THE DIVINITY PROGRAM
The Master of Divinity (M.Div.) is a professional degree program for the student who holds a B.A. or its equivalent and whose primary career goals are focused on the pastoral ministry. It can be completed in four years of full-time study. There is a six-year time limit for completing the program that may be extended only by faculty vote.
The Seminary recognizes that under God's Providence, even in preparing for the Gospel Ministry, men have various gifts and life situations. Therefore it offers two approaches to equipping men for the work of ministry: the Bachelor of Divinity (B.D.) and the Master of Divinity (M.Div.).
The Bachelor of Divinity (B.D.) is a degree program for the student who, for whatever reason, does not hold a B.A. or its equivalent. The applicant must be at least 30 years old to apply for this program of study. The Bachelor of Divinity degree should not be seen as a substitute for a B.A. Instead, it is a professional graduate degree designed solely to prepare qualified men for the ordained ministry. The course requirements of the B.D. program are identical to the Master of Divinity and can be completed in four years of full-time study. There is a six-year time limit for completing the program that may be extended only by faculty vote.
FOUNDATIONS (PROPAEDUTIC) YEAR
Traditionally, the man arriving for seminary training had a college liberal arts degree. This meant, among other things, that he had a background in languages (Latin and Greek), logic, rhetoric, and philosophy. For many students this no longer holds true. Faced with this situation and realizing that the classical theological curriculum at GPTS presupposes a strong liberal arts background, GPTS has added a Foundations or Propaedeutic year to fill the knowledge gap. However, recