news-category: Christian Service

Gardner-Webb School of Divinity Transitions Master of Divinity Degree to 78 Hours

A view from inside Dover Chapel

New Curriculum Trims Core Requirements to Eliminate Redundancies

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Beginning with the fall semester 2020, the Gardner-Webb University School of Divinity will transition its 90-hour Master of Divinity degree to a 78-hour program. The accredited program streamlines the curriculum, which combines core requirements with six concentration areas. This adjustment maintains academic excellence and further promotes the overall goal of the School of Divinity—namely that of serving the church—by allowing prospective and practicing ministers to receive the theological training they need in a more timely and financially affordable manner.

“Our goal is to provide the same quality with reduced quantity—to avoid overlap and to provide a theological education at the best time investment of the student,” noted Dr. Robert Canoy, dean of the School of Divinity and Professor of Theology. “Students will choose a concentration as they did before, with a trimming of the core requirements to eliminate redundancies and to provide greater flexibility for each student.”

Dr. Robert Canoy speaks in the Dover Chapel during a service before Covid-19.
Dr. Robert Canoy, dean of the School of Divinity and Professor of Theology

The theological education associated with the Gardner-Webb Master of Divinity degree has service to the church as its central focus. The core curriculum has been reduced to 51 hours and is comprised of biblical studies, historical/theological studies, spiritual formation, and ministry studies. These foundational courses require students to reflect theologically on the practice of ministry while they are actually engaged in ministry. Further, a guiding principle behind the core curriculum is that effective ministry is not simply a function of what the minister knows, or even what the minister does, but must also include who the minister is, both personally and vocationally.

In addition to the core, students may choose 27 hours from the following concentration areas: biblical studies, Christian education and formation, intercultural studies, missiology, pastoral care and counseling, and pastoral studies. 

Classes in the School of Divinity are offered in both online and seated formats. The Master of Divinity is recognized by The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS).

For more information about the Master of Divinity Degree program, contact Associate Dean Dr. Jim McConnell at [email protected], 704-406-3884. For admissions information, contact Director of Admissions Kheresa Harmon at [email protected], 704-406-3205.

A view of the foyr windows from inside of Dover Chapel

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university. Gardner-Webb emphasizes a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics to prepare students to become effective leaders within the global community. Ignite your future at 

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