Overview

For graduation with a Master of Divinity degree, a student must complete a minimum of 78 semester credits and maintain at least a C (2.0) average. In addition, all candidates for a degree must complete all the supervised ministry requirements, including the assessment and evaluation program. Failure to meet the deadlines indicated in the calendar will incur forfeiture of candidacy for a year. However, graduation is not automatic when academic requirements have been met. Since the seminary aims to graduate qualified Christian leaders, the faculty and staff will, on an ongoing basis, evaluate a student’s readiness in terms of spiritual, developmental, doctrinal, and professional standards as well as academic standards.

The Master of Divinity program is designed to guide students in a process of growth through cognitive studies, skill courses and experiences, self-assessment measures, counseling, and community life that leads to self-understanding and spiritual maturity. The degree is designed to prepare persons for professional ministry in the church and other organizations through positions such as pastor, missionary, chaplain, denominational minister, or parachurch leader. It seeks to graduate people who have knowledge and experience of the Christian faith, who show evidence of emotional and spiritual maturity, who relate to others with integrity, who possess skills for ministry, and who meet the educational requirements for ordination. Specifically, it seeks to develop whole and holy leaders who demonstrate to the satisfaction of the faculty and ministry supervisors the following:

  1. A comprehensive understanding of biblical content, a discerning approach to biblical interpretation, and theological reflection informed by historical traditions;
  2. Growth in emotional, spiritual, and relational health resulting in observable love for God and neighbor;
  3. The capacity and skills for effective ministry leadership;
  4. Intercultural competence for the purpose of advancing the Gospel of Jesus Christ; and
  5. Intentional integration of faith, learning, life, and practice.

Campus and Delivery Options

  • St. Paul: Face to Face
  • San Diego: Face to Face
  • Fully Online

Language Tracks

Preaching the biblical Gospel is central to Christian ministry. Therefore, Bethel’s faculty believes that Master of Divinity students should learn the biblical languages and be required to take a biblical language track.

Single Language Track

Greek Track

In the Greek language track, students take Greek I: Beginning Greek (NT 541), Greek II: Intermediate Greek (NT 542), and Greek Exegesis (NT 652). Students with sufficient knowledge of Greek may take a qualifying examination for advanced standing.

Hebrew Track

In the Hebrew language track, students take Hebrew I: Beginning Hebrew (OT 541), Hebrew II: Intermediate Hebrew (OT 542),  and Hebrew Exegesis (OT 652). Students with sufficient knowledge of Hebrew may take a qualifying examination for advanced standing.

Dual Language Track

The Greek and Hebrew Track is for students desiring competency in both biblical languages or who are required to take both languages by the denomination in which they seek to be ordained. Students in this dual language track take Greek I: Beginning Greek (NT 541)Greek II: Intermediate Greek (NT 542)Greek Exegesis (NT 652)Hebrew I: Beginning Hebrew (OT 541)Hebrew II: Intermediate Hebrew (OT 542), and Hebrew Exegesis (OT 652)Students with sufficient competency in either language may take a qualifying examination for advanced standing.

Master of Divinity: Single Language

Core Requirements
BT 510Hermeneutics3
HS 510Church History Survey3
NT 516New Testament Survey: Narratives, Letters, and Revelation3
NT 518New Testament: Exegetical Explorations3
OT 516Old Testament Survey: Law, Prophets and Writings3
OT 518Old Testament: Exegetical Explorations3
NT 541Greek I: Beginning Greek3
or OT 541 Hebrew I: Beginning Hebrew
NT 542Greek II: Intermediate Greek3
or OT 542 Hebrew II: Intermediate Hebrew
NT 652Greek Exegesis1.5
or OT 652 Hebrew Exegesis
TS 512Systematic Theology I: God the Creator3
TS 513Systematic Theology II: God the Redeemer3
TS 516Christian Social Ethics3
Degree Specific Requirements
CP 510Introduction to Preaching3
GC 512Global, Cultural and Contextual Ministry3
HS 512American Christianity1.5
ML 506Discipleship in Community1.5
ML 507Missional Outreach and Evangelism1.5
ML 523Introduction to Transformational Leadership: Theory and Practice in Global Perspective3
ML 527Leading Worship in the Christian Life Cycle1.5
ML 615Organizational Leadership and Church Governance3
PC 512Introduction to Pastoral Care and Counseling3
Professional Internship3
Concentration Courses and Electives12
Formation Course Requirements
GS 780Senior Integrative Seminar3
SP 510Introduction to Spiritual and Personal Formation3
SP 610Spiritual and Personal Formation II: Relational Spirituality1.5
GS 001Graduate Research Seminar0
SP 001Formation Assessments0
or SP 002 Formation Assessments
TL 001Vocational Assessments0
or TL 002 Vocational Assessments
Intent to Graduate Application
Total Credits78

