Master of Divinity Requirements

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The Master of Divinity degree requires 72 semester hours of required and elective courses with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5. If you study full-time, you should complete the Master of Divinity degree in three years. If you study part-time, you can take up to six years to complete the degree. (The Academic Council may grant extensions for special circumstances.)

Course Requirements

Gateway Courses (15 hours)
To be taken during your first year of M.Div. studies. You must complete these gateways within your first 24 credit hours of study to continue in the Master of Divinity program.

  • Gateway to Theological Education and Spiritual Formation
  • Gateway to the Practice of Interpreting the Bible
  • Gateway to the Practice of Interpreting Christian Tradition
  • Gateway to the Practice of Theological Reflection
  • Gateway to the Practice of Entrepreneurial Leadership

The Practices (45 hours)

You will need to take three courses for each practice selected from designated course offerings.

  • INSPIRE: Worship, Preaching and Interpreting the Christian Faith (9 hours)
  • LEAD: Leading and Guiding Organizational Life (9 hours)
  • SERVE: Leading and Guiding Opportunities for Mission (9 hours)
  • LOVE: Caring for the Community (9 hours)
  • LIVE: Living and Modeling a Life-Giving Faith (9 hours)
  • Other course offerings (9 hours)

You may select these courses from among those designated under The Practices or from other course offerings.

Cohort Learning (3 hours)
You will participate in a cohort group every semester at CTS. The cohorts will focus on a different theme each semester. You will earn half a credit hour per semester for cohort learning.

  • Semester 1: Vocation
  • Semester 2: Spiritual Formation
  • Semester 3: Diversity
  • Semester 4: Immersion Experience
  • Semester 5: Reflection on Supervised Ministry Experience
  • Semester 6: Reflection on Supervised Ministry Experience and Integrative Ministry Project

Learning Ministry Together (second year)
Learning Ministry Together (LMT) is a peer group-based approach to learning ministry that immerses groups in congregations with exceptional vocation, theological and missional clarity and alongside seasoned, imaginative, effective pastors. During the year of LMT, you will enroll in two co-requisite courses:

  • Context, Church and Ministry (fall semester)
  • Leadership for the Church and Community (spring semester)

Supervised Ministry Internship (third year)    
During the third year of the M.Div., you will serve in an individual Supervised Ministry Internship. Ministry sites reflect a range of opportunities — congregations, denominational and judicatory settings, and community agencies — and will provide you with a breadth and depth of experience in the particularities of your ministry site and its context. Your cohort experience in the third year will allow you to reflect on your ministry experiences under the guidance of the cohort mentor and to develop your final semester-culminating Integrative Ministry Project.

Clinical Pastoral Education
Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is hospital-based, pastoral training required for ordination by many denominations. If you complete CPE, you may apply the six credit hours in one of the following ways: 3 hours in the Love practice area and 3 hours in the Live practice area; 3 hours in either the Love or Live practice area and 3 hours in other course offerings; or all six hours in other course offerings.

Denomination Electives
CTS offers special courses required for ordination by several denominations, including the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); the Presbyterian Church (USA); the United Methodist Church; the United Church of Christ; the American Baptist Churches, USA; and the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Most of these courses count toward graduation as general electives; a few count as practice-specific electives.

Total credit hours: 72 hours

CTS reinvented the Master of Divinity for fall semester 2015. Learn about the reasons for the changes, here.