Master of Divinity (MDiv Degree)
“The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” Mark 1:15
Introducing HBU’s Master Divinity Degree
A Holistic and Culturally Relevant MDiv Degree
The Department of Theology offers the Master of Divinity (MDiv) as an integrated approach to Christian theological graduate education designed to prepare students for enhanced ministry in their churches. Accordingly, the degree program is highly focused personal formation and practical experience in ministry settings, in addition to more traditional classes in order to prepare you for serving in a church or parachurch ministry.
We value and draw from our Baptist heritage, but our faculty and students represent a range of evangelical traditions and denominations. Thus, we welcome anyone who would wish to study in the MDiv degree program.
As a preparation for vocational ministry, our classes focus on giving you the core skills needed to understand and apply the Bible in your particular cultural context. So, whether your specific classes focus on biblical, systematic or practical theology, our goal is to help you integrate these so that your ministry is holistic – faithful to God’s word and relevant to our culture.
If you don’t yet have a bachelor’s, you may be interested in our Five Year BA-to-MDiv program.
Our 72-hour program is built upon study in core areas (Practical Theology, Biblical Studies, and Systematic Theology), but you have a large amount of electives within each of these areas as well as further general electives, which can be in one of the areas above or in our other MA program areas: biblical languages, apologetics, classics and philosophy.
Ministry in a multifaceted world requires multifaceted preparation. The embedded certificate allows you to receive the theological and biblical preparation you need for a sustained ministry, together with focused training to equip you for the ministry to which God has called you.
Discipleship Focus of the MDiv Degree
Our master divinity degree program is shorter than most to make it easier and more cost effective for students, and we have filled the degree plan with electives to allow you to choose the classes that most interest you. We offer the majority of our classes in the evening, in classes that meet one night per week, so you can easily wrap your studies around your work commitments. However, the idea and practice of discipleship drives the heart of the program. As many have noted before, faith is caught, not just taught, and this principle drives our MDiv degree program. The following program features highlight this discipleship focus.
Discipleship begins with your personal relationship with God and his body, the Church. In the first four semesters of the master divinity program, students will share life with faculty and other students while focusing on the classical spiritual disciplines of prayer, Bible study, community, etc. These courses are designed so that students will have a holistic spirituality that will inform and ground their ministry.
Internship and Ministry Formation
Discipleship is not just learning about ministry; it happens most fully when you can practice the skill and lead others in it. Many master’s programs functionally disciple students in becoming an academic rather than preparing students for ministry. This is clear in the program structure because most of the classes are in academic subjects and the internship is put at the very end. Our intention is that you don’t lose your focus on the Church, so we have a large number of ministry classes in the program, and you work in an internship throughout the program. This way, you are constantly connecting what goes on in the classroom with real ministry experience.
Small, Seminar-Focused Classes
Discipleship is built upon personal relationships. To foster these relationships, we cap our class sizes, so our average class has 10 to 15 students. This allows students to really get to know one another and their professors. At the same time, we focus on integrating a seminar-style of education in these classes. We don’t simply lecture; rather, we assign interesting reading and hold discussions that train you to think for yourself rather than being spoon-fed knowledge. When you leave the master divinity program, you can then be confident in your own critical thinking skills as you study the Bible and train others to be disciples of Jesus.