AcademicsGraduate AcademicsLow-Residency Master of Divinity

Low-Residency Master of Divinity

Naropa University’s Low-Residency Master of Divinity prepares aspiring spiritual leaders for meaningful careers in chaplaincy, social entrepreneurship, academia and more.

If you feel called to a higher spiritual purpose but can’t change locations, Naropa’s Low-Residency Master of Divinity degree offers a solution. This three-year, 72-credit program allows you to complete the majority of courses and practicums right at home, while in-person retreats near our Boulder campus offer focused study and camaraderie.

Our Master of Divinity curriculum takes an interreligious, contemplative approach, emphasizing Buddhist philosophy, meditation and hands-on chaplaincy. Upon completion of Naropa’s MDiv, you will be on the path towards becoming a board-certified chaplain

Start your journey today.

Discover Career Pathways for Low-Residency MDiv Graduates

Quick Facts


Years to Completion




Credit Hours

What to Expect from the Low-Residency Master of Divinity

Naropa’s Low-Residency Master of Divinity program facilitates the deep personal growth necessary for becoming a spiritual leader of diverse communities. Your studies within the Master of Divinity degree will engage four streams of learning:

  • Community: Experience community building in practice and learn to lay the groundwork for creating engaged, dynamic communities in your future pastoral work.


  • Theological Study: Deeply explore Buddhist texts in the context of our present-day reality.


  • Interfaith Pastoral Care: Practice serving the spiritual needs of others while honoring and embodying the beliefs of your primary tradition.


  • Meditation: Better serve others by connecting with your true self through the Buddhist practice of sitting meditation.


With six to 12 credits per semester and on-demand programming, the Low-Residency Master of Divinity makes room for your busy schedule and family commitments.

You’ll begin your Master of Divinity coursework with a meditation practicum and courses on Buddhist philosophy and contemplative approaches to spiritual caregiving. Your Master of Divinity studies will include an internship through the Center for Contemplative Chaplaincy, which creates impactful, hands-on contemplative chaplaincy experiences for all Master of Divinity students. 

Through clinical pastoral experience, theological study and a dedicated meditation practice, you will learn to serve others with compassion, wisdom and integrity. Naropa’s Clinical Pastoral Experience program is ACPE-accredited, allowing for innovative internships beyond traditional chaplaincy settings such as eco-chaplaincy, social justice, and movement chaplaincy contexts.

You’ll join the on-campus Master of Divinity cohort for a total of four in-person retreats — three nine-day retreats and one seven-day retreat. Set near Naropa’s campus in beautiful Boulder, Colo., these retreats offer both quiet contemplation and connection with community. Residential retreats for Low-Residency Master of Divinity students are designed to enrich your studies and bring contemplative practice to life.

Jeffrey Neering head shot


with your counselor

Jeffrey Neering

Graduate Admissions Counselor

Low-Residency MDiv Courses

The Master of Divinity curriculum at Naropa University is unique in its dedication to creating skilled spiritual chaplains who can provide solace and healing in today’s changing world. In the words of Jamie Beachy, chair of Naropa’s Master of Divinity program, “the insights of contemplative chaplaincy, including the capacity to be warm-hearted while also having confidence in one’s capacity to navigate suffering, is very much needed in the world as crises seem to be intensifying.”

Consider the following courses from the Master of Divinity curriculum:

The Naropa Difference

Naropa offers one of the few Master of Divinity programs with a focus on contemplative practice. Indeed, a contemplative approach is integral to the Naropa mission and is woven into the fabric of our university’s culture and community. Compassionate service to others is the Naropa way, and we believe that living a contemplative life enhances one’s ability to serve.

Here’s where you’ll see the Naropa Difference within the Master of Divinity program.

A Compassionate Approach

Few Master of Divinity programs have experienced faculty who are so deeply dedicated to leading with compassion. Our professors listen more than they speak, engage deeply with the Naropa community and integrate contemplative practice as a way of life.

The Master of Divinity faculty at Naropa are authors, researchers and practitioners of Buddhist philosophy. They honor the wisdom of ancient traditions while also leading the way in psychedelic-assisted therapies and other groundbreaking approaches to spiritual, mental and emotional well-being.

Hands-on Learning

Naropa values hands-on learning experiences for students preparing to be counselors, educators, chaplains and community leaders. As such, each Master of Divinity student will gain firsthand experience in a clinical environment such as a hospital, hospice or nonprofit organization. These clinical pastoral internships will be created and supported by Naropa’s Center for Contemplative Chaplaincy.

Students Transformed

Student Transformed

What to Expect

Gain a deep understanding of your personal theological identity.
Know Who You Are
Facilitate healing through compassionate interreligious dialogue.
Help others discover the healing power of contemplative practice.
Become a

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This is where experiential learning meets academic rigor. Where you challenge your intellect and uncover your potential. Where you discover the work you’re moved to do—then use it to transform our world.

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