2021-2022 Academic Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]
Divinity/Communication Dual Degree MDiv/MA
Andrews University has formed a collaborative program between the Master of Divinity Program of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary and the Master of Arts in Communication (Interdisciplinary Concentration) Program of the Department of Visual Art, Communication and Design in the College of Arts and Sciences. Students can potentially complete the two degrees in less than 3½ years; 2 years in the Theological Seminary and 1 to 1½ years in the Communication Program.
This dual degree program will also prepare students for service in occupations where communication—and in particular, media-related communication—intersects with the pastoral mission of the church. Pastors today are challenged to minister and serve in ever-widening fields and increasingly diverse audience groups, and being able to do so effectively through a variety of mediums is becoming more important than ever before. Likewise, there are benefits to understanding the how and why of communication and what it takes to be an effective communicator on all levels outside of the pulpit. Furthermore, this collaboration allows for widened employment opportunities including television and radio, public relations, corporate communications, advertising, management, healthcare communications, and more.
Since both the Communication (Interdisciplinary Concentration) MA and Divinity MDiv programs share certain cognate courses to achieve a more streamlined and efficient program, both degrees must be conferred simultaneously in order to fulfill the requirements of either degree. In the event that one degree was completed prior to enrollment for the dual degree program, the cognate requirements for the other degree will be adjusted as shown below. A dual student cannot march in graduation or March-without-Completion if both halves of the dual degree are not completed.
Credits for Each Program
MDiv: Graduation requirements consist of the satisfactory completion of 100 semester credits with an overall grade point average of 2.75 or better. 67 credits are MDiv credits, and 33 credits are Communication credits.
11 of these credits are shared between the MDiv and Communication programs:
Information for the two programs (Divinity MDiv and Communication MA) follows:
Click here to jump to Communication MA.
The Master of Divinity (MDiv) is a 78-credit professional program recommended as the graduate training for Adventist ministry by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and the North American Division. It is a two-year professional program (including summers) for full-time students. Additional semesters may be required for students lacking prerequisites.
Students may - if desired - complete a concentration:
- Marriage and Family Life Ministry
- Youth and Young Adult Ministry
MDiv Dual Degree Options
The MDiv is also available with the following dual degree options:
In harmony with the mission and core values of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, the Master of Divinity degree equips called, committed men and women with practical biblical, theological, and ministerial knowledge and skills to prepare them for Christlike service as leaders and equippers.
We envision the Master of Divinity community as a relationally healthy and diverse family focused on developing balanced and spiritually mature ministry leaders who are committed to equipping people in accomplishing God’s mission and the prophetic calling of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Great Controversy, Covenant, Law, and Sabbath - 2-3
Practical and Applied Theology - 19
Discipleship and Lifespan Education - 9
New Testament - 8
The New Testament Revelation requirement may be met by one of the following means:
- An undergraduate Revelation course. A syllabus must be submitted to the NTST department for evaluation. If approved, the Revelation requirement will be waived and the student may take the exegesis and theology courses of their choice.
- NTST 530 - Introduction to Revelation Credits: 2 (a prerequisite course) taken in the Seminary
- NTST 647 - Eschatology Credits: 2,3 (as New Testament Theology) (Prerequisite: NTST 530 or undergraduate Revelation course)
- NTST 648 - Revelation Credits: 2,3 (as New Testament Exegesis) (Prerequisite: NTST 530 or undergraduate Revelation course)
Choose one of the following New Testament Exegesis courses for 3 credits (NTST List A) - Intermediate Greek proficiency required:
- NTST 645 - Hebrews Credits: 2,3
- NTST 646 - Topics in New Testament Exegesis Credits: 2,3
- NTST 648 - Revelation Credits: 2,3
- NTST 653 - Advanced Studies in the General Epistles Credits: 2,3
- NTST 655 - Advanced Studies in the Gospels Credits: 2,3
- NTST 658 - Advanced Studies in the Pauline Writings Credits: 2,3
- NTST 678 - Seminar in Greek Exegesis Credits: 2,3
Choose one of the following New Testament Theology courses for 3 credits (NTST List B) - Intermediate Greek proficiency required:
- NTST 613 - Love, Marriage and Divorce Credits: 2,3
- NTST 614 - Suffering, Death and Resurrection Credits: 2,3
- NTST 616 - Theology of Luke-Acts Credits: 2,3
- NTST 623 - New Testament Theology of Prayer Credits: 2,3
- NTST 627 - New Testament Theology of Salvation Credits: 2,3
- NTST 628 - The Holy Spirit in the New Testament Credits: 2,3
- NTST 629 - New Testament Ecclesiology Credits: 2,3
- NTST 630 - Theology of the Synoptic Gospels Credits: 2,3
