Master of Divinity (MDiv) Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements

To qualify for the MDiv degree, a candidate must complete the following requirements:

Credit Hours

In fulfilling the eighty-four credit hours (86 for those who entered the program in Fall 2010 or earlier) required to complete the MDiv degree, students may not exceed the following limits: fifteen credit hours for contextual courses, fifteen hours for academic courses taken on an S/U basis (excluding contextual education courses but including a maximum of four hours for participation in the Chapel Choir or Emory Concert Choir), ten hours for the Teaching Parish program (including the eight hours taken for Contextual Education), twelve hours for summer term, eighteen hours for Atlanta Theological Association (ATA) cross-registration (with no more than 12 hours taken at any one school), twenty-six hours for transfer credit or advanced standing (including ATA cross-registration), and six hours for directed study.

GPA Requirements

Courses that are specifically required and courses that students elect to meet the common requirements of the curriculum must earn a letter grade of at least C, i.e., 2.0 on a scale of 4.0. Students who earn less than a C in a course intended to meet these requirements may retake the course. However, the same course cannot be counted more than once towards the total credit hours for graduation.

Curricular Requirements

Students must complete the following Courses and Requirements in the MDiv curriculum:

Common Courses

Biblical Studies Courses:

Students are required to take the Interpretation of the Old Testament course sequence (OT501/502) and the Interpretation of the New Testament course sequence (NT501/502) as part of the Common Course requirements. Students must successfully complete OT501 and OT502 before enrolling in NT501. When two sections of OT501/502 or NT501/502 are offered, students may change instructors at the end of the first semester. Students making a C-, D+, or D in OT501 or NT501 may enroll in OT502 or NT502 and will have fulfilled the sequence requirement, provided the grade in the other part of the sequence brings the average for the two-course sequence to at least a grade of C. Students with a sequence average (OT501/502 or NT501/502) of less than C will normally repeat the course or sequence. Students with less than a C average in a sequence may satisfy area requirements with alternate Biblical Studies courses upon the advice and consent of the sequence instructors. Students making an F in OT501or NT501 may not enroll in OT502 or NT502. Students who can demonstrate that they have had the equivalent of these courses may request to substitute more advanced courses in Biblical Studies for these required courses. Students who fail to complete courses taken to fulfill course sequence requirements with a C grade or better after more than one attempt may be discontinued. Students may choose to waive these course sequences for higher level courses upon the advice and consent of the course instructor or Biblical Studies Chair.

*These courses may be waived for higher level classes.

History and Interpretation of Christianity Courses:

Students must take the Introduction to the History of Christian Thought course sequence ([HT501/503]) and Systematic Theology ([ST501]).  Students making a C-, D+, or D in HT501 or HT503 will have fulfilled the HT sequence requirement provided the grade in the other part of the sequence brings the average for the two-course sequence to at least a grade of C. Students with a sequence average of less than C will normally repeat the course or sequence. Students with less than a C average in a sequence may satisfy area requirements with alternate courses upon the advice and consent of the Academic Review Board in consultation with the course instructors. Students making an F in HT 501 or HT 503 must repeat the course. 

Students who can demonstrate that they have had the equivalent of these courses may request to substitute more advanced courses in Historial or Systematic Theology for these required courses. Students may choose to waive these course sequences for higher level courses upon the advice and consent of the course instructor or Area Chair.  Students who fail to complete courses taken to fulfill course Common Requirements with a C grade or better after more than one attempt may be discontinued.

*These courses may be waived for higher level classes.

Christianity and Culture:

Students must take Christian Ethics (ES501). This course may be waived for higher level Ethics courses upon the advice and consent of the Christianity and Culture Chair.

*These courses may be waived for higher level classes.

Church and Ministry:

Students are required to take Introduction to Preaching (P501). With permission of their adviser and a member of the homiletics faculty, students may waive P501 and substitute an advanced preaching course. Students who are not planning to enter the ordained ministry after graduation may have the preaching requirement waived and substitute another Introductory Arts of Ministry Course.

*These courses may be waived for higher level classes.

First Year Advising Group:

First year students are required to enroll in the First Year Advising Group (MDIV505). Advising groups will be composed of 10-12 first year students along with a faculty adviser and a third year MDiv student peer adviser. These groups will assist first year students with orientation to the Candler community, Emory and the first year of graduate studies.

Contextual Education:

Contextual Education combines academic instruction with opportunities for formation in ministry and leadership in churches, social service agencies, hospitals and other clinical and ecclesial settings. Candler¿s unique commitment to contextual theology and theological education is formalized through the four-semester sequence, Contextual Education I and Contextual Education II, required for all MDiv students.

In addition to the above requirements, Contextual Education II students must enroll in one of their Introductory Arts of Ministry courses (which may include either P501 or three of the six hours of additional Arts of Ministry Common Requirement) and a Contextual Education Elective (CEE).

Common Requirements

In addition to the Common Courses, the following common requirements must be fulfilled by all students enrolled in the Master of Divinity program. Each requirement may be filled by any course listed within the specific subject area.

