Master of Divinity

 

NationsUniversity 's Master of Divinity program seeks to train Christian leaders that are inclined for applied Christian living and ministry. The University's Master of Divinity program is designed as a general ministry professional degree.

Therefore, NationsUniversity M.Div. graduates are prepared for advanced professional degree programs, e.g., Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) studies or Doctor of Christian Education. However, candidates planning to undertake doctoral studies in the academic tracts of religion, theology, biblical languages, philosophy, apologetics, or church history may need to reconsider if the University's M.Div. program will serve their personal ministry/education goals.

The program objectives for the Master of Divinity degree and learning outcomes (LO) are listed below:

1.  Students will demonstrate mastery of the advanced skills necessary for instructing and developing faith in themselves and others.

LO 1  Synthesize biblical facts within their historical-social-grammatical context

LO 2  Interpret Scripture for modern situations by applying hermeneutical principles and tools

LO 3  Evaluate and communicate complex ideas through the use of oral anD written communication

LO 4  Utilize a virtual community to discuss matters of faith and personal development

LO 5  Formulate, execute, and evaluate ministry projects using research-based "best practices"

LO 6  Evaluate theological issues, both theoretical and practical, using both online and printed research resources
                
 2.  Students will apply current, research-based models of ministry with a recognition of the church's presence in diverse settings.

LO 1  Compare the forms and function of ministry from a New Testament perspective

LO 2  Assess appropriate interaction between cultural settings and biblical doctrine

LO 3  Compare and contrast the history, development, and doctrines of major world religions, including Christianity

3.  Students will explore major historical developments of the Christian church, including both doctrines and practices.

LO 1  Summarize the origins, evolution, and reformation of the Christian church and its doctrines and practices

LO 2  Evaluate current orthodoxy and orthopraxis in light of historical development

4.  Students will demonstrate an advanced understanding of the spiritual and personal traits necessary for ministry.

LO 1  Demonstrate competency in developing and evaluating interpersonal relationships

LO 2  Commit to personal spiritual formation and development

LO 3  Assess moral and ethical issues using a distinctly Christian worldview

NationsUniversity M.Div. graduates are educationally prepared for the following possible careers as a minister, Bible teacher, or other church leader.   

 

Time Allowance and Financial Costs

The M.Div. program includes spirituality, biblical content, meaning, exegesis, and ministerial activity.  The projected completion time is twenty-eight months of full-time uninterrupted study.  

 

To meet these objectives, NU courses are designed to provide an orientation to basic worldviews, the biblical text, the science of interpreting the biblical text, the setting for ministry in multi-cultural situations, and principles for Christian ministry.

The program features three components: a general foundation for the work of ministry, field-based experience, and in-depth academic training. The NationsUniversity curriculum is structured to help distance-learning students acquire field experience in their own location, which is normally different and far distant from the U.S. field of ministry. The curriculum is not organized around a question or theme peculiar to a given culture, but is more universal in scope. Issues, which are current in the American context, may not be the peculiar issues which NationsUniversity is equipping its students to face. The issues of most concern to the personnel at NationsUniversity are those which are defined by the New Testament. While they include some of the same cultural items, they also include broader, global concerns, such as (1) the deity of Jesus in the face of Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, or Traditional beliefs, (2) biblical vs. secular ethics, and (3) living as a Christian in an environment dominated by Communist or Muslim ideology.

 

Admission to the Master of Divinity

1.  Submission of an official transcript that indicates completion of a bachelor's degree (minimum 120 credits with appropriate general education courses) or higher degree.  In the event a student cannot, for reasons beyond his/her control, submit official documentation of having completed the bachelor's degree, he/she may appeal to the Registrar and state the reasons.  The Registrar and Chancellor will review the appeal and make a judgment as to how the requirement may be satisfied.

2.  Completion of 15 credits of Foundations courses (MRS 622, M 1, M 2, M 3, and M 4) with a 3.00 grade point average.

3.  Submission of all required activities, papers, and forum postings associated with the Foundation courses.

4.  Pass a Qualifying Examination

5.  Satisfaction of all financial obligations to the University.

6.  Submission of a TOEFL score of 550 or above or acceptable substitute (80 iBT, 6.5 IELPS, 58 PTE score) by students whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate degree is not in English.       

