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Master of Divinity

The Master of Divinity degree is the basic graduate degree in theological education. The eighty one hour program of study leading to this degree is designed to prepare students for various forms of ministry in the church. In recognition of the great diversity of students’ undergraduate preparation and vocational goals, the Master of Divinity curriculum is flexible and allows much freedom in the selection of courses. Concentration of elective courses in Church Studies, Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Counseling, and pre-Ph.D. studies are also available within the structure of the general M.Div. program.

Curriculum

I. Basic Theological Studies - 54 hours
Requirements for Basic Theological Studies are normally satisfied by courses in the 60000-60999 series. However, a student with a special background in a subject matter may, with approval, substitute an advanced course for a 60000-60999 series course.

  1. Bible - 9 hours, of which 3 must be in Hebrew Bible (HEBI 60003 Interpreting the Hebrew Bible and Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books) and 3 in New Testament (NETE 60003 Interpreting the New Testament). Once the appropriate introductory course is completed, the 3 hours of an exegesis course (70100s) may be chosen from the wide range of upper level courses in either HEBI or NETE.
  2. History- 9 hours, to be selected from:
    1. CHHI 60113 History of Christianity I, Early and Medieval
    2. CHHI 60413 History of Christianity II, Reformation and Modern
    3. CHHI 60713 History of Christianity in America
    4. CHHI 60913 The Church in the Midst of Pluralism: Theology and Context
  3. Theology and Ethics - 12 hours, distributed in the following ways:
    1. Both CHTH 60013 Introduction to Christian Theology I and CHTH 60023 Introduction to Christian Theology II
    2. One course from either CHET 60003 Introduction to Contemporary Theological Ethics or CHET 60023 History of Christian Ethics
    3. One course from either CHSO 60103 Christian Social Ethics or CHSO 60403 The African-American Experience in Social Ethics
  4. Ministry - 18 hours
    1. One course from either PRTH 60053 The Church's Mission and the Minister's Vocation or PRTH 60103 Congregational Leadership
    2. PRTH 70503 Supervised Ministry I
    3. PRTH 70603 Supervised Ministry II
    4. WRSP 60113 Christian Worship
    5. HOML 60203 Foundations for Preaching
    6. REED 60003 The Church's Educational Ministry
  5. Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Counseling - 6 hours, of which 3 must be PTPC 60153 The Ministry of Pastoral Care. The remaining 3 hours may be chosen from any PTPC course, open to M.Div. students, that is taught by a permanent PTPC faculty member, or PTPC 70323 Clinical Pastoral Education
  6. Globalization, Multi-Cultural & Interfaith Concerns - 3 hours
    JWST 60003 Introduction to Judaism
    *CHHI 60913 The Church in the Midst of Pluralism: Theology and Context
    CHHI 70533 The Black Religious Experience in America
    MIHI 60003 Introduction to the History of Religions
    MIHI 60053 Introduction to a Christian Theology of Religions
    MIHI 70413 Interreligious Dialogue
    MIHI 70513 "Globalization": An Introduction to the Study of Ecumenics, Mission and Interfaith Dialogue
    *CHSO 60403 The African-American Experience in Social Ethics

*This course may be used to meet a requirement in only one area. It may not be used to meet requirements in two areas at once.

II. Denominational Requirements for Ordination (required of all Disciples of Christ, United Methodist and Baptist students) - 3 to 9 hours

  1. CHHI 70113 The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is required of Disciples students.
  2. United Methodist students are required to take CHHI 70134 History and Doctrine of the United Methodist Church, PRTH 70212 United Methodist Polity, and PRTH 70223 Evangelism.
  3. Baptist students are required to take CHHI 70133 Baptist History and CHTH 70113 Survey of Christian Theology from Baptist Perspectives.

III. Electives - 14 to 23 hours
The remaining hours—14 to 23—are to be selected in consultation with the student’s faculty adviser. Graduate courses from TCU divisions normally do not receive credit toward the M.Div. degree. Exceptions are considered on a case-by-case basis by the Office of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Master of Liberal Arts (MLA) courses, however, do not count toward a degree at Brite.

