Master of Divinity
Master of Divinity is the degree prerequisite for ordination in many Christian denominations. This is a professional degree that integrates rigorous academic work with participation in and reflection upon the practice of ministry. It is expected that students enrolled in this degree program are engaged with their denomination in exploring some form of ordained ministry.
Download or print the M.Div. degree brochure
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The Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree program is designed to educate persons for leadership ministries, and to help them discern their vocation for ordained ministries of the church. Eden Theological Seminary has shaped its M.Div. degree based on several presuppositions:
- Eden Theological Seminary serves the church universal as it participates in God’s mission in the world.
- The focus of Eden’s M.Div. degree is the education of students through critical reflection on the Christian witness of faith and through personal, spiritual and intellectual formation.
- The foundational ministry of the church in service of God’s mission is carried out by the baptized. The ordained ministry exists to nurture the ministries of the baptized and to participate in God’s mission in the world.
For leaders of the church to be able to nurture communities that are faithful in God’s mission, the curriculum seeks to enhance:
- Theological Integration: ability to examine critically the biblical, historical, theological and pastoral perspectives leading to the integration requisite for Christian ministry
- Christian Witness: ability to discern God’s mission in the contemporary call to the church and its leaders, to discern God’s call to other communities which participate in God’s mission, and to identify personal vocation within that single yet diverse divine call
- Pastoral Formation: the development of pastoral leadership appropriate to context and faithful to God’s mission as grounded and formed in the theological integration requisite for ordained ministry, and in God’s universal call to mission and to participate in God’s mission in the world.
A qualified applicant to the M.Div. degree program will demonstrate:
- That he/she is a person of faith through involvement in a local church community and in regional ecumenical settings.
- That he/she has the intellectual capacity to undertake graduate academic work. Normally this is demonstrated by completing an undergraduate degree with at least a 2.7 BPA (on a 4.0 scale). A liberal arts degree program is preferred, i.e. emphasis on English, literature, philosophy, religion, etc.
- That he/she has the ability to listen to others, to show sensitivity to others, to move beyond self, to show self awareness, and to demonstrate potential to give leadership and nurture to the community.
- That he/she has an emerging sense of call to ministry through a process of sustained reflection about gifts, limitations and vocational options. A call to ministry is understood by Eden to be a personal sense of call that is affirmed and nurtured by a community of faith that recognizes one as gifted for ministry.
- That he/she has a sense of openness in examining what one believes and in exploring new perspectives and ideas.
Program of Study
Eden’s M.Div. program requires 81 credit hours plus seven units of Contextual Education for graduation. It can be completed in three years of full-time study. View the three-year course of study. (PDF)
Required Foundational Courses
Biblical Studies (12 hours)
- Biblical Studies I: Torah and Former Prophets
- Biblical Studies II: Latter Prophets and Writings
- Biblical Studies III: Gospels and Revelation
- Biblical Studies IV: Paul and the Interpreters of Paul
Historical and Theological Studies (18 hours)
- Theology and the Practices of Ministry
- Church History and Doctrine I: Developments and Consequence
- Church History and Doctrine II: Developing Theological Themes
- Constructive Theology
- Christian Ethics
- Religion in America
Ministry Studies (15 hours)
- Pastoral Theology and Care
- Christian Education
- Congregational Leadership
International Travel Seminar (Cultural Immersion Program)
Because Eden believes that ministry happens in a global context, we offer courses that travel to several locations during the January interim semester, including India, Central America, Ghana and the Middle East. Students are led by faculty to these countries to experience the church in different parts of the world, to engage in theological reflection about the intersections of history, culture and religion, and to build relationships for ministry with brothers and sisters in different parts of the world.
Open Electives (36 hours)
12 courses in any field of study
Contextual Education prepares students to think theologically about the context, or multiple contexts, in which they do their ministry. All M.Div. students are required to complete seven units of Contextual Education. Six units are to be completed by serving 10 hours per week for 14 weeks (140 hours per unit); one intensive unit is completed with Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), summer or year-long internship. Students participate in a bimonthly Ministry Seminar where integration and theological reflection on context are actively practiced. Ministry seminars are divided by class levels with the following themes:
Theological Integration and Context:
The initial Contextual Education setting is normally a diaconal placement. The ministry seminar focuses on defining context and understanding call in all its dimensions. (2 units required)
Christian Witness and Context:
Students normally serve in a local church in their second level of course work. Students will explore the origins of the churches they serve, their histories, ethnographies and changing understandings of mission. In addition students will explore historic St. Louis neighborhoods and discover how demographic changes have affected the churches in those contexts and their understanding of mission. (2 units required)
Pastoral Formation and Context:
Third-level students are challenged in Ministry Seminar to claim the “public voice” of pastors and to struggle with the ethical implications of using this voice in different contexts of ministry. At this level students’ Contextual Education settings may be intentionally chosen to connect with their emerging vocational interests. (2 units required)
Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) normally done in the context of a hospital setting requires 400 hours of service often accomplished during the summer. Summer and extended (9 – 12 months) internships in congregations or diaconal settings provide important opportunities for development in vocational identity and theological reflection. (1 required)
In order to be awarded a Master of Divinity degree from Eden Theological Seminary, a student must satisfactorily complete the following within six years of matriculation:
- 81 credit hours with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
- Seven (7) units of Contextual Education
- A comprehensive oral evaluation before a team of faculty and practicing ministers that tests theological integration and competence for ministry
- Transfer students must complete at least one full year (27 credit hours and two Contextual Education units) in residency at Eden Theological Seminary
- Participation in an approved workshop on healthy boundaries in the parish
- Diversity Workshop
For more information, please contact:
Office of Admissions
Eden Theological Seminary
475 East Lockwood Avenue
Saint Louis, MO 63119