Master of Divinity

Master of Divinity

(MDiv degree)

Purpose

The Master of Divinity program is designed for men and women preparing to be Christian ministers, missionaries, chaplains, evangelists, or preparing to enter some other form of Christian service. The MDiv course is designed to enable the student to prepare for ordination (recording). However, each student looking forward to ordination in a particular denomination must secure recommendation from, and follow procedures already established in, that church for such recognition. The seminary assumes no responsibility of this nature.

Program Objectives

To enable students to:

  • Interact with Christian Scripture, history, and theology; to interpret the truths critically; and to express them faithfully.
  • Experience an ever-deepening sense of the reality of Christ through spiritual formation.
  • Understand themselves and relate to others as created in God's image and called into community.
  • Engage in the just transformation of societies through personal and social holiness motivated by love.
  • Lead the church under the lordship of Jesus Christ in its mission and ministries.
  • Be equipped practically to preach, teach, exercise pastoral care, equip, and lead in the local church.

Admission Requirements

Applicants seeking admission to the MDiv program must hold a four-year baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university,† with a minimum GPA of 2.5. In addition, applicants must complete the following to be considered for admission to the program:

  • George Fox Evangelical Seminary application form and application fee
  • Submit one official transcript from each college/university attended
  • Resumé
  • Personal mission statement and statement of faith
  • Three letters of reference (as specified in admissions materials)
  • A group interview or phone interview (by invitation only)

†Applicants who do not hold a four-year baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university may apply to the university but will be required to submit additional documentation to be considered for admission.

MDIV Online or Local

The degree is offered in an online cohort format or a local delivery format. The online cohort has hybrid courses which are a combination of face-to-face classroom experiences and online experiences. Cohort students come to campus for week-long face-to-face intensives in the fall and spring and some summers over a period of four years. A learning community is created for the transfer of information, exchange of ideas, critical-thinking development through discussions and papers posted and read online, and acquired wisdom through sharing professional experiences.
 
The local delivery format allows students to take the majority of their coursework in the local classroom setting at the Portland Center. The local delivery format also provides greater flexibility regarding the number of credit hours for which students may enroll each semester.

Transfer Credit

Transfer of up to 42 hours credit is allowed toward the MDiv program from accredited graduate schools and seminaries. Students must have earned a grade of B- or better for a course to be considered for transfer. Transferability of credits earned at this institution and transferred to another is at the discretion of the receiving institution. Consult the registrar's office for information on eligibility of transfer credit.

Residence Requirements

Of the 84 hours required for the MDiv program, a minimum of 42 hours must be taken in resident study at George Fox University. Reinstatement to the program after withdrawal requires Admissions Committee action and may subject the student to additional requirements for the degree.

Course Requirements

The Master of Divinity program is generally three to four years in length with 84 semester hours of course work required as a minimum for graduation. Of those hours, 21 are in biblical studies courses, 18 in Christian history and theology, 6 in spiritual formation and discipleship, 27 in pastoral studies, and 12 in a chosen area of concentration or electives.

Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate with the master of divinity degree students must:

  • Satisfactorily complete a minimum of 84 semester hours with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above
  • Be admitted to candidacy for the degree
  • Be recommended by the seminary faculty for graduation from George Fox University

Curriculum Plan

Pastoral Studies Concentration
Biblical Studies Courses (21 hours)
BIST 506 Old Testament I (Torah and Former Prophets) 3
BIST 507 Old Testament II (Latter Prophets and Writings) 3
BIST 508 New Testament I (Gospels and Acts) 3
BIST 509 New Testament II (Romans-Revelation) 3
 
Students must select 6 hours from the following Hebrew and/or Greek courses:
BIST 511 Introducing Biblical Hebrew 3
BIST 512 Interpreting the Hebrew Testament 3
BIST 521 Introducing New Testament Greek 3
BIST 522 Interpreting the Greek Testament 3
 
Students must select one of the following two courses:
BIST 542 Biblical Theology 3
BIST 543 Biblical Exegesis and Hermeneutics 3
Christian History and Theology Courses (18 hours)
CHTH 511 Christian History and Theology I:
The Early Church to the Sixteenth Century
3
CHTH 512 Christian History and Theology II:
The Reformation and Its Ramifications
3
CHTH 552 Essentials of Christian Theology 3
CHTH electives 6
 
