Master of Divinity
The Master of Divinity degree is designed as a three-year program of preparation for ministry. It is the normative degree to prepare persons for ordained ministry and it can also be used by those working towards general pastoral and religious leadership responsibilities in congregations and other settings. Postulancy—or for non-Episcopalians, the analogous formal ecclesiastical endorsement—is not a prerequisite for admission to the Master of Divinity program.
Seminary of the Southwest collaborates with diocesan authorities and follows canonical requirements in the processes of discernment and formation for ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church. These processes work best when there is good communication among applicants, their dioceses and the seminary. Episcopal applicants for the Master of Divinity degree should therefore be familiar with the policies of their own dioceses regarding seminary admission. Applicants who are not in a diocesan process leading toward ordination are urged to consider whether consultation with their parish or diocese is appropriate for them. Similar advice is extended to applicants from other denominations.
Graduates of the Master of Divinity Program at Seminary of the Southwest will be Christian people who embody faithfulness, holiness, and courageous Christian discipleship.
- Living a life of virtue, they will possess a deep understanding of Scripture, history of the Christian church, particularly in the Anglican Communion and the Episcopal Church, theological and liturgical tradition, moral theology, and practices of ministry and pastoral care.
- Formed by their study, they will bring knowledge of the tradition to bear on the challenges of the contemporary world, including competing cultural values in a globalized world of poverty, violence, and degradation of the environment and the human person.
- In this complex and conflicted world, they will exercise leadership in church communities and in the public square and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ in order to carry out Jesus' ministry of healing and reconciliation.
The curriculum implements our conviction that Christian leaders are best prepared through a disciplined engagement in worship and prayer, accompanied by a knowledge of the Christian tradition that is both critically examined and effectively related to the social and historical environment in which it is to be lived and proclaimed. The faculty at Southwest seeks to immerse their students in that tradition and at the same time provide them with the critical tools for evaluating its various expressions through the ages. Because Episcopalians have received their faith and way of life as members of the Anglican Communion of churches, Southwest seeks also to immerse students in this particular tradition and in so doing makes them aware both of the ecumenical significance of Anglicanism and of the rich diversity afforded them by membership in a world-wide communion of churches.
The curriculum at Southwest is designed to foster a faith and practice in which growth in the knowledge and love of God is rooted in Christ's ministry of reconciliation. Grounded in Christ's reconciling work, faithful disciples negotiate the boundaries that determine forms of identity, as well as divide and separate human beings. Consequently, the education we offer seeks to reach across the ethnic, racial, sexual, economic, and political boundaries that stand in the way of reconciliation. We wish our students to engage in reconciliation not just theoretically, but practically, addressing contemporary social divisions and conflicts with an intelligence and will shaped by "the mind of Christ."
Study at Southwest is a crucial stage in formation for ministry, a process that begins with the development of Christian character before students enter seminary and continues with apprenticeship in ministry after they leave.The seminary attempts to model the kind of Christian community that the Gospel demands: a hospitable community whose common life of prayer, worship, study, and work witnesses to God's glory and serves God's loving will.
From their participation here in study and practice, we trust students will dedicate themselves with joy and confidence to the challenging and holy calling to ministry.
A total of 103 credit hours are required for the Master of Divinity degree. The degree is normally completed in three years of full-time study; however, there is a four-year plan of study available. Prior to being awarded the degree, each candidate must fully discharge all financial obligations to the seminary. The sequence of courses is shown in the tables below.
Structure of Master of Divinity Curriculum 2013-2014 Academic Year
JUNIOR YEAR - FALL SEMESTER
B1110 Biblical Languages for Preaching and Teaching (1)
B1310 Biblical Studies: History & Hermeneutics I (3)
F1130 Spiritual Formation for the Person (1.5)
H1320 Formative Traditions in American Christianity (3)
L1110 Liturgical Music I (1)
L1310 Liturgy I: Worship and Theology (3)
P1320 Text and Context: Explorations in Formation and Experiential Learning (3)
Total Credits 15.5
M1010 January Encuentro/Mission in Latino Contexts (0)
Total Credits 0
B1320 Biblical Studies: History & Hermeneutics II (3)
H1310 The Making and Remaking of Christianity I (3)
L1110 Liturgical Music II (1)
M1310 Introduction to Missiology (3)
T1310 Theology I: God and Creation (3)
Total Credits 16
P2610 Clinical Pastoral Education (6)
Total Credits 6
MIDDLER YEAR - FALL SEMESTER
B2310 Biblical Interpretation for Preaching (3)
L1110 Liturgical Music III (1)
L2310 Preaching I (3)
P2110 Parish Field Education (1)
T2320 Theology II: The Body of Christ (3)
TE2310 Theological Ethics I (3)
Total Credits 17
P2140 Living Into Mission: Ministry Across Cultures (1)
Total Credits 1
L2330 Preaching II (3)
L2340 Liturgy II: The Prayer Book, its History and Use (3)
P2120 Parish Field Education (1)
P2320 Introduction to Pastoral Care (3)
TE2320 Theological Ethics II (3)
Total Credits 16
SENIOR YEAR - FALL SEMESTER
H3310 Anglican Studies (3)
H3320 The Making and Remaking of Christianity II (3)
P3310 Parish Field Education (3)
P3330 Pastoral Theology: Church Leadership (3)
Total Credits 18
CE3310 Introduction to Christian Education (3)
F3110 Spiritual Formation for the Parish (1.5)
P3320 Parish Field Education (3)
Total Credits 13.5
GOEs to be taken in January of the third year.
A student may choose to pursue the MDiv on a 4 year track.
Students pursuing the Hispanic Church Studies concentration must take four electives in the HCS concentration available each fall and spring semester.
1. Full discharge of all financial obligations to the seminary.
2. Full-time enrollment (12 credits or more) during the two consecutive semesters immediately preceding graduation.
3. Completion of all requirements within seven calendar years from the date of entry into the program.