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.
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.
2. Identify, develop, and use personal abilities, gifts, and gained knowledge to strengthen their church’s worship of and service to Jesus Christ.
3. Demonstrate growing Christ-like character through writing and the practice of ministry.
4. Preach and teach the Bible clearly and passionately as to engage the mind and move the heart. Lead competently and care passionately.
5. Display a biblical vision for ministry and servant-leadership.
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 undergraduate degree may be awarded the Diploma in Theology by completing the same curriculum.
Students must complete 84-90 semester hours of coursework 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.
Master’s students may register for only one directed or independent study for every 30 hours of coursework completed.
Students may transfer up to one-half of the credits required for their degree, but no more than half of the credits may have been previously applied to another graduate degree; only courses with grades of C (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) or higher may be transferred. Transferred and cross-registration courses may not be used to satisfy residency requirements. In consultation with their program advisors, students may transfer courses from BibleMesh or Reasons to Believe. Only courses that are not offered by Erskine and are necessary for degree completion can be transferred. Contact the Associate Dean’s office for details and approvals – firstname.lastname@example.org or 864-379-6595.
Dual Master’s Degrees
Students who wish to combine the MDiv with an Erskine MATS degree must complete the 90 hours required for the MDiv, plus one half of the hours for the MATS (i.e., a total of 114 hours) and must take all courses required for both degrees. Both degrees will ordinarily be conferred at the same time, after the requirements for both have been met.
- 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.
The Seminary recommends that students complete 6-9 hours of Greek and/or Hebrew.
Students must have successfully completed BI 502 in order to earn “exegesis credit” for Bible electives and normally
should have completed OT and NT survey courses.
- 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)
- 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
Erskine Seminary educates students from a variety of denominations. Students must consult with church officials to become familiar with their denominations’ 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 that required for their degree in order 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 each 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.