A minimum of 78 semester credits is required for graduation in the M.Div. program. The student is responsible for meeting all graduation deadlines and requirements. 

Master of Divinity: Dual Language

Core Requirements
BT 510Hermeneutics3
HS 510Church History Survey3
NT 516New Testament Survey: Narratives, Letters, and Revelation3
NT 518New Testament: Exegetical Explorations3
OT 516Old Testament Survey: Law, Prophets and Writings3
OT 518Old Testament: Exegetical Explorations3
NT 541Greek I: Beginning Greek3
NT 542Greek II: Intermediate Greek3
NT 652Greek Exegesis1.5
OT 541Hebrew I: Beginning Hebrew3
OT 542Hebrew II: Intermediate Hebrew3
OT 652Hebrew Exegesis1.5
TS 512Systematic Theology I: God the Creator3
TS 513Systematic Theology II: God the Redeemer3
TS 516Christian Social Ethics3
Degree Specific Requirements
CP 510Introduction to Preaching3
GC 512Global, Cultural and Contextual Ministry3
HS 512American Christianity1.5
ML 506Discipleship in Community1.5
ML 507Missional Outreach and Evangelism1.5
ML 523Introduction to Transformational Leadership: Theory and Practice in Global Perspective3
ML 527Leading Worship in the Christian Life Cycle1.5
ML 615Organizational Leadership and Church Governance3
PC 512Introduction to Pastoral Care and Counseling3
Professional Internship3
Concentration Courses and Electives
Electives4.5
Formation Course Requirements
GS 780Senior Integrative Seminar3
SP 510Introduction to Spiritual and Personal Formation3
SP 610Spiritual and Personal Formation II: Relational Spirituality1.5
GS 001Graduate Research Seminar0
SP 001Formation Assessments0
or SP 002 Formation Assessments
TL 001Vocational Assessments0
or TL 002 Vocational Assessments
Intent to Graduate Application
Total Credits78


A minimum of 78 semester credits is required for graduation in the M.Div. program. The student is responsible for meeting all graduation deadlines and requirements.

Master of Divinity Concentrations 

Anglican Studies

  • San Diego - Face to Face
  • M.Div., M.A.Min.

The Anglican Studies courses are intended primarily for Master of Divinity students seeking ordination in the Anglican Church of North America.  However, these courses can be used as an Anglican Studies concentration in either the M.Div. program or the Master of Arts in Ministry program. Concentration courses include:

HS 689Anglican Spirituality3
HS 690Anglican Theology and History3
ML 674Ministry with the Sacraments3
ML 679Worship in the Prayer Book Tradition3
Total Credits12

Biblical Studies

  • San Diego/St. Paul -Face to Face & Fully Online
  • M.Div., M.A. (Theological Studies)

The Biblical Studies concentration deepens students’ understanding of the Bible’s history and its integrative themes, and equips them with additional skills for responsible interpretation of the biblical message. The concentration is also recommended as preparation for advanced degrees in biblical studies. Concentration requires 12 credits of courses in the Biblical Interpretation, Biblical Theology, Old Testament, and/or New Testament subject areas.

