Degree Programs

Doctor of Law/Master of Theological Studies

The Doctor of Law/Master of Theological Studies (JD/MTS) program is recommended for students interested in pursuing a career in law but who have deep interests in theology, ethics, social and political theory, or church life.  It is also recommended for candidates aspiring to pursue academic careers in law or theology, including the later pursuit of an SJD or PhD.  This is a four-year program of study, one year shorter than if the two degrees were pursued separately.

  • JD/MTS candidates must apply and be admitted to both the Law School and the Theology School.  JD applicants must take the LSAT; no standardized test is required for MTS applicants.
  • Students must apply for financial aid from both the Law School and the Theology School. All scholarships and financial aid packages are handled separately by each school, and are drawn only during the semesters in which the student is registered in that school. 
  • Students typically take their first full year of course work in the Law School, their second year of course work in the Theology School.  They alternate thereafter between the schools.
  • JD/MTS candidates must complete the following requirements to graduate with their two degrees:
    • 79 credit hours (five semesters) of academic work in the Law School, and successful completion of all other requirements of traditional JD students.
    • 39 credit hours (three semesters) of academic work in the Theology School, and successful completion of all other requirements of traditional MTS students.

Doctor of Law/Master of Divinity

Doctor of Law/Master of Divinity (JD/MDiv) program combines academic and clinical/practical training in law and theology. This program is recommended for students interested in combining legal study with preparation for (ordained) ministry.  It is also recommended for students aspiring to work within the administrative structure or denominational polity of the church. This is a five-year program of study, one year shorter than if the two degrees were pursued separately. 

  • JD/MDiv candidates must apply and be admitted to both the Law School and the Theology School.  JD applicants must take the LSAT; no standardized test is required for MDiv applicants.
  • Students must apply for financial aid from both the Law School and the Theology School. All scholarships and financial aid packages are handled separately by each school, and are drawn only during the semesters in which the student is registered in that school. 
  • Students typically take their first full year of course work in one school, their second full year of course work in the other school.  They alternate between the schools for their remaining three years.
  • JD/MDiv candidates must complete the following requirements to graduate with their two degrees:
    • 79 credit hours (five semesters) of academic work in the Law School, and successful completion of all other requirements of traditional JD students.
    • 73 credit hours (five semesters) of academic work in the Theology School, and successful completion of all other requirements of traditional MDiv students.

Doctor of Law/Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Law/Doctor of Philosophy (JD/PhD) program is a highly concentrated study in law and religion, yielding a dissertation on a law and religion topic.  This program is recommended especially for students with ambitions to teach law and religion topics in law schools, theology schools, and research universities.  This is a five-year program of study, plus dissertation, one year shorter than if the two degrees were pursued separately. 

  • JD/PhD candidates must apply and be admitted to both the Law School and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, in the Graduate Division of Religion.  JD applicants must take the LSAT.  PhD applicants must take the GRE and have completed an MA or its equivalent.
  • Students must apply for financial aid from the Law School.  The Graduate School generally does not charge its admitted applicants tuition.  All scholarships and financial aid packages are handled separately by each school, and are drawn only during the semesters in which the student is registered in that school. 
  • Students typically take their first full year of course work in the Law School, their second full year of course work in the Graduate School.  They alternate between the schools for their remaining time.  
  • JD/PhD candidates must complete the following requirements to graduate with their two degrees:
    • 79 credit hours (five semesters) of academic work in the Law School, and successful completion of all other requirements of traditional JD students.
    • 36 credit hours (three semesters) of academic work in the Graduate School and successful completion of all other requirements of traditional PhD students. 
    • Passage of all PhD examinations and preparation and defense of a dissertation proposal – two steps which normally require two additional semesters of residency in the Graduate School.
    • Students are awarded their JD once they have successfully completed their PhD exams.

Master of Laws

The Master of Law (LLM) Concentration in Law and Religion is open to American and foreign applicants who already hold a JD or LLB.  This is a one-year program recommended for students who wish to pursue advanced legal training in law and religion.  LLM students concentrating in Law and Religion must complete the following degree requirements:

  • 2 semesters of residency at Emory Law School
  • 24 credit hours of course work:
    • at least 12 credit hours must be law and religion courses
    • students have the option of taking up to 6 additional credit hours to complete a major research paper written under an LLM supervisor
    • the balance of credit hours can be used to take law and religion courses, or any other JD or graduate level courses offered at Emory University approved by the LLM supervisor. 

Doctor of Juridical Science

The Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) Concentration in Law and Religion is open to American and foreign applicants who already hold both a JD and an LLM (or MA in Law).  This is typically a two to three-year program, yielding a dissertation on a law and religion topic.  Students pursuing the SJD in Law and Religion must complete the following requirements to attain their degree:

  • 2 semesters of residency at Emory Law School
  • up to 12 credit hours of law and religion courses depending on the students’ academic background and interests
  • successful presentation and defense of a dissertation proposal
  • successful completion and defense of a dissertation on a law and religion topic

Juris Master

The Juris Master (JM) Concentration in Law and Religion is a one-year (full time) or up to four-year (part time) program for professionals in various fields interested in law and religion.

"I'm fascinated by how the law almost unconsciously inherits and adopts its norms from religious thinking and how it can then turn around and influence religion by pushing back on boundaries."

–Mark Aaron Goldfeder
LLM 2012 and SJD 2013

–Brian Green
JD/MTS 2011

"I chose to pursue a joint degree because I wanted to understand what justice could and should mean from both the practical side (law) but also the theoretical side (religion and ethics). This taught me to ask the questions necessary to help someone but also to listen to what the person really wants and needs--vital skills for my work in public interest law."

–Jennifer Williams
JD/MTS 2012