Master of Divinity (MDiv)

MDiv Tracks | Biblical Languages | Mentored Ministry | Academic Framework

The Master of Divinity program is recommended for students seeking a comprehensive preparation for Christian ministry. In three academic years of study the student is exposed to the complete range of theological disciplines which include biblical, theological, historical, contextual, formational and practical ministry studies. Persons in leadership roles which assume broad knowledge of the church’s faith, tradition and practice should consider this program.

To qualify for the degree the student must complete 81 semester hours. A transferring student shall normally complete the last 30 hours of studies in residence. Fifty-three hours of core studies are designed for all students. The student will identify one of four Ministry Tracks in which to focus the remaining twenty-eight hours of study. The available tracks are: 1) Pastoral Ministry – for traditional congregations and emerging Christian communities; 2) Academic; 3) Specialized Ministries —Chaplain, Pastoral Counselor, Spiritual Director; and 4) Cross-Cultural and Community Mission.

A Master of Divinity is generally thought of as a degree for those interested in pastoral ministry. An MDiv at Eastern Mennonite Seminary is intended for those interested in various kinds of ministry. Our four tracks identify four main areas of ministry: pastoral ministry, academic ministry, mission in a cross-cultural or community setting, or specialized ministry, such as chaplaincy, pastoral counseling or spiritual direction. Advisors and faculty will help guide students in the process of selecting a track. Students will be encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning, identify performance goals, seek constructive feedback, and grow competent in their chosen field of ministry. Students will choose electives based on ministry goals and potential ministry settings. In some denominations the Master of Divinity is required for ordination to the Christian ministry.

Biblical Languages

In keeping with the persuasion that the expositor of God’s Word should be familiar with the original languages of Scripture, the Primary Track of this curriculum emphasizes an acquaintance with Koine Greek and Biblical Hebrew. Students will take both the Elementary and Readings course in each language (BVOT 532 Elementary Hebrew, BVOT 541 Hebrew Readings, BVNT 531 Elementary Greek, BVNT 541 Greek Readings). Exegesis courses may be taken as electives.

The seminary recognizes that not all students will benefit equally from biblical language study and so offers an Alternate Track within the MDiv program. The Alternate Track will replace the language requirements mentioned above with the course BVG 511 Basics of Biblical Language, BVG 621 Interpreting the Biblical Text and two biblical book studies, including an Old Testament and a New Testament book study. The biblical book studies throughout the curriculum build on the language knowledge acquired in either the Basics course or the elementary language courses in the Primary Track, encouraging students in the use of language tools and resources.

Formation Studies

A unique strength of Eastern Mennonite Seminary is our formation program. We believe that focusing on one’s own formation during the seminary journey is the way for ministering persons to be healthy and whole in their vocations. FS 501 and FS 502 Formation in God’s Story I & II (2 credits each) helps students understand their own lives in conversation with and connection to God’s story as found in Scripture and being written in the present in their own lives through spiritual practices. FS 601 and FS 602 Formation in Ministry I & II (3 credits each) offers students the opportunity to put their learning into practice in internship sites related to their vocational leanings with a mentor to help with on-site theological reflection. FS 701 and FS 702 Formation in Missional Leadership I & II (2 credits each) provides space for students to integrate what they have learned about themselves, God, the world, and the church as they look forward to their future in ministry. For more information please visit the formation page.

Supervised Field Education

The requirement in supervised field education or Mentored Ministry may be fulfilled in several different ways. Normally students will fulfill six hours of this requirement by taking FS 601 and FS 602 Formation in Ministry I and II. SMFE 601 Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and other ministry internships are available for those desiring more practical ministry experience. The MDiv program also has a cross-cultural competency requirement. (See Cross-Cultural Experience .

Read more about the mission, theological framework, educational philosophy , curricular framework and guiding principles of the curriculum at Eastern Mennonite Seminary.

Core Courses

Formation courses (14 SH)

Year 1

  • FS 501 Formation in God’s Story I (2 SH)
  • FS 502 Formation in God’s Story II (2 SH)

Year 2

  • FS 601 Formation in Ministry I (3 SH)
  • FS 602 Formation in Ministry II (3 SH)

Year 3

  • FS 701 Formation in Missional Leadership I (2 SH)
  • FS 702 Formation in Missional Leadership II (2 SH)

Other required courses (27 SH)*

BVOT 511 Old Testament: Text in Context (3 SH)
BVNT 512 New Testament: Text in Context (3 SH)
CTH 501 Christian Tradition I (3 SH)
CTH 512 Christian Tradition II (3 SH)
CTT 634 Living Theology (3 SH)
CM 643 Missio Dei in Cultural Context (3 SH)
CTE 702 Christian Ethics (3 SH)
SMCL elective (3 SH)
Cross-Cultural Church Experience (3 SH) – such as CM 613, CM 614, or other CM cross-cultural courses

Biblical Languages/Studies (12 SH)

Primary Track

  • BVOT 532 Elementary Hebrew (3 SH)
  • BVOT 541 Hebrew Readings (3 SH)
  • BVOT 531 Elementary Greek (3 SH)
  • BVOT 541 Greek Readings (3 SH)

Alternate Track

  • BVG 511 Basics of Biblical Language (3 SH)
  • BVG 621 Interpreting the Biblical Text (3 SH)
  • Old Testament book study elective (3 SH)
  • New Testament book study elective (3 SH)

*Anabaptist-affiliated students must take an Anabaptist studies course; Pastoral Ministry track students must take a Denominational Polity course such as CM 663 Mennonite Faith and Polity or CM 691 United Methodist Polity

Anabaptist studies courses: 
CTH 641 Mennonite History
CTT 633 Anabaptist Theology
CTT 523 Anabaptism Today: Learning with Yoder and Hauerwas
CTE 713 Sermon on the Mount: Peace, Justice and the Reign of God
BVG 541 Biblical Foundations for Justice and Peacemaking
h3. MDiv Ministry Tracks

  1. Pastoral Ministry (for traditional congregations and emerging Christian communities)
  2. Academic Track
  3. Cross-Cultural and Community Mission
  4. Specialized Ministries  Chaplain, Pastoral Counselor, Spiritual Director
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