Master of Divinity

Degree: Master of Divinity
Semester Hours:

The Master of Divinity program is recommended for students seeking a comprehensive preparation for Christian ministry. In three academic years of study the student is exposed to the complete range of theological disciplines which include biblical, theological, historical, contextual, formational and practical ministry studies. This program is designed for persons in leadership roles which assume broad knowledge of the church’s faith, tradition and practice.

To qualify for the degree the student must complete 81 semester hours. Fifty-three hours of core studies are designed for all students. 

A Master of Divinity is generally thought of as a degree for those interested in pastoral ministry.  In some denominations the Master of Divinity is required for ordination to Christian ministry.  An MDiv at Eastern Mennonite Seminary is intended both for those interested in pastoral ministry, and for those called to academic ministry, intercultural and community mission, chaplaincy, or spiritual direction.  Advisers and faculty will help guide students in the process of selecting courses that lead toward their chosen vocation.  Students are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning, identify performance goals, seek constructive feedback and grow competent in their chosen field(s) of ministry.

Biblical Languages

In keeping with the persuasion that the expositor of God’s Word should be familiar with the original languages of Scripture, the Primary Track of this curriculum emphasizes an acquaintance with Koine Greek and Biblical Hebrew. Students will take both the Elementary and Readings course in each language (BVOT 532 Elementary Hebrew, BVOT 541 Hebrew Readings, BVNT 531 Elementary Greek, BVNT 541 Greek Readings). Exegesis courses may be taken as electives.

The seminary recognizes that not all students will benefit equally from biblical language study and so offers an Alternate Track within the MDiv program. The Alternate Track will replace the 12 credit hours of biblical language required in the Primary Track with four courses for 12 credit hours: BVOT 532 Elementary Hebrew or BVNT  531 Elementary GreekBVG 621 Interpreting the Biblical Text and two biblical book studies including an Old Testament book study and a New Testament book study. All biblical book studies will incorporate an emphasis on the language aspects of the study, encouraging students in the use of language tools and resources.

Formation Studies

A unique strength of Eastern Mennonite Seminary is our formation program. We believe that focusing on our own ongoing formation is the way for ministering persons to be healthy in our vocations. FS 501 and FS 502 Formation in God’s Story I & II (3 credits each) helps students understand their own lives in conversation with and connection to God’s story as found in Scripture and being written in the present in their own lives through spiritual practices. FS 601 and FS 602 Formation in Ministry I & II (3 credits each) offers students the opportunity to put their learning into practice in internship sites related to their vocational leanings with a mentor to help with on-site theological reflection. FS 701 and FS 702 Formation in Missional Leadership I & II (2 credits each) provides space for students to integrate what they have learned about themselves, God, the world, and the church as they look forward to their future in ministry. For more information please visit the formation page.

Supervised Field Education

The requirement in supervised field education or Mentored Ministry may be fulfilled in several different ways. Normally students will fulfill six hours of this requirement by taking FS 601 and FS 602 Formation in Ministry I and II. SMFE 601 Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and other ministry internships are available for those desiring more practical ministry experience. The MDiv program also has a cross-cultural competency requirement. (See Cross-Cultural Experience) .

Read more about the mission, theological framework, educational philosophy , curricular framework and guiding principles of the curriculum at Eastern Mennonite Seminary.

Core Courses

Formation courses (16 SH)

Year 1

  • FS 501 Formation in God’s Story I (3 SH)
  • FS 502 Formation in God’s Story II (3 SH)

Year 2

  • FS 601 Formation in Ministry I (3 SH)
  • FS 602 Formation in Ministry II (3 SH)

Year 3

  • FS 701 Formation in Missional Leadership I (2 SH)
  • FS 702 Formation in Missional Leadership II (2 SH)

Other required courses (27 SH)*

BVOT 511 Old Testament: Text in Context (3 SH)
BVNT 512 New Testament: Text in Context (3 SH)
CTH 501 Christian Tradition I (3 SH)
CTH 512 Christian Tradition II (3 SH)
CTT 634 Living Theology (3 SH)
CM 643 Missio Dei in Cultural Context (3 SH)
CTE 702 Christian Ethics (3 SH)
SMCL elective (3 SH)
Cross-Cultural Church Experience (3 SH) – such as CM 613, CM 614, or other CM cross-cultural courses

Biblical Languages/Studies (12 SH)

Primary Track

  • BVOT 532 Elementary Hebrew (3 SH)
  • BVOT 541 Hebrew Readings (3 SH)
  • BVNT 531 Elementary Greek (3 SH)
  • BVNT 541 Greek Readings (3 SH)

Alternate Track

  • BVOT 532 Elementary Hebrew or BVNT 531 Elementary Greek (3 SH)
  • Old Testament book study elective (3 SH)
  • New Testament book study elective (3 SH)
  • BVG 621 Interpreting the Biblical Text (3 SH)

*Anabaptist-affiliated students must take an Anabaptist studies course; Pastoral Ministry track students must take a Denominational Polity course such as CM 663 Mennonite Faith and Polity or CM 670 United Methodist Studies I

Anabaptist studies courses: 
CTH 641 Mennonite History
CTT 633 Anabaptist Theology
CTT 523 Anabaptism Today: Topics

CTT 546 Justice, Peace and the Biblical Story

CTE 713 Sermon on the Mount: Peace, Justice and the Reign of God
BVG 541 Biblical Foundations for Justice and Peacemaking