Master of Divinity

Bethany’s master of divinity (MDiv) program is a professional degree program designed to prepare persons for church-related ministries requiring ordination. This includes

  • pastoral ministry;
  • evangelism and church planting;
  • chaplaincy programs in many settings;
  • a variety of ecclesiastical ministries;
  • many other vocations viewed as ministry.

Combining hands-on ministry experience with classroom learning, the MDiv degree can be earned through traditional on-campus studies or the MDiv track of our accredited Connections distance education program. The degree requires twenty-eight courses totaling eighty-two credit hours, covering four primary disciplines (Bible, theology and history, ministry, and peace and intercultural) and the Ministry Formation sequence.

At the heart of the MDiv program is Ministry Formation, a process of learning ministry by doing and reflecting upon ministry, to which the whole curricular program contributes. Ministry Formation features two supervised ministry experiences in different settings:

  • A nine-month part-time ministry placement during the second (middler) year
  • A unit of clinical pastoral education; a full-time intern year; or a prior, extended, or summer placement

Program Objectives

The MDiv program is designed to prepare persons for ordained and other ministries that are grounded in radical discipleship to Jesus Christ, that embody the reconciling love of God incarnate in Christ, and that bear witness to the fullness of God’s shalom and Christ’s peace. This purpose informs the entire educational program and shapes the following educational objectives.

Graduates of the master of divinity program will

  1. interpret skillfully the Christian sources, including scripture, history, and theology and church practices, with special attention to the Anabaptist-Pietist heritage;
  2. integrate learning from theological and other disciplines with the practice of ministry;
  3. communicate religious faith and values effectively, listen well, and express faith with clarity in ways that are theologically informed and culturally persuasive;
  4. articulate a commitment to building intercultural competency, engagement with people of various cultures, and attentive to the diversity and intersection of cultures;
  5. demonstrate an understanding of theology and ministry that engages people across generations, including youth and young adults;
  6. provide visionary, transformative, and collaborative modes of leadership with the communities they serve;
  7. possess the skills needed to guide groups in theologically-based conflict analysis and conflict transformation;
  8. exhibit evidence of formation for embodied ministry that holds together thinking, being, and doing;
  9. establish a commitment to learning as a lifelong process.

Flexible and Focused

The flexibility of course options in ministry studies and general electives allows students to go both deep and wide in their educational experience and to follow their passions and calling in innovative ways.

Ministry Foci

Within ministry studies, the six required courses include one each in the areas of preaching, worship, and intergenerational ministry. For the remaining three courses, students may choose one of two options: (1) any ministry studies courses of interest to them or (2) a group of related courses to earn a ministry focus in one of the following areas:

  • Conflict Transformation
  • Education and Human Development
  • Evangelism and Missional Church
  • Leadership and Administration
  • Preaching and Worship
  • Youth and Young Adult Ministry
  • Design your own (with approval)

Program Emphases

MDiv students may also use their general electives to group courses together into one of twelve program emphases, enabling them to specialize in another area of the curriculum or earn a second ministry focus.

For more information about a master of divinity at Bethany, refer to the Bethany Academic Catalog.

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