Master of Divinity
Here’s what it takes
The Moravian MDiv degree requires a total of 78 credits of coursework. You can finish in three years of full-time study. But you must finish within seven years.
Our program addresses the following Learning Outcomes:
- Biblical Knowledge & Interpretation: Analyze passages of both the Old and New Testaments, demonstrating knowledge of the larger contexts of the passages and interpret the meanings of the passages in ministry settings.
- Intercultural Engagement & Action: Identify and engage diverse and overlapping cultural and social dynamics in various settings.
- Personal & Spiritual Formation: Describe, practice, and model spiritual and ethical practices and discernment that form and nurture one’s own and others’ faith.
- Pastoral Leadership: Able to guide a community of faith in fulfilling its ministry & mission courageously and judiciously.
- Intellectual & Professional Integration: Integrate the variety of disciplines in theological education in a coherent articulation of one’s own theology and approach to pastoral ministry.
- Theological & Ecclesiastical Heritage: Describe the development of Christian worship, doctrine, symbols, structures, and diversity of theological perspectives.
Ordination is governed and bestowed by specific religious bodies and not by the Seminary. Getting your MDiv does not guarantee ordination. Approval as a candidate for ordination is a separate and parallel track to the admissions process at MTS. Be sure to consult your denominational authorities about your specific ordination requirements, and we will work closely with you to help you stay on top of those requirements.
You can take many of our courses via distance learning. Some of these might be intensive classes or "hybrid" classes in which at least 50% of the course is held with all students on campus. The Seminary does not currently offer a completely online degree program. To obtain the MDiv degree, students must complete at least one year of full-time academic study or its equivalent on campus in Bethlehem, PA.
Supervised Ministry orientation takes place over 2 semesters. Supervised Ministry 1 and Supervised Ministry 2 provide an overview of the elements and requirements of the two-year Supervised Ministry placement, including learning covenants, supervision, and evaluation. Taken during the first semester, Supervised Ministry 1 enables you to experience worship and parish life in a number of different congregations. In Supervised Ministry 2, you shadow two pastors, learning more fully about their congregations with an eye toward identifying a potential Supervised Ministry placement site.
Typically, you carry out your Supervised Ministry placement at one setting for four semesters. You participate in all areas of their ministry setting, including worship leadership, pastoral care and counseling, program development, and administrative leadership. Supervisors provide evaluations every semester. You also complete assignments from several courses at their Supervised Ministry placement, integrating learning through practical application.
You complete Portfolio 1 during the first semester of Supervised Ministry placement and Portfolio 2 during the last of the four semesters of Supervised Ministry. Portfolio courses guide your learning covenant development at the beginning of the semester and examine Supervisor evaluations at the end of the semester. You’ll also cover topics such as pastoral identity and authority, the history and life of the congregation, and ministry procedures. Projects, final assessments, and capstone sermons demonstrate your developing pastoral identity and ability to do theological reflection.
Intercultural Immersion Experiences
As an MDiv student, you are required to take a three-credit cultural immersion course. Cultural immersion experiences could be local or could involve travel in the US or internationally. These courses include preparation, processing the experience as you engage in it, debriefing, and discerning ways to incorporate the learnings in your vocation.
Continuing Education Requirement
Each MDiv student is required to participate in at least 6 continuing education programs. You get to choose which ones you attend—and there are lots to choose from.
Adding a Concentration or Graduate Certificate
You can focus your electives on biblical studies, contemplative practices, or spiritual formation and obtain a 7-credit Concentration in Formative Spirituality or dive deeper with a Graduate Certificate in Biblical Studies, Spiritual Direction, or Formative Spirituality.
Admitting Non-Baccalaureate Students to the MDiv Program
Under exceptional circumstances, the Admissions and Standing Committee may accept a student into the MDiv program who does not hold a baccalaureate degree.
The student shall be an approved candidate for the ministry or already serving in some form of ministry and shall be specifically endorsed for study by the student's sponsoring denomination. The student shall demonstrate sufficient background and ability to handle master's level work. This may be determined by the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or satisfactory completion of one year of studies in upper level courses in the social sciences and humanities at an accredited undergraduate institution. Grades for these courses must be at the A and B level.
All non-baccalaureate students are admitted to the Seminary on academic probation. The probation period will end after the student has attained a 2.75 average after two consecutive semesters of full-time coursework or after 12 credit hours for part-time students.