KWU and Saint Paul School of Theology Sign Historic 3+3 MOU Agreement

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Dr. Thompson and the Rev. Howell sign the 3+3 between Kansas Wesleyan and Saint Paul School of Theology

Kansas Wesleyan University President and CEO Matt Thompson, Ph.D., and Rev. H. Sharon Howell, president of Saint Paul School of Theology, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a 3+3 theological studies undergraduate-graduate program. The agreement is thought to be the first of its kind to be established between a United Methodist-based university and a United Methodist seminary.

Under this arrangement, Kansas Wesleyan students would condense the four-year degree requirements for the Christian Ministry major into the first three years, followed by the completion of the three-year Master of Divinity degree at Saint Paul School of Theology. The first year of the M.Div. courses at Saint Paul would count as electives to complete the bachelor's degree at KWU. Following the successful completion of that year, the students may participate in spring Kansas Wesleyan Commencement. They would then continue on for the final two years at Saint Paul to complete their master's degree. This MOU allows students to prepare for ordination and entry into the ministry in six years instead of the usual seven, while earning them both B.A. and M.Div. degrees.

“This collaboration will allow us to continue to serve the United Methodist Church, preparing people for ministry and service with a phenomenal partner,” said Dr. Thompson, who explained that the two barriers to a Ministry degree are time and money. “By condensing the time required to complete both degrees, the joint program provides a cost savings, which should open the door for many people to answer the call.” 

“Saint Paul School of Theology is thrilled to be in this bold, new academic collaboration with Kansas Wesleyan University,” said Rev. Howell. “We are eager to offer students an opportunity to enjoy their initial three years of undergraduate work at KWU and then easily move into the M.Div. program at Saint Paul. It has been a joy to work with President Thompson to address our mutual concerns of time and money for students who are being called to leadership across God’s church and world.  This is an amazing moment for KWU and Saint Paul.”

The distinctive Christian Ministry major at Kansas Wesleyan University prepares students for full-time ministry in an environment that encourages the interaction of faith and learning. It combines a practical in-the-field internship experience under the guidance of mentors in full-time ministry with coursework in four core areas: Bible; Religion and Philosophy; Ministry; and Educational and Social Sciences. In addition, the university has a robust campus ministry program, including Tuesday Night Alive weekly worship and a young adult discipleship pilot program of Upper Room Ministries.

Learn more about the Christian Ministry major at KWU at


The Master of Divinity (M.Div.) at Saint Paul School of Theology prepares graduates for ministry in the church, chaplaincy, not-for-profit work and other forms of religious leadership. The M.Div. is required for ordination by many denominations and is among the requirements in the primary track toward becoming ordained as elder in the United Methodist Church. This graduate degree develops students as theologians who are able to understand the biblical, historical, and doctrinal traditions and the ecclesial practices of the Christian heritage. They learn to lead and minister sensitively in diverse contexts, to integrate practical skills and academic competencies, and to grow in maturity and reflective faith through continuing study and a life of justice and intentional spiritual formation for leadership in ministry.

More information about Saint Paul School of Theology at

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Saint Paul School of Theology – Established in 1958, Saint Paul School of Theology is a United Methodist seminary, located in the Greater Kansas City area in collaboration with The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection and in Oklahoma City, OK, with the collaboration of Oklahoma City University. While students are predominantly United Methodists, the student body represents more than 15 denominations each year. Saint Paul is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS) and by The Higher Learning Commission, and is approved by the University Senate of The United Methodist Church. Learn more at