Divinity Curriculum: Master of Divinity (M.Div.) at Marylhurst

student marylhurst iconServe as a pastoral care provider in various settings as a professional chaplain, a lay or ordained minister. Marylhurst University’s exceptional graduate religious studies program prepares you to serve as an effective leader and spiritual care provider who can serve with wisdom and skill. Our divinity curriculum and spiritual formation are based on our Judeo-Christian theological foundation with an inclusive ecumenical interfaith focus. We provide a divinity curriculum that serves people of all faiths and backgrounds.

The Master of Divinity program accepts students each term (fall, winter, spring and summer). Inquire and apply now for 2017.

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Divinity Curriculum & M.Div. Degree Requirements: What You Will Study

To earn your Master of Divinity from Marylhurst, you complete 112-120 credits in a sequence of graduate courses:

Biblical Studies (28 credits)
Biblical studies in Old and New Testaments and exegetical methods are all incorporated within your biblical studies curriculum. You will study topics including spiritual frameworks for pastoral and spiritual care, biblical prophets, apocalyptic literature, Mary of Magdala, writings, psalms and wisdom literature in the Bible as well as non-canonical texts. The gospels of Luke, John, Mark and Matthew also play a prominent role within the required curriculum.

Foucs on the scriptural frameworks and foundational social context for pastoral and spiritual care. Survey the roots of pastoral ministry in early Christian community as held in Hebrew and Christian scriptures.
Jesus referred to the Law and the Prophets. Followers of Jesus have also respected the teachings in the first five books of the Bible. The Torah was and is the primary document of faith for the Jews. Study the shaping, patterns, and teachings of these books.
The Synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John are the primary documents of Christian faith. Learn about their origins, messages, and applications to contemporary life.
Among the New Testament Epistles (letters) are the earliest writings to become part of what is commonly known as the Christian scriptures or New Testament. Explores their origins, messages and applications for contemporary life. Special attention will be given to the writings of Paul.
Study the Gospel of Luke and Acts to determine the social contexts in which these narratives were written and the meanings of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection in those settings.
  • SSC 506 Biblical Prophets: Inspirations to Create a Better World – 3 crs.
  • SSC 507 Writings, Psalms and Wisdom Literature in the Bible – 3 crs.
  • SSC 521 Gospel of John – 3 crs.
  • SSC 523 Woman: A Journey Through the Old Testament Scriptures – 3 crs.
  • SSC 525 Gospel of Mark – 3 crs.
  • SSC 526 Gospel of Matthew – 3 crs.
  • SSC 557 Jesus and Women: A Liberating Vision – 3 crs.
  • SSC 558 Advanced Exegesis: Studies in Apocalyptic Literature – 3 crs.
  • SSC 587 New Testament Greek I – 3 crs.
  • SSC 588 New Testament Greek II – 3 crs.
  • SSC 589 New Testament Greek III – 3 crs.
  • SSC 591 Biblical Hebrew I – 3 crs.
  • SSC 592 Biblical Hebrew II – 3 crs.
  • SSC 593 Biblical Hebrew III – 3 crs.
  • THT 524 Birthing Holy Fire: Marian Theology and Spirituality in the Wisdom Tradition – 3 crs.
  • THT 525 Jesus: Bar Nasa, Son of Mary, Son of God – 3 crs.
  • THT 527 Mary of Magdala: Disciple, Apostle to the Apostles, Companion of the Lord, Woman Who Knew the All – 3 crs.

Historical and Theological Studies (28 credits)
Alongside your peers, study church history, systematic theology, Christology, philosophy, Marian theology, peace and justice and ethics. The curriculum will allow you to research interfaith theological frameworks for pastoral and spiritual care, while considering contemporary and personal theologies.

