Master of Divinity Degree
The Master of Divinity degree program provides a comprehensive program of theological study covering a wide range of general and specialized subjects at a graduate level, and is designed to prepare students for full-time pastoral ministry. The M.Div. is intended to complement a student’s preparation for ordination through their home denomination. (UHL is not a denominational seminary and does not ordain students.)
Master of Divinity students are uniquely placed at the meeting point of the theoretical study of religion and scripture and the practical experience of ministry in living communities. In particular, in Jerusalem’s multi-religious environment, issues of faith, doctrine, tradition, ethics, history and religious practice intersect in a profound way with issues of pluralism, social justice, and tolerance. The M.Div. program should help to equip the student to have a deeper understanding of their own faith experience and history while broadening their understanding and acceptance of the other.
The Master of Divinity degree requires 90 credit hours of full-time study, spread over six semesters (i.e., three academic years). Coursework includes studies in Scripture, theology, philosophy, pastoral care, comparative religions, anthropology and Biblical languages. In addition, the program has a field practicum requirement. The practicum is intended to provide the student with actual ministry experience in a supervised context.
Master of Divinity Seminar
The M.Div. seminar meets six times each semester throughout the degree program. It is designed to introduce the student to current ministries and ministers serving in the Holy Land. Attendance is compulsory throughout the student’s M.Div. program.
Master of Divinity Field Practicum
The M.Div. requires 6 credit hours (90 physical hours) of ministry experience in a church or para-church context. The student must submit a proposal for the field practicum to the Academic Affairs Committee. The proposal should include the details of the position, nature of service, requirements, location, and supervisor. Upon completion, an evaluation from the supervisor and a personal report from the student are required.
Since study on the graduate level implies intellectual maturity above that of the undergraduate, the student is expected to demonstrate this scholarly attitude in his work. Admittance to the Master of Divinity program is not automatic acceptance into candidacy for the degree. Students will be recognized as candidates for the degree only after fulfilling the following:
- Completion of a minimum of 18 semester hours of graduate study with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or a B average.
- Demonstrate a working knowledge of the English Bible.
- Demonstrate ability to complete successfully all M.Div. degree requirements.
- Complete 90 hours of graduate credit. (A maximum of 18 semester hours may be transferred from an accredited graduate school.)
- Maintain a B (3.0) average in course work.
- Complete the program of study while resident in Israel. Three years is considered the normal length of the program. Extensions are permitted.
- Complete the M.Div. field practicum requirement.
- Submit the M.Div. research papers.
M.Div. Research Paper Requirements
(1) During the fourth semester of study, students write a research paper in a class of their choosing. The research paper is intended to give the student the opportunity to clear some intellectual ground in preparation for writing the senior paper: to engage a body of literature, to conceptualize an idea, or to place a practice of ministry in conversation with an academic discipline.
(2) In their sixth semester of study, all students write a research paper of 30-40 pages in which they explore a question in ministry using resources from their studies in the classroom and in the field. The paper is written in close consultation with a faculty adviser and in the context of the M.Div. Seminar.
M.Th.S. or M.A. – M.Div. Rollover
Occasionally, a student who has completed the Master of Theological Studies or Master of Arts degree at UHL decides to continue on to pursue a Master of Divinity degree. The policy for rolling over to the M.Div. program is as follows:
- The student has successfully completed the M.Th.S. or M.A. requirements at UHL.
- The student is then eligible to complete the M.Div. degree with only three additional semesters of full-time study, that is, through the completion of an additional 45 units of study. These units will comprise 13 three-unit courses plus the field practicum. These courses will be determined in consultation with the Academic Dean in light of the student’s previous study concentration.
- The student will be required to participate in the M.Div. seminar during each semester of study.
- The student will be required to write the two M.Div. seminar papers.
- The tuition for the three semesters of the M.Div. program is the same as for an incoming M.Div. student.
- Should a student continue on into a fourth (or beyond) semester of M.Div. study, they will be eligible for a Continuing Registration tuition grant (50% of regular tuition).