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Master of Divinity

Master of Divinity (MDiv)

The MDiv is the professional degree that traditionally prepares graduates to serve in ordained ministry and is required by many denominations for ordination. The MDiv provides a balanced curriculum with courses in biblical studies, theology and church history, and the practice of ministry. The MDiv provides the broadest possible basis for future ministry and further study (e.g., ThM, PhD); the MDiv is ordinarily required for admission to the DMin degree.

Program Director

Ross, Mark E.

The First Presbyterian Church - John R. de Witt Chair of Theology
Associate Dean for Erskine Columbia
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Program Goals

The Seminary seeks to develop the following in students in this degree program:

  • Concepts. Graduates will interpret the Bible and draw on the church’s theological and historical heritage as they apply the Bible’s message to faith, life, and ministry in contemporary contexts.
  • Calling. Graduates will identify, develop, and use their abilities and spiritual gifts to advance the church’s mission to worship and serve Jesus Christ.
  • Character. Graduates will serve the church with evident Christian character and integrity in their personal and professional lives.
  • Competence. Graduates will serve the church effectively using skills required for ministerial and pastoral roles, especially preaching, teaching, leadership, and pastoral care.
  • Vision. Graduates will develop a biblical vision for ministry and demonstrate humble leadership toward that vision.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Make appropriate use of relevant (a) Bible passages and (b) confessional standards, as they integrate their course material to their (c) ministry contexts. (ST 601-601)
  2. Identify, develop, and use personal abilities, gifts, and gained knowledge to strengthen their church’s worship of and service to Jesus Christ. (PM 705)
  3. Demonstrate growing Christ-like character through writing and the practice of ministry. (PM 502)
  4. Preach and teach the Bible clearly and passionately as to engage the mind and move the heart. Lead competently and care passionately. (WP 550)
  5. Display a biblical vision for ministry and servant-leadership. (PM 507)
Program Requirements

Applicants must have completed a baccalaureate degree at an accredited institution with an acceptable grade point average. (See “Admissions” for details.) Students who lack an under-graduate degree may be awarded the Diploma in Divinity by completing the same curriculum.


Students must complete 84 semester hours of coursework for the MDiv Chaplaincy or 90 semester hours for the standard MDiv as outlined below with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher. Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 to remain in good standing and maintain eligibility for financial aid. The program may be completed in as little as three years of full-time study. Students must normally complete the program within nine years.

Previous Master’s Degrees

Students who already possess a MATS or MAPM degree from Erskine Theological Seminary or equivalent degrees from other accredited seminaries or graduate schools may use most if not all those courses toward an Erskine MDiv degree.

Master of Divinity
(90 Credit Hours)

  • BI 501 Bible Survey* or Bible elective**
  • BI 502 Principles of Exegesis (required of first-year students)
  • OT 501 Old Testament I
  • OT 502 Old Testament II
  • NT 601 New Testament I
  • NT 602 New Testament II
  • OT Exegesis elective
  • NT Exegesis elective

*BI 501 Bible Survey is required of first-year students who have not passed the Bible Challenge Exam.
**Students must have successfully completed BI 502 to earn “exegesis credit” for Bible electives and normally should have completed OT and NT survey courses.
The Seminary recommends that students complete 6-9 hours of Greek and/or Hebrew.

  • CH 501 Early and Medieval Church History
  • CH 502 Reformation and Modern Church History
  • ST 601 Systematic Theology I
  • ST 602 Systematic Theology II
  • ST 603 Systematic Theology III
  • Ethics elective
  • Missions/Contextualization elective (any MS course, or PM 742, PM 745, ST 780)
  • Theology/Church History elective or denominational history and/or doctrine course
  • PM 502 Christian Vocation and Transformation
  • CE 505 Christian Education
  • PM 507 Evangelism
  • WP 550 Basic Preaching
  • WP 551 Christian Worship
  • PM 604 Christian Leadership and Church Administration
  • PM 608 Pastoral Care and Counseling
  • PM 705 Supervised Ministry or PM 774 Clinical Pastoral Education I (CPE I)
  • PM 775 Clinical Pastoral Education II (CPE II) can be taken as a Ministry elective
  • Language courses (required for ARP students)
  • Denominational courses
Denominational Requirements

Erskine Seminary educates students from a variety of denominations. Students must consult with church officials to become familiar with their denomination’s requirements for ordination and should consult with the MDiv program director to determine the best way to meet those requirements. Students may pursue up to six hours of additional work, beyond what is required for their degree, to satisfy denominational requirements or personal interests.

Students seeking ordination in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church in America, Evangelical Presbyterian Church, and Orthodox Presbyterian Church should take nine hours of biblical Greek and Hebrew, ST 715 Westminster Standards, and PS 501 Presbyterian Church History and Polity/EP 501 Evangelical Presbyterian Church History and Polity.

Students seeking ordination in the African Methodist Episcopal Church are encouraged to take ME 501 AME History and Polity, ME 502 AME Doctrine, and ME 503 Preaching in the African American Church.

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Back To Top Erskine Theological Seminary, the graduate school of theology of Erskine College 210 South Main Street P.O. Box 338 Due West, SC 29639 800-770-6936 or 864-379-6596