People who want to earn M.Div. degree can expect to take a variety of coursework. While the exact course requirements may vary a little between seminaries, these students usually must meet some criteria. Students who want to earn this degree have already graduated with a bachelor’s degree and want to be church leaders.
Students will need to take courses in the Old and New Testament. In most cases, they will need to understand Hebrew and Greek to begin to read the Bible in its original language. They may also need to learn how the meaning of some words has changed throughout history.
Students will also need to take theology classes. These studies are topical and allow students to learn what the Bible says throughout about a given subject matter. Students will grapple with the subject of who God is and what he did before digging deeper into particular topics.
People wanting to earn seminary degrees will also have to take history classes. Some of these courses will allow students to understand the Bible’s role in different historical events. In contrast, others will look at crucial moments in the history of the church.
Students will also learn how to be a leader. Particular emphasis may be placed on learning how to prepare and give a sermon. Other aspects of church life will also be studied in-depth, such as preparing a church budget and building leaders within a local congregation.
Most programs will also require that a student serve an internship. This may last as long as one year. During this time, the student will practice what they have learned in the classroom in real-life scenarios.
About 25% of the classes required to earn seminary degrees will be classes that the student chooses. These classes allow them to deep dive into the topics that they find most interesting. It may also let them take courses related to their ministerial plans but fall under another department’s oversight.
Finally, students will be required to take classes in social understanding. These studies may focus on class structure, gender, race and cultural diversity. Gaining a deeper understanding of these topics often allows church leaders to see what is happening in the congregation they will eventually lead from different perspectives, which can be vital to helping those under their leadership grow.
Some seminaries require students to complete a master’s thesis. Students usually need to submit their topic and get it approved in the first part of their senior year. Then, they need to continue meeting additional deadlines until they submit the thesis for approval a month to six weeks before graduation.
Most students spend three years earning their M.Div. Degree. Some colleges have established programs so that students can achieve it faster by attending summer classes. Others have structured their programs so that students can have up to six years to complete the coursework. Consider earning your degree if you are interested in becoming a church leader.