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Metro-Urban Institute

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary has been preparing leaders for Christian ministry for more than 200 years.  In 1991, the Seminary initiated the Metro-Urban Institute (MUI) to help churches address growing concerns related to urban living. The MUI has become an important resource for those concerned with "the welfare of the city" (Jeremiah 29:7) whether or not they actually live in urban areas. 

Primary Goals

Providing Classroom and Field Placement Educational Opportunities

To provide or help arrange formal and informal, credit and non-credit, in-class and field-based educational experiences, which will assist in the development of religious leaders.  


To cooperate with churches, church-related agencies, and other human service programs to respond educationally to the social and spiritual problems of people in the metropolitan context.    

Providing Resources on Urban Ministry

To provide assistance to congregations and the seminary community with scholarly research concerning urban ministry.  

Metro-Urban Institute Programs

Graduate Programs in Conjunction with the Metro-Urban Institute 

Studies leading toward the Master of Divinity or Master of Arts degree are structured to equip Christian leaders (clergy and/or laypersons) with tools of ministry in the multicultural atmosphere of the inner city and surrounding areas. Additionally, a Graduate Certificate in Urban Ministry may be granted to recipients of either the M.Div. or the M.A. upon satisfaction of the requirements for a graduate urban-focus. Completion of the bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university is required for admission.

Graduate Certificate in Urban Ministry and Urban-Focused Graduate Students

Students in either the M.Div. or the M.A. degree programs may pursue a Graduate Certificate in Urban Ministry. Those seeking the certificate must

  • attain 18 hours of course work related to urban ministry (including Church and Society) with a grade of B or better in each course of the urban focus
  • complete one year of field placement or internship in an approved urban placement  
  • maintain a 2.5 or above overall GPA.

Click here to receive an information packet from the Admissions Office and make sure to indicate your interest in urban studies.

Christian Leadership Certificate

The Christian Leadership Certificate is a non-academic program that is open to anyone with a high school diploma or beyond with the recommendation of his/her pastor or other Christian advocate. The program is open enrollment. However, there are individuals from every walk of life, occupation, and level of academic achievement studying side by side. Special consideration is given to individuals considering opportunities to complete their undergraduate education and receive a college degree.

While the Seminary grants advanced graduate degrees only, one can obtain graduate certification at the master level. MUI utilizes a diverse group of educators and urban practitioners from throughout Greater Pittsburgh, country, and world communities. MUI makes high quality theological education available at a low cost to persons who, ordinarily, would be unable to attend Seminary due to educational deficiencies or lack of financial resources. 

Learn more about the CLC Program. 

Urban Intensive Weekend Seminars

The Urban Intensive Weekend is a three-day conference offering information on ways churches can more effectively provide faith-based public ministry to their communities. UIW expose participants to analysis of a particular public issue in urban ministry through dialogue with scholars, urban practitioners, and local church representatives. Collaboration between faith-based and secular organizations whose mission and values are compatible with Christian community ministry is stressed. Intentionally interdisciplinary, the UIW encourages dialogue among a variety of faith traditions and other areas of community life including business, health, social services, law, and government.  Though open to the public, the UIW is part of a course for which students receive graduate, undergraduate, or continuing education credits.

Field Education Placement

One year of field placement is required for the Master of Divinity degree in the general program. Urban-focus students seeking the graduate certificate in Urban Ministry, however, participate in two years of field placement. Each field placement site has a professional who works with the Seminary in developing the placement and providing supervision.

Urban Internship Placement

This arrangement provides supervised experiential learning opportunities for master’s level students. Students work in an urban-related context with a church or agency associated with the MUI Collaborative for an academic year (or greater portion thereof).

Cross-Cultural Education

Given the realities of today's global marketplace and multicultural cities, awareness of the cross-cultural challenges of urban life is essential for effective local city ministry. The Metro-Urban Institute's Cross-Cultural Education program exposes students to urban ministry and theological education in cultures outside of the USA, typically in non-Western societies. Urban focus students have enjoyed study with practitioners and educators in West Africa. Cross-cultural education is generally offered as a summer intensive course, due to the inclusion of foreign travel.

Linkage Education Program Leading to a Bachelor's Degree

Because the Seminary offers graduate credits only, students may apply for undergraduate academic credit for any Christian Leadership Seminar through an undergraduate institution (two-year or four-year). In this way, students are able to enroll in introductory theological studies while concurrently working toward completion of their undergraduate degree at another institution. These ‘Linkage Education Students’ are required to complete assigned readings (approximately 300 pages) and receive a satisfactory grade on the seminar competency exam or qualifying project. Up to nine seated academic credits may be earned from CLC seminars in any academic year for students enrolling in all seminars. Linkage Education is especially designed for active pastors or laypersons who have not completed undergraduate education and desire to further their formal academic preparation; as well as those interested in Community Ministry and considering enrolling in the Seminary’s graduate program of theological studies.. Those interested in pursuing linkage education should contact the MUI office for further information about various degree completion opportunities. Support services are provided to assist in arranging completion of college education.  


Apply online for MUI programs including the Christain Leadership Certificate, Linkage Program (transfer credits as undergrad), and Continuing Education and Individual Seminars (CEUs).

Contact MUI 

Metro-Urban Institute
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
616 North Highland Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15206