Carlos Lonberger, Ed.D., Coordinator
The Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree is widely known among many graduate institutions of theological education for its role in the preparation of ministers. The purpose of this program is to prepare men and women for Christian ministry in many different contexts with concentrations in Pastoral Ministry, Family Ministry, Urban Ministry, Pastoral Leadership, Non-Profit Administration, Chaplaincy; as well as the academic fields of Theology and Bible. The course of study in the M.Div. provides a comprehensive education in Bible, theology, church history, and practical studies. It also features the requirement for “mentored ministry” in which a student engages in ministry under the guidance and direction of experienced ministerial guides. As with the other ministerial master’s degrees at Olivet, the M.Div. integrates the academic study with the mentored ministry to provide a comprehensive ministerial education.
For the chaplaincy concentration, students have the opportunity to use the mentored ministry courses in chaplaincy settings to earn Clinical Pastoral Education credits. For students with the goal of hospital chaplaincy, this may be particularly helpful. However, the student can also do the mentored ministry in local church settings; some positions, such as the military chaplaincy, may prefer the student to have local church ministerial experience as part of their background. The program can be completed on a three-year or four-year plan.
Required Core Curriculum: (42 hours)
Biblical Literature: 12 credit hours
Christian Ministry: 12 credit hours
Theology: 12 credit hours
Free Electives: 6 credit hours
Students can select cross-listed courses from any discipline to experience a well-balanced course selection.
Concentrations: (30 hours)
Students in the Pastoral Leadership path will lose one of their free elective slots to offset the additional coursework required in this concentration.
The concentrations in Pastoral Ministry, Family Ministry, Urban Ministry, and Pastoral Leadership incorporate the field specific course work of the respective M.A. programs offered through the School of Theology and Christian Ministry.
A cumulative grade point average of 2.75 or better is required to complete this program. No course counting toward graduation may carry a grade of less than C.
The M.Div. at Olivet follows a variety of time periods, course formats, and teaching methods; intensive modules, half-semester courses, full-semester courses, lecturing, mentoring, internships, seminars, papers, and projects. It should be noted that the majority of courses last a semester. To complete this program, the student must be able to commute regularly to Olivet’s home campus in Bourbonnais. For a more detailed explanation of the various course formats, please refer to “Academic Policies - SGCS: Program Formats ”.
A student is allowed six years from beginning the first graduate course to complete the entire M.Div. program. Coursework beyond six years is evaluated by the Program Coordinator, the Director of Graduate Studies, or the Dean of the School of Theology & Christian Ministry. Students granted permission for more than six years may be expected to meet current program requirements, and that may mean retaking one or more courses.