Master of Divinity

This degree seeks to provide students with an extensive and dynamic combination of theological and ministerial formation, which prepares them to offer an engaging, well-formed witness to the world, usually through professional ministry. Those preparing for ecclesial ministry, the permanent diaconate, and the ministerial priesthood will wish to explore this degree program. A student who completes the MDIV can expect to demonstrate:

Program Outcomes

  • Academic (intellectual)
    • basic knowledge in theological disciplines (biblical, historical, theological and pastoral)
    • ability to articulate and nuance teachings/doctrines of the Church
    • ability to interpret and appropriate the Church’s social teachings
    • ability to think and analyze critically
    • ability to access resources
    • ability to articulate one’s own theology
    • ability to write clearly and coherently
    • ability to integrate and make connections
    • have an understanding of the teachings of the Church
  • Ministerial (pastoral)
    • skills in public speaking and chairing meetings
    • ability to lead prayer and worship
    • understanding of the liturgical and sacramental tradition of the Church
    • ability to break open the Word in the context of homily, catechesis and preparation for sacraments
    • familiarity with ecclesial administration
    • ability to work collaboratively
    • basic knowledge in canon law
    • zeal for mission and service
    • awareness of an ability to fulfill a public role as a church representative
    • ecumenical sensitivity
    • ability to administer a parish
    • ability to preach
    • knowledge of how the ecclesiastical constituency works
  • Spiritual
    • foundation and growth in spiritual life
    • commitment to prayer and reflection
    • commitment to life-long growth in relationship to God and Christ
    • evidence of having done discernment regarding vocation
    • appreciation of one’s call to ministry
    • relationship with a community of faith
  • Personal/interpersonal (human)
    • healthy sense of self-strengths and limitations
    • ability to be self-reflective
    • ability to integrate all aspects of formation and ministry
    • ability to balance various responsibilities and commitments
    • openness (one who evidences growth)
    • ability to relate to others
    • competency in basic counseling skills
    • broader cultural awareness
    • global perspective
    • evidence of having worked on one’s limitations
    • growth as a moral person

Program Overview:

25 courses (75 credits)

  • 21 Required Courses:
    • Foundational Courses
      • C215 Orientation to Theological Studies
      • D214 Spiritual Formation
    • Area A : Biblical Theology
      • A202 Intro. to Hebrew Scriptures
      • A203 Intro. to Christian Scriptures
      • A301 Pauline & Deutero-Pauline Writings
      • A307 Prophets & Writings
    • Area B: Historical Theology
      • B204 History of Christianity
      • Area B Elective
    • Area C: Systematic Theology
      • C217 Moral & Social Teachings
      • C226 Worship & Sacraments
      • C228 Church & Ministry
      • C302 Theology of the Trinity
      • C388 Contemporary Moral Issues
    • Area D: Pastoral Theology
      • D202 Liturgical Leadership
      • D203 Liturgical Preaching
      • D207 Ministerial Leadership
      • D217 Pastoral Care I
      • D218 Pastoral Care II: Grief & Crisis Care
      • D302 Pastoral Formation I
      • D304 Pastoral Formation II
      • Area D Elective
  • 4 Elective Courses

