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If I were planting a seminary…

The other day, just for fun, I planned out how I would design the M.Div. degree if I were planting a seminary.  I also planned out 3 M.A.’s (in exegetical, historical, and systematic theology) which are shorter and have more wiggle room for electives, but I see the M.Div. as more of an “ordination degree” than a “research degree,” so there is not much room for electives for this degree.  I have no qualification whatsoever for this, I just thought about my own M.Div. and then looked at other seminary’s programs, and thought about what I would want if I were going through again.  Here it is, with the number of hours in parentheses (for a total of 95), and with a few notes at the bottom:

Languagues: (20)

Introduction to Biblical Greek (4)

Greek exegesis and reading (3)

Greek reading seminar (3)

Introduction to Biblical Hebrew (4)

Hebrew Exegesis and reading (3)

Hebrew reading seminar (3)

Bible: (20)

Biblical Theology, Hermeneutics, and Exegesis (4)*

OT Survey I: Genesis-Chronicles (3)

OT Survey II: Wisdom and Prophetic Literature (3)

NT Survey I: Gospels and Acts (3)

NT Survey II: The Apostle Paul (3)

NT Survey III: General Epistles and Revelation (3)

Research Project on one book of the bible (1)**

Theology: (20)

Doctrine of God (3)

Creation, Humanity, and Sin (3)

Christ and Salvation (3)

Spirit, Church, Last Things (3)

Apologetics, Evangelism, and Post-modernism (3)

Christian Ethics (2)

Christian Missions (2)

Research Project on one topic in systematic or doctrinal theology (1)

Church History: (10)

Overview of Church History (4)

PLUS: two of the following:

The Church Fathers (3)

Medieval Christianity (3)

The Protestant Reformation (3)

The Puritans (3)

First and Second Great Awakenings (3)

Evangelicalism and the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy (3)

Practical: (19)

Homiletics Theory (3)

Homiletics Practicum I (2)

Homiletics Practicum II (2)

Pastoral Counseling (3)

Principles of Sanctification (2)

Church Dynamics (2)***

Pastoral Theology (2) (non-ordination track can substitute an elective for this)

Church Planting, Church Revitalization, and Church Growth (2)****

Internship practicum (1)

Electives: (6)

*This would be a first semester class for everyone on biblical hermeneutics, learning to read the bible as one story, and thinking about how the Old Testament and New Testament relate to one another.

**Research Project: basically a semester long project overseen by one faculty member culminating in an essay.  Comparable to an independent study.

***This class would be designed to prepare students for the various difficulties and challenges involved with transitioning into and serving among different kinds of churches.

****This would be taught by local pastors and church planters.

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3 Responses

  1. Gavin – I love it! I think it’s really fun that you thought up how to create an MDiv. I like the amount of CH history and the idea of 1 hour research classes. I think 6 hours of OT is pretty short. I’d add an extra OT class.

  2. Penny, good call. I thought about that, but couldn’t figure out how to slice the OT into 3 classes, and 4 seemed too much. Perhaps wisdom and prophetic could be split? Still leaves Genesis-Chronicles as a pretty massive class. I also thought about focusing primarily on OT in the Biblical Theology, Hermeneutics, and Exegesis class.

    then again, perhaps I’ll leave it, since we baptists tend to donwplay the OT, don’t we?!? ;)

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I’m excited to be teaching an online cohort on arguments for Christianity. We will dive deep into 6 topics, with a view to real conversations and the pressing questions of our culture. Lots of time for interaction. This will be fun! You’re invited to join us!