The Master of Divinity degree (M.Div.) is the most versatile, all-purpose degree. It is the primary degree leading to ordination for professional ministry. It also may prepare students for church administration, chaplaincy, youth work, teaching in colleges or theological schools, missions and evangelism, social work and more.
The Master of Divinity degree requires the completion of 26 three-unit courses for a total of 78 credits. Eighteen (18) courses are required and eight (8) are electives.
Electives may be used to take denominational requirements, to pursue a concentration in a particular area of the curriculum or to pursue specific interests.
Institutes, Conferences and Lectureships
In addition to the course requirements listed above, M.Div. students are required to attend four conferences, institutes or lectureships during his/her program. This includes:
One Stuber Lectureship
One Helen Barrett Montgomery Conference
One of the following conferences:
- J.C. Wynn Conference on Family Ministries
- Gene Bartlett Preaching Conference
One of the following African American Lectures:
- Mordecai Wyatt Johnson Institute of Religion
- Martin Luther King Jr. Lectureship
- Howard Thurman Lecture
The purpose of integrating conferences, institutes and lectureships into the curriculum is to introduce students to the rich resources available to them outside of the classroom and thereby to encourage lifelong learning.
The full curriculum may be viewed in the chart below:
At the end of the first year of study, a student may declare a desire to develop a concentration in Biblical Studies, History, Theology, Practical Theology, Black Church Studies or Women and Gender Studies. To graduate with a concentration a student must:
- declare his or her desire to develop such a program;
- take at least three electives beyond the curriculum requirement in the area of concentration; and
- develop an integrative paper or project that culminates his/her work in the area of study, with the supervision of a core faculty member.
The curriculum is taught by faculty members who are also multi-denominational. Continual exchanges among students and faculty of different ecclesial memberships on issues of history, theology, and liturgy challenge seminarians to articulate their own particular visions of the church. Thus, personal faith commitments are strengthened and clarified and a new sense of denominational identity is confirmed, as appreciation of other traditions is also deepened.
Core and visiting faculty offer courses required for ordination by many different denominations. Polity courses for American Baptist, Episcopal, Presbyterian, United Methodist, United Church of Christ, and Unitarian students are offered during the normal tenure of a Master of Divinity student.
In addition to courses in polity and history, students strengthen their ecclesial relationships through participation in regular denominational meetings on campus.