- NTST 633 - Social Issues in the New Testament Credits: 2,3
- NTST 634 - Theology of the Pauline Epistles Credits: 2,3
- NTST 641 - Theology of the Johannine Writings Credits: 2,3
- NTST 647 - Eschatology Credits: 2,3
- NTST 650 - Great Controversy, Covenant, Law and Sabbath Credits: 2,3
- NTST 667 - Topics in New Testament Theology Credits: 2,3
- NTST 668 - New Testament Ethics Credits: 2,3
- NTST 676 - Jesus in Recent Scholarship Credits: 2,3
- NTST 679 - Seminar in New Testament Theology and Ethics Credits: 2,3
Choose one of the following New Testament Background courses for 2 credits (NTST List C) - Intermediate Greek proficiency required:
- NTST 515 - New Testament Backgrounds Credits: 2,3
- NTST 606 - New Testament Textual Criticism and Canon Formation Credits: 2,3
- NTST 615 - New Testament Archaeology Credits: 2,3
- NTST 626 - Seminar in Classical Jewish Literature Credits: 2,3
- NTST 635 - Intertestamental Literature Credits: 2,3
- NTST 636 - Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus Credits: 2,3
- NTST 654 - Second Century Christianity Credits: 2,3
- NTST 680 - Greco-Roman World Credits: 2,3
- NTST 684 - Judaism and the New Testament Credits: 2,3
- NTST 689 - Seminar in New Testament Backgrounds Credits: 2,3
- NTST 695 - Topics in New Testament Backgrounds Credits: 2,3
Old Testament - 8
- 2 credits of OTST 674 - Daniel Credits: 2,3
Choose one of the following Old Testament Exegesis courses for 2 credits (OTST List A) - Intermediate Hebrew proficiency required:
- OTST 625 - Biblical Hebrew III Credits: 3 (MDiv students must make arrangements with the professor if they wish to use OTST625 as an OT Exegesis course. An exegetical paper will be required. This course is offered strictly as 3 credits.)
- OTST 628 - Methods of OT Exegesis Credits: 2,3
- OTST 639 - Studies in Old Testament Exegesis Credits: 2,3
- OTST 664 - Pentateuch Credits: 2,3
- OTST 666 - Historical Books Credits: 2,3
- OTST 668 - Psalms/Wisdom Literature Credits: 2,3
- OTST 675 - Minor Prophets Credits: 2,3
- OTST 680 - Seminar in Old Testament Exegesis Credits: 2,3
- OTST 686 - Major Prophets Credits: 2,3
Choose one of the following Old Testament Theology courses for 2 credits (OTST List B) - Intermediate Hebrew proficiency required:
- OTST 610 - The Great Controversy, Covenant, Law, Sabbath Credits: 2,3
- OTST 619 - Theology of the Old Testament Credits: 2,3
- OTST 620 - Seminar in Old Testament Theology Credits: 2,3
- OTST 627 - Jewish Life and Thought Credits: 2,3
- OTST 685 - Principles of Hermeneutics Credits: 2,3
Choose one of the following archaeology courses:
- 2 credits of OTST 510 - Archaeology and the Bible Credits: 2,3
Students who have taken an undergraduate course in biblical archaeology may replace OTST 510 with a 2-credit advanced archaeology course from the following list (OTST List C):
- ANEA 615 - Seminar in Archaeology and History of Antiquity Credits: 2,3
- NTST 615 - New Testament Archaeology Credits: 2,3
- OTST 604 - History of the Ancient Near East Credits: 2,3
- OTST 635 - History of Israel Credits: 2,3
Theology - 13
- 3 credits of THST 611 - Revelation, Inspiration and Hermeneutics Credits: 3
- 2 credits of THST 635 - Issues in Origins Credits: 2,3
Choose one of the following Systematic Theology courses for 3 credits (THST List A):
- THST 608 - The Great Controversy, Covenant, Law, Sabbath Credits: 2,3
- THST 615 - Doctrine of the Church Credits: 2,3
- THST 616 - Doctrine of God Credits: 2,3
- THST 617 - The Works of God Credits: 2,3
- THST 618 - The Works of Christ Credits: 2,3
- THST 619 - Principles and Methods of Theology Credits: 2,3
- THST 630 - Doctrine of Christ Credits: 2,3
- THST 637 - Biblical Eschatology Credits: 2,3
- THST 639 - Doctrine of the Holy Spirit Credits: 2,3
- THST 640 - Doctrine of Salvation Credits: 2,3
- THST 647 - Human Nature and Destiny Credits: 2,3
- THST 649 - Seminar in Theological Issues:_______________________________________ Credits: 2,3
- THST 678 - Science and Religion Credits: 2,3
Choose one of the following Historical Theology courses for 2 credits (THST List B):
- THST 623 - Contemporary Adventist Theological Issues Credits: 2,3
- THST 624 - Protestant Theological Heritage Credits: 2,3
- THST 625 - Early Christian Theology Credits: 2,3
- THST 626 - Modern Christian Theology Credits: 2,3
- THST 627 - Roman Catholic Life & Thought Credits: 2,3
- THST 628 - Contemporary Theology Credits: 2,3
- THST 629 - History and Theology of Ecumenism Credits: 2,3
- THST 656 - Seminar in Historical Theology:_________________________________________ Credits: 2,3
- THST 667 - Postmodernism and the Church Credits: 2,3
- THST 676 - History of Philosophy Credits: 2,3
Choose one of the following Ethics courses:
- 3 credits of THST 605 - Principles of Christian Ethics Credits: 2,3
Students who have taken an undergraduate course in Ethics may replace THST 605 with a 3-credit advanced ethics course from the following list (THST List C):
- THST 622 - Foundations of Philosophical Ethics Credits: 3
- THST 633 - Ethics and the Good Life Credits: 2,3
- THST 634 - Christian Social Ethics Credits: 2,3
- THST 643 - Christian Professional Ethics Credits: 2,3 (MDiv/MSW Dual Degree students must replace this course with SOWK 515 )
- THST 644 - Theological Ethics Credits: 2,3
- THST 659 - Seminar in Philosophy, Theology, and Ethics:____________________________ Credits: 2,3
- THST 660 - Church and Society Credits: 2,3
- PATH 549 - Philosophy & Ethics of Chaplaincy Credits: 3
General Electives - 6
- Students will take 6 credits of general electives.
