Master of Divinity in Pastoral Studies


Being a pastor in the 21st century in the U.S. is a daunting challenge. The M.Div. in Pastoral Studies concentration is designed to help prepare current and future pastors to understand the issues facing the American church today and be equipped with the theological knowledge and ministry skills to address these challenges.

Students seeking preparation for general pastoral ministry, particularly the role of senior pastor responsible for the theological and administrative leadership of a local church in the United States, are encouraged to pursue the 90-hour Master of Divinity in Pastoral Studies. 

All five concentrations have a strong component of practical field experience, a nine-hour apprenticeship, built into the requirements.

Course Requirements for Master of Divinity in Pastoral Studies


Examples of courses in this major:

TH 710 Advanced Systematic Theology

Building on a foundation of orthodox systematic theology, students will explore the issues that create tensions within a theological system. Particular attention will be focused on contemporary theological questions relating to topics such as inspiration, the nature of God, personal eschatology, etc. Students will be expected to prepare position papers, which are to be defended in class.

PM 513 Philosophy of Ministry

This course seeks to promote appropriate ministry perspectives, especially as applied to the local church in North America. Two main areas will receive attention:

  1. The attitudes and responsibilities of a servant leader in the local church.
  2. A philosophy of local church ministry. In addition, a variety of specific applications of New Testament ecclesiology are discussed and applied to contemporary life and ministry.

PM 621 Expository Preaching and Teaching

This course combines both theory and practice. It introduces a functional methodology of organizing and developing the elements of a sermon. It examines issues of bridging exegesis and exposition as well as the application of biblical truth and the effective delivery to listeners. Approximately one-third of the course is devoted to a lab setting where lessons and sermons are videotaped and critiqued.

PM 721 Counseling in the Local Church

Pre-course requirements will engage the student in reading assignments and reviewing audio/video presentations of selected issues related to counseling theory and methodology. During the one-week, on-campus module, issues related to counseling expectations and practice, anthropological considerations, and specific personal problems will be addressed.