The Master of Divinity is designed for students seeking ordination. This three-year, 90-hour program combines the academic and professional education demanded for ministry.
Throughout coursework and field work, the student will discover a deeper understanding of theology, the Bible, and his or her particular calling. Master of Divinity degree students work closely with faculty advisors who help each student relate their studies to their future plans as well as designing individual curricula. Through team teaching, lectures alternating with small groups, and seminar classes, students are given the opportunity to articulate their views, their learning, their theological vision, and gain tools for church leadership.
Louisville Seminary's program integrates three educational components: Area A: Biblical Studies
Biblical Studies requires successful completion of Scripture I and II, The Elements of Biblical Hebrew, The Elements of New Testament Greek, and Exegesis in both testaments, as well as electives. Area B: Theology, History, Ethics, and Religion
This area requires successful completion of Faith Seeking Understanding, History of a Christian Experience I and II, a core theology course, a course in the student's denominational heritage, and two electives. Area C: Practical Theology
The Practical Theology area includes courses in the hands-on aspects of ministry-preaching, worship, counseling, Christian education, evangelism, and missions.
All students take the entry course, Transforming Seminary Education. Elective hours permit a focus on areas of particular interest and calling. Extensive field education opportunities - an educational offering that Louisville Seminary pioneered more than 50 years ago - help sharpen training for ministry.
Most classes are held during fall and spring semesters. Select courses are offered during a January term and during a summer term.
The program can be completed in three years attending full-time, while the half-time program can take as many as six years to complete.
In addition to the curriculum outlined above, Master of Divinity students must complete a Senior Seminar (3 credits) or write and defend a Statement of Faith of Ministry (no credit), which is generally a 2,000-4,000-word essay that answers:
- What do I (we) believe?
- What are the authoritative sources and norms for my (our) belief system?
- What is my (our) understanding of ministry within the context of my (our) belief system, my (our) understanding of the church, and the particular community (communities) of faith I (we) am (are) called to serve?
- What are the implications of my (our) faith for at least one contemporary critical ethical issue?