Master of Divinity

The Master of Divinity prepares persons for more effective full-time ministry as pastors, evangelists, professors, missionaries, or other ministries. This program enables the integration of a comprehensive understanding of the Bible with the creative practice of ministry. The M.Div. is a 90 unit program beyond the bachelors, including a thesis. This program requires the completion of the equivalent of a 36 credit Master of Theological Studies degree, plus 36 credits from the additional courses (listed below), and 18 credit thesis:

Goals

To provide advanced knowledge and understanding of the Bible and theology necessary for effective communication. To provide knowledge and skills for the teaching of the Bible, theology, and practical ministry at the collegiate and institutional level. To provide academic and professional training required for the various institutional chaplaincies.

Program of Study

The program focuses on historical, systematic, and biblical theology. Professional ministry issues are not a focus of this program. Nevertheless, the program is designed to provide a theological foundation for ministerial service


Program Core

A church leader wears many hats. In this course learners discover how to maximize productivity in the various functions of church leadership. The course examines the biblical foundation and practical functions of administrative leadership in churches and Christian organizations, and focuses on developing successful, biblical attitudes and skills among team leaders. Students will analyze basic leadership principles from secular and evangelical sources, analyzing them through a biblical/theological grid. (This advanced course is built on ITS course CE 501 Church Leadership and Administration. However, CE 501 is not a prerequisite for this course.)

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Credits: 3

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Church history is the heart of God and His story and His kingdom work on earth. This course explores the development of the Christian church from Pentecost to the present day. It covers key people and events that God used throughout history to bolster His Church and also those negative influences that infected her. The goal of the course is to use lessons from church history to advance the kingdom of God in life and ministry. (This course serves as a synthesized combination of ITS courses CH506 The History of the Church to the Reformation and CH507 The History of the Church Since the Reformation.)

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Credits: 3

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Charismatic theology is more than just a theology of spiritual gifts; worship, Bibliology, sanctification, and ecclesiology are also central. Learners will complete an historical and theological study of the origins and developments of Classical Pentecostalism, Charismatic Renewalism, and Restoration Movements, with emphasis given to theological backgrounds and trends. Lectures also analyze other related movements, including the "Jesus Only" Movement, the Vineyard Movement, and the Toronto Revival Movement. Throughout the course, the pros and cons of the various charismatic movements are presented so that students can make informed decisions on what a "victorious Christian life" entails.

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Credits: 3

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This course is a study of evangelism ministry with special attention paid to the context of a local church setting. Students will be encouraged to make specific applications of the lectures and assignments to the particular setting of their present or intended ministry (e.g., urban core, commuting suburban, rural, single professionals, ethnically diverse, and so forth). The course begins with a study of the biblical and theological foundations for evangelism. On this basis we will study methods of personal and group evangelism, how to equip laity to witness (and why most Christians don't respond to training seminars on evangelism), the use and development of church and para-church structures in evangelism (both on-going and special), the care of new converts and discipleship, and selected current issues in evangelism. Assignments focus on practical application of workable solutions for evangelism in the local church. Those in para-church ministries will find much to relate to their particular and often unique needs.

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Credits: 3

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Perhaps the greatest need in the Christian community today is Biblical leadership. Throughout the world, churches struggle with numerous issues because they lack relevant and effective leadership. A good leader possesses godly character, sound doctrine, and Biblical priorities. Yet today, there are differing views on several issues related to leadership, such as: What are the responsibilities and priorities of ministerial leaders and their work? Who is qualified for pastoral leadership? Can women serve as pastors? What should pastors expect in ministry?

This course identifies Biblical answers to crucial leadership questions from three of Paul?s letters, 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus, which primarily address issues of pastoral leadership and ministry. In his twenty lectures, Dr. John Stott walks his listeners through an exegetical analysis of Paul's words to Timothy and Titus. He shares valuable insight from the historical background and an investigation of the Greek New Testament. Dr. Stott covers such topics as how a congregation should appoint leaders, the role of women in the ministry, the primary function of a minister's work, and how to deal with false teachers while remaining true to "sound doctrine."

