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, the following requirements must be met by all candidates for a degree: complete supervised ministry requirements, including the assessment and evaluation program; and clearance of financial accounts. 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: Traditional, SemPM
  • San Diego: Traditional
  • InMinistry: Intensives offered at both St. Paul and San Diego campuses.

For Degree Requirements and campus specific information please refer to the St. Paul and San Diego Master of Divinity pages in this section.

Master of Divinity 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 Beginning Greek, Intermediate Greek, and Greek Exegesis. Students with sufficient knowledge of Greek may take a qualifying examination for advanced standing.

Hebrew Track

In the Hebrew language track, students take Beginning Hebrew, Intermediate Hebrew, and Hebrew Exegesis. 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 Beginning Greek, Intermediate Greek, Greek Exegesis, Beginning Hebrew, Intermediate Hebrew, and Hebrew Exegesis. Students with sufficient competency in either language may take a qualifying examination for advanced standing.

Students in the nontraditional delivery systems (SemPM and InMinistry) have a variety of accommodations to pursue language study. See a student advisor for further information.

 

Concentrations Available to All Campuses

Biblical Studies

  • San Diego/St. Paul - Traditional only
  • M.Div., M.A. (Theological Studies)

This concentration is available in the Traditional delivery system. 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

Church Planting

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

This concentrations is available in any delivery format. All required courses are offered fully online. Concentration is designed to provide foundational training for individuals seeking to plant a new church. Concentration completers 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. The concentration requirements are: ML531DI Church Planting Vision and Preparation (3 credits), ML533DI Critical Worship Service Elements for Church Plants (1.5 credits), ML535DI Creating Sustainable Church Plants (3 credits), and 4.5 credits of free electives.

ML531DIChurch Planting Vision and Preparation3
ML533DICritical Worship Service Elements for Church Plants1.5
ML535DICreating Sustainable Church Plants3
Free Elective4.5
Total Credits12

Through a partnership with  Gateway Leaders, students can transfer the Cultivate church planting experience to Bethel for 9 credits, fulfilling ML531DI, ML533DI, ML535DI 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.

Post-Christian Ministry (Gateway Church Partnership)

  • San Diego/St. Paul - InMinistry
  • 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 InMinistry 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, Missional Innovation, Leading Missional Organizations, and a free elective (3 credits).

Introduction to Post-Christian Ministry 13
Missional Innovation 13
Leading Missional Organizations 13
Free Elective3
Total Credits12
1

 These concentration courses are operated by Gateway Church and are not offered at Bethel Seminary.

Converge School of Church Leadership (Converge Partnership)

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

The Converge School of Church Leadership concentration is intended for students who are or have been involved in the Converge School of Church Leadership in partnership with the Bethel Graduate School. The concentration consists of any four of the following courses: Collaborative Leadership and Social Alignment; Leadership Development and Formation; Ethics, Worldview and Leadership; Followership; Negotiating Conflict Through Dialogue; and Leadership in Diverse Cultures. The Converge School of Church Leadership in the M.Div. is comprised of any four of these courses taken in addition to the 60 credits of the M.Div. core, Senior Integrative Seminar, and Supervised Ministry. The Converge School of Church Leadership concentration in the M.A.Min. is comprised of any four of these courses taken in addition to all other degree requirements.

Theological and Historical Studies

  • San Diego/St. Paul - Traditional only
  • M.Div., M.A. (Theological Studies)

This concentration is available in the Traditional delivery system. 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

Young Life Youth Ministry (Young Life Partnership)

  • San Diego/St. Paul
  • 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 DC635YL Foundations of Incarnational Youth Ministry; DC636YL Life of Christ: Communicating Christ to Adolescent Culture; ML612YL/SP612YL Leadership I, ML613YL Leadership II; and PC607YL Pastoral Counseling. The Young Life concentration in the M.Div. is comprised of any four of these courses taken in addition to the 63 credits of the M.Div. core, two free electives, Senior Integrative Seminar, and Supervised Ministry. 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.

 

Concentrations Only Available in St. Paul

Children’s and Family Ministry

  • St. Paul - InMinistry only
  • M.Div. only

This concentration is available in the InMinistry delivery format. 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 CF510 Introduction to Children’s and Family Ministry; CF620 Teaching and Learning Process; CF610 Ministry with Families through the Life Cycle; and CF612DE Global/Missional Perspectives of Children's and Family Ministry.

Christian Thought

  • St. Paul - InMinistry only
  • M.Div. only

This concentration is available in the InMinistry delivery system. 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

Transformational Leadership

  • St. Paul - InMinistry 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
 

Concentrations Only Available in San Diego 

Anglican Studies

  • San Diego - Traditional only
  • 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:

HS689Anglican Spirituality3
HS687Liturgy through the Ages3
ML679Worship in the Prayer Book Tradition3
ML674Ministry with the Sacraments3
Total Credits12

Chaplaincy

  • San Diego - Traditional only
  • 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:

MH656ACrisis Intervention and Trauma Response A1.5
MF656Child Abuse Assessment and Intervention1
MF657Substance Abuse Assessment and Intervention1
MF658Domestic Violence Assessment and Intervention1
PC720Cross-Cultural Counseling3
PC729Chaplaincy in Contemporary Society3
PC755Family Systems1.5
Total Credits12

Pastoral Care and Counseling

  • San Diego - Traditional only
  • 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 that would enable those involved in 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:

DC759Growing through Small Groups3
MH656ACrisis Intervention and Trauma Response A1.5
PC512Introduction to Pastoral Care and Counseling3
PC755Family Systems1.5
PC Elective3
Total Credits12
 

Missional Leadership

  • San Diego
  • M.Div., M.A.Min.

The Missional Leadership concentration is available in any delivery format in 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: 

CM651Principles of Community Development1.5
CM652Practice in Community Development1.5
GC614Christianity and Culture1.5
GC659Implementing Change1.5
GC656Understanding Cults1.5
GC609Intercultural Communications1.5
ML Elective3
Total Credits12