Concentration in Black Church Studies

A concentration in Black Church Studies is available within the M. Div. program for (1) seminarians of all races interested in shaping their ministerial preparation and theological reflection to be inclusive of a wider knowledge of, deeper appreciation for, and increased sensitivity to the issues and exigencies of Black life within American Christianity; and (2) individuals interested in preparing for ministry within a Black church context and/or tradition as leaders (pastors, preachers, lay leaders, chaplains, pastoral counselors, campus ministers, etc.).

Written applications for the concentration in Black Church Studies are processed through the Office of the Dean for Academic Affairs in conjunction with the Black Church Studies director and normally should be submitted after completion of 6 hours of courses listed under the Black Church Studies curriculum. If accepted into the concentration, the individual will be assigned to the Black Church Studies director as an advisee, or to other faculty members in the concentration. In turn, each student's participation in the concentration in Black Church Studies is designed to instill the practical, theoretical, and theological knowledge necessary to ensure that the individual reaches his or her personal, intellectual, and ministerial goals. The concentration includes the following components:

I. Basic Theological Studies - 54 hours
Requirements under Sections A-F of the standard M.Div. curriculum remain the same.
Note on CHSO 60403 The African-American Experience in Social Ethics:
This course may count as satisfying both:

  1. the three-hour Basic Theological Studies Requirement in either area C.3. (Theology and Ethics) or area F (Globalization, Multi-Cultural & Interfaith Concerns), but not both; and
  2. three hours of the concentration in Black Church Studies.

Note on CHHI 70533 The Black Religious Experience in America:
This course may count as satisfying both:

  1. the three-hour Basic Theological Studies Requirement in area F (Globalization, Multi- Cultural & Interfaith Concerns), and
  2. three hours of the concentration in Black Church Studies.

II. Denominational Requirements for Ordination - 3 to 9 hours, as defined in the standard M.Div. curriculum.

III. Concentration Courses - 15 hours

  1. CHSO 60023 Introduction to Black Church Studies. This course should be taken in the first year of study.
  2. Four three-hour courses in Black Church Studies chosen with reference to vocational goals and in consultation with the Black Church Studies director. Courses may be chosen from the courses listed below; for additional faculty-approved courses that may satisfy the requirement, see the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs or the Black Church Studies director.

                 CHHI 70533 The Black Religious Experience in America
                 CHTH 70043 Black Theologies
                 CHSO 60403 The African-American Experience in Social Ethics
                 REED 70203 Christian Education in the Black Church

IV. Electives - 3 to 18 hours, depending upon denominational identification and vocational interests.

Concentration in Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Counseling

A concentration in Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Counseling is available within the M. Div. program for (1) individuals interested in local church ministry with a pastoral care focus; and (2) individuals interested in preparing for ministry as pastoral care specialists (chaplains, pastoral counselors, campus ministers, etc.). Applications for the Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Counseling concentration are processed through the Office of the  Dean for Academic Affairs and normally should be submitted after completion of 9 semester hours of PTPC courses taught by at least two permanent faculty members in PTPC. The  Dean will consult with the PTPC faculty in evaluating the concentration application. Criteria for admission and continuance include: a minimum 3.25 overall GPA, and in each PTPC course, a minimum B+ grade and demonstrated competence in pastoral care practice. If accepted into the concentration, the individual will be assigned an adviser from among the PTPC faculty. The concentration includes the following components:
I. Basic Theological Studies - 54 hours

Requirements under Sections A-D and F of the standard M.Div. curriculum remain the same.

E. Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Counseling 6 hours

  1. PTPC 60153 The Ministry of Pastoral Care (should be taken in the first or second semester of study)
  2. PTPC 70143 Short-Term Pastoral Counseling or PTPC 70163 Pastoral Conversation and Collaboration. Students in the concentration are strongly encouraged to take both courses and may apply the other course to III. A.

