Urban Ministry

The Urban Ministry Program at Wesley is unique because it enables students to live at the intersection of urban, political and church mission in the greater DC context. Based in downtown Washington, DC and in partnership with two historic churches through the Partnership at Mount Vernon Square, Wesley's urban ministry students learn to engage the poor and the powerful, the young and the old to meet the needs of diverse cultures. It is here they are equpped to answer their call to dynamic, applied ministry in the complex social systems of the metropolitan area. The program functions as a specialization within any of the master's degree programs. Students should declare their intent to participate in the Urban Ministry Program prior to completing 30 credit hours of their degree program by submitting the form to the Registrar's Office.


Urban Fellows

The Urban Fellows program is one of the most exciting and specialized learning opportunities in the United States. Students from various geographical locations apply to be Urban Fellows so they can experience an intentional learning and living community.  

The Urban Fellows:

  • receive hands on experience in church, non-profit, governmental and other faith based organizations.
  • participate in a specially designed colloquy group for three consecutive years (six semesters),
  • participate in research projects in the public theology and urban spheres, and
  • have access to additional resources available through the Partnership at Mount Vernon Square.

Learn more about the Urban Fellows program at Wesley.


Program Design

Core courses: Wesley's Urban Ministry Program allows Master's degree candidates to access supervised study, specialized coursework, and an urban ministry field placement. All courses are available in evening sections on a consistent basis. Required core coursework includes:

  • CM-230 and CM-231 Introduction to Urban Ministry 1 & 2
  • ES-251 Sociology of Religion
  • PC-111 Pastoral Care and Counseling in Context

Electives: UMP students must complete 9 additional credit hours from the urban ministry curriculum as electives. Some of these elective offerings include:

  • CF-230 Christian Education and the Black Religious Experience
  • CF-239 Children and Poverty
  • ES-234 Sexual Issues in Parish Ministry
  • ES-265 Urban Ministry: Church and Community Settings
  • ES-270 Urban Ministry Action


Placement Experience

The Practice in Ministry and Mission Office works with students to secure a field assignment that offers interactions with people and groups seeking social justice and theology in the public sphere. All field placement settings include mentoring, spiritual formation and missional service that support and supplement the classroom learning and colloquy experience of the seminary.

Doctoral Work in Urban Ministry

Wesley’s Urban Ministry Doctor of Ministry track is inspired by the vision of a Beloved Community as described by scripture, Josiah Royce and Martin Luther King, Jr. Doctoral students in this track will be further equipped to minister to and with diverse peoples among challenging social and political systems. Based at Wesley’s downtown presence at 900 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, this track includes classes such as Leadership and Practice in the Beloved Community, Speaking to Power, Partners in Urban Transformation, and the Redeemed City in Scripture and Theology.

How do I apply?

Contact the Wesley Admissions Office at (202) 885-8659 to find additional program information, to arrange for a campus visit, or to apply.

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