Making It Work

Our best students are busy people.

School, work, life – at MTSO you can succeed in all three. Wondering how? You'll find some answers below. If you have a question you don't see, please ask us via e-mail or by calling 800-333-6876.

Can I juggle full-time school and full-time life?

Too many aspiring Christian leaders are torn by a difficult choice between a quality graduate program and a fast, affordable one. That's why we provide two distinct pathways to a Master of Divinity degree, each within its own timetable:

  • Connections offers busy students MTSO's unique combination of on-campus and online learning. M.Div. students in the Connections program will be on campus one day a week for six semesters, earning a degree in just 33 months.
  • You're also free to pursue your degree at a more personal pace, allowing you to pick from daytime, evening, intensive and occasional weekend courses, completing the M.Div. within a flexible timetable.

With a host of options for class scheduling and overnight campus accommodations available, many full-time MTSO students are able to work, serve in ministry and live elsewhere – a good number of them in other states.

For our Master of Arts in Counseling Ministries, Master of Arts in Practical Theology and Master of Theological Studies students, we offer an array of scheduling options. Almost all of our fall and spring classes meet just once a week, generally in three-hour blocks, sometime from Monday through Thursday. Additionally, some courses are offered in a weekend format, with the classes meeting Friday evening and Saturday for five weekends.

Another possibility to consider: Along with two standard semesters, MTSO offers short, intensive terms in January, July and August. This allows you to compress an entire semester's worth of study into two or three weeks of weekday classes.

View all of our course schedules on the Registrar page.

Can I live on campus?

Very few seminaries can offer the quality, variety and affordability of on-campus housing options that MTSO students enjoy. Options include efficiency and one-bedroom apartments for singles as well as one- and two-bedroom townhomes for families. We also have students who live elsewhere in Ohio - and surrounding states such as Michigan, Indiana and Pennsylvania - who enjoy the hospitality of MTSO's residence hall one to three nights per week. Housing details are here.

Dunn Dining Hall offers healthful, delicious lunch options - featuring food grown at our own Seminary Hill Farm - for both on-campus residents and commuters.

What if I'm not United Methodist?

You'll find students from 15 denominations on our campus, drawn by a strong ecumenical spirit. They know MTSO has the people, connections and resources to prepare them for leadership and ordination in their own churches.

The faculty includes members of a number of faith traditions, including African Methodist Episcopal, American Baptist, Church of God (Anderson, Indiana), Church of the Brethren, Lutheran, Mennonite, Presbyterian Church (USA), United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church.

What if I am United Methodist, but not from Ohio?

You'll find the best of the United Methodist connectional system at MTSO. Students representing 14 annual conferences study together on our campus.

How does somebody my age fit in?

You won't find a better, more invigorating blend of ages and life experiences than MTSO's student body offers. That's important. Effective intergenerational communication is vital in real-world ministry. You'll experience it here every day.

Yet you're virtually assured of finding peers in your age group. These are the ages of our students as of Fall Semester 2019:

  • 34 percent are under 35.
  • 38 percent are 35-49.
  • 28 percent are 50 and over.

What about someone with my background?

There is no "typical" MTSO student. We have counted among our students an automotive engineer, a VP of public policy for a non-profit group, a partner in a Big Four accounting firm and a former state legislator.

Some of our students came to MTSO straight from their undergraduate studies. Others came to broaden their skills in ministries they had already begun. And a good number are finally pursuing a long-deferred dream of serious religious inquiry.

What if I have more questions?

Let's talk. Email us or call us at 800-333-6876.