Master of Divinity


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 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 Introduction to Theology and Ethics, 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.

All students must complete one course designated as a Black Church Studies (BCS) course. Some BCS courses count for general elective credit while others fulfill Area-related degree requirements.

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.

Learning Outcomes

SLO 1: Students will gain knowledge and understanding of the Bible, and the ability to use critical skills and educated imagination to interpret it in contemporary social and cultural contexts.

SLO 2: Students will learn to become skillful interpreters of the history of Christian experience.

SLO 3: Students will be able to think theologically and ethically in relation to particular traditions and contemporary needs.

SLO 4: Students will demonstrate the ability to reflect critically and self-critically on relationships between Christian faith and various forms of systemic injustice.

SLO 5: Students will acquire the knowledge and skill sets necessary for the practice of Christian ministry – as demonstrated by effectiveness in such activities as:
• Leading congregations within the framework of their communions, confessions, and polity
• Preaching, teaching, and leading worship
• Praying and teaching others to pray
• Leading an organization effectively
• Providing public leadership
• Inviting others into the Christian faith
• Offering pastoral care
• Participating in constructive intra-Christian and interreligious engagement

QEP-SLO 1a: Can articulate important elements of at least one religious tradition other than Christianity.

QEP-SLO 1b: Can articulate important elements of more than one Christian tradition.

QEP-SLO 2: Can articulate own theological perspective, mindful of the global, multicultural, multi-religious context of contemporary ministry.

QEP-SLO 3: Demonstrates a capacity for ecumenical and interreligious relations.