Explore theological, religious, social and cultural function of God language. Study interfaith images of the Holy as icons for healing and as tools for pastoral practice and spiritual direction. Identify the impact of context, belief system, religious tradition, symbol, ritual and sacrament as tools for spiritual care providers.
Apply ethical systems of religious traditions and their applications related to various issues. Focus on biomedical ethics, business ethics and concerns of the class.
Reflect on the influence of theology or beliefs of the pastoral and spiritual care provider on personal spiritual practice and service to others.
Examine the dynamic early history of the Christian church. Beginning with the person and mission of Jesus of Nazareth, encounter his first disciples, historic religious and political characters from Christianity’s birth in Galilee through the Second Council of Nicea or Seventh Ecumenical Council of 787 CE.
Examine the middle centuries of the Christian church from the close of the Nicean Council of 787 CE to the 1600s. Explore eras of growth, contributions of popes, saints and statesmen, as well as the devastations of wars, deadly plagues and the shame of the Crusades.
Examine Christianity between 1650 AD (CE) to the present, explore significant persons and movements within Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and the Protestant churches, addresse denominational self-understandings, the significance of the Second Vatican Council, and the impact of the World Council of Churches as Christ’s mission spread to the ends of the earth.
  • ETH 530 Blessed are the Peacemakers: Ethical Issues in Peacemaking – 3 crs.
  • THT 521 Strength for the Journey: Eucharistic Theology – 3 crs.
  • THT 524 Birthing Holy Fire: Marian Theology and Spirituality in the Wisdom Tradition – 3 crs.
  • THT 525 Jesus: Bar Nasa, Son of Mary, Son of God – 3 crs.
  • THT 527 Mary of Magdala: Disciple, Apostle to the Apostles, Companion of the Lord, Woman Who Knew the All – 3 crs.

Social and Behavioral Studies, Ministry (28 credits)
Social and Behavioral Studies curriculum encompasses topics including religion and society, pastoral psychology, homiletics and speech communication. On your way to earning a Master of Divinity, you will explore religion and the arts, hermeneutics, spirituality, pastoral counseling, Christian education, worship and sacraments, denominational polity, preaching, spirituality, and church administration.

Reflect on the pastoral person: personality styles; care, growth and difficulties for self and others; holistic integration; and theology of person. Address the wellness and well-being of care providers while you study relationships among care provider’s personality type and gifts, theological understandings and pastoral style.
Study the art of pastoral care and counseling theory, theological reflection, pastoral skills and helping relationships. Explore the dynamics of counseling strategies within a religious, theological and belief/value based context. Develop resources for wholeness and theological assessment through the application of pastoral skills.
Examine the pastoral encounter and explore crisis dynamics: anger, stress, grief, effects of sexual abuse, and self-esteem’s impact on the care seeker’s spirituality. Study the influence of family systems, social, emotional and faith development theories before identifying healing and soul retrieval techniques, appropriate response, resources and referral procedures.
Explore myth, scripture, theology or teachings, belief, ritual, and symbolism of Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Lead a ritual, preach, teach and/or facilitate spiritual practices within an Abrahamic religious tradition.
Explore myth, scripture, theology or teachings, belief, ritual and symbolism of Hinduism, Buddhism, other Eastern traditions and Native American spiritualties. Study the use of symbols and the shape of these liturgies through preparing rituals and preaching from the scriptures or sacred writings of a tradition.
Alongside classmate peers, examine types of loss, grief, bereavement processes, recovery and transformation. Learn about referrals for psychological counseling, ministry to the sick and bereaved and the theology of presence. Explore grieving, suffering, dying, attitudes on death, renewal across cultures, and Western and Eastern religious traditions.
Pastoral care providers serve people seeking a spiritual path or a spiritual home. Reflect on the enrichment of the spiritual life of the pastoral and spiritual care provider, and on knowledge of a wide range of prayer forms and spiritualties to be a guide for others.
Explore the history of spiritual direction through all ages. Discussion topics include service to others as a spiritual director, companion, guide or mentor; seeking spiritual direction for oneself; knowing when to refer to medical professionals; some forms of individual and group spiritual companionship; finding spiritual guides among persons in our churches, synagogues, or temples; group spiritual direction; and ethical standards in spiritual direction.
  • LTA 515 Speech for Preaching – 3 crs.
  • PCR 511 Psychology of Religion: A Psychology of Religious Experience – 3 crs.
  • SPP 526 Spirituality and Mysticism in Western Religions – 3 crs.
  • SPP 573 The Labyrinth: Reconnecting with the Sacred Feminine – 3 crs.

