Master of Divinity (MDiv)

Who should consider an MDiv?

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

Inquire for more information, schedule a visit or apply today.

What is the curriculum?

81 semester hours completed in three or more years

Ministry tracks

Advisors and faculty will help guide students in the process of selecting a track. Students will choose electives based on ministry goals and potential ministry settings.

  • 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.
  • Alternate Track replaces the language requirements mentioned above with the courses Basics of Biblical Language, Interpreting the Biblical Text and an Old Testament and a New Testament book study.

Why EMS?

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. Formation in FS 501/502 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 601/602 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 701/702 Formation in Missional Leadership (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

Mentored ministry refers to a variety of experiential learning opportunities within the overall curriculum. FS 601/602 Formation in Ministry I and II (3 credits each) and an additional mentored ministry experience (3 additional credits)are required. Students are encouraged to find internships in settings that will allow them to integrate classroom learning and practice leadership skills. An individual mentoring relationship is important in these settings. Students already in ministry in a congregation may use that congregation for their Formation in Ministry I and II field placement.

For students who want additional practical ministry experience SMFE 601 Clinical Pastoral Education and other ministry internships are available. For more information see the Mentored Ministry Requirements

Cross-Cultural Competency

We believe seminary students are best equipped for ministry in our diverse world through interaction with people and cultures different from their own. All seminary students benefit from the cross-cultural study requirement. The experience may involved travel to another country or engagement with a culture significantly different from the students own culture in the United States. The seminary plans at least one cross-cultural trip every two years. Students with previous cross-cultural experience may meet the requirement by taking the Cross-Cultural Integration Seminar to reflect on their cross-cultural competency. Learn more about our philosophy and requirements for cross-cultural competency.

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


Electives will be made up of courses in the seminary or another graduate program at EMU that fit the student’s anticipated ministry setting and track. For more specific suggestions see the descriptions of ministry tracks.

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