Master of Divinity – Catalog 2014-15

Master of Divinity Bible with Compass2


The Master of Divinity (MDiv) is the normative degree for those entering ordained ministry or other ministerial leadership positions. The purpose of this degree program is to provide students with a broad, thorough theological, biblical, and historical background so that they will be prepared to be spiritually mature, missional leaders for ministry in the wide variety of ministries represented in the 21st century world, including pastoral, administrative, chaplaincy, and social service ministries.

The student body of HGST represents a broad range of ministerial leadership positions, including ordained ministry in mainline denominations, ordained ministry in denominations governed by congregational polity, an array of non-ordained ministries in the church, and a wide variety of parachurch and community-based ministries. This immense diversity of the student body is reflected in the learning objectives of the Master of Divinity degree. The first three objectives, which relate to religious heritage, are necessarily general enough to encompass the breadth of traditions of the HGST student body. Within the curricular process, students discover connections between their own religious heritages and historic Christian faith. The seventh objective, which relates to capacity for ministerial leadership, reflects the same necessary breadth.

In light of these factors, the person who completes the Master of Divinity degree program will be able to achieve the following learning objectives:

  • Using appropriate hermeneutical methods of exegesis, exposition, and application, analyze the contents and assess the significance of the Bible in both general terms and in representative detail throughout
  • Using Scripture and the historical theology of the church, identify and explain the major doctrines of Christian faith from its beginnings to the present
  • Identifying key persons, events, and issues, review the history of the Christian faith from its beginnings to the present
  • Recognizing relevant social and cultural contexts, apply Christian faith to various facets of personal life and community
  • Relating to persons and groups with concern, empathy, and insight, offer spiritual guidance, understanding, prayer, blessing, and support
  • Engaging with the history and traditions of Christian faith and witness, practice spirituality in one’s life and context
  • Employing effective ministry skills, provide leadership in the worship, education, and service of the church
  • Demonstrating a capacity for spiritual leadership, communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ to the worldThe seminary does not perform the functions of church bodies charged with the examination and recording or ordination of ministerial candidates, but does recognize and accept its responsibility for judgment and recommendation in such matters. HGST encourages students seeking careers in chaplaincy to speak to faculty advisors regarding specialized plans, which may be available by request through the Academic Office, including the MDiv for Military Chaplains, the MDiv with Spiritual Direction Certificate, and the MDiv/MAC degree plan.

Spiritual Formation Processes To enhance the formation of students in the MDiv program, in addition to coursework, each student will select from the following formation options for completion prior to the beginning of the first ministry practicum:  

  • Completion of the Faithwalking 101 Retreat and 201 Series (registration at www.faithwalking.us); or,
  • Completion of at least six of twelve spiritual direction sessions with a certified spiritual director, with plans to complete the remaining sessions during the practicum experience

Graduation Requirements – The Master of Divinity degree is awarded upon the recommendation of the faculty to persons who have demonstrated general fitness for ministry and maturing gifts in ministry and who have completed a comprehensive and integrated program of study including the specific requirements listed in the degree plan below. Candidates for graduation must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher with no grade of less than a C- in any required course. Course remediation and/or additional credits hours may be necessary in cases where a student’s cumulative GPA falls below the requirement for graduation.

No more than two-thirds of the MDiv degree may be granted on the basis of transfer credits. All transfer credits are subject to evaluation by the Academic Office as to applicability toward MDiv degree credit. Transfer credit must be from Master of Divinity or equivalent level Master’s degree programs from schools accredited by a CHEA-approved accrediting agency. Transfer credits must carry a grade of B- or higher. The MDiv degree must be completed within seven calendar years from the date of first enrollment. No coursework will be accepted toward the MDiv degree that is older than ten years (ATS standard B.3.2.2.). Ordinarily, the last full year of work toward the MDiv degree must be completed in residence at HGST. Exceptions must be approved by the Chief Academic Officer.

MDiv degree plan –Courses marked * are required courses for all MDiv students. If a student desires specific courses (such as biblical languages), or is required to take such by denominational authorities or other places of employment, special arrangements may be made with the Chief Academic Officer for a custom degree plan.

