Purpose: The M.Div. is the degree of choice for those entering preaching ministry. It lays a solid foundation for a lifetime of ministry practice through a focus on spiritual growth, research tools and methodology, and practical concepts and skills..
Emphasis: This degree provides opportunities and encouragement for personal spiritual growth, an understanding of Scripture and theology, an introduction to historical and cultural contexts of churches, and both understanding of and supervised experience in major aspects of ministry. The M.Div. is also the basic degree required by most schools of religion and seminaries for admission to Ph.D. or Th.D. programs.
Intended Degree Outcomes: M.Div. graduates will:
- Demonstrate advanced skills in the interpretation of scripture.
- Demonstrate the skills required for theological reflection.
- Demonstrate a critical understanding of Christianity and the Stone-Campbell Movement in particular.
- Demonstrate the ability to integrate the scriptures and theological tradition with diverse contemporary cultural contexts.
- Demonstrate a commitment to personal spiritual formation
- Demonstrate the skills associated with providing ministerial leadership for churches and communities.
Time Frame: The degree requires a minimum of three academic years of full-time work or its equivalent.
Residency: At least 9 hours must be taken on the Harding School of Theology campus. One of the on-campus courses must be BMIN 5990 Advanced Theological Research , which is taken within the first nine hours. It will include a retreat at the end of each intensive course. In semesters where the course is available only on a weekly basis the retreat will be near the end of the term. The other two required on-campus courses will be chosen by the student in consultation with their advisor.
Undergraduate GPA: A student whose undergraduate grade point average is between 2.25 and 2.50 may be admitted on probation for the M.Div. program. Probation will be removed upon successfully completing 18 semester hours of graduate courses with a grade average of 2.50.
Advanced Standing: Harding School of Theology may grant up to 18 hours of advanced standing by examination from the faculty over undergraduate coursework: 6 hours for Greek, 6 hours for Hebrew, and up to 6 hours from either electives or BOLD 5001 Advanced Introduction to the Old Testament (3 hours) and/or BNEW 5201 Advanced Introduction to the New Testament (3 hours).
Transfer Credit: Subject to approval of the Admissions Committee, a maximum of 39 hours of comparable work may be transferred from another institution. As many as half the hours from a master's degree (that is, up to 24 hours from our M.A. or M.A.C.M. degrees) may be applied toward the M.Div.
Language Requirements: One year of Greek and one year of Hebrew at the undergraduate level with a grade of C or better are required, or the student may take one year of Greek and/or Hebrew as part of the degree. One graduate-level reading course of three semester hours is also required.
Testing: Psychological, career and other types of testing are sometimes used for guidance purposes.