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Religion Division

Master of Divinity

The Master of Divinity degree is a three-year professional program designed to prepare recipients for various ministries in the church, and to provide the required educational experiences for those applying for D.Min. and Ph.D. programs. The curriculum provides insight into all the religious disciplines as a backdrop for varied ministries or later research specializations.

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The Master of Divinity degree is defined by accrediting agencies as a three-year program. The total number of hours varies. The requirements take into account the educational backgrounds of students with differing undergraduate majors. For students transferring into the program, the last 36 units (excluding any language courses and field work) must be taken at Seaver College. Transfer credit will be accepted from other graduate degrees and programs if it meets specific M.Div. requirements.

The language requirement, which may be taken as a graduate or undergraduate, is one year of instruction and one reading course in both Greek and Hebrew.

Course Requirements

(A) Biblical Studies: 20 units including:
  1. REL 502 Introduction to Biblical Interpretation (4) 
  2.  8 units in Old Testament
  3. 8 units in New Testament
(B) Ministry: 16-22 units including:
  1.  16 units in ministry or missions
  2.   6 units of field work in at least three different areas*
(C) Christian Thought and Church History:
  1. 12 units in Christian Thought
  2. 12 units in Church History

(D) Elective Courses: Choose 12 elective units with advisor approval

(E) Comprehensive Examinations: At the conclusion of all required coursework, students must pass comprehensive examinations consisting of three days of written examinations and one hour of oral examination.

*Field work is required for students without experience of at least two years in full-time ministry

Juris Doctor/ Master of Divinity

A program offered jointly by the Religion Division and the Pepperdine School of Law enables students to combine legal and theological training and to earn a J.D. and M.Div. within five years instead of the six years normally required to completely the degrees independently. Students must apply and gain admission to each school separately. For specific restrictions and requirements pertaining to this program please see the Seaver Academic Catalog.

M.Div.: Program Learning Outcomes

Each student earning a M.Div. should be able to:
  • interpret biblical texts critically and competently, explaining the meaning of a given text within applicable contexts and its significance in pertinent streams of current research.
  • analyze major and distinctive teachings of the Christian faith, critiquing leading perspectives through the centuries regarding core beliefs and practices and how these compare with other religions, philosophies, or competing worldviews.
  • explore major historical developments of Christianity, especially – but not solely – in the West, discerning internal and external factors that have shaped it in various cultures.
  • apply and evaluate current methods for incorporating the teachings of a faith – especially the Christian faith – into the lives of individuals in a faith community, beginning with oneself.
  • communicate coherently in professionally competent written form (following a standard style guide) and in effective oral form on matters of religion, illuminating historical, theological, and pastoral implications for contemporary societies.