The School of Theology. Sewanee: The University of the South

Master of Divinity (M.Div.)

The Master of Divinity (M.Div.) curriculum of the School of Theology is designed to provide students with the spiritual formation, knowledge, and skills required to become committed, effective ordained clergy. Throughout the three years students have an opportunity to explore their pastoral vocation and to be formed in Christ’s own priesthood given to the church and expressed in a variety of baptismal minis-tries. To this end, the curriculum includes study of Scripture, the Christian tradition, and modern cultures, with a view to the reasoned practice of the ministry of Word and Sacrament in both its historical context and its contemporary setting.

Curriculum: Orderly Progress of Learning

The Master of Divinity program is designed to educate a critically informed clergy for ministry in a changing world. The School of Theology has consistently been committed to the task of integrating the various areas of theological study within a basic core curriculum. After the first introductory course in any area, other courses at second and third levels allow the student to advance to more critical and intensive engagements of the subject matter. The guiding norm of the entire seminary program of the School of Theology is the orderly progress of learning.

Electives allow students to focus their attention and advance their learning in selected areas of academic and practical interest. Lectures, seminars, and small group reflections all contribute to the ongoing task of critical and practical integration of the traditions of theological learning with life in the contemporary world.

To help students achieve continuity in their educational experience, the school provides each student with a faculty adviser. Faculty members work with their advisees to assist them, according to their special interests and needs, to integrate the many elements and dimensions of a theological education.

Spiritual Formation

Christian ministry requires leaders who are sensitive to the presence of God in their own lives and in the lives of those with whom they are called to serve. Through daily worship, prayer, study, spiritual direction, and quiet days, the School of Theology seeks to develop in its students such an awareness and pattern of life.

Worship Life

The curriculum is grounded in worship. Morning Prayer, the Holy Eucharist, and Evening Prayer are celebrated each weekday in the Chapel of the Apostles. Students and faculty take part in at least one of those offices daily, including a weekly community Eucharist. Through participation in the church’s liturgical life, students deepen their awareness of the meaning of worship and are provided opportunities to develop their skills in the ordering and conducting of a variety of Prayer Book rites. Students and faculty participate in planning, leading, and preaching in services.

The dean has responsibility for the spiritual and community life of the School of Theology. He or she is the ordinary of the Chapel of the Apostles.

Course Requirements

The curriculum for the M.Div. degree requires 74 core hours for graduation. This curriculum allows for concentration of electives in areas of interest or perceived need. To retain the status of regular (full-time) student, at least 12 credit hours must be taken for credit each semester.

M.Div. Core Courses

Junior Curriculum
Advent Semester
  • BIBL 501. Old Testament Foundations I (3 Hours)
  • CHHT 511. Church History I (3 Hours)
  • BIBL 511 New Testament: Foundations I
  • MNST 503. Foundations of Christian Spirituality (3 Hours)
  • THBR 531. Bibliography, Research, and Writing (1 Hour)
  • Total: 13 hours
Easter Semester
  • BIBL 502. Old Testament: Foundations II (3 Hours)
  • CHHT 512. Church History II (3 Hours)
  • BIBL 511. New Testament: Foundations II (3 Hours)
  • LTCM 507. Singing the Word (1 Hour)
  • An Elective (3 hours)
  • Total: 13 Hours

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is ordinarily taken in the summer after the Junior year, if it was not taken before matriculation.

Middler Curriculum
Advent Semester
  • HOML 530. Introduction to Preaching (3 Hours)
  • MNST 511. Pastoral Theology I (3 Hours)
  • THEO 511. Systematic Theology I (3 hours)
  • An Elective (3 hours)
  • Total: 12 Hours
Easter Semester
  • THEO 511. Systematic Theology I (3 Hours)
  • LTCM 511. History of Christian Worship (3 Hours)
  • MNST 512. Contextual Education I (3 Hours)
  • CEMT 511. Intro to Moral Theology (3 hours)
  • Total: 12 Hours

* Elective Course (3 Hours)

* Elective hours must include at least one 3 credit-hour course in church history (from an approved list), taken after the CHHT 511/512 sequence.

* Students must take one elective course to maintain full-time status of 12 credit hours per semester.

Senior Curriculum
Advent Semester
  • MNST 522. Contextual Education II (3 Hours)
  • CEMT 522. Contemporary Moral Issues (3 Hours)
  • WREL 501 World Religions (2 hours)
  • WREL 502 Missiology (1 hour)
  • LTCM 521. Pastoral Liturgics (3 Hours)
  • Total: 12 Hours
Easter Semester
  • MNST 525. Christian Education (3 Hours)
  • HOML 510. Advanced Preaching (3 Hours)
  • MNST 512. Pastoral Theology II (3 Hours)
  • An Elective (3 hours)
  • Total: 12 Hours

* Elective Course (3 Hours)

* Students must take one elective course to maintain full-time status of 12 credit hours per semester.

Total: 74 HOURS

Non-credit Degree Requirements
  • Clinical Pastoral Education
  • Constitution & Canons Workshop
  • Sexual Boundaries Training
  • Safeguarding God’s Children workshop
  • Anti-Racism Training
  • Education for Ministry Immersion
  • Chapel participation, as scheduled


Beginning with students entering in 2009, each M.Div. student will maintain a portfolio, filed with the office of the registrar of the School of Theology. A completed portfolio is a degree requirement.

A complete portfolio includes the following (all tests and papers are to have been graded, with the instructor’s comments):

  1. One Theology paper or exam (from THEO 511 or 521) or Ethics exam (from CEMT 511 or CEMT 522)
  2. One written, exegetical assignment from Old Testament I or II, or New Testament I or II
  3. One exam from Pastoral Theology I or II
  4. One exam or paper from either Church History I or II
  5. The final exam from Pastoral Liturgics *
  6. One sermon text plus a DVD of the delivery of the sermon
  7. The Field Education evaluations
  8. The Middler Evaluation

* Not required of UMC students.

Exams and papers will be submitted as hard copies and scanned, to preserve faculty grades and comments. DVDs will be placed in the student’s permanent file.