- Electives may not be used to satisfy prerequisites and/or deficiencies.
- Students may use elective credits toward the completion of an MDiv concentration or a dual degree program.
- Up to 6 credits in relevant courses offered by other schools of the university on the graduate level may be included in the general electives, including up to 4 appropriate workshop credits.
- Transfer credit petitions from other schools/colleges within Andrews University or from any other University must be done in consultation with the MDiv Office.
Students anticipating academic doctoral studies after the completion of their MDiv program are advised to undertake the thesis option as some academic institutions require a master’s-level thesis for entry into doctoral programs.
The thesis counts as 6 general elective credits allowed for the MDiv degree. Students should register for 2 or more thesis credits per term for at least two semesters. Therefore, initial registration for a thesis must be no later than two semesters prior to graduation. Students electing to write an MDiv thesis must apply to the director of the program and must (1) demonstrate superior scholarship over a minimum of two consecutive semesters, normally with a GPA of 3.50 or above; (2) take Research Methods before the thesis is started; and (3) submit a paper of superior quality before permission is granted by the director to begin writing the thesis. The student is guided in thesis preparation by a three-member committee appointed by the director in consultation with the student and department chair in which the subject of the thesis is chosen. The chair of this committee serves as the thesis advisor.
The format of the thesis must conform strictly to the Andrews University Standards for Written Work. Students are strongly urged to consult the dissertation secretary before formatting and printing a thesis.
At least six weeks before graduation, the committee-approved draft of the thesis should be submitted to the dissertation secretary. After appropriate changes have been made, the corrected copy should be submitted at least four weeks before graduation to the dissertation secretary for approval. Copying on non-acid paper should be completed at least two weeks before graduation. Three copies of the thesis, including a 150-word abstract and an approval sheet, must be submitted to the dissertation secretary. The abstract should contain a short statement of the problem examined, a brief exposition of methods and procedures, and a condensed summary of the findings.
Students obtain a Thesis Completion Form from the dissertation secretary. They must take the form to the Academic Records Office no later than noon on Friday, a week preceding graduation. A fee is charged by the university for binding the three copies of the thesis, two of which are deposited in the library and one in the department in which the student earns the degree.
Students who do not adhere strictly to the deadlines noted above will have their graduation postponed. Thesis candidates must pass an oral examination no later than two weeks before graduation. The candidate is expected to demonstrate mastery of the thesis topic.
Note: Dual degree students who choose to complete a concentration will increase their total credits required by 12.
Chaplaincy Concentration - 12
Chaplaincy is a highly qualified and dynamic expression of ministry based on the Bible and supported by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The chaplaincy concentration provides the basic training and preparation for service beyond the church borders in various chaplaincy ministries, such as in healthcare, military, campus, prison, police and fire departments, community, and corporate settings. It also prepares pastors and church leaders to advance in their caregiving and empathic ministry skills for an immediate impact in the church and the surrounding communities.
Marriage and Family Life Ministry Concentration - 12
Healthy, spirit-filled marriages and families are the backbone of Christian life and most clearly reflect the character of Christ in our churches and in the world. When marriages and families are broken, our churches suffer. The Concentration on Marriage and Family Life Ministry is designed to prepare MDiv students to equip their churches to be vibrant and healthy in the way they foster relationships in their individual families as well as in church and the community. Students who take this concentration will be better equipped to educate their congregations in areas of family life. They will also be better prepared to address the family issues that will come to them for counseling. Pastors with these courses will be able to create healthy churches and more positively impact their communities for Christ.
In addition to the core MDiv requirement DSLE 503 - Marriage, Family, and Interpersonal Relationships for 2 credits, students who choose this concentration will take 12 credits in the following courses:
Youth and Young Adult Ministry Concentration - 12
A Youth and Young Adult Ministry (YYAM) Concentration is available for students wishing to gain specialized skills and knowledge for service in pastoral and administrative leadership to address the needs of youth and young adults. The MDiv with the YYAM Concentration requires a total of 84 credits.
