The University of Aberdeen is following Scottish Government Guidelines in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes adhering to physical distancing measures to support a safe environment for our staff and students. Therefore, the programme structure and delivery method for September 2020 may differ slightly from that listed on this page. Find out more about September 2020 study with us.

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.

Study Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
24 months
Study Mode
Part Time
Start Month
September or January
Subject marketing image

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 a changing, challenging and complex social and cultural environment.

This programme provides students with the option of starting their studies either in September or January and 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 Aberdeen University over a two year period. In addition to on-campus courses, we also offer online teaching and seminars.

Another 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.

Since this is a part-time programme, students who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK are unable to apply. However, we offer other full-time masters programmes which may be of interest. Please see the bottom of the page for related PGT programmes.

What You'll Study

Year 1

Year 1

Compulsory Courses
Spiritual Formation (DR503J)

30 Credit Points

Christian Spiritual Formation involves the transformation of the whole person to the character of Jesus Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit. It is concerned with people’s attitudes, character, intentions and thoughts, and the development of their spiritual maturity. This course will explore and study the personal disciplines and practices which Christians have exercised in their attempts and efforts to grow in their relationship with God over the centuries. Students will have the opportunity to reflect upon the usefulness and relevance of these texts in their own spiritual journeys and to their present spheres of ministry.

View detailed information about this course
Patterns and Principles of Church Leadership (DR553K)

30 Credit Points

Opportunities to explore and reflect on principles and patterns of church leadership in both the first and twenty-first centuries. In studying the New Testament sources, the relevance of both informed historical and theological study will be apparent; the relevance of distinguishing between descriptive and prescriptive New Testament content will be evaluated; and the extent to which the context for church may be determinative for patterns of church leadership will be identified. This will provide a basis for reflecting on various issues that surround current practices of church leadership.

View detailed information about this course
Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses
Preaching: Exploring the Theology and Practice of Christian Witness (DR503M)

30 Credit Points

This course engages students in a sustained exploration of theology and practice of preaching in the context of Christian worship with a view to the wider horizon of public communication. Initial investigation of traditional and contemporary theologies of the Word prepares us to focus upon the theological and rhetorical analysis of actual sermons considered in video, audio and textual forms.

Download Course Guide

View detailed information about this course
Christian Practices (DR553M)

30 Credit Points

Christian practices are not activities as such, and neither are they religious duties. They are, rather, patterns of communal life within the Christian tradition that address fundamental human needs by revealing the presence and power of God. Practices point beyond the individualism of our present culture and disclose the social qualities of the Christian life. This course will explore the role and the effect which a number of Christian practices have played in the lives of local congregations.

View detailed information about this course
Dissertation (DR552G)

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

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 and followed by two fortnightly online seminars. This is followed by a final four 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
  • Peer Learning
  • Seminars

Assessment Methods

The taught courses will be assessed by a variety of means that may include book reviews, seminar presentations and written assignments. The dissertation course will be assessed by submission of the dissertation.

Why Study Ministry Studies (Aberdeen)?

  • 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

David Young

David Young

David Young

This is an excellent course which I recommend to anyone seeking to expand their knowledge and understanding of key practical ministry topics. The teaching is of a high quality and each module is structured to encourage discussion and reflection.

Jenny Adams

Jenny Adams

Jenny Adams

The MTh in Ministry Studies offers study of relevant, inspiring and thought-provoking subjects in a supportive learning community, with practical arrangements which recognise other life commitments.

Entry Requirements

For more information about the application process, including details about which supporting documents you will be asked to provide, please click here.


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.

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

Fee Information

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £3,350
Tuition Fees for 2019/20 Academic Year This programme runs part time over two academic years. This fee is for the 2019/20 academic year - additional fees will be payable for the 2020/21 academic year.
International Students £7,950
Tuition Fees for 2019/20 Academic Year This programme runs part time over two academic years. This fee is for the 2019/20 academic year - additional fees will be payable for the 2020/21 academic year.
Home / EU / RUK Students £4,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year This programme runs part time over two academic years. This fee is for the 2019/20 academic year - additional fees will be payable for the 2020/21 academic year.
International Students £9,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year This programme runs part time over two academic years. This fee is for the 2019/20 academic year - additional fees will be payable for the 2020/21 academic year.

Additional Fee Information

  • 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.

Funding Opportunities

The James Carnegie maintenance scholarship for postgraduate students is available with this degree.


Eligible self-funded international Masters students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Visit our Funding Database to find out more and see our full range of scholarships.

Postgraduate Open Day

Register to attend our Virtual Open Day on and speak live with academics.
Find out about life at the University of Aberdeen with a live Q&A with current students.

Register Now


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
Dr Andrew Clarke
Reverend Dr Jim Gordon, Honorary Lecturer , University of Aberdeen
Professor Chris Brittain
Dr Marie-Luise Ehrenschwendtner
Bishop Hugh Gilbert, Catholic Bishop of Aberdeen, Scotland , RC Diocese 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