Design Of The Curriculum

The M.Div. curriculum is designed to offer training for the pastoral ministry. Concentrated study in three basic areas - Bible, systematic theology, and practical theology - characterizes this three-year program. In addition to training for pastoral ministry, the curriculum is designed to aid in the student’s sanctification. For an enumeration of the MDiv student learning outcomes for assessment purposes, see Student Learning Outcomes - MDiv.

Bible courses include the basic structure and content of each book of the Bible along with such details concerning major characters, dates, and places as are necessary. Principles of hermeneutics and exegesis, using the original languages as well as the English Bible, are also included. Students learn to apply Scripture to contemporary circumstances.

Building upon and integrated with a biblical foundation, theology is a major area of concentration. The purpose of this study is to provide the theological and historical foundations, along with current cultural contexts, to understand and live the Christian faith.

The practical theology courses are designed to enable students to develop competence in ministry including preaching, worship, leadership, and individual shepherding. A variety of experiences and instructors enable students to develop methods and styles of ministry suited to their individual gifts. The number of class hours per week may exceed the number of semester hours of credit. Some of the preaching and pastoral course requirements may be adjusted for women and other non-ministerial candidates so as to provide the appropriate preparation and setting for their needs. Women and other non-ministerial candidates will substitute additional elective course hours for the Preaching Labs. These elective courses may include alternative communication labs.

A student attains middler status upon completion of thirty-six semester hours and senior status upon completion of seventy-two semester hours. The curriculum is designed to be completed in three years, but many students choose to complete the curriculum in four or more years.


The M.Div. curriculum offers the student the option of selecting an area of emphasis. Included in this catalog are schedules of courses for the M.Div. degree that further define the various emphasis area options and the requirements for each.

Students taking the M.Div. degree may major in one of four areas: biblical exegesis, pastoral ministry, counseling, and intercultural studies/missions.  All four programs require a total of 106 semester hours.

Students registered in the M.Div. program may choose Counseling as an area of emphasis. For complete information click here.

Within the 106-hour M.Div. curriculum, a student has the opportunity to choose an emphasis in either Campus Ministry, Church Planting Ministry, or Christian Counseling.

Meaning Of The Degree

A degree from Reformed Theological Seminary indicates that the graduate has completed the requirements for the course of study. Although the M.Div. degree meets the standard educational requirements for ordination in most denominations, the degree does not certify that the graduate necessarily possesses all the biblical qualifications requisite for the ministry or adheres to the Reformed faith. Graduation from Reformed Theological Seminary with either the M.Div. degree or diploma should not in itself be construed as a recommendation for the ministry. 

Ecclesiastical bodies and pulpit committees are responsible for applying their own requirements for ordination to determine the doctrinal soundness, suitability, and readiness for ministry of a particular graduate.

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