In addition to the core MDiv requirement DSLE 534 - Ministry to Youth and Young Adults for 2 credits, students who choose this concentration will take 12 credits in the following courses:
Students who choose this concentration must select 2 credits of PATH 632 Contextualized Preaching: Youth in fulfillment of the Christian Ministry requirement for an Advanced Preaching Core Elective (CHMN list).
MDiv students must meet the following requirements in addition to those required of all graduate students:
- Complete the MDiv curriculum of at least 78 credits. Students lacking adequate undergraduate preparation will be required to complete additional prerequisite credits. The actual number of credits required is based on individual academic evaluation.
- Attend selected brief colloquia from among those offered on a variety of ministry topics each semester for MDiv students. On campus students will be required to attend at least 4 of these 0 credit colloquia sessions during their MDiv experience.
- Maintain a GPA of 2.75 or above.
- Meet the qualitative standards of the MDiv program.
- No U grade or any grade below C- will count towards the MDiv degree, but will be counted in the student’s cumulative GPA.
MDiv students whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.75 will be placed on academic probation and will have their course load reduced to no more than 10 semester credits. MDiv students whose cumulative GPA remains below 2.75 for a second consecutive semester will be required meet with the MDiv program director and will enter into a probation contract, have regular meetings with their academic advisor, and fulfill other requirements as needed. Following that, should their GPA not improve, they may be asked to withdraw from the program.
When an incomplete or Deferred Grade has not been cleared by the end of the following semester, the student’s course load must be reduced as follows:
- One Incomplete/DGs—no reduction
- Two Incompletes/DGs—may register for no more than 10 credits
- Three Incompletes/DGs—may register for no more than 9 credits
With more than three I/DGs, the student must cease taking classes until the Incompletes/DGs are cleared.
Evaluation of Students
Since the MDiv program prepares individuals for professional and pastoral leadership, periodic assessments are made of the students by the faculty in areas other than academic standing. Areas reviewed are students’ spiritual growth, lifestyle reflective of the beliefs and practices of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, social/family relations, and developing potential for ministry. As a result of these assessments, students are affirmed in the MDiv program, advised of needed adjustments, or discontinued from the program.
Maintaining Active Status
Residency Requirements: Students must maintain active status by enrolling for at least two semesters within one academic year. When this fails to happen, the student must follow the bulletin in force at the time active status is reestablished.
Following an absence of two years or more, a student’s previous admission status will have lapsed and the student will need to reapply to the program.
The Seminary follows the University graduation procedures and requirements for the conferral of degrees. A dedication ceremony for graduating seminary students is held on the Sabbath afternoon of graduation weekend, or as announced.
All MDiv applicants must meet the Graduate Programs Admission Requirements applicable to all graduate students and the general seminary requirements.
- Hold a baccalaureate degree: A four-year degree from an accredited United States institution, or its equivalent from an institution outside the U.S.
- Minimum of 2.5 Undergraduate GPA.
- Normally hold membership in the Seventh-day Adventist Church given that the MDiv program is specifically designed for Adventist ministers and is sponsored and financed by the Adventist church.
- Represent high moral integrity with a character, lifestyle, and spiritual commitment reflective of the beliefs and practices of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and show promise of usefulness for Adventist ministry through personal maturity and adequate experience in the Church. (Persons of other faiths who are willing to live in harmony with these standards are welcome to apply.)
- Submit an autobiographical history and a 350+ word statement of purpose reflecting the applicant’s family and spiritual development, sense of calling to ministry, experience in church work, and future goals in relationship to the MDiv program. A guideline is provided in the admissions package.
- If married, the spouse of the applicant is also asked to complete a statement in regard to his or her feelings and relationship to the partner’s aspirations for future ministry.
- Background Check. Applicants to all Seminary programs are required to undergo a criminal background check as specified in the online application process. The criminal background check must be completed within six months of beginning coursework and be redone every three years while in attendance at the seminary. The base cost of the background check is paid as part of the application process. Applicants are responsible for any additional fees charged by municipalities in which they have resided, and for the costs of subsequent background checks.
- An interview with a representative of the MDiv program may be required, either by personal contact, telephone, or video.
- Applicants to all Seminary programs are required to complete and submit to the Seminary the “Pre-Admission Conduct Disclosure Statement.”
- Church board where the applicant is a member
- Church administrator, pastor, or elder
- General Recommendation from: College teacher or advisor, recent employer, or some other non-family member
Students are expected to present a broad range of undergraduate general education represented in such studies as behavioral sciences (including psychology and sociology) communication, education, English composition, fine arts, health, history, philosophy and computer literacy. In addition, courses in the following areas are strongly recommended: Christian ethics, missions, and apologetics.
Students who enter the Master of Divinity program who have not previously taken the following classes on the undergraduate level must fulfill the following prerequisite areas, all of which may be taken either at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary or at the undergraduate level. Courses taken outside of the seminary must be approved through the MDiv office in consultation with the appropriate department.