Courses

  • C215 Orientation to Theological Studies
    This course orients students to the various aspects of theological studies and the way theology functions in a faith community. Key issues such as faith, revelation, scripture, tradition, human experience, and worship are explored with an eye to how they are integrated into the entire discipline of theology. The course aims at helping the student develop a framework in which to understand how one engages in critical theological reflection in light of human experience in general and pastoral/ministerial life in particular.
  • D214 Spiritual Formation
    This course provides a broad introduction to the ways in which people appropriate the mystery of faith, the process entailed in that appropriation, and an overview of the history of that process and the types of experiences which have emerged in that history. Students can achieve reflective understanding of their own practice, develop it more consciously and be enabled to appreciate and assist others in this area of ministry.
  • A202 Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures
    A general introduction to the social history, content and theological themes of the Hebrew Scriptures. A basic orientation to methods of biblical study.
  • A203 Introduction to Christian Scriptures
    An introduction to the history and literature of the Christian movement in the first and second centuries with particular attention to the New Testament in regards to literary components, composition facets, theological themes, and interpretive principles.
  • A301 Pauline and Deutero-Pauline Writings
    St. Paul is connected to no less than 14 books of the New Testament (Acts and 13 Epistles). As a major figure of early Christianity he continues to fascinate and puzzle Christians. This course will explore what is known of the historical Paul and the three generations of Pauline literature found in the New Testament. Particular attention will be given to Paul's theology, with an important survey of rhetorical forms as well as the socio-anthropological assumptions that informed his understanding of the Christ event as the turning point of human history.
  • B204 History of Christianity
    The purpose of this course is to examine the history of the Church from the fourth century until the early twelfth century with special emphasis on the separation of Rome and Constantinople.
  • C217 Moral and Social Teachings.
    Introduction to the fields of moral theology and Catholic Social Thought: their purpose in the life of the Church; their methods, their problems. The content of the course is a thorough treatment of methodological issues rather than analysis of specific moral or social dilemmas, though specific issues and cases are used for purposes of illustration and assisting students in developing skills of application to practical situations. Among the topics to be addressed: sin and conversion, moral growth and development, sources of moral wisdom, methods of moral decision making, conscience and discernment, and the development of Catholic Social Thought.
  • C226 Worship and Sacraments
    An historical, anthropological and theological investigation of Christian worship and sacrament with special attention to the Roman Catholic Sacraments of baptism and Eucharist; historical overview of liturgical practices, texts, and theology from Jewish and scriptural origins to the 20th-century Vatican II reforms; basic principles of liturgical and sacramental theology; and groundwork for interpreting liturgical documents and ritual texts from pastoral practice, multi/inter-cultural concerns, and ecumenical considerations.
  • C228 Church & Ministry
    Historical and theological overview of the Christian understanding of church and ministry, with the Second Vatican Council (especially Lumen Gentium and Gaudium et Spes) as primary points of reference. While the western and Roman Catholic context is central to the presentation, global and ecumenical considerations characterize the treatment of such topics as diversity in the early church(es)’s understanding of its mission, the development of ecclesial structures within their historical and cultural contexts, centralization to the papacy and the magisterium, the church as local/universal, the priesthood of the faithful, ecumenical dialogue, and the origin, function, and evolution of ordained and lay ministries.
  • C302 Theology of the Trinity
    This course examines and explores the nature of the Christian God as unity and Trinity. It focuses on God’s reality as creator, as redeemer in the person of Jesus who we proclaim the Christ, and as unifier and advocate in the person of the Spirit. Since the very nature of God implies “communion,” the social implications of the Trinity are a focal point for the course. Other contemporary questions pertaining to the historical Jesus, God-language, suffering, liberation, and cultural diversity are explored as well.
  • C388 Selected Moral Issues
    Exploration of how moral theologians go about the work of critical reflection and moral decision-making. Students will review the basic sources and concepts of fundamental moral theology and then use them to consider and develop positions on contemporary moral issues.
  • D202 Liturgical Leadership
    Introduction to the theological and pastoral principles underlying the liturgical celebrations of the Church, the official documentation guiding the liturgical life of the Church, and the skills necessary for the preparation of and presiding at the worship of the Church. Course assignments will be adapted to each student’s worship tradition.
  • D203 Intro. to Liturgical Preaching
    Introduction to lectionary-based preaching in Eucharistic and other liturgical settings, considering the tools and resources for homily preparation, the meaning of the liturgical calendar, and the nature of the Liturgy of the Word. A preaching practicum is included.
  • D207 Ministerial Leadership
    As leaders, lay and ordained, in the faith community, ecclesial ministers are asked to serve in a variety of roles: as leaders or prayer, conveners of groups and committees, reconcilers and mediators, animators, and resource persons. In a faith community which proclaims and values collaboration, the ecclesial minister is nevertheless asked to develop and exercise leadership gifts. Using the model of servant leadership, this course will explore the dimensions of ministerial leadership in ways appropriate for each student’s faith tradition.
  • D217 Pastoral Care I
    This course is designed as a beginning course in understanding the basic principles and methods of pastoral care. It will focus on a theoretical background and is complemented by actual, practical experiences in pastoral listening as part of dyads and working groups.
  • D302 Pastoral Formation I
    This course is a two-semester, supervised field experience that introduces students to particular pastoral settings in order to provide them with an opportunity to critically reflect on the minister they are becoming. The experience consists of three components: participation in supervised ministry, theological reflection, and evaluation.
  • D303 Pastoral Formation II
    An additional practicum required of M.Div. students.

A complete list of Master of Divinity Electives can be found here.

Please contact Dr. Matthew Kuhner, Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology, for further details.

Contact Dr. Kuhner