Master of Divinity students grow in their effectiveness as care providers and in their theological competence. The M.Div. program provides a strong foundation in theology and helps you deepen your sense of personal and spiritual integration. You’ll learn to better articulate your theological and scriptural perspectives, and enhance your practice of spirituality and your commitment to service. The program delves into a range of issues, including pastoral counseling, liturgy and ritual, theological resources and assessment, and prayer, and you’ll have numerous opportunities to engage your own theologies and applications in ministerial settings.
A Master of Divinity is a prerequisite for a Doctor of Ministry program, and is a pathway toward a Ph.D. M.Div. graduates also meet the requirements for ordination in their faith tradition, and fulfill chaplain certification requirements if they seek licensing with the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, the Association of Professional Chaplains or the National Association of Catholic Chaplains.
The Master of Divinity leads to careers as chaplains, spiritual life directors and facilitators, educators, mentors, retreat directors, ethicists and other applied theology positions. Graduates work in hospitals, hospice centers, correction facilities, churches, synagogues, retirement centers and corporations, and on campuses and military bases.
For detailed application instructions, please contact the Office of Admissions.
- Marylhurst University Application for Admission
- Official transcripts from each college or university where a degree was earned
- Minimum GPA for graduate admission is 3.00*
- Student must have conferred bachelor’s degree before starting the program
- Statement of intent
- Recommendations (2)
- Admissions interview with department faculty
* Applicants with a Grade Point Average (GPA) lower than 3.0 are required to take the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) and earn a minimum score of 398.
A maximum of 16 transfer credits may be applied toward the degree with department approval. Transfer credits must have a B grade or higher. Students wishing to transfer a class with a grade of pass will be asked to submit substantial evaluation of performance. Eight credits of practicum and the master’s project courses must be taken at Marylhurst.
Program Learning Outcomes
Students completing the Master of Divinity will be able to:
- Work as a beginning spiritual counselor or spiritual director for individuals.
- Provide pastoral and spiritual care in one or more specific settings.
- Integrate psychology and theology through use of theological reflection models.
- Assess and refer persons for counseling or therapy when skills beyond one’s own are called for in the situation.
- Develop strategies for maintaining one’s own physical, intellectual, social and spiritual wellness while providing pastoral and spiritual care for others.
- Attain personal, spiritual, pastoral and professional maturity.
- Comprehend the cultural foundations, visions, origins, histories, major literary expression and teachings of religious or philosophical systems through an understanding of theological positions, ethical and social teachings.
- Identify and clarify one’s own position on theology, spirituality, morality and philosophy of life in relation to historical spiritual and philosophical traditions.
- Examine and experience spiritualities or teachings through exposure to spiritual practices, values and prayer practices of some spiritual traditions.
- Explore ethical approaches and values arising from theological or philosophical systems through comparing applied ethical positions (ethics of medicine, business and ecology).
- Appreciate the diversity and richness in a spiritual or philosophical tradition; or identify relationships between philosophical studies and other liberal arts.
Master of Divinity Equivalency
Students with a previous master’s degree may wish to earn a Master of Divinity equivalency to assist in satisfying the requirements for ordination or specific certifications like chaplaincy within a specific religious affiliation or professional agency, or to enter the Doctorate in Ministry degree. The course requirements for the equivalency vary depending on the previous degree earned and the areas of competence required by the specific religious affiliation or agency. The program will evaluate the student’s previous coursework to determine which requirements have already been fulfilled and will work closely within the standards of the specific institution or agency to determine what additional coursework is needed.
A maximum of two classes with C grades will be applied towards the degree.
Biblical Studies - 28 credits
Graduate Theological Union Area I: Biblical Languages, Old and New Testament Studies, Exegetical Method Area
Historical & Theological Studies - 28 credits
Graduate Theological Union Areas II, III, IV: church history, systematic theology, philosophy and philosophical theology, ethics. (Area elective includes one course in history or theology, and/or one course in an area of Christian ethics.)
Social & Behavioral Studies, Ministry - 28 credits
Graduate Theological Union Areas IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, FT: religion and society, pastoral psychology, Christian education, worship, homiletics and speech communication, religion and the arts, spirituality, pastoral counseling, Christian education, worship and sacraments, denominational polity, preaching, spirituality, mission/ecumenism, church administration, etc.
Integrative Studies - 16 credits
Functional Theology and Field Education. Students participate in becoming reflective practitioners in ministry. Area electives are racial/ethnic experience in United States and multicultural experience.
Master's Project - 12-20 credits
Total for the Degree: 112-120 credits