The Master of Divinity degree will provide you with a comprehensive education that stretches your mind, stirs your heart, and prepares you for the practice of ministry in and through the local church.
The School of Divinity at Gardner-Webb University is Baptist in origin and commitment, ecumenical in outlook, and has as its mission the preparation of persons for Christian ministries. To achieve this end, the School of Divinity offers courses of study in which, under the leadership of dedicated and competent teachers, students engage in the study of and reflection upon the data, meaning, and implications of the Christian faith, beginning at its biblical base; enter into thoughtful and critical assessment of church history and theology; become involved in the process of spiritual formation personally, socially, and vocationally; and participate in the study and practice of various expressions of Christian mission and ministry.
The program objectives for the Master of Divinity degree are to help students know at a rudimentary level the basic body of divinity including:
- A knowledge of the facts, histories, principles, philosophies, and current discussions in each of the following disciplines: biblical studies, biblical languages, Christian and Baptist history, hermeneutics, homiletics, ethics, philosophy of religion, missiology, evangelism, worship, pastoral ministry, pedagogy, church administration, church policy and denominational organization, psychology, counseling, anthropology, and sociology;
- A grasp of the various aspects of ministry and how these relate to the needs of church and society;
- An understanding of personal gifts, talents, and abilities, and how these relate to ministry;
- A commitment to personal growth and development;
- The development of a lifestyle of healthy ministry and continuing educational preparation for effective Christian ministry;
- An understanding and development of expertise in leadership skills, organizational principles, and conflict management
- An evaluation and improvement of interpersonal skills; and
- The ability to write and speak with clarity and persuasiveness.
The School of Divinity is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools, 10 Summit Park Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15275. Phone: 412-788-6505.
The 90-hour Master of Divinity program is housed in the School of Divinity and requires completion of the 60 hour core: 18 hours of Biblical Studies courses, 12 hours of Historical/Theological Studies courses, 12 hours of Spiritual Formation courses, and 18 hours of Ministry Studies courses. Beyond the core, students may choose, by means of a 30-hour concentration, to earn the M.Div. degree with a concentration in Biblical Studies, Christian Education and Formation, Intercultural Studies, Missiology, Pastoral Care and Counseling, or Pastoral Studies.
Additional information, including descriptions of specific concentrations and their corresponding credit hours, is available in the Academic Catalog.
Biblical Studies (30 hours)
A Master of Divinity with a concentration in Biblical Studies provides you with specialized training to allow you to emphasize the study and the teaching of Scripture in a ministry setting and can prepare you for graduate research programs. The Biblical Studies concentration offers specialized training for the student who wishes to emphasize the study and the teaching of Scripture in her or his ministry. It provides students with opportunities for advanced study in Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, Theological German, Old Testament studies, and New Testament studies.
Christian Education and Formation (30 hours)
A Master of Divinity with a concentration in Christian Education and Formation will help you acquire an overview of age-group work, tools in designing a church’s curriculum, and principles in organizing a church for mission and ministry. Graduates are prepared to serve as a Minister of Christian Education and Spiritual Formation in a local congregation or in other locations of pastoral ministry.
Intercultural Studies (30 hours)
The Intercultural Studies concentration will equip you to become an effective agent of change in the face of the 21st Century religious pluralism, cultural relativism, urbanization, global diaspora, and globalization. By offering specialized training to persons who will serve in cultures other than their own, the program aims to develop students' knowledge, skills, and overall competence necessary for intercultural engagements in North America and overseas using the paradigm of change.
Missiology (30 hours)
With emphasis on biblical, historical, theological and practical issues to be addressed by missionaries in the 21st Century, the Master of Divinity concentration in Missiology offers specialized training so you can serve in a variety of mission-related ministries. The Missiology concentration addresses both religious and cultural pluralism in an effort to equip persons for a variety of cross-cultural situations.
Pastoral Care and Counseling (30 hours)
The Master of Divinity in Pastoral Care and Counseling program will provide you with specialized training to emphasize the pastoral role of the minister as counselor and care-giver, whether in a parish setting or in an institutional setting. With attention both to theory and to supervised clinical experience, the Master of Divinity in Pastoral Care and Counseling program is designed both for those who are considering and those who are already engaged in some form of pastoral care and counseling ministry. The curriculum integrates theological learning with psychological training in order to enhance both skill and understanding.
Pastoral Studies (30 hours)
The Master of Divinity in Pastoral Studies program extends the basic M.Div. curriculum by adding courses that will assist current and future ministers with realistic elements of ministry. The Pastoral Studies concentration, designed primarily, though not exclusively, with a view toward pastoral ministries (pastor, associate pastor, etc.) extends the basic M.Div. core curriculum by adding courses in advanced biblical languages, advanced biblical electives, advanced historical/theological electives, and courses focusing on the more practical aspects of ministry in a local church setting. The Pastoral Studies concentration, due to its exposure to multiple disciplines, may also be good preparation for students looking toward Ph.D. studies and possible teaching roles in a university or college setting.
The Master of Divinity/Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling
The Master of Divinity/Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling provides students with a unique opportunity to integrate theology, faith, and spirituality with counseling theory and clinical experience in the mental health field. Accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), the Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling meets the requirements for licensure as a professional counselor in the state of North Carolina and in most other states. It is a 120 credit hour program. For more information, please click here.
The Master of Divinity and the Master of Business Administration
The Master of Divinity/Master of Business Administration is designed to meet the educational and vocational needs of three populations of ministers: the minister who wishes to pursue advanced study in business administration, the minister who will serve a large congregation as a church administrator, and the bi-vocational minister. It is a 108 credit hour program. For more information, please click here.
The Master of Divinity and the Master of Arts in English
The Master of Divinity and the Master of Arts in English is designed specifically for the minister who desires a deeper foundation in the literary arts for ministry and/or the bi-vocational minister. It is a 105 credit hour program. For more information, please click here.
The Master of Divinity and the Master of Arts in Religion
The Master of Divinity and the Master of Arts in Religion provides students with a broadened and deepened context in the biblical languages, the academic study of religion, and opportunities in either thesis writing or a teaching internship. It is a 108 credit hour program. For more information, please click here.
To initiate your application for the School of Divinity for the Master of Divinity Program, please be prepared to submit the following:
- Application for admission with a $40 non-refundable application fee;
- Official transcripts of all previous baccalaureate and any graduate-level work sent directly to the School of Divinity Admissions office;
- Three letters of recommendation (forms provided);
- Church Approval Form (form provided);
- Christian Pilgrimage Statement (1-2 page statement about your conversion, call to ministry, and vocational objectives in ministry); and
- Submission of proof of satisfactory criminal background record check for all states of residence for the past five (5) years with a residence verification statement.