Research (3 hours) Ministry Practice (30 hours)
RE 500* Research, Writing, and Theological Learning PC 501* Intro to Pastoral Care (4 hours)
Biblical and Theological Studies (52 hours) PR 501* Principles of Preaching (4 hours)
OT 501* Intro to Old Testament (4 hours) Preaching Elective
NT 501* Intro to New Testament (4 hours) PL 510* Intro to Pastoral Leadership (1 hour)
BI 510* Biblical Hermeneutics Ministry Practice Elective (EM, FE, PC, PL, PR, WR)
OT Elective Ministry Practice Elective (EM, FE, PC, PL, PR, WR)
NT Elective Ministry Practice Elective (EM, FE, PC, PL, PR, WR)
Biblical Studies Elective (BH, BI, GR, NT, OT) Ministry Practice Elective (EM, FE, PC, PL, PR, WR)
Biblical Studies Elective (BH, BI, GR, NT, OT) FE 651** Ministry Practicum 1 Internship or FE 751 (CPE)
TH 501* Intro to Christian Theology (4 hours) FE 652** Ministry Practicum 2 Internship or FE 751 (CPE)
Theology Elective (TH) Integrative Experience (2 hours)
CH 510* History of Christianity 1 IE 601* Integrative Experience 1
CH 511* History of Christianity 2 IE 602* Integrative Experience 2
Philosophy/Ethics Elective (PH)  
CS 501* Intro to Christian Spirituality (4 hours)  
Theological Studies Elective (CH, CS, PH, TH, TS)  
Theological Studies Elective (CH, CS, PH, TH, TS)  
Biblical or Theological Studies Elective (BH, BI, GR, NT, OT, CS, PH, TH, TS)  

Total 87 hours**The Ministry Practicum Handbook, requiring background checks, liability insurance, personal counseling sessions, supervisor information, and more, is available at www.hgst.edu/academics/resources.

MDiv degree plan for Military Chaplains

A 75-hour MDiv degree plan for Military Chaplains includes up to 12 hours of advanced standing, which is equivalent to four 3-hour courses. Advanced standing will be granted rather than transfer credits for work done at the graduate level from chaplaincy training school through the military. Specifically, up to 12 hours of advanced standing will be given in place of the philosophy/ethics elective (3 hours) and three ministry practice electives (9 hours). Student records will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine the amount of advanced standing that will be granted.

MDiv degree plan with CPE

Research (3 hours) Ministry Practice (30 hours)
RE 500* Research, Writing, and Theological Learning PC 501* Intro to Pastoral Care (4 hours)
Biblical and Theological Studies (52 hours) PR 501* Principles of Preaching (4 hours)
OT 501* Intro to Old Testament (4 hours) Preaching Elective
NT 501* Intro to New Testament (4 hours) PL 510* Intro to Pastoral Leadership (1 hour)
BI 510* Biblical Hermeneutics Ministry Practice Elective (EM, FE, PC, PL, PR, WR) CPE opt.
OT Elective Ministry Practice Elective (EM, FE, PC, PL, PR, WR) CPE opt
NT Elective Ministry Practice Elective (EM, FE, PC, PL, PR, WR) CPE
Biblical Studies Elective (BH, BI, GR, NT, OT) Ministry Practice Elective (EM, FE, PC, PL, PR, WR) CPE
Biblical Studies Elective (BH, BI, GR, NT, OT) FE 651** Ministry Practicum 1 Internship or FE 751 (CPE)
TH 501* Intro to Christian Theology (4 hours) FE 652** Ministry Practicum 2 Internship or FE 751 (CPE)
Theology Elective (TH) Integrative Experience (2 hours)
CH 510* History of Christianity 1 IE 601* Integrative Experience 1
CH 511* History of Christianity 2 IE 602* Integrative Experience 2
Philosophy/Ethics Elective (PH)  
CS 501* Intro to Christian Spirituality (4 hours)  
Theological Studies Elective (CH, CS, PH, TH, TS)  
Theological Studies Elective (CH, CS, PH, TH, TS)  
Biblical or Theological Studies Elective (BH, BI, GR, NT, OT, CS, PH, TH, TS) – CPE optional  

Notes: *indicates required course for this degree plan.                                                                     Total 87 hours

  

 

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