BI, BT, OT, or NT Course3
BI, BT, OT, or NT Course3
BI, BT, OT, or NT Course3
BI, BT, OT, or NT Course3
Total Credits12

Chaplaincy

  • San Diego - Face to Face
  • M.Div., M.A.Min.

This program will enable chaplains and those preparing for chaplaincy to train for ministry in contexts such as healthcare services, educational institutions, businesses and corporations, correctional facilities, and the military. In addition to theological and ethical training, graduates of the program will be knowledgeable of the ways in which pastoral care is put into practice in non-church/parish settings. Concentration courses include:

MF 500Principles of Counseling3
MF 635Individual Development, Aging, Family Life Cycle3
MH 656Crisis Intervention and Trauma Response3
PC 729Chaplaincy in Contemporary Society3
Total Credits12

Children’s and Family Ministry

  • St. Paul - Online with Intensives only
  • M.Div. only

Concentration requires students to complete 12 credits of courses in the Children's and Family Ministry subject area.

CF Course3
CF Course3
CF Course3
CF Course3
Total Credits12

Possible CF courses in this area include CF 510 Introduction to Children’s and Family Ministry; CF 620 Teaching and Learning Process; CF 610 Ministry with Families through the Life Cycle; and CF 612DE Global/Missional Perspectives of Children's and Family Ministry.

Christian Thought

  • San Diego/St. Paul -Face to Face & Fully Online
  • M.Div.

A concentration in Christian Thought is designed to enable M.Div. students to focus on the intellectual exploration of the Christian faith and the intersection of Christianity and culture. It serves students who desire church ministry vocations in teaching, discipleship, and apologetics as well as students who may wish to go on for further graduate study in theological studies. Students participate in internships with the Office of Formation, Supervised Ministry, and Placement. Those who sense a call to teaching, outreach, or discipleship ministry using the concentration in Christian Thought may develop their internships with those ministries in view. Concentration requires 12 credits of courses in the Theological Studies and/or Philosophy of Religion subject areas.

TS, or PH Course3
TS, or PH Course3
TS, or PH Course3
TS, or PH Course3
Total Credits12

Church Planting

  • San Diego, St. Paul, Online
  • M.Div., M.A.Min.

This concentration is designed to provide foundational training for individuals seeking to plant a new church. Students who complete this concentration will be prepared to develop a vision for a new church, organize teams and a support network to launch a new church, plan worship services and welcoming experiences, and create and implement systems to sustain a new church. Concentration courses include:

ML 531DEChurch Planting Vision and Preparation3
ML 533DECritical Worship Service Elements for Church Plants1.5
ML 535DECreating Sustainable Church Plants3
Free Elective4.5
Total Credits12

Through a partnership with  Gateway Leaders, students can transfer the Cultivate Church Planting (Cultivate) experience to Bethel for 9 credits, fulfilling ML 531DE, ML 533DE, ML 535DE and 1.5 credits of free elective. Students seeking to take Cultivate must register for Cultivate through Gateway Leaders and, upon completion of Cultivate, request Gateway Leaders to send their transcript to Bethel Seminary.

Missional Leadership

  • San Diego - Face to Face
  • M.Div., M.A.Min.

The Missional Leadership concentration is offered at Bethel Seminary San Diego. It is designed to equip participants to both lead and develop leaders who in turn can develop other leaders in rising generations. The curriculum is intended to produce individuals who are theological thinkers, missional activists, leadership developers, cultural architects, spiritual mentors, and relevant communicators. Concentration courses include: 

CM 651Principles of Community Development1.5
ML 623Researching Context of Ministry1.5
GC 614Christianity and Culture1.5
GC 659Implementing Change1.5
GC 656Understanding Cults1.5
PC 610Pastoral Counseling Skills1.5
GC 609Intercultural Communications1.5
ML 506Discipleship in Community1.5
Total Credits12

Pastoral Care and Counseling

  • San Diego - Face to Face
  • M.Div., M.A.Min.