Students must complete or be exempted from prerequisites in any given department prior to beginning core classes.
- Pastoral Ministries and Church Policy - 2 credits
- Biblical Preaching - 2 credits
- Personal Evangelism - 2 credits
- Introduction to Church History - 4 credits
- Adventist Heritage - 3 credits
- Christian Theology - 6 credits
- Christian Ethics - 2-3 credits
- Survey of the New Testament - 4 credits
- Intermediate level Greek proficiency*
- Survey of the Old Testament - 4 credits
- Intermediate level Hebrew proficiency*
* Subject can be cleared through optional challenge exam.
Students who have not previously taken the following classes on the undergraduate level must fulfill these prerequisites. Some of these subjects can be cleared through optional challenge exams. Current Greek and Biblical Hebrew language intermediate level proficiency must be accomplished through placement exam or by passing both the beginning and intermediate levels of each language.
- 2 credits of CHIS 506 - Church History to 1500 Credits: 2,3
- 2 credits of CHIS 507 - Church History 1500 to Present Credits: 2,3
- 1.5 credits of CHIS 570 - History of the Seventh-day Adventist Church Credits: 1.5,2
- 1.5 credits of CHIS 571 - The Life and Writings of Ellen G. White Credits: 1.5,2
- 2 credits of PATH 505 - Biblical Preaching Credits: 2
- 2 credits of PATH 536 - Personal Evangelistic Ministry Credits: 2,3
- 2 credits of PATH 552 - Foundations of Pastoral Ministry Credits: 2
NOTE: Students who have passed a basic course in pastoral ministry from an accredited Seventh-day Adventist undergraduate institution, or who have been Conference-employed as pastors for two years or more will be exempted from CHMN 552, provided their hiring/sponsoring organization can provide proof of at least two years of pastoral employment via their service record. Exemptions to this rule will be granted on a case by case basis as determined by the Christian Ministry Chairperson.
- 2 credits of NTST 520 - Introduction to the New Testament Credits: 2
- 2 credits of NTST 530 - Introduction to Revelation Credits: 2
- 2 credits of NTST 551 - Beginning Greek Credits: 0,2 (Passed at C- or higher or score 45% or higher on the Greek Placement Exam - May, August)
NOTE: Any student who wishes to take a biblical language placement exam must take at least one of the exams in May or August of the year they enroll in seminary. If the student wishes to take the exam for the second language it must be taken before the start of their second year in seminary.
- 3 credits of NTST 552 - Intermediate Greek Credits: 0,3 (Passed at C or higher or score 60% or higher on the Greek Placement Exam - May, August)
- 2 credits of OTST 500 - Survey of the Old Testament Credits: 2,3
- 3 credits of OTST 551 - Biblical Hebrew I Credits: 0,3 (Passed at a minimum of C+ or score 75% or higher on the Beginner Hebrew Placement Exam - May, August)
NOTE: Any student who wishes to take a Biblical language placement exam must take at least one of the exams in May or August of the year they enroll in seminary. If the student wishes to take the exam for the second language it must be taken before the start of their second year in seminary.
- 2 credits of OTST 552 - Biblical Hebrew II Credits: 0,2,3 (Passed at a minimum of C+ or score 75% or higher on the Intermediate Hebrew Placement Exam - May, August)
- 2 credits of OTST 565 - Survey of the Pentateuch Credits: 2,3
- 3 credits of THST 521 - Christian Theology I Credits: 2,3
- 3 credits of THST 522 - Christian Theology II Credits: 2,3
English Language Requirements
All students whose first language is not English must demonstrate adequate proficiency in English to succeed in the academic setting. Language proficiency requirements must be met before enrolling full-time in regular course work.
- TOEFL Paper-based - 565
- TOEFL Internet-based - 85
- MELAB - 81
- IELTS - 6.5
- PTE - 58
Given that applying and obtaining pertinent documents for admission can be a long process, the student must start the application process at least 4-6 months before the desired starting semester. See University deadlines for individual semesters here.
Placement, Entrance, and Challenge Examinations
MDiv students may challenge the prerequisite courses above (marked by an asterisk) by taking examinations developed for that purpose. Zero credit shall be granted for each examination passed and the student academic transcript will show the equivalent course name, number, and a grade of P – the designation for Challenge by Examination. No entry shall be made on the transcript if the examination is failed and the student shall be required to take the prerequisite course for credit. Each examination may be taken only once.
Biblical Hebrew and Biblical Greek Prerequisites
Hebrew and Greek are required at the Intermediate proficiency level. Language Proficiency must be demonstrated within the first two years in seminary. For each language, students may demonstrate proficiency by either: (1) passing the Beginning (OTST 551/NTST 551) and Intermediate (OTST 552/NTST 552) courses in that language at the required level, or (2) passing the Placement Exam. Undergraduate credits alone do not demonstrate current proficiency in a language.
Option 1: Language Courses
Students may demonstrate proficiency in Biblical Hebrew by passing Hebrew I (OTST 551) and earning a grade of at least C+ in Hebrew II (OTST 552).
