Bioethics and Theology

Dual Degree Master's Program

Candler offers dual degrees with either the Master of Divinity or the Master of Theological Studies and a Master of Arts in Bioethics (MA-Bioethics) in conjunction with the Laney Graduate School. Both programs prepare students for careers in faith-based organizations, patient advocacy or pastoral care in healthcare environments, public healthcare policy, or to pursue advanced studies in bioethics and moral theology.

Candidates for the dual degree program must apply to and be accepted by both Candler and Laney. The schools maintain independent application procedures.

MDiv/MA-Bioethics students typically spend their first year at Candler, their second year at Laney, and then return to Candler for the third and fourth year. During their enrollment in the MDiv program, students will be charged the current rate of tuition at Candler, and when enrolled in the Laney Graduate School, students will be charged the current rate of tuition for the MA-Bioethics Program.

MTS/MA-Bioethics students take courses at Candler and Laney at the same time, however they are typically enrolled at Laney in the first year, and at Candler in the second. Students must register for and pay tuition for two semesters at Laney and two semesters at Candler but may take courses in either school.

School-sponsored scholarships and grants are applicable only to those semesters in which the student is enrolled at the respective schools.

Degree Requirements

In order to meet the degree requirements for the MDiv/MA-Bioethics, students must complete a minimum of 72 hours at Candler and the standard 30 hours for the MA-Bioethics curriculum.

In addition, in order to ensure maximum integration, students will “share” two electives during the program: one 3-credit elective in the MDiv program (likely ES651 or ES652), and one 3-credit elective on Religion and Bioethics (BIOETH 505) from the LGS/Center for Ethics. These electives, which will be completed in the final year of study, will ensure that students apply the methodologies and content of both programs to issues that affect the ethical practice of ministry.

MDiv dual degree students will be slated to take the examination rather than write a thesis in order to ensure they will be able to return to the MDiv program with no delay in time to degree.

Students are encouraged to enroll in a Contextual Education I course that places them in a clinical setting. If students complete 120 hours of Con Ed I in a clinical setting, during their first year at Candler, 60 hours will be applied to the practicum hours required (120 hours) in the MA-Bioethics program. To encourage a diversity of experiences in the field of bioethics, students will be placed at a different clinical site to complete their practicum requirement. In addition, if students register for Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) in the summer of their second year, they will be allowed to complete their practicum requirement at the same site as their CPE.

For information about the MDiv portion of the MDiv/MA-Bioethics, please contact the Candler registrar. For information about the MA-Bioethics portion of the degree, please contact

In order to meet degree requirements for the MTS, students must complete a minimum of 18 hours at Candler, including either the MTS Thesis or MTS Portfolio completed as part of the MTS capstone course. In addition, students enroll in the dual interdisciplinary seminar offered by Candler and the Center for Ethics.

Dual degree students also enroll in ES501 and in a seminar that address issues of life, death, and/or health and theology (e.g., NT629). The MTS professional elective will be fulfilled by BIOETH601, the Bioethics Service Learning Practicum.

For information about the MTS portion of the MTS/MA-Bioethics, please contact program director, Dr. Alison Greene. For information about the MA-Bioethics portion of the degree, please contact the Bioethics departments at Laney Graduate School, at