This concentration enables students to prepare for the counseling tasks common in ministry settings as well as for preventive educational efforts in the church. The curriculum provides preparation in pastoral care and counseling enabling those involved in a local church as well as agency ministries to enhance health and wholeness in the variety of organizational and social contexts served by these ministries. Concentration courses include:

Choose course according to program
PC 512Introduction to Pastoral Care and Counseling (For MAMin students only)3
PC or SP elective of choice (3 credits) (For MDiv students, since they already take PC 512 as part of their degree requirements)
MF 500Principles of Counseling (For MDiv students only)3
MH 656Crisis Intervention and Trauma Response3
MF 635Individual Development, Aging, Family Life Cycle3
Total Credits12

Post-Christian Ministry (Gateway Church Partnership)

  • San Diego/St. Paul - Online
  • M.Div, M.A.Min.

Post-Christian Ministry is designed as an experience for individuals living in Austin, Texas, and working as interns with Eric Bryant. It is available through the Online delivery format and includes courses taken directly with Gateway Church. The concentration in Post-Christian Ministry is designed for pastors, church planters, teachers, writers, and church leaders who are serving in post-Christian environments or who feel called to reach those not being reached through traditional methods. The concentration emphasizes creating networks (missional communities) and Sunday gatherings where people can “come as they are.” After students complete the concentration, they will know how to engage with people and cultures that are unfamiliar with the Christian tradition, how to help people move from lost to leading, and how to invite skeptics to become Christ-followers who disciple and reach others. The concentration courses, with the exception of the required elective, are operated by Gateway Church. Students in this concentration must register for the concentration courses through Gateway Church and have transcripts sent from Gateway Church to Bethel Seminary to facilitate the transfer of credit. The Post-Christian Ministry concentration consists of the following courses: 

Introduction to Post-Christian Ministry 13
Missional Innovation 13
Leading Missional Organizations 13
Free Elective3
Total Credits12

Theological and Historical Studies

  • San Diego/St. Paul - Face to Face & Online
  • M.Div., M.A. (Theological Studies)

This concentration acquaints students more fully with the theological resources of the Christian tradition and the church’s experience through the centuries. It provides opportunity to develop theological skills and to selectively appropriate from the Christian heritage what may be usefully applied to contemporary challenges and opportunities. The concentration is also recommended as preparation for advanced degrees in these fields. Concentration requires: 12 credits of courses in the Historical Studies, Theological Studies, and/or Philosophy of Religion subject areas.

HS, TS, or PH Course3
HS, TS, or PH Course3
HS, TS, or PH Course3
HS, TS, or PH Course3
Total Credits12

Transformational Leadership

  • St. Paul - Online with Intensives only
  • M.Div. only

The Transformational Leadership concentration is designed for individuals anticipating service as pastors of local churches. Recognizing the diversity of roles demanded of the pastor, the concentration’s primary focus is on development of the knowledge, attitude, and skills of an effective servant leader in the global church of the 21st century. The concentration requires 12 credits of courses in the Ministry Leadership subject area. 

ML Course3
ML Course3
ML Course3
ML Course3
Total Credits12

Young Life Youth Ministry (Young Life Partnership)

  • San Diego/St. Paul/Online
  • M.Div., M.A.Min.

The Young Life Youth Ministry concentration is intended for students who are concurrently involved in the Young Life organization. Young Life courses approved for transfer to Bethel Seminary to meet requirements for this concentration include:  DC 635YL Introduction to Youth Ministry; ML 613YL Leadership II; ML 620YL Equipping Leaders Who Volunteer; and ML 615YL Organizational Leadership and Church Governance.  Students must receive a grade of C or higher to fulfill the Bethel requirement.  Courses must be taken within 10 years of the time the Bethel degree is awarded.  Courses will cease to apply to the Bethel degree when they reach 10 years in age.  The Young Life concentration in the M.A.Min. is comprised of any four of these courses taken in addition to all other degree requirements.  The Young Life concentration in the M.Div. is comprised of any of these courses taken in addition to the 63 credits of the M.Div. core, two free electives, Senior Integrative Seminar, and Supervised Ministry.