Students may demonstrate proficiency in Greek by passing Beginning Greek and earning a grade of at least C in intermediate Greek (NTST 552).
Option 2: Placement Exam
Students also have the option of demonstrating proficiency in a biblical language by passing the corresponding placement exam. Placement exams may be taken only once for each language. Any student who wishes to take a placement exam must take at least one of them in May or August of the year they enroll in seminary. If the student wishes to take the exam for the second language it must be taken by September of their second year in seminary. Placement exams must be taken at the regular May or August dates set by the seminary.
Preparation materials designed to help students prepare for the placement examinations are available from the Old Testament (firstname.lastname@example.org) and New Testament (email@example.com) departments.
Based on the score achieved on the exam, the student will be assigned to do one of the following as soon as possible: (1) Take both the beginning and intermediate language courses, (2) take the Intermediate language course, or (3) enroll in exegesis and theology courses without further language study necessary.
Students who do not pass the exam and do not obtain the required grade in the course must retake the course without delay until the required grade is achieved.
Readiness for Ministry
The MDiv program is dedicated to preparing every graduate for success in ministry. Godly and effective practice of ministry requires not only intellectual readiness, but also spiritual, physical, emotional, and social maturity. The MDiv Readiness for Ministry process helps seminarians evaluate their ministerial gifting and calling, discover and address strengths and weaknesses, and identify and pursue avenues of ministry appropriate to their giftedness. The program includes small-group mentoring as well as periodic assessments of the seminarian’s readiness for ministry, by the faculty, staff, and ministry supervisors.
Areas to be reviewed include spiritual commitment, character, social and relational skills, and general aptitude for ministry. On the basis of these assessments, the seminarian and his/her mentor will, at a minimum, receive feedback in the middle of their first year, and again shortly before graduation. If a significant issue arises that, in the discretion of the Seminary, seriously impairs the seminarian’s potential for ministry, appropriate action will be taken. This may include: referring the seminarian to the program director for guidance, remediation, and/or other appropriate action, counsel regarding alternate programs of ministry within the University or elsewhere, or dismissing the seminarian from the MDiv program. As part of the admissions process, every MDiv applicant is required to sign an agreement to participate in this process. This agreement includes permission, which seminarians can withdraw later in the program, to share the final readiness for ministry profile available with prospective employers.
Hybrid Course Delivery Options
MDiv students may take up to one-half of their degree credits off-campus. The Hybrid delivery method utilizes various delivery methods to assist students in completing their MDiv degree. These options include:
- Interactive online classes through the Seminary Online Learning Center (SOLC) (see School of Distance Education definitions).
- One week intensives at seminary extension sites in Unions throughout the United States and Canada (offered by the MA Pastoral Ministry English track). Certain classes in the MAPM program cannot be used by MDiv students. Advising is necessary prior to registration.
- Summer Session intensive courses on the main Andrews University campus
- Full semester, on-campus courses
For financial information regarding hybrid studies, please click here .
Students interested in the Hybrid delivery method must obtain approval and instructions on specific class options, costs and how to sign up for this option from the MDiv program office before beginning off-campus studies.
Transferred and Earned Credit Term Limits
All course credits applied towards degree requirements should be earned within 10 years of the awarding of the degree.
In accordance with ATS Standard 3.13, the Seminary has approved incoming MDiv students from outside North America to receive advanced standing. Advanced standing is credit given for advanced/upper division courses taken at the undergraduate level. In order to qualify for advanced standing, students must:
- Hold a 4-year Bachelor of Theology (BTh) degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution.
- Have graduated from an AAA-accredited institution outside of North America.
Criteria for Validation of Courses
Up to 18 credits of advanced standing may be granted. Each course to be considered for application toward advanced standing must:
- Have been taken within 10 years of the projected graduation date;
- Be an upper-division/advanced level course that:
- Contribute to the MDiv program learning outcomes;
- Have an earned grade equivalent of “B” or higher; and
- Be approved by the department teaching the MDiv core or elective course for which advanced standing credit is to be granted. Approval is determined based on whether the BTh course(s) have taught the essential course learning outcomes (at least 80% of the overall course learning outcomes) of the MDiv course it is seeking to replace.
MDiv Core Course Replacement Policy
MDiv core courses provide graduate level understanding considered by the seminary and the church to be essential for the pastor. Occasionally, an MDiv student may have already taken as part of their undergraduate degree, in addition to the required prerequisites for the MDiv program, an advanced college course in which they mastered the learning outcomes for the course at a graduate level. In such cases, a proposal to take an alternate course within the same discipline (department), at an equivalent or higher level, may be considered. To request the validation of a course, the student must submit to the MDiv office, within their first semester, a portfolio containing the following items:
- The Seminary Prior Learning Validation Form, initiated and signed by the student.