Students must select one of the following two courses:
CHTH 513 American Church History 3
CHTH 546 Contemporary Theological Trends 3
Spiritual Formation and Discipleship Courses (6 hours)
SFAD 510 Knowing Self, Knowing God 1
SFAD 561 Spiritual Direction Experience I .5
SFAD 562 Spiritual Direction Experience II .5
SFAD 591 Spiritual Leadership 1
SFAD electives 2
 
Students must select one of the following courses:
SFAD 520 Prayer 1
SFAD 530 Spiritual Life 1
Pastoral Studies Courses (27 hours)
MLDR 510 Missional Ecclesiology 3
PSTD 501 Pastoral Counseling 3
PSTD 506 Pastoral Ministry 3
PSTD 510 Essentials of Preaching 3
MLDR 520 Missional Leadership 3
PSTD 564 The Theology and Practice of Worship 3
 
Students must select one of the following courses:
PSTD 565 Clinical Pastoral Education 3
MLDR 575 Internship 3
PSTD 575 Pastoral Internship 3
 
Students must select two of the following six courses:
PSTD 530 Equipping and Discipleship 3
PSTD 580 Evangelism 3
PSTD 584 Church Administration 3
MLDR 540 Culture and System Change 3
MLDR 550 Communication in Christian Ministry 3
MLDR 570 Christian Ministry for Reconciliation 3
 

Concentrations (12 hours - students must select one or complete 12 hours of electives)

Biblical Studies Concentration‡
Students must select one of the following courses:
BIST 550 The Old Testament and the Ancient Near East 3
BIST 551 The Old Testament, Early Judaism, and Christianity 3
BIST 505 Biblical Book Study in English 3
BIST 515 Old Testament Book Study in Hebrew 3
 
Students must select one of the following courses:
BIST 560 Christology in the New Testament 3
BIST 561 Paul and the Law 3
BIST 505 Biblical Book Study in English 3
BIST 525 New Testament Book Study in Greek 3
 
Students must select two of the following courses:
BIST 511 Introducing Biblical Hebrew 3
BIST 512 Interpreting the Hebrew Testament 3
BIST 521 Introducing New Testament Greek 3
BIST 522 Interpreting the Greek Testament 3
Any BIST elective not yet taken 3
Chaplaincy Studies Concentration
MLDR 570 Christian Ministry for Reconciliation 3
PSTD 550 World Religions 3
PSTD 565 Clinical Pastoral Education 3
PSTD 585 Advanced Pastoral Counseling 3
Christian Earthkeeping Concentration
CHTH 541 Theology and Stewardship of Creation I 1.5
CHTH 542 Theology and Stewardship of Creation II 1.5
CHTH 543 Eschatology, New Creation, and Communal Ethics I 1.5
CHTH 544 Eschatology, New Creation, and Communal Ethics II 1.5
CHTH 556 Theology and Ethic of the Land 3
CHTH 558 Poverty and Restorative Earthkeeping 3
Christian History and Theology Concentration‡
Students must select one of the following courses:
CHTH 550 Christian Ethics 3
CHTH 553 Bio-ethics 3
 
Students must select one of the following courses:
CHTH 560 History of the Holiness and Pentecostal Movements 3
CHTH 563 The Evangelical Movement 3
CHTH 566 Theology in the Wesleyan Tradition 3
 
Students must select one of the following courses:
CHTH 520 Doctrine of God 3
CHTH 521 Doctrine of Christ 3
CHTH 522 Doctrine of the Holy Spirit 3
 
Students must select one of the following courses:
CHTH 530 Women in Church History 3
CHTH 562 History of Spirituality and Renewal 3
General Electives

Students not pursuing a concentration may complete 12 credit hours of electives.  These 12 credits are pre-determined for students in the On-Line Learning Community.

