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 90 semester hours. A transferring student shall normally complete the last 30 hours of studies in residence. Fifty-seven hours of core studies are designed for all students. The student will identify one of four Ministry Tracks in which to focus the remaining thirty-three hours of study, including three hours of a track-specific Mentored Ministry internship. 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. 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 Basics of Biblical Language, and three 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 distinctive feature of the MDiv program is the formation sequence. Each semester of residency, up to a maximum of six, the student shall be enrolled in a course in the sequence. The sequence is a supervised, peer-group learning setting with emphasis on intellectual and spiritual growth and accountability. The three years focus consecutively on personhood, ministry and leadership.

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 Formation in Ministry I and II. Three semester hours of a track-specific mentored internship are also required. Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and other ministry internships are available for those desiring more practical ministry experience. (See Mentored Ministry Requirements ) A cross-cultural immersion experience is also required in the MDiv program. (See Cross-Cultural Experience . Students will receive resourcing in writing and research skills early in their seminary studies, during the Christian Tradition I course.

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

Core Courses

MDiv core courses required for all: 48 SH

First Year

Fall Spring
Formation in God’s Story I (2) Formation in God’s Story II (2)
Old Testament: Text in Context (3) New Testament: Text in Context (3)
Christian Tradition I (4) Christian Tradition II (4)
Biblical Language course (3)*
Second Year

Fall Spring
Formation in Ministry I (3) Formation in Ministry II (3)
Interpreting the Biblical Text (3) Anabaptist course** (3)
Living Theology (3) Missio Dei in Cultural Context (3)
Third Year

Fall Spring
Formation in Missional Leadership I (3) Formation in Missional Leadership II (3)

Summer cross-cultural course (any year; possible internship in cross-cultural setting) (3)

*Elementary Greek or Hebrew for primary language track or Basics for alternate track

**Required only for Anabaptist-affiliated students

All tracks include these components :

Core courses: 48 SH
Biblical Studies, Primary or Alternate Language track: 12 SH
Track-related courses, guided by ministry focus: 30 SH
Track specific mentored ministry: 3 SH
Total: 90 SH

MDiv Ministry Tracks

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