Q: If I complete the M Div, what will I be authorized to do?

A: The Master of Divinity is a non-academic professional degree awarded as a necessary credential to working in a direct service capacity such as professional chaplaincy, spiritual direction, or faith-based counseling.

Q. Would it qualify me to apply for a teaching position at a private or public college or university?

A: No

Q: Is there a maximum amount of credits I can count from prior experience?

A: The SZI M Div is in dialogue with the Association of Professional Chaplains Committee on Equivalency (the MDiv Equivalent they grant). We will follow their recommended guidelines for documenting credits.  

Q: How long will it take to complete the program?

A: The length of time will vary from student to student; as a general rule, we hope our candidates will complete the program within 3 to 5 years. 

Q: I did a traditional 3-month Zen (or Vipassana) Retreat – how much credit do I get for that? 

A: A typical 3-month practice period will be credited as 10 total credits within our 16-study-area framework: 3 credits Residential Practice, 3 credits Meditation, 3 credits Work Practice/Ritual, and 1 credit Scriptures and Texts.

Q: Does SZI accept current classes I may be taking elsewhere, for example, the online Pali language class offered by Oxford University?

A: Yes, especially if pre-approved by SZI.

Q: What are some examples of Fieldwork? 

A: This would include work in prisons, hospitals, nursing homes, pre-schools, elementary schools, work with special ed. or differently-abled.

Q: What are some examples of Capstone Projects/Papers?

The focus of your Mdiv (or chaplaincy) training. An encounter with a religious or humanitarian organization and what you learned. Helping Veterans with PTSD. Working with Dementia patients. Offering Mindfulness in Elementary Schools.