Photo Credit: Nathan Kennedy, 2015. Jillian Kenny, pictured above, worked with the The Nature Conservancy's Papua New Guinea Forest Program in the summer of 2015.

Dual Degree: Development Practice and Theology

Candler offers a dual Master of Divinity and Master's in Development Practice (MDiv/MDP) in conjunction with Emory's Laney Graduate School. This program allows students to combine training and experience in international development with theological studies and formation for ministry and may be completed in four years instead of the five required to attain the degrees separately.

Applicants apply to Candler and Laney separately, and if accepted to both schools, can enroll in the dual degree program. The schools maintain independent application procedures and different tuition costs.

The MDP attends to both theoretical and applied methods of development and introduces students through interdisciplinary work to a variety of fields including global health, human rights, economics, governance, ecosystems, gender, energy and engineering. Training in research methods, program evaluation and assessment are central to the MDP program.

The typical sequence of courses requires students to enroll full time at Candler in the first year. The subsequent two years are in the MDP program and include two consecutive summers of full-time international field placements. Those placements are arranged through the MDP with approved NGOs. The student is enrolled full time at Candler in the fourth year.

The student must register and pay tuition for four semesters in the MDP and four semesters at Candler, but may take MDP elective courses at Candler during the two years in the MDP to fulfill an MDP concentration. Students develop MDP concentrations in consultation with MDP faculty, drawing on resources at Candler in areas of study such as conflict transformation, religious leadership for the global church, faith and global health, etc.

Candler scholarships and grants are applicable only to those semesters in which students are in residency at Candler.

Degree Requirements

In order to meet degree requirements for the MDiv, the student must complete a minimum of 68 hours at Candler. All requirements are the same as for a traditional MDiv except for the reduction of one Introductory Arts of Ministry (IAM) course and the reduction in total number of hours required. In order to meet degree requirements for the MDP, students must complete 51 hours in the MDP program plus the two international field practicums. In some cases and with approval from both schools, credit for some MDP concentration courses can be counted as shared credit and thus used toward the credit hours required for both the MDiv and the MDP. With prior approval, students may also seek Ministry Internship credit in addition to MDP field placement credit for their second field practicum.

For information on the MDP portion of the MDiv/MDP, contact the director of the program, David Nugent, at For information on the MDiv portion of the degree, contact Candler's registrar office at

Photo Credit: Nathan Kennedy, 2015. Jillian Kenny, pictured above, worked with the The Nature Conservancy's Papua New Guinea Forest Program in the summer of 2015.