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Our groundbreaking Contextual Learning model in low-residency integrates theory with practice

Meadville Lombard Theological School is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, offering top master's degree programs to prepare students for ministry and religious leadership. As a recognized leader among theological schools, MLTS uses the Contextual Learning model to combine innovative learning, intensive courses for low residency, and integrated internships for on-site experience. Meadville’s graduate programs enable you to pursue your degree wherever you wish to live.

Advantage of a Unitarian Universalist Identity School

Meadville Lombard Theological School is one of only two Unitarian Universalist identity seminaries in the world. We educate our students to bring into the world our UU values of justice, equity, and compassion.

Our UU identity allows us to learn from the wealth of philosophical, ethical, scientific, and religious traditions that are also concerned with justice, equity and compassion. That is what makes us uniquely situated as a leader in interfaith work—our openness to learn fully from wherever we can in the human tradition. 

Because we are affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), those who are seeking ordination with the UUA will discover that credentialing requirements are knitted into the fabric of the curriculum.

Social Justice

You’ll find our concern with social justice isn’t something that is off to the side or discussed in just one workshop. It’s integrated into the whole curriculum. We believe that you cannot be an effective minister unless you can understand interlocking oppressions and what it means to work for justice in complex ways. Based on the understanding that justice-making and spiritual growth are bound to each other, our curriculum emphasizes leadership in communities engaged in social movements. We are also committed to bringing authentic equity and inclusion to all communities; our students are nurtured in their competency to lead across the differences of race and culture. 

A saying goes, “The arc of the universe is long but it bends towards justice.” Our philosophy is “It bends towards justice if we bend it.” We strive to keep bending that arc continuously towards greater good and justice.

Contextual Learning & Low Residency

Our programs are taught in Contextual Learning model—Learning by Doing—in low residency curricula. Contextual Learning allows a student to learn by practicing in mentored internships and supervised site placements, where assigned Teaching Pastors and Mentors guide students through the everyday world of community, pastoral and ministerial leadership. Low residency intensive courses bring students to our Chicago campus three to four times a year and create opportunities for heart-to-heart, soul-to-soul interactions with faculty and other students. Lessons are enriched through learning with dedicated Student Cohorts. Our students bring variety of experience and wisdom to MLTS; we acknowledge them through co-curricular activities that bring students into the worship and governance life of the school. Our multi-credit, multi-disciplinary Signature Courses build on each and give students the pathway to follow into leadership.