Considering a MDiv – Master’s of Divinity degree? This degree program can be anywhere between 72 and 106 credit hours of study. Yes, that’s three or more years of study for a master’s degree. In this amount of time you could earn a JD degree before you earn a MDiv so the MDiv program is a serious degree of high academic learning. What you learn from a MDiv depends on your knowledge, experience, and drive. It is recognized as the most comprehensive and basic level graduate preparation for ministerial leadership and for future study in the theological disciplines.
What you might not know is that MDiv curriculum’s may be shaped heavily around the diversity of the seminary student body’s beliefs and the denomination or founder(s) of the seminary. The wide variety of seminaries’ doctrines and faculty gives prospective students many options as to how they want their preparation for ministry to be shaped through choosing the best seminary for themselves.
Perhaps you’re looking at an MDiv and not looking to enter a traditional ministry position. Perhaps you’re just desiring to grow spiritually or learn more about who the Christian god is. Perhaps you’re not sure if going for a degree is the best way for you to learn what you desire. It is a big investment in time and it can be financially without scholarships. Depending on your social location, you may want to go for a MDiv within your denomination or one that teaches according to a variety of denominations. What’s important is that you go to the seminary, take the program, be mentored, research, or what have you that will help shape who you want to become.
Do you want to be challenged about your beliefs and learn about other cultures and interpretations of the Bible? Do you want to be ready to be able to defend your beliefs? Do you not want to be told what to believe in, but to be encouraged to think for yourself? Do you want to be amongst students that have different beliefs than yourself? Do you want to be amongst a racial and ethnic diverse student body? Do you want to go to seminary in a city such as New York City, a suburb of NYC, or a rural area? Is the history or mission of the seminary important to you? What classes, concentrations, and class schedule will be best for your growth? Do you want a MDiv accredited by the Association of Theological Schools?
These are serious questions and considers that God has for you. Every day, people call our admissions offices and ask our counselors for advice. We say “God will provide” and advise people to look into themselves, pray.
Is the MDiv worth it? That is a question Alliance Theological Seminary – ATS takes seriously with over 763 current students across three campuses in Nyack NY, New York City, and Puerto Rico. Currently, this NY seminary, NYC seminary, and Puerto Rico seminary students’ demographics combined are 45.7% female and 54.3% male, 43.6% single and 47.2% married, 18.7% Asian, 35.4% Black/African American, 24.1% Hispanic/Latino, 11.6% White, 1.8% Two or More Races, and 7.8% Non-Resident Alien. ATS looks at prospective and current students on an individual basis making sure that everyone is on path for success spiritually and vocationally.
The Master of Divinity MDiv at Nyack’s Alliance Theological Seminary is a 93-credit curriculum that blends biblical studies, social science theory, spiritual formation, and practical training with an emphasis upon critical and reflective thinking. The M.Div. curriculum develops progressively over three years at ATS through the Person Phase, the Church Phase, and the Ministry Phase. The purpose of the MDiv degree at ATS is designed to produce whole people for general leadership in Christian service, whether in their own or in another culture, by bringing into dialogue the various dimensions of theological education. These dimensions are (1) church and academy, (2) theology and social science inquiry, (3) the biblical world and the contemporary world, (4) classroom and experience, (5) character and competence, and (6) wisdom and skill.
The goals of student learning at ATS are:
1. Lay a foundation for ongoing spiritual formation including personal development, moral integrity, and spiritual maturity.
2. Gain knowledge and be able to apply methodology in biblical studies, theology and cultural understandings.
3. Gain an appreciation of the relational nature of ministry through the experience of being mentored and mentoring others, and through learning and practicing interpersonal ministry skills. Students will be able to understand and practice integration of the personal, theological, and practical components of holistic ministry. Students will gain ministry skills for a broad range of Christian service responsibilities, and will be able to demonstrate competency in classroom and internship environments.
Tracks are available in Bible & Theology, Church Development, Missions, and Urban Ministries in Alliance Theological Seminary’s MDiv program. In addition to the tracks, students select 6 professional development courses of their choosing from within the ATS curriculum or in consultation with the Dean, from other graduate programs within the Nyack College System. This flexibility allows for further study in areas related to career goals and personal interest.
Bible and Theology: Emphasizes enhanced preparation in biblical and theological studies. Students choose to focus on either Greek or Hebrew. Includes the following 6 courses:
NT Greek I: Elements
Greek II: Readings
NT Greek III: Exegesis OT Book Study (in English)
Biblical Hebrew I: Elements
Biblical Hebrew II: Readings
Biblical Hebrew III: Exegesis NT Book Study (in English)
Systematic Theology I: God & Humanity
Systematic Theology II: Christ & the Church
Church Development: Emphasizes the broad perspectives and essential skills needed for full-time local church ministry. Includes the following 6 courses:
Leading Change & Conflict Resolution
Management & Christian Service
Discipleship & Small Groups
Missions: Emphasizes perspectives and skills needed by those ministering across cultural barriers, especially in evangelism, church planting and the development of an indigenous Christian faith. Includes the following 6 courses (offered primarily at the Rockland Campus):
Global Expansion of the Church
Cultural Immersion & Social Analysis
Doing Theology in Context
Christian Encounter with World Religions
Theology of Power Encounter
Christian Witness in the Context of Poverty
Urban Ministries: Emphasizes the perspectives and specialized training necessary for ministry in an urban environment. Includes the following 6 courses (offered primarily at the Manhattan Campus):
Urban Church & the Poor
Urban Community & Worldview Analysis
Urban Community Development
Leadership Development & the Urban Church
To request more information on the MDiv or the other programs available at ATS, please click here.