Master of Divinity (M.Div.)
school of theology and ministry
The three-year Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree provides a strong theological and practical foundation to those preparing for the ordained priesthood or for full-time lay ecclesial ministry in the Catholic Church. It accomplishes this goal through an integrated core curriculum designed to ensure appropriate academic, ministerial, and spiritual formation. Since leadership in ministry today requires collaboration between women and men, religious and secular, ordained and lay, the M.Div. program at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry (STM) promotes collaborative learning as an appropriate means of preparing for ministry in all its forms. Building upon the previous theological and pastoral experience of the student, the program fosters the desire for lifelong learning and development in and through ministry.
Shaped by Boston College’s commitment to excellence, the M.Div. program supports the student's academic formation through disciplined theological study. Priests and lay ministers must be able to interpret the meaning and relevance of Christian revelation and the Church’s tradition for today’s world. To do this requires the mastery of basic and advanced courses in Scripture, Church History, Historical-Systematic-Practical Theology, and Moral Theology.
Students must complete eighty-four credit hours of academic course work with a G.P.A. of at least 3.0 and synthesis exams at the end of their program. The program is designed so that a full-time student can complete it in three years. Depending on the kind of ministry involved, some students prefer to do the Professional Ministry Practicum during the summer. Courses taken at other institutions during the summer may be considered for transfer credit according to the guidelines stated in the MDiv handbook. Part-time students may take a maximum of six years to complete the program—from the time of matriculation in the degree program.
The ministerial formation of the student is a basic goal of the entire curriculum. The ability to engage in personal theological reﬂection and the cultivation of ministerial skills through practice and regular supervision are integral components of a comprehensive preparation for ministry. Required seminars and courses in pastoral studies address speciﬁc issues of formation for ministry.
M. Div. students participate in a program of formation that expresses the STM’s commitment to the formation of the whole person for effective ministry. For lay students, the development of a formation portfolio under the guidance of a Spiritual Formation advisor fulfills the degree requirements for formation. For students who are members of religious orders or candidates for ordination, participation in the formation program of a religious order or diocese fulfills this requirement.
CREDITS AND COURSE DISTRIBUTION:
- Total credit hours – 84 credit hours - including:
- Biblical Studies – 15 credit hours
- Church History – 9 credit hours
- Historical-Systematic Theology – 15 credit hours
- Moral Theology – 9 credit hours
- Pastoral Studies – 12 credit hours (Lay Students) or 9 credit hours (Ordination Students)
- Ministry Practicum- six credit hours
- Word and Worship – 9 credit hours (Lay Students) or 18 credit hours (Ordination Students)
- Curriculum worksheet (Lay candidates)
- Curriculum worksheet (Ordination candidates)
PREREQUISITES FOR ENROLLMENT:
- A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
- One year of full-time ecclesial ministry or equivalent after college.
- 12 credit hours – four courses – in previous philosophy coursework. (Candidates that do not meet this criteria should contact the assistant dean of admissions)
- One-third of undergraduate studies in liberal arts coursework.