Master of Divinity

The NTSW Master of Divinity (MDiv) is a 72-credit graduate degree designed for women and men who are already serving full-time in ministry, who are bi-vocational, or who are contemplating a shift from a secular to a religious vocation. The MDiv is the standard graduate degree for professional ministry in the United States and Canada. It is designed to provide exposure in considerable depth to the broader range of theological disciplines (biblical studies, history, theology, ethics, sociology of religion, and the arts of ministry) in a manner that integrates theory and practice, or reflection and action.

Many churches require the MDiv for ordination, and while others may not make it a requirement, they often encourage their pastors or other leaders to secure the degree to prepare them for more effective leadership.

Since NTSW is a teaching/learning community of choice for those seeking a transformational education rooted in the Bible and Christian spirituality to serve the world in love and justice, NTSW affirms both the centrality of Bible and the diversity of its interpretation and application. Students in the MDiv program are expected to gain a thorough acquaintance with both the First and Second Testaments (or the Old and New Testaments), as well as skills in exegesis and interpretation for ministry. There are opportunities for learning biblical languages and doing advanced work in biblical exegesis. Students are also expected to develop a deeper understanding of their own historical and theological identity through the classical disciplines of study as they develop an ability to analyze and engage the social, political, economic, and cultural forces that are encountered in the world around them. A rigorously supervised ministry program places emphasis upon pastoral formation in diverse professional contexts, while classes in the arts of ministry seek to hone student’s skills in preaching, teaching, leading worship, providing pastoral care, organizing, administering, and more.

Under the guidance of an outstanding and diverse faculty of women and men, students are invited to synthesize life experience with the academic study of religion and to gain and enhance skills relevant to the constituencies they expect to serve.

Master of Divinity Degree Requirements

*Please note: Courses are ordinarily 2 units unless otherwise designated

Area I: Bible (22/24 units)

  • The Whole Bible for the Whole Church
    • First quarter: Introduction to the Old Testament
    • Second quarter: Introduction to the New Testament
  • Psalms
  • Prophets
  • Study of a Gospel or Gospels
  • Teaching the Bible in a Multicultural World
  • Shadowing a Bible Teacher in a Local Congregation
  • Electives: Choose Two
    • The Spirituality of the Old Testament
    • I Corinthians
  • Independent Study: Topic Initiated by Student in Coordination with Faculty
  • Depending on Denominational Requirements
    • Hebrew
    • Greek

Area 2: Christian Tradition and Thought (18 units)

  • Church History I: Early Church
  • Church History II: Medieval and Reformation
  • Church History III: American Christianity
  • Introduction to Christian Belief and Practice
  • Judaism, Christianity, Islam
  • Introduction to Christian Ethics
  • Electives: Choose Two
    • Faith Engaging Culture
    • Women Christian Mystics
    • Celtic Christianity for Today’s Christians
  • Independent: topic chosen by student in coordination with faculty

Area 3: Mission and Ministry (32 Units)

  • Basic Counseling Skills
  • Christian Education
  • Leadership in a Changing Church and Culture
  • Spirituality and Social Justice
  • Worship and Sacraments
  • Preaching I
  • Preaching II
  • Church Management
  • Clinical Pastoral Education (4 units)
  • Supervised Field Education (6 units)
  • Denominational Polity [Presbyterian, Episcopal, Baptist, etc.]
  • Electives: Choose Two
    • A Spirituality for Busy People
    • Reading the Bible for Spiritual Growth
    • “Pray Without Ceasing” in a 24/7 World