Integrative Studies (16 credits)
Immerse yourself within functional theology and field education. Integrative Studies coursework allows you to become reflective practitioners in ministry while studying topics including ecology and spirituality, issues in racial/ethnic and multicultural experiences in the United States.

Consider cultural sensitivity in the practice of pastoral and spiritual care. Identify conflicts, needs, frames of reference and identity while considering how various people understand belonging. Develop an analysis of self, as well as explore values, worldviews, and religious cultural paradigms of care seekers.
Study methods of theological reflection in pastoral care. These methods will be described and utilized as tools for ministry and as basis for theses/projects. As a student, you will lead a seminar discussion on an aspect of the class.
Learn skills for life scripting, the presentation of the self as a professional pastoral care provider in ecclesial communities and the market place. Reflect on your call, identify your vision, gifts and ability to network, and explore eclectic ways to provide pastoral service.
PMT 599-1 Supervised Practicum 1: Special Arrangement: During the practicum, you will have the opportunity for a spiritual assessment, theological assessment, pastoral assessment. Experience integration of person, theology, spirituality, culture, ministry; and develop your style as a pastoral care provider. Experience ministry in an approved setting of your choice, and receive faculty support.

PMT 589-1 Supervised Practicum 1: Cooperative: Choose a cooperative pastoral training program in clinical pastoral education or spiritual direction. You will enjoy the opportunity to complete a spiritual assessment, theological assessment and pastoral assessment. Experience integration of person, theology, spirituality, culture, ministry; and develop your individual style as a pastoral care provider.

PMT 599-2 Supervised Practicum 2: Special Arrangement: Focus on problem solving, communication styles, research and resources to support your work, vocational fulfillment, and holistic self-care. Evaluate your practicum progress and receive feedback from faculty and your student colleagues. As a student, you will receive support, resources, and encouragement to fulfill your academic and professional goals.

PMT 589-2 Supervised Practicum 2: Cooperative: Choose a cooperative pastoral training program in clinical pastoral education or spiritual direction. Focus on problem solving, communication styles, research and resources to support your work, vocational fulfillment, and holistic self-care. As a student, you will evaluate your practicum progress and receive feedback from faculty and your student colleagues.

  • PMT 589-3 Supervised Practicum 3: Cooperative – 3 crs.
  • PMT 589-4 Supervised Practicum 4: Cooperative – 3 crs.
  • PMT 589-5 Supervised Practicum 5: Cooperative – 1-3 crs.
  • PMT 590 Project in Religious Studies – 1-3 crs.
  • PMT 599-3 Supervised Practicum 3: Special Arrangement – 3 crs.
  • PMT 599-4 Supervised Practicum 4: Special Arrangement – 3 crs.
  • PMT 599-5 Supervised Practicum 5: Special Arrangement – 1-3 crs.
  • SPP 567 The Sacred Earth: A Dialogue Between Spirituality and Ecology – 3 crs.

Masters Project (12-20 credits)
Towards the conclusion of the program, demonstrate your ability to analyze and evaluate materials, write clearly and cogently through authorship of a thesis project that integrates your personal and scholarly research through a broad theoretical scope and application.

Weekend, Weekday and Online Classes – Divinity Curriculum

Flexible courses - Marylhurst UniversityStudents enrolled in the Master of Divinity program enjoy flexible class schedules. Begin your required divinity courses in the fall with pastoral cohort classes offered on the weekends — meeting for three weekends (on average) during a 10-week term. Classes in theological/biblical studies meet during the weekdays, evenings as well as online.

Transfer Credit and Degree Completion

Students admitted into the Master of Divinity program may transfer up to 15 credits of previous coursework. At Marylhurst, the average time to complete this master’s degree program is three years.

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