Pastoral Studies Concentration
12 additional PSTD or MLDR credits 12
Spiritual Formation and Discipleship Concentration
The following courses are required for the SFAD Concentration (whichever courses were not taken to complete the standard MDiv):
CHTH 562 History of Spirituality and Renewal 3
MLDR 570 Christian Ministry for Reconciliation 3
SFAD 520 Prayer 1
SFAD 530 Spiritual Life 1
SFAD 571 The Art of Spiritual Direction 2
SFAD 572 Spiritual Direction Practicum 2
SFAD 580 Group Spiritual Formation 1
SFAD 548 Spirituality and Personality 1
In addition to taking 11 semester hours from the list above, students in the SFAD Concentration must take 1 semester hour of required SFAD Elective (preferably one of the following: SFAD 536 Spirituality, Shame, and Grace [1]; SFAD 540 Images of God [1]; SFAD 556 Spirituality and the Writings of the Mystics [1])

‡A student may elect to do a thesis in either biblical studies or Christian history and theology. The student would request the option from his or her advisor. BIST/CHTH 571, 572, and 575 are the thesis option courses.

Seminary Course Descriptions

Chaplaincy

Clinical Pastoral Education

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) brings seminary students into supervised ministry with people in crises. The heart of CPE is ministry with people and learning from that ministry through reflection, discussion, and evaluation with other students and a certified CPE supervisor. CPE training centers are usually located in hospitals and medical centers. George Fox Evangelical Seminary is a member of the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education. Therefore, any seminary student in the MDiv degree program may choose to do his or her internship in a CPE setting. Students pay regular seminary tuition for seminary credits awarded for CPE units. However, students may be eligible to be reimbursed for the cost of CPE units. Reimbursement is limited to 75 percent of the seminary tuition paid for the credits awarded for CPE experience. Students can apply for reimbursement by submitting receipts upon successful completion of the CPE program. Students who feel called to hospital chaplaincy would take the following recommended path at George Fox Evangelical Seminary:

Hospital Chaplaincy Path

  1. Acceptance into the MDiv degree program (some hospitals are beginning to accept people with seminary MA degrees as chaplains, but the MDiv is preferred).
  2. Completion of a unit of CPE training at an approved training site. A chaplaincy student would take PSTD 565 CPE training (6 hours). These are typically offered in two formats:
    1. Summer 11-week intensive = 1 unit (100 hours of structured group and training and 300 hours of clinical practice - stipend offered by some hospitals)
    2. Fall - spring extended program = .5 unit each semester (100 hours of structured group and training and some clinical practice - no stipend)
  3. Ordination or a certificate of ministry from the person's denomination.
  4. After completion of the MDiv, the individual would apply for a year of residency at an approved CPE training hospital. These are full-time paid positions for which the individual completes an additional 3 units of CPE. The seminary CPE director keeps a file of residency positions available. Application should be made one year before desired placement.
  5. After fulfilling the requirements of the Association of Professional Chaplains, the individual would apply for certification. Students are encouraged to become student members of APC.
  6. The seminary CPE director keeps a file of chaplaincy position openings.

MDiv Curriculum for Hospital Chaplaincy Students

  1. All the normal curriculum requirements for the MDiv degree.
  2. Internship requirement would be PSTD 565 CPE unit one (6 hours). The student would not take PSTD 575 Pastoral Internship.
  3. Students may substitute MLDR 550 Communication in Christian Ministry for PSTD 510 Essentials of Preaching.
  4. A student coming to the seminary with previous CPE units may be awarded up to a maximum of 9 credits.

Registering for PSTD 565 Clinical Pastoral Education
Students should apply for acceptance into an approved CPE center one year ahead of their desired internship date. In Oregon there are four centers: Legacy Health System, Oregon State Hospital, Providence/Portland Medical Center, and Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The ACPE directory with information concerning the centers, the contact persons, and application processes is available online at http://www.acpe.edu/. The student contacts the CPE coordinator at the preferred site, fills out an application, and pays the application fee. Once the student is accepted, he/she would register for PSTD 565. One unit of CPE is equal to 6 semester credits. CPE courses are graded Pass/No Pass. Upon completion of the training, the student submits the final supervision report to the seminary faculty director in order to record the course grade.

Military Chaplaincy

Those who feel called to military chaplaincy should contact the branch of service in which they desire to serve. The chaplain representative for the area will acquaint you with the scholarships, requirements, and steps toward accomplishing this objective. Those students who attend Military Chaplaincy School will receive 8 hours as substitute for PSTD 501 Pastoral Counseling, a PSTD course (depending on training), and PSTD 575 Pastoral Internship (2 hours).

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