Dec 03, 2022  
2022-2023 Academic Bulletin 
    
2022-2023 Academic Bulletin

Divinity MDiv


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E-mail: mdiv@andrews.edu

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.

Concentration Options

Students may - if desired - complete a concentration:

  • Chaplaincy
  • Marriage and Family Life Ministry
  • Urban Ministry
  • Youth and Young Adult Ministry

MDiv Dual Degree Options

The MDiv is also available with the following dual degree options:

Mission

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.

Vision

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.

Prerequisites


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. 

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.

Total Credits - 78


Interdisciplinary - 2


Great Controversy, Covenant, Law, and Sabbath - 2-3


Practical and Applied Theology - 19


Church History - 7


Discipleship and Lifespan Education - 9


New Testament - 8


Old Testament - 8


Theology - 13


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.

Thesis Option

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.

Concentrations


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:

Urban Ministry Concentration - 16-18


The Urban Ministry concentration is designed for students who want to learn how to make a decisive impact in the cities and to be prepared for the specific challenges of mission and ministry in the urban context.

Concentration Core Requirements

It is requested that the student take the following topics or contexts to fulfill the core requirements in the main body of the MDiv Program.

Concentration 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).

Additional Requirements


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.
  • MDiv students taking 9 credits or more are required to attend at least 1 colloquium per semester during their stay at Andrews.
  • Maintain a GPA of 2.75 or above.
  • Meet the qualitative standards of the MDiv program.
  • No U (Unsatisfactory) grade or any grade below C- will count towards the MDiv degree.

Academic Probation

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 to 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.

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.

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.

Additional Information


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 asynchronous 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.

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.

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.

MAPM to MDiv Completion

For transfer of credits between the MAPM and the MDiv, the following stipulations will be in place:

  • MAPM students will be allowed to transfer qualified courses of up to two-thirds of the MDiv’s total amount of credits.
  • Students requesting admission to the MDiv program must submit a complete graduate application including standard requirements such as statement of purpose, minimum GPA and recommendations.
  • Courses with a passing grade of C- or higher will be accepted to transfer between the programs.

The Florida Conference site will serve Hispanic pastors who already have a MAPM and who would like to continue with their MDiv studies. Selected courses will be offered as intensives in Florida each Fall and Spring semester and on the main campus during the summers. This will allow those who have the MAPM to advance to the MDiv and later on to Doctoral studies if so desired.

Summer Course Load

The 12-week summer semester is divided into three 4-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.

Fees

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.)

Graduation


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.

Admission Requirements


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. Maintain a modest pastoral social media presence - one that projects a professional demeanor and Christian values.
  • 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, years as a baptised Adventist member, if ordained or commissioned as a pastor, include date, and future goals in relationship to the MDiv program.
  • 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.
  • Criminal Background Check. Because seminary students will, during and/or after their studies, be working in positions of trust, applicants who have lived in North America (US or CN) for 6 months or more are required to complete a Criminal Background Check before being accepted to the seminary. This is a regular requirement for many areas of leadership and is required by the North American Division for all volunteers and employees who work with children.

    Andrews University has selected the same company used by the North American Division - Sterling Volunteers (SV) - to administer your background check. There is a standard fee charged by Sterling Volunteers for this service. Please click here to complete this step. (If you have previously completed a background check with Sterling Volunteers please e-mail your status report to SemTest@andrews.edu.)

    With Sterling Volunteers, you can rest assured that your information is safe. All data is encrypted and is stored in a completely secure environment. If you have any questions or concerns about Sterling Volunteers’ security measures or payments, feel free to contact them at TheAdvocates@sterlingvolunteers.com or 855-326-1860, Option 1.

  • 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.”
  • Recommendations:
    • Pastor or Church board from the church where the applicant is a member.
    • Conference administrator, chair or primary professor of undergraduate department, or church elder.
    • General Recommendation from: College teacher or advisor, recent employer, or other non-family member.
    • 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.​​​​​​​

Policy for Applicants to the MDiv Program who hold degrees from Unaccredited Schools or Lack Baccalaureate Degrees

Purpose of this policy/protocol: To streamline the admission process and to create standardized admission requirements for students that hold degrees from unaccredited schools or lack baccalaureate degrees. As per 2020 ATS guidelines, and as part of the SDATS application process, the following procedure will be followed:

Unacredited Schools

Applicants who hold degrees from unaccredited schools will submit the following:

  1. A 12 to 15-page research paper on a biblical/theological or ministerial topic that demonstrates solid academic-level research and writing skills.
  2. A resume documenting ministry/pastoral leadership and work experience.
  3. A statement of purpose including their call to pastoral ministry showing authentic biblical spiritiality.
  4. 3 recommendations
  5. Official transcripts showing the completion of an undergraduate (baccalaureate) degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA.
  6. A petition letter from a church administrator (usually conference president or ministerial director) requesting/endorsing the applicant’s admission to the program.
  7. Interview: Applicants will be interviewed by the program director or one of the Deans. The interview will address key elements of the applicant’s life, including his or her philosophy of ministry, life experience, goals, distinctive doctrines and theology.

​​​​​​​Lack of Baccalaureate Degree

For applicants who lack baccalaureate degrees, in addition to all requirements above, they must also:

  1. Submit official transcripts showing the completion of a minimum of 60 undergraduate (semester) credits or an associate degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA.
  2. Take all necessary MDiv prerequisites
  3. Be at least 35 years of age.  

Students requesting admission under these exceptions must submit a complete graduate application prior to being considered for admission.

Students who meet the above requirements will be processed by the program’s office, taking to the Masters Admissions Committee only those cases that fall outside of this policy/protocol.

Placement Examinations


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. 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 (otst@andrews.edu) and New Testament (ntst@andrews.edu) 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.

International Student Information


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. 

Following are the English proficiency tests approved by the University and the required passing scores:

  • TOEFL Paper-based - 565
  • TOEFL Internet-based - 85
  • Duolingo - 110
  • IELTS - 6.5
  • PTE - 58

Advanced Standing

In accordance with ATS Standard 3.13, the Seminary may approve 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:
    • Contributes to the MDiv program learning outcomes;
    • Have an earned grade equivalent of “B” or higher.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) - required for students on an F-1 visa taking off-campus Field Evangelism, Advanced Ministerial Development or Practicum in Clinical Pastoral Education courses.  

To qualify for CPT, the following requirements must be met: 

  • The specified training must have a clear start and end date. 

  • The F-1 student must have been enrolled for a full academic year before starting CPT (an exception is given for graduate programs requiring training in the first year of study). 

  • The F-1 student must be registered for a full course of study during CPT (if the CPT is in Fall or Spring semester) and the specified training should be reflected in the course load.  

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)

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