Master of Divinity
Provides preparation for the ordained ministry of the church
The Master of Divinity degree prepares individuals for pastoral ministry in the church. Students are exposed to theology’s various disciplines and equipped to integrate what they learn in the classroom with real-world experiences encountered through field work.
The 2+2 structure of Trinity’s M.Div. program is distinctive, even among ELCA seminaries. During the first two years of full-time study, students take classes on campus and work at their contextual education sites, which are usually congregations. During the second two years of full-time status, students live and work at their internship sites.
While on internship, students take online courses and periodically return to campus for week-long intensive courses. By participating in a two-year internship while taking a steady, lighter load of coursework, our students not only learn how to work and study simultaneously, a practice that supports healthy, long-term ministry, but they maintain relationships with fellow students, faculty, and staff. This allows Trinity students the opportunity to immerse themselves in new situations and grow as ministry practitioners in community, even though they may not be geographically near old friends.
Our M.Div. program is designed to provide holistic support both for early-career and second-career students. While on campus, students participate in and help lead daily worship services, which builds a sense of spiritual community and togetherness. Two-year internships have promoted both professional, financial, and social stability for our students whether they are single adults, partnered, and parents. Additionally, Trinity’s calendar features both May-Term and summer classes, which allow greater flexibility in student schedules.
As an ELCA seminary, our M.Div. program supports ELCA students in the candidacy process. We also welcome students from other faith traditions, offering the support needed to follow your calling to ministry in another denomination or non-denominational setting.
The Master of Divinity degree requires 84 credit hours. Generally, students earn 60 hours in their first two years and 24 hours in their second two years.
Courses Taken Before Internship:
- Bible Division
- BL 1021 - Old Testament I
- BL 1041 - Old Testament II
- BL 2022 - New Testament I
- BL 2042 - New Testament II
- History-Theology-Society Division
- HTS 1024 - Church History I
- HTS 1025 - Church History II
- HTS 2044 - Systematic Theology
- Ministry Division
- MN 1001 - Person in Ministry
- MN 1031 - Introduction to Worship
- MN 1050 - Reading the Contexts
- MN 2021 - Ministry of Preaching
- MN 2051 - The Care of Souls
- MN 1672 - Spanish Liturgy
- MN 3041 - Education Ministry
- MN CPE - Clinical Pastoral Education (Non-Credit)
- Greek, if student has not already had Greek
- LA 1001 - Using Biblical Greek
- FDN 1010 - Boundaries Training (Non-Credit)
- FDN 1020 - Anti-Racism Training (Non-Credit)
- FDN 1030 - Cross Cultural Experience (Non-Credit)
Courses Taken While on Internship:
- HTS 3061 - Theology of Mission
- MN 3435 - Theological Leadership
- MN 3500 - Ministry Project
- MN Internship
- Elective Courses
Additionally, all students are required to take courses fulfilling the following areas requirements:
- One advanced Bible course
- One advanced Systematic Theology Course
- One World Religions/Interreligious Relations course
- One Church in the World course
- One Ministry Topics course
- One Music in Ministry course
Candidates for rostered ministry in the ELCA are also required to take:
- HTS 2031 - Lutheran Confessions (typically taken before internship)
- HTS 3031 - Being Lutheran in America (typically taken during internship)
CONTEXTUAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS
- Leadership in Context (LIC) in the student’s first two years of study. It involves a contextual placement of 6-8 hours per week with supervised exposure to, and experience in, pastoral ministry.
- Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at a certified CPE site. CPE programs typically involve 400 hours of clinical experience and may be completed in the summer, usually in the summer between the first and second years.
- Internship. In the 2+2 curricular plan, students spend the last two years of seminary in a supervised pastoral ministry setting, which they do while continuing to take classes part-time.
Students who are seeking ordination in the ELCA must successfully complete internship.
- Students who are seeking ordination in other church bodies are expected to fulfill contextual education requirements both of Trinity's Master of Divinity and those of the church body under whose auspices they are preparing for ministry. The Director of Contextual and Experiential Formation will work with the student to interpret how all or some of the components of Trinity's 2+2 model fulfill those requirements.
All graduates of the Master of Divinity program at Trinity Lutheran Seminary are able to:
Use appropriately the resources of scripture and the church’s historical and theological tradition.
Proclaim and communicate effectively the gospel in oral and written forms.
Read and interpret critically contexts of mission and ministry.
Provide capable pastoral leadership in both ministry settings and the public realm.
Engage competently and sensitively a diverse and globalized world.
Demonstrate a healthy and resilient faith.