Published on April 11, 2022 by Leighton Doores  

The Department of Human Development and Family Science (HDFS) in Orlean Beeson School of Education has established two new accelerated degree paths for undergraduate students.

Students majoring in HDFS now have the option to expedite their career in ministry through the fast-track master of divinity (M.Div.) or business through the fifth-year M.B.A. These new options allow students to complete coursework and enter the graduate field of their choosing at an accelerated rate.

The accelerated bachelor of arts to master of divinity program of study allows select students to complete requirements for both degrees in a minimum of six years rather than the typical minimum of seven. Acceptance to the program is limited to HDFS majors who demonstrate the maturity and discipline to advance in their studies and prepare for vocational ministry leadership.

Kristie Chandler, chair of the Department of Human Development and Family Science, says that much of the work of ministers involves dealing with family issues.

“Whether working as a youth or family minister, or the pastor of a church, a strong family science foundation will help to inform their ministry to better meet the needs of families,” said Chandler.

The fifth-year M.B.A. allows students majoring in HDFS to earn a master of business administration in only one additional year at Samford. By earning a minor in general business, students will meet all prerequisites for the M.B.A. Students will complete their bachelor’s degree prior to starting the M.B.A. program.

“HDFS graduates typically work in a nonprofit or social service agency, meeting the needs of children, families, and the elderly,” said Chandler. “While we teach a Nonprofit and Grant Writing course, we saw a need for our students to have both a strong family science background and to know about the business aspects of directing family service programs. The fifth-year M.B.A. opportunity will provide HDFS majors with the additional knowledge needed to run a nonprofit organization. This program allows students to meet the M.B.A. prerequisites as an undergraduate and reduces the time needed to graduate with the M.B.A.”

The HDFS major recognizes the crucial role of families in society and focuses on personal relationships, and their connection to and impact on human life and development. In addition to the fast-track master of divinity and the fifth-year M.B.A., the department also offers three concentrations and three additional fast-tracks.

Learn more about the HDFS program here.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.