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Credits: 3

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The most compelling and important story in history is the story of Christ. In this course, learners complete a chronological and synthetic study of the Gospels' accounts of Christ's birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension. The course focuses on the time, place, circumstances, and people involved in the events of our Lord?s ministry. From the Incarnation to the Ascension, students will grasp a fuller understanding of Christ's words and works, especially in light of Old Testament prophecy and cultural context. The goal of the course is that Christ will impact learners' lives as He did those first generation followers, leading them to worship and serve Him as they minister to others.

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Credits: 3

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Correct theology is inseparable from correct living. The New Testament epistles reinforce this concept as they demonstrate both the why and how of Kingdom living. This course surveys the New Testament epistles and the Book of Revelation, examining both the introductory issues and the basic content each book. Students will wrestle with significant and challenging passages by exploring the major issues and then interacting with specific passages through inductive Bible study. The goal of the course is to gain an increased commitment to and capacity for applying these portions of God's Word to the world and Christian living today.

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Credits: 3

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How important are songs in the life of Israel and the Church! In this course learners study the Book of Psalms, giving attention to the various forms of the Psalms and their function within the historical experience of Israel. The course begins by focusing on the formulation and interpretation of the psalms. Students then examine in detail the various types of psalms: lament, royal, pilgrimage, wisdom, messianic, and psalms of descriptive praise. Dr. Waltke gives sermonic treatment of selected psalms with application for today's Church.

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Credits: 3

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The Old Testament may be the central problem of theology. The problem is this: How do the people of God today relate to the people and teaching of the Old Testament, and how do they apply that teaching to life and ministry? While wrestling with this issue we must ask other important questions, such as, "How does the Old Testament relate to the New?" or "What is the main purpose of the Old Testament?" Stated practically, "What principles of the Old Testament should I be actively obeying?"

This course considers such important questions by examining the foundational theology of the Old Testament as applied to the New Testament and the Church. The course identifies the focal point for the Old and New Testaments, and includes discussions on continuity and discontinuity between the Testaments, saving faith, the people of God, law, worship, atonement, the Kingdom of God, the Messiah, the inclusion of the Gentiles, and the New Covenant. Throughout the course, Dr. Kaiser shows how Old Testament theology is vital to contemporary Christian living.

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Credits: 3

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How do you view reality? What is the source of your knowledge? Do you live what you believe? Such are the questions that a worldview answers. This course examines the nature and function of belief structures, and the value of developing and living a distinctly Christian life. The course develops a Christian worldview from a redemptive history model of Biblical theology, which is then clarified using the philosophical categories of metaphysics, epistemology, and axiology. Learners will gain an understanding of modern and postmodern thought and how to critique them biblically, and are encouraged to develop and apply a Christian worldview to life and ministry.

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Credits: 3

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For good or for bad, philosophy has played a pivotal role in the development of theology and culture. In this course, learners examine the major trends in contemporary theological thought in light of their philosophical contexts. The course begins with a review of the major developments in Western thought prior to Hegel, and then explores the theologies of Hegel, Kierkegaard, Barth, Bultmann, and Tillich. The course culminates in the "Death of God" theologies of Paul Van Buren and Thomas Altizer. The course enables learners to evaluate contemporary, non-evangelical theologies and to recognize their impact on everyday life.

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Credits: 3

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God has one unified, global purpose for all He does. This course introduces the exciting biblical, historical, cultural, and strategic dimensions of His plan. It addresses key issues: the basis of and necessity for world missions, and the status of and plan for world missions. Students are introduced to the basics they need to pursue missionary training or to help lead their local church in its global ministry.

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Credits: 3

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Thesis requirement

Credits: 18

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Additional Courses (Choose 12)

An examination of the process of interpersonal communication and conflict management in human relationships within Christian organizations, with attention given to communication models, self-concept, non-verbal messages, stress and other strategies that will assist the Christian leader in developing interpersonal communication skills and the productive use of conflict.

Credits: 3

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This course is designed to provide the student with a basic introduction to the development of the Christian church’s doctrine, faith and practice from its founding at Pentecost to the time of the Protestant Reformation. Prerequisite: None

Credits: 3

Not available online

This course is designed to provide the student with a basic introduction to the development of the Christian church since the time of the Protestant Reformation.