Students may enter the M.Div. directly, if they hold a bachelor's degree and a major in any discipline, provided the institution is accredited by an appropriate commission or agency and the degree represents a minimum 120 semester credits with 30 credits in General Education and a Grade Point Average of 3.00 or above.  Applicants holding an accredited graduate degree are exempt from this stipulation.  The number of admissions granted to students presenting an unaccredited degree are limited.  When admission is granted, the student will be placed on academic probation until six (6) graduate credits are earned with a 3.00 G.P.A.

 An applicant having completed the B.R.S. at NationsUniversity with a G.P.A. of 3.00 or above may be admitted automatically upon application, unless there is some circumstance that makes admission problematic.  Students who complete the B.R.S. with a G.P.A. lower than 3.00 will be reviewed, but they are not guaranteed admission. If they are admitted, it will be on academic probation and with the stipulation that the first six credits have a minimum 3.00 G.P.A. If the student fails to achieve a 3.00 G.P.A. on the first six credits, he/she shall be suspended from the degree track and may not be readmitted until a 3.00 G.P.A. is attained, provided the student chooses to take additional courses.

Those who do not hold the B.R.S. from NU may register and begin work immediately with MRS 622. However, formal admission into the M.R.S. program will come after a review of the of the applicant's official credentials, the completion of 15 credits (MRS 622, M 1, M 2, M 3, and M 4) with a 3.00 G.P.A. or higher, and satisfactory scores on two qualifying examinations.  Once admission is gained, the above mentioned credits will apply toward the M.Div. degree.  It is to the student's advantage that proof of the bachelor's degree be submitted immediately after registration. Until formal admission is granted, the student shall be considered a non-degree seeking student. Once formal admission is granted, the student is assigned to the M.Div. curriculum. Courses which have been completed will count toward the degree.

B.R.S. graduates from NU who have credit for BRS 16.6 should substitute a course of their choice for MRS 622.  Credit cannot be granted for MRS 622 when credit has been awarded for BRS 16.6.

If the student presents a three-year Bachelor of Theology or similar degree or diploma, the student may be admitted to the master's program only after completing the 30 approved credits. However, in this instance, a bachelor's degree will not be awarded, as the credits are considered "leveling work.

Transfer Credits. Students who enter the M.Div. with graduate credit and/or graduate degrees in religious or related studies from an accredited institution, may transfer up to 30 semester credits toward the M.Div.  Students who have completed other graduate degrees at NU are accorded the same privilege.

 

Required Courses

The 84 semester credits required for the M.Div. must be distributed in the following manner:

Spiritual Formation (6 credits)

                  A Search for Spirituality (MRS 622)*

                  Being Christian in a Secular Environment (MRS 633)

Foundations (15 credits)

                  Critical Introduction to the Old Testament (M 1)

                  Critical Introduction to the New Testament (M 2)

                  Systematic Biblical Doctrine (M 3)

                  Biblical Hermeneutics (M 4)

                  Critical Analysis in Biblical Studies (M 11)

Ministry (12 credits)

                  Ministry (M 12)

                  Worship (M 13)

                  Missions (M 606)

                  Family (MRS 624)

Concluding Courses (9 credits)

                  Church and Society (MFI 5)

                  M.Div. Service Project (M 14)

                  Research and Writing (M 17)

Electives (42 credits with 6 credit minimum from each category)

                  Biblical Backgrounds (MRS 100s)

                  Hebrew Scriptures (MRS 200s)

                  Greek Scriptures (MRS 300s)

                  Church History (MRS 400s)

                  Theology (MRS 500s)

                  Comparative Religions (MRS 700s)

The final Grade Point Average must be a minimum of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale on the credits used for the degree. If a student reaches the end of the curriculum with less than a 3.00 G.P.A., he/she may take additional courses to substitute for courses with a "C grade.

* Students having taken BRS 16.6 at the undergraduate level should substitute an elective for MRS 622.