Since the Bible restricts the offices of church leadership to men, male students, who hold a baccalaureate degree from an approved institution will receive a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) upon successful completion of the prescribed course of study. The purpose of the program is to prepare the student for the Ministry of the Word and to equip the student to meet the educational requirements as prescribed by the Constitution of the Reformed Church in the United States, Articles 19 to 24.
The curriculum is centered upon areas of study normally associated with a theological degree. All areas of study are designed for the following purposes:
- To provide a structured opportunity to develop a thorough, discriminating understanding and personal appropriation of the heritage of the Christian faith (e.g., the Scripture of the Old and New Testaments, the traditions, doctrines, and practices) in its historical and contemporary expressions;
- To assist students in understanding cultural realities and social settings within which members of a Christian Church live and carry out their missions, including the institutional life of those communities. Furthermore, through the prerequisite of a baccalaureate, an understanding of the insights of cognate disciplines such as the natural sciences, philosophy, and the arts enable a knowledge and appreciation of the broader context of the religious tradition;
- To provide students with growth opportunities for personal formational experiences essential for the practice of ministry, namely, emotional maturity, personal faith, moral integrity, and social concern;
- To assist students in gaining the capacity for entry into and growth in the practice of the Ministry of the Word. Instruction in these areas of theological study are designed and conducted to demonstrate their interdependence, theological character, and common orientation toward the goals of the degree program.
All dimensions of the educational program are designed to enable students to function constructively as ministerial leaders in the Christian Church in which they intend to work, and to foster an awareness of the need for continuing education.
Primary means of instruction include class lectures, outside reading and fieldwork in various congregations in the area.
Requirements for the Master of Divinity Degree
A total of 96 credit hours plus nine hours of Training in Ministry supervised internship.
Nine credit hours per semester constitute a full-time student enrollment, and each student is limited to six years for completion of the entire course of study.
Given the primary method of instruction is lecture based, the student is expected to attend all sessions.
A fair amount of work is required outside the classroom, especially with languages. The student is expected to be proficient in the languages and in the use of various language aids.
Each student is expected to complete all assignments. Mid-term and final examinations are administered for each course. Each student is expected to produce a master’s level exegetical and theological paper and other miscellaneous papers as required by the instructor.