A student who holds a baccalaureate degree from an approved institution receives the degree of Master of Divinity (M.Div.) on the completion of the prescribed program of study. The purpose of this program is twofold: (1) to prepare men for the pastoral ministry and to equip them to meet ecclesiastical requirements for ordination (Pastoral Ministry Track); (2) to train men and women for gospel ministries of a more specialized sort (General Ministries Track). Such ministries might include counseling, Christian education, youth work, college and university student ministries, and urban service.
Students planning to seek ordination for pastoral ministry should be aware that completion of the M.Div. degree in a General Ministries Track may not satisfy the requirements for ordination of certain denominations. This is particularly the case if the sequence of courses in preaching is not included. One should check with the appropriate denominational judicatory.
The program of study prescribed for the M.Div. degree provides two tracks for training, in keeping with the twofold purpose of the program: (1) a Pastoral Ministry Track and (2) a General Ministries Track which has three emphases: General Studies, Counseling, and Urban Mission. The degree requirements for both tracks are the same except for certain Practical Theology courses. Courses in both tracks are arranged to provide for orderly progress within the work of each department and for coherence within each semester of study.
Students in the General Ministries Track, counseling emphasis, should be aware that Westminster offers a limited number of counseling courses through Distance Education on an alternating every other year basis. These courses will be offered on campus in traditional classroom format during the years in which they are not offered through Distance Education. Please see section 5.6 to review the Distance Education schedule for specific courses along with the policies that apply.
Successful completion of a program of Mentored Ministry is required in both tracks. Students should contact the Mentored Ministry Office at the beginning of the second semester of their first year in order to arrange for completing their required four units of ministry.
6.4.a Student Learning Goals
Upon graduation, the student will:
- Exhibit a deep love for the triune God, his word, his truth and his church and a Christ-like humility in relation to others.
- Be able to exegete the text of scripture as given in the original languages.
- Be able to understand and articulate the system of doctrine contained in the Westminster Standards and its importance for biblical, systematic, and practical theology, and integrate this system of doctrine into life and ministry.
- Be able to understand the particularity of cultural context and apply God’s eternal word to a changing world and to particular individuals and congregations.
- Understand the biblical principles of leadership and demonstrate potential for becoming a future leader in the church.