II. Denominational Requirements for Ordination - 3 to 9 hours, as defined in the standard M.Div. curriculum.

III. Concentration Courses - 9 to 12 hours

  1. Two additional PTPC courses to be chosen with reference to vocational goals and in consultation with the student's adviser.
  2. Clinical requirement met by taking hospital-based Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) only, or by taking CPE as one of the two additional PTPC courses under III. A. and Advanced Supervised Pastoral Counseling.

IV. Electives - 5 to 17 hours, depending upon denominational requirements and number of clinical courses. Electives may be chosen from any department at Brite.

NOTE: Normally, PTPC 70143 Short-Term Pastoral Counseling, PTPC 70443 Pastoral Counseling with Couples & Families, and PTPC 70323 Clinical Pastoral Education are prerequisites for Advanced Supervised Pastoral Counseling, along with PTPC Permanent Faculty approval

Concentration in Pre-Ph.D. Studies

Students with an interest in a ministry of teaching and research may utilize electives to pursue a special emphasis within the structure of the M.Div. program. Though the basic structure of the M.Div. program remains in place, students accepted into this concentration will receive pre-Ph.D. advisement in a field of study and may opt for a sequence of advanced reading courses and language preparation. Students may petition the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs to be admitted to the Pre-Ph.D. Studies concentration only after completion of 24 semester hours. Scores from the Graduate Record Examination will be required at the time of application.

Degree Requirements

  1. Eighty-one semester hours of credit must be completed with a grade point average of at least 2.50, based on a four-point grading system.
  2. All entering students are required to participate in orientation sessions conducted prior to the beginning of classes in the fall and spring semesters.
  3. All entering students must take PRTH 60011 Theological Resources Seminar offered each semester. Further, all entering students are required to attend a Seminar on Sexual Misconduct and the Clergy. Students who do not complete these requirements will be subject to the cancellation of their registration.
  4. Entering students should work to complete courses at the 60000 series level. For detailed suggestions, please refer to the paragraph entitled "First Year Schedule" in the section of this bulletin entitled "Divinity School Program."
  5. Entering students should complete required courses early in their program.
  6. A student who transfers from another institution must take at least forty-one semester hours in Brite Divinity School to receive the degree.
  7. Students who give evidence of special deficiencies will be required to do remedial work in the areas of their deficiencies.
  8. The student is required to participate in an approved program of Field Education which in the judgment of the student and Director of Field Education meets the needs of the individual student, viewed in the light of the student's past experience and stated goals. This program shall be developed on the initiative of the student in consultation with the Director of Field Education and may be amended from time to time with the approval of the Director of Field Education. A minimum program shall include the following:
    1. Two semesters of work in a church or institution under approved supervision.
    2. Concurrent with these semesters in Field Education the student shall successfully complete PRTH 70503 and PRTH 70603.
    3. Work done before enrollment in the seminary does not count toward this requirement, although previous experience shall be given consideration making field assignments. Work undertaken without consultation with the Director of Field Education shall not count toward this requirement.
    4. Any variation from the above must be with the counsel and approval of the Director of Field Education.
  9. Students may be withdrawn from individual courses for lack of academic progress upon the recommendation of the faculty member and the approval of the Dean. Students may be dismissed from the Divinity School at the discretion of the Dean at such times as it is clearly demonstrated that the student is not interested in, or making, acceptable academic progress. Likewise, the Dean has both the authority and the responsibility to take action, including dismissal from a program of study or the Divinity School itself, if a student's conduct is determined to be contrary to the professional and ethical standards of the field of ministry.
  10. Normally students must complete the last nine semester hours at Brite.
  11. All degree requirements must be completed within seven years from the date of the earliest credit to be counted on the degree (including transfer credit, if any). Extensions may be granted in extraordinary circumstances by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs after consultation with the Masters Programs Committee. Additional course work may be required


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