christian Practices (DR554J)
Preaching to Change the World: Exploring the Theology and Practice of Christian Witness (DR504K)
Dissertation (DR554N) - 60 Credit Points

20,000 word dissertation written on a topic related to the student's taught Master's programme and agreed to by the supervisor and the programme co-ordinator.

View detailed information about this course

Course Availability

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

The course includes four modules which are preceded by a three week guided reading course. This is followed by an eight week period during which students complete their written assessment tasks. After the four modules are completed, students write a final 20,000 word dissertation.

  • Option one: two courses leads to a Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits).
  • Option two: four courses leads to a Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) Neither the Diploma nor the Certificate options require the completion of the dissertation.
  • Option three: four courses and dissertation leads to the MTh (180 credits).
  • Option four: students may attend individual courses that can be accumulated towards either the Certificate or the Diploma or the Masters degree over an extended period of up to four years.

Classes are in seminar form. The dissertation will be written over the summer of the second half-session.

Learning Methods

  • E-learning
  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Seminars

Why Study Ministry Studies (Malawi)?

  • The theologians and contributors to the programme have been or remain pastors and ministers. The MTh Ministry Studies programme, therefore, is taught by scholars who are experienced, practicing ministers.

  • The programme provides church leaders with an opportunity to reflect theologically upon their practices of ministry and therefore may assist in your Continuous Professional Development.

  • Flexible in its part-time format, it allows those already engaged in full or part-time, ordained or lay ministry to take a full and active part.

  • The wide ranging courses allow you to develop new understanding and revised practices which are faithful and transformative.

  • The programme has been purposefully designed in order to create a community of learners which is an integral and important feature of this course

What Our Students Say

Moses Chitawo

Moses Chitawo

Moses Chitawo

This is a must course for people in ministry. It has helped me both spiritually and practically as a minister. With the perfect knowledge acquired, the ministry is taking another direction

Helmart Kaliza

Helmart Kaliza

Helmart Kaliza

Upon my admission into the M.Th.MS program, I knew it would be a challenge and a major achievement. With Aberdeen University, my biblical and theological foundations for effective ministry have been broadened.

Cosmas Pamaso

Cosmas Pamaso

Cosmas Pamaso

‘The entire MTh Ministry Studies programme has deepened and developed my analytical skills in subjects surrounding ministry. I have grown in knowledge and have experienced a sharpened transformation intellectually, spiritually and practically.

Entry Requirements

Additional Document - Please supply a Writing Sample (1500 word essay on any Theological/Christian Subject)


The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

In general, an upper second class Honours degree or equivalent is required. However, for candidates who do not meet this admission criteria, alternative / lower qualifications combined with relevant professional experience and supportive references may also be considered as a means for entry.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 6.0; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0


OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 21; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 54; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 169; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

an up-to-date CV/Resumé
Degree Certificate
a degree certificate showing your qualifications
Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme
Reference x 2
two reference letters, one of which should be from your university discussing your academic ability. If you have been out of education for a long time you may wish to use your current or most recent employers, or other professional individuals
Writing Sample
word essay on the subject

Fees and Funding

Fees are £1075 UK pounds per year (payable in four instalments over each year).

Please note that the information below about International non-EU Applicants, Funding, and International Applicants is not relevant to students applying to the MTh Ministry Studies (Malawi) programme.

Please refer to our InfoHub Tuition Fees page for fee information for this programme, or contact

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.


Our core aim and vision in designing the MTh Ministry Studies is to give practicing church leaders the opportunity to be renewed in their ministries.

The unique team of scholars in the Divinity department of the University of Aberdeen who contribute to this programme have worked at the ‘coalface’ of ministry. The Programme Co-ordinator, Rev Dr Ken Jeffrey, served as a parish minister for fourteen years. Therefore, this is a programme that is delivered by people who understand the particular challenges of ministry that are experienced by the church in the twenty first century.

Christian Ministers Trained Since 1495

The University of Aberdeen has trained Christian Ministers since its founding in 1495 by Bishop William Elphinstone, who devoted learning to 'the pursuit of truth in the service of others'.

Our Experts

Dr Kenneth Jeffrey
Other Experts
Professor Chris Brittain
Dr Andrew Clarke
Dr Marie-Luise Ehrenschwendtner
Bishop Hugh Gilbert , Catholic Bishop of Aberdeen, Scotland , RC Diocese of Aberdeen
Reverend Dr Jim Gordon , Honorary Lecturer , University of Aberdeen
Dr Leon van Ommen
Professor John Swinton
Professor Philip Ziegler

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

School of Divinity, History and Philosophy
University of Aberdeen
50-52 College Bounds
AB24 3DS