Credits: 3

Not available online

This study is designed to help pastors, chaplains, counselors and other Christian leaders develop essential proficiency in their ability to guide people in their efforts to solve life's problems while understanding and balancing the tensions between psychology and theology.

Credits: 3

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This course will introduce students to counseling psychology concepts and interventions related to lifespan development, prevention of mental health problems, social justice, and optimal human functioning in both the church and society. An emphasis will be placed on psychopathology, in order to provide strategic counseling for specific issues in the congregation and family. The course provides preparation in the core counseling skills essential for the practical counseling and effective treatment outcomes.

Credits: 3

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An investigation into the meaning of biblical Christianity and it relationship to faith and practice within contemporary cultural contexts. Special attention is given to the corporate dimensions of spirituality and spiritual formation as defined in the New Testament. Those historical and cultural factors which have led to the privatization of Christianity are analyzed and discussed. A paradigm of spiritual growth and maturity which focuses on the assembly rather than the individual is developed.

Credits: 3

Not available online

A study of ministry to and by women, including biblical foundations for roles of women in the home, church, and society, and principles for evangelizing, discipling, and counseling women. The course is designed to aid men and women who will be responsible for various areas of women's ministries

Credits: 3

Not available online

This course is an expository and reading study of the Sermon on the Mount with emphasis on the practical and spiritual application and upon the theological issues and various interpretations therein.

Credits: 3

Not available online

This course presents an introduction to the basic features of grammar and vocabulary of New Testament Greek, and utilizes the textbook by William Mounce, Basics of Biblical Greek: Grammar (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1993).

Credits: 3

Not available online

The purpose of this course is to introduce the student to the discipline and task of New Testament theology as a subset of biblical theology and to enable the student to take steps toward formulating his/her biblical theology of the New Testament.

Credits: 3

Not available online

This course surveys the history of salvation in the Old Testament, especially as it relates to the universal of the Old Testament theology which is the rule of God: the establishment of His Kingdom upon the earth

Credits: 3

Not available online

An examination of the theories of obligation and theories of value from a philosophical perspective. A biblical theology of obligation and a biblical theology of value are presented along with their implications for decision-making in personal life and church life.

Credits: 3

Not available online

This lecture series is designed as a critical and historical overview of views regarding the nature of mankind, both as the image of God and as a being corrupted by sin. The course presents both a distinctive Reformed anthropology and a fair treatment of differing views and objections, evidence for both sides being carefully weighed.

Credits: 3

Not available online

This lecture series is designed as a critical and historical overview of the plan and order of salvation, tracing each movement of the process from our regeneration to our final glorification. The course material provides both a reformed theology of salvation and a fair treatment of differing views and objections, evidence for both sides being carefully weighed.

Credits: 3

Not available online

This course presents the historic, classic and orthodox doctrine of the Holy Trinity. It follows a biblical, historical and dogmatic approach. It seeks to show how and why the classical doctrine/dogma emerged in the fourth century; what have been the major ways this dogma has been understood; and how crucial is this teaching for a right understanding of the relation of God to man and of man to God.

Credits: 3

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In this course we continue to examine some of the major trends in contemporary theology. Discussion focuses on theologies prevalent especially since the 1960s. Theologies covered are Theology of Hope, Liberation Theology, the Feminist Theology of Elizabeth Johnson, Process Theology, New Age Theology, and four forms of Postmodern Theology.

Credits: 3

Not available online

This course traces the historic devemopment of the Christian world mission in chronological sequence from Pentecost to William Carey (1793). The modern period is developed along geographical lines: Asia, Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and Europe. The course closes with an attempt to evaluate the achievements of the past and the prospects of the future.

Credits: 3

Not available online

This course focuses on Christian mission and ministry in the world’s growing cities. A Biblical basis for urban ministry is presented and case studies of effective urban strategies worldwide are examined. The course provides key logistics, strategies, models, and insights from one of the day’s leading experts in urban missions. Throughout the lessons the instructor emphasizes holistic ministry, i.e., meeting the social, civil, and political needs as well as the spiritual.

Credits: 3

Not available online