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Academic Programs: Master of Divinity
The Master of Divinity (M.Div.) is the major program of the Seminary. It is designed to provide a well-rounded preparation for ordained ministry by:
(1) providing students with the foundational knowledge in all disciplines essential to the practice of ordained ministry; and
(2) enabling students to interpret that knowledge and apply it in a relevant way in the cultural contexts of their own ministries. In Track I this program may be completed in a minimum of three or a maximum of seven years; in Track II the program may be completed in a minimum of four or a maximum of eight years. The Alabama Extension program is coordinated with the Track II program.
The M.Div. is awarded upon the satisfactory completion of 90 credit hours distributed among required courses, a writing component, and elective courses, as described in the chapter on "Curricula and Courses." According to the number of credits earned, students in the M.Div. program are classified as follows:
Junior: a student having completed fewer than 30 semester hours.
Middler: a student having completed 30-59 semester hours.
Senior: a student having completed 60, but fewer than the 90 semester hours.
Two Tracks in the Master's Programs
The Seminary offers its Master's degree programs in two tracks:
Track I courses are ordinarily offered Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, from 8:10am to 6:00pm.
Track II courses are ordinarily offered on Fridays from 6:00pm to 11:00pm, and on Saturdays from 8:00am to 4:00pm.
Track II is a flexible arrangement which makes it possible for mature, working, and commuting students to pursue graduate degrees without severely disrupting their obligations to family and careers. The courses offered in this track are usually taught by the regular faculty of the Seminary, and meet the same high academic standards as the courses taught in Track I. Students in the Alabama Extension program will meet their classes concurrently with Track II students in Salisbury via electronic delivery in our state of the art virtual classrooms.
Students enrolled in either track may take courses in the other track, providing they take the majority of courses in the track in which they are registered, and that the total number of credits to be attempted in both tracks in a semester does not exceed a maximum of 15 semester hours. Track II students in their first semester may not exceed a maximum of 9 semester hours. Permission must be obtained from the Dean to exceed that maximum.
Curricula and Courses in the Master's Programs
The curricula of the M.Div. and M.T.S. programs consist of three components. The first component is a series of required courses, which insure that all students in each program have the same broad foundation on which to build. The second component is elective courses. Students, in consultation with their advisors, may select courses that will allow them to pursue areas of particular interest and/or gain skill areas where they are weak. Third is a research/synthesis component, which consists of either a theology of ministry paper or a thesis. Students should consult with their advisors to determine which option is best suited for them.
Courses in the master's programs are divided into five areas, according to subject matter: Biblical Studies, History of Christianity, Theology and Ethics, Religion and Society, and Pastoral Theology.
Total hours required for the M.Div. degree 90
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