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. The comprehensive education of the M.Div. prepares students to engage in a wide variety of ministries in the church and the world. 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.
Shaped by Boston College’s commitment to academic excellence, the M.Div. program supports student academic formation through disciplined theological study. Future 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 graduate in three years.
The academic rigor of the program is enhanced by the current questions and issues being discussed in the classroom. Courses are taught in a way that encourages students to grapple with the challenges facing today's church and world. A diverse student body results in a diversity of experiences from which to draw-on, and the variety of professional goals makes the discussion in the classroom multi-dimensional and extensive.
Each M.Div. cohort is divided into several small groups that will be used throughout the degree for the students' academic and ministerial preparation. The entire cohort will come together for the Ministry for Mission seminar taught at the end of the first year of study. This cohort system is unique among the degrees at the STM.
Ministerial formation 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. Practicum placements are numerous and can be done during the academic year in Boston, or over the summer throughout the country. Students are encouraged to take Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) as their practicum experience, but it is not required.
Outside of the practicum, there is also a great need for various types of ministers at Boston College and the greater Boston area. Many students are involved in one or more of these ministries throughout their time in the M.Div. program, and these programs can greatly assist in a student's ministerial formation.
M.Div. students participate in a program of formation that expresses the STM’s commitment to the education of the whole person for effective ministry. Lay students work with the associate director of spiritual formation to come up with a spiritual formation plan unique to each student. Plans can include spiritual direction, directed retreats, participation in the various aspects of the schools vibrant spiritual life, and many other options.
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.
Prerequisities for Admission
- A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
- One year of full-time ecclesial ministry or equivalent after college
- 12 credit hours (4 courses) in previous philosophy coursework (Candidates that do not meet this criteria should contact the assistant director of admissions.)
- One-third of undergraduate studies in liberal arts coursework