MDiv: Master of Divinity
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 with us.
As a preparation for vocational ministry, our MDiv 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.
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.
Another feature of the MACL, MATS, and MDiv degrees at HBU is the advantage of studying at a comprehensive university. HBU offers many graduate certificates, which allows you to pursue 12 hours of coursework in another academic area. In conjunction with your MACL, MATS, and MDiv degree students are able to use 12 of the elective hours and pursue an “embedded certificate,” from another academic discipline. This allows students to focus their theological and biblical studies toward a specific area of ministry. For example:
- Church Planting – MACL/MATS/MDiv + certificate in Entrepreneurial Leadership
- Addiction Ministry – MACL/MATS/MDiv + certificate in Addiction and Recovery Studies
- Children or Family Ministry – MACL/MATS/MDiv + certificate in Marriage and Family Studies
- Human Trafficking Ministry – MACL/MATS/MDiv + certificate in Human Sexuality Studies
- Christian Life Coaching – MACL/MATS/MDiv + certificate in Professional Life Coaching
- Ministry to Military Veterans – MACL/MATS/MDiv + certificate in Military and Veteran Care Studies
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.
Advantages and Opportunities
Our Master of Divinity (MDiv) 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. These are the aspects of our program that highlight this discipleship focus:
Discipleship begins with your personal relationship with God and his body, the Church. In the first four semesters of the 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 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.
The degree is 72 credit hours, which takes approximately three years full-time. It includes these areas:
Methodology (3 hours)
CHRI 5305 Theological Inquiry (Should be taken within first 9 hours of studies)
Practical Theology (24 hours)
CHRI 5101-4 Spiritual Formation 1-4 (4 Semesters, 1 hr each)
8 hours of Internship (CHRI 5110 [1 hr] and CHRI 5210 [2 hrs])
12 hours of Ministry Electives (from courses covering a practical theology topic)
Biblical Studies (12 hours)
CHRI 5350 Theology of the New Testament
CHRI 5360 Theology of the Old Testament
1 OT Elective (from the Christian Scriptures courses: CHRI 5310/6315/6325)
1 NT Elective (from the Christian Scriptures courses: CHRI 5315/6320/6328)
Biblical Languages (12 hours)*
6 hours of Greek or Hebrew
6 hours of Language Electives (Can be a second language or upper-level reading courses)
Total: 72 Hours
* There’s an English track in which these 12 hours can be taken as English language Biblical Studies classes.
**Note: Those entering the program without a prior undergraduate degree in theology, or without prior graduate studies in theology, are required to take CHRI 5300 Introduction to Biblical Texts and Doctrines in their first semester.
Costs, Scholarships and Financing
To find the costs of the program, see the current year Graduate Tuition and Fees for the MDiv program. Note: It is the same as the MATS tuition.
Important Deadlines: Your Application file must be completed and the Scholarship Application must be submitted by these dates to be considered for scholarships: Summer: April 1, Fall: July 1, Spring: November 1.
Students may take out loans to help finance the cost of their graduate education. To be eligible for federal loans, students must take at least 5 hours for a fall or spring semester or 4 hours in the summer.
There are a variety of ways to engage the Department of Theology: we’re on Facebook, we have a community blog, we offer an annual Theology Conference, and we have regular lectures by preeminent scholars as part of the A.O. Collins Lecture Series.