Additional Common Requirements

In addition to the requirements listed above, students must complete a 3 hour Race, Ethnicity and Gender, (REG) and a 3 hour Contextual Education Elective (CEE) requirement. These courses may also fulfill other curricular requirements. For example, a course in World Religions (WR) might also be designated as a REG or CEE course; enrollment in the WR course that is also designated as a REG or CEE course would fulfill both the World Religions and REG or CEE requirements.

Concentrations

Each student may choose to enroll in a concentration at the end of their first year in the Master of Divinity program (concentrations are required for those who enrolled prior to Fall 2010). Course work for a concentration will begin during the second year in the program. Concentrations will be 12-15 hours in length and may require pre-requisites. Information on conentrations can be found in the MDiv Concentration Guide.

Electives

The balance of the 84 hours (86 for those who enrolled prior to Fall 2011) required for graduation will be satisfied by elective courses. A student may choose to enroll in denominational studies courses, certificate program courses, language courses or other courses of interest.

Additional Program Requirements

In addition to the curricular requirements listed above, students in the MDiv program are required to complete advising each semester and to complete the Final Year Integrative Advising Conversation.

Advising and Assessment

First year students are required to enroll in the First Year Advising Group (MDIV505). Advising groups will be composed of 10-12 first year students along with a faculty adviser and a third year MDiv student peer advisers. These groups will assist first year students with orientation to the Candler community, Emory and the first year of graduate studies.

The faculty adviser will hold an advising conversation with every advisee at least once each semester prior to registration for the following semester, in which the student¿s progress in the MDiv program and course work for the coming term are discussed.

Students who do not have an advising conversation prior to pre-registration will have a hold placed on their OPUS account and will be prevented from registering until advising is completed and the faculty adviser notifies the registrar's office.

In the final year of the MDiv program, the academic adviser conducts an Integrative Advising Conversation with their advisees. The purpose of this conversation is to discuss the student¿s overall progress in theological studies, reflection on the Candler experience, state of vocational discernment, and post-MDiv plans (including continuing education). Completion of the Integrative Advising Conversation is a graduation requirement. In preparation, students will prepare a portfolio, which will be submitted to the academic adviser at least one week prior to the interview. The portfolio shall include:

Students graduating in May 2013 will also be required to submit the following in addition to the above materials:

Application for the Degree

At the beginning of the semester in which a student plans to graduate, the candidate must submit a formal application for the MDiv degree before the deadline stated in the academic calendar. Application for Degree is available online in OPUS for approximately 4 weeks prior to the submission deadline.  Failure to apply on time will result in a $25 late fee and a paper application must be filed.

Residence

Students must complete a minimum of six full-time semesters, to include at least five fall/spring semesters with not more than twelve hours of total summer term enrollment. The last two semesters of the program must be completed at Candler. Students in good standing at other seminaries accredited by the Association of Theological Schools may, with approval, transfer up to twenty-six credit hours. A maximum of eighteen credit hours taken through cross-registration at Atlanta Theological Association (ATA) schools may be applied toward the degree, counted as transfer credit. [Graduates of other United States first-level master¿s degree programs (i.e., MTS, MRE, MATS) may be granted up to twenty-six credit hours in advanced standing. No additional transfer work or ATA cross-registration work will be allowed.] Students who transfer into Candler's MDiv program must complete a minimum of four semesters with at least fifty-six Candler semester hours, including completion of the four-semester Contextual Education program, at Candler. The master of divinity degree is structured to be completed in three or four years of full-time study; the maximum length of time allowed to complete the program is six years.

MDiv Thesis Option

MDiv students with a minimum grade point average of 3.5 at the end of thirty-six hours of course work, including Contextual Education I and the first semester of Contextual Education II (contextualized Introductory Arts of Ministry course) may be invited to write an MDiv thesis. A maximum of twelve students per year will be selected. All area, Contextual Education, and advising requirements of the MDiv program will apply to those selected to write a thesis. Interested students should submit a one-page, single-spaced letter of intent detailing the thesis interest, plus supporting letters from the faculty adviser and proposed thesis adviser, before February 15 to Steven J. Kraftchick, director of general and advanced studies.

For most students, this will be at the beginning of the fourth semester. Selection will be made before the end of the schedule change period of the spring semester by the associate dean of faculty and academic affairs and the director of general and advanced studies. The thesis option provides an opportunity for independent study and research geared to the individual student¿s ability and interests. Its main feature is the writing of a thesis for which up to six credit hours are granted, including MDIV 502, MDiv Thesis, which is required. Students normally will enroll in MDIV 502 in the fifth semester. Registration for MDIV 999R, MDiv Administrative Fee, is required each semester following completion of course work for those students completing a thesis. During the semester before graduation, the student must complete the thesis by the deadline stated in the academic calendar. For further information, contact Steven J. Kraftchick, director of general and advanced studies at 404.727.2883.