Master of Divinity (MDiv)
The Master of Divinity (MDiv) is a professional ministerial degree that equips people for pastoral leadership and service in churches, Christian ministries, and chaplaincy contexts, especially for ministerial settings that require ordination. The MDiv also prepares people for advanced theological degrees (e.g., ThM, DMin, and/or PhD). The degree provides a broad and integrated curriculum of foundational studies in Bible, theology, Church history, and the practice of ministry. The chaplaincy track is 84 credit hours including Clinical Pastoral Education. The general MDiv track is 90 credit hours.
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.
- Graduates will develop a biblical vision for ministry and demonstrate humble leadership toward that vision.
Student Learning Outcomes
In dependence upon the grace of God, Master of Divinity (MDiv) graduates will be able to:
1. Articulate (both orally and in writing) the essential biblical, theological, historical, cultural, and ministerial concepts necessary for a lifetime of learning and effectiveness in pastoral ministry. (Articulation and Essentials)
2. Interpret the Bible within its canonical and historical contexts and apply the message of the Bible to contemporary life through preaching, teaching, and pastoral care, while drawing upon the Church’s theological and historical heritage. (Interpretation and Application)
3. Discuss graciously the essentials of evangelical Christianity and the Reformed theological tradition within the contexts of diverse ecclesiologies, contemporary cultures, and global Christianity. (Evangelical and Reformed)
4. Identify contemporary issues in the Church and the world and demonstrate the ability to theologically evaluate and pastorally address those issues. (Theological and Pastoral Integration)
5. Demonstrate love for Jesus Christ and growth in sanctification toward personal, relational, and spiritual maturity appropriate to pastoral ministry. (Sanctification)
6. Demonstrate competence for faithful and effective pastoral leadership within the Church and in its mission to the world, through preaching, teaching, worship leading, evangelism, pastoral care, and administration. (Pastoral Leadership)
Applicants must have completed a baccalaureate degree at an accredited institution with an acceptable grade point average. (See “Admissions” for details.)
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 BI 080 Bible Challenge Exam*
- BI 502 Principles of Exegesis (required of first-year students)**
- PM 502 Christian Vocation and Transformation
*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.
- OT 501 Old Testament I
- OT 502 Old Testament II
- NT 601 New Testament I
- NT 602 New Testament II
- Bible elective*
- OT Exegesis elective
- NT Exegesis elective
*Students who pass the Bible Challenge Exam must take an additional Bible elective in lieu of BI 501 Bible Survey.
- 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
- 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 by ARP Church and other presbyterian denominations)
- Denominational courses
*The Seminary recommends that students take 6-9 hours of Greek and/or Hebrew.
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 9 hours of biblical Greek and Hebrew, ST 715 Westminster Standards, and PS 501 Presbyterian Church and Polity or 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.