- The course syllabus from the advanced-level undergraduate course evidencing that all the Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) of the MDiv core course have been taught appropriately at a level of rigor equivalent to the MDiv graduate course;
- A transcript demonstrating that the student earned a B grade or higher in the undergraduate advanced-level course;
- An essay, normally to be followed by an interview by the department chair/faculty member responsible for the course, describing how each of the CLOs were taught, learned, and subsequently put into use at a graduate level of learning.
Transferring Credits to the MDiv Program
Provided the content of the courses are assessed as comparable to the curriculum of the Andrews University Master of Divinity program, students intending to transfer credits into the Master of Divinity Program should be aware of the following policies:
- A transfer of credits must be made by petition.
- Transfer credits are granted only for courses in which the grade is B or higher.
- A student may transfer a maximum of 39 credits (graduate level) may be transferred from an uncompleted graduate-level program.
- Up to 24 credits (graduate level) may be transferred to the Master of Divinity program from a completed master’s-level degree.
- At least 39 credits must be taken in-residence.
Summer Course Load
The 12 week summer semester is divided into two 4-week sessions and two 2-week sessions. The total amount of course work during the summer session may not exceed 12 credits. Students taking a biblical language during a summer session may not take other courses during that session.
Workshop Credit Limit and Grading Pattern
Master of Divinity students may apply up to 4 workshop credits appropriate to degree requirements. If workshops are taken during the semester breaks, the credits are counted as part of the class load for either the previous or the following semester.
Workshops are graded S/U. Any deviation from this pattern must be approved by the dean prior to the conclusion of the workshop. Students must register at the Academic Records Office for all workshops for which academic credit is desired.
Independent Study Restrictions
Students in the MDiv program are allowed to register for Independent Study only for a compelling reason such as a schedule conflict or the need to take a subject that is not offered in any given semester (for a maximum of 8 credits during their MDiv program). Independent study is only available to students on the main campus. Normally, Independent Study cannot be used to meet a core requirement. Students must first seek approval from the MDiv office before arranging with a teacher to do Independent Study.
For a detailed list of charges, please click here .
MDiv students taking a graduate course in the College of Arts & Sciences in fulfillment of an elective course requirement may request a 50% tuition reduction (up to 9 credits cumulative), provided the class is not full and there are a sufficient number of students paying full tuition to warrant the teaching of the course. Directed study, laboratory courses, and study tours are not eligible for reduced tuition. Neither is this discount available for dual enrollment students who have been accepted in a graduate degree program in the College of Arts & Sciences. (Application form is available in the MDiv office.)
Student Learning Outcomes
A graduate from this program:
- Models spiritual humility, maturity and integrity grounded in a living experience with God in joyful assurance of His salvation, nurtured by the sanctifying presence and power of the Holy Spirit. (Character)
- Manifests the practices of a Biblical scholar-theologian engaging the Bible, Christian/Adventist heritage and professional resources with theological maturity for personal growth and for facilitating the theological competence of others. (Scholarship)
- Demonstrates personal commitment, passion and essential skills for discipleship and evangelism, while equipping members to carry out ministry within the scope of the local and global mission of the Seventh-day Adventist church. (Discipleship & Evangelism)
- Exercises creative and visionary leadership as a minister and servant of Christ, discerning the needs, spiritual gifts and potential of others, in order to equip and engage in their God-given ministries. (Leadership)
- Facilitates enriching corporate worship that brings diverse peoples into the transforming presence of God. (Worship)
- Engages the abilities of self and others to strategically steward personal and corporate resources including time, health, finances, property and service in areas of spiritual giftedness. (Administration/Management)
- Models effective relationships with people of diverse cultures, backgrounds, character, and persuasions, reflecting the wisdom, compassion, and discernment of Jesus through the work of the Spirit. (Relationships)
The Master of Arts program is designed for students who wish to develop advanced-level skills and an expanded knowledge base in Communication. Additionally, it also gives them the option of selecting a specific concentration area in which to focus their studies and connect a specific area of interest to the broader field of Communication.
Dual Degree Option
This program is available as a dual degree with the Divinity MDiv:
Select any 6 masters-level credits from COMM courses. (MDiv/MA Dual Degree students must take 2 credits of PATH 543 - Christian Leadership in a Changing World and choose 4 credits from ART 530 - Graphic Design Concepts and/or masters-level COMM courses.)
Culminating Experience - 3
Concentration - 12
Students may select one of the following concentrations or complete 12 further elective credits in consultation with academic advisor.
NOTE: Master of Divinity/Master of Arts, Communication Dual Degree MDiv/MA students must complete the Interdisciplinary concentration.
Communication Management - 12
Humanitarian and Development Communication - 12
Interdisciplinary - 12
Master of Divinity/Master of Arts, Communication Dual Degree MDiv/MA students must complete this concentration.
Course options are selected with the approval of the other department(s) and the advisor or coordinator of graduate program; however, the student must establish competency in two of the following three areas:
- Visual communication
Visual Art - 12
- 12 credits in one of the following areas: Graphic Design, Film, or Photography.
- COMM 587 - Producing Practicum Credits: 2,3
- COMM 468 - Directing and Producing for Studio Television Credits: 3
- DSGN 510 - Typography Credits: 2,3
- DSGN 551 - Web Design II Credits: 2,3
- DSGN 585 - Digital Publishing Credits: 2,3
- DSGN 514 - Graphic Design I Credits: 2,3
- DSGN 531 - Editorial Design Credits: 2,3
- DSGN 532 - Brand Design Credits: 2,3
- DSGN 534 - Design in Advertising Credits: 2,3
- DSGN 550 - Web Design I Credits: 2,3
- FILM 505 - Intro to Film Making Credits: 2,3
- FILM 525 - Screenwriting Credits: 2,3
- FILM 550 - Cinematography Credits: 2,3
- FILM 555 - Sound Recording and Editing Credits: 2,3
- FILM 575 - Post-Production Credits: 2,3
- FILM 590 - Producing for Film and Television Credits: 2,3
- PHTO 570 - Photojournalism Credits: 2,3
- PHTO 500 - Advanced Photography Credits: 2,3
- PHTO 516 - Digital Photography Credits: 2,3
- PHTO 520 - Color Photography Credits: 2,3
- PHTO 565 - Digital Imaging Credits: 2,3
- PHTO 575 - Documentary Photography Credits: 2,3
- PHTO 580 - Lighting I Credits: 2,3
Maintaining Academic Standing
All graduate students need to understand that
- The GRE must be completed in order to register for the second semester courses.
- Must enroll in COMM 500 - Graduate Colloquium Credits: 0 every Fall and Spring semester.
- A student on regular status must, in consultation with the graduate advisor, identify members to serve on a supervisory committee, prior to application to Candidacy. It determines individual requirements for completion with reference to a student’s Plan of Study.
- A 3.00 GPA per semester must be maintained.
- The Advancement to Candidacy deadline is the semester prior to the student applying for graduation.
- Students are responsible for completing all the required forms.
All required forms are submitted to the coordinator of the Department Graduate Program. On approval, recommendations are made to the Records Office and to the Dean of Graduate Studies. See General Academic Policies for further details on graduation procedures and degree conferral.
Departmental Admission Requirements
This is a summary of the procedures that a student planning to enroll in the MA should note:
For information about requirements for admission, progression through the program, and completion, please see Department’s Graduate Student Manual at www.andrews.edu/communication and under the “Graduate” tab.
Student Learning Outcomes
1: Specialized Knowledge: Skills and Competencies
Students learn specialized skills and competencies necessary to develop a visual vocabulary across core curriculum in preparation for the student’s area of emphasis.
- Develop a strong foundation in communication that spans across disciplines.
- Define a personal language that allows for how those views fit in relation to others and the world around them.
- Convey ideas with clarity and confidence in their speech and writing.
- Convey ideas with clarity and confidence in their work.
2: Critical Thinking and Creative Process
Students gain a vocabulary of creative strategies including research, conceptualization, and problem solving strategies which can be applied to any visual or communicative problem.
- Evaluate and synthesize different points of view and determine solutions to serve specific outcomes.
- Apply a flexible and analytical approach to finding creative, practical, and actionable solutions to a variety of visual communication problems.
- Incorporate an adaptable approach to a rapidly changing media landscape.
3: Cultural Literacy and Contextual Adaptability
Students take advantage of the unique learning environment of Andrews University by developing a curiosity, respect, and recognition of diversity in cultural, economic and social entities.
- Gain an understanding of current social, cultural, economic, and environmental issues and how these issues can inform and shape their creative production and its reception.
- Demonstrate knowledge of historical, current, and innovative events across disciplines.
- Develop familiarity of discipline ideologies across a range of media and various applications.
4: Intentional Exploration with Interdisciplinary Connections
Students pursue the various creative processes with intentionality to explore interdisciplinary connections and their potential.
- Gain knowledge and appreciation for the potential in interdisciplinary pursuits and collaborations.
- Students use specialized knowledge to navigate between academic disciplines to create cross-disciplinary content.
- Network across disciplines to pursue opportunities for collaborative projects and community-based initiatives.
5: Quality of Execution + Professional Practices
Students develop a highly resolved and excellent portfolio in conjunction with professional development.
- Students develop insight into business practices and principles that are specific to their chosen field.
- Reflect on process to understand its usefulness in establishing individual perspective, intentionality of craft, and personal methodologies.
- Students learn effective research and conceptualization approaches to assignments and presentations.
- Students pursue information in support of their research, progressing to a level of evaluating, sourcing, and conducting self-directed research and assuming autonomy of their direction.
6: Development and Integration of Faith and Ethics
The integration of faith and ethics within the context of professional creative careers is explored in terms of affecting personal, community, and environmental self-awareness and integrity. Placed within the diverse setting of Andrews University, students explore ways in which their faith informs their creative practices.
- Students contemplate the role of a scholar-citizen, who navigates potential ethical challenges in creative practice and cultural production with self and social awareness.
- Students learn the ethical, legal and socio-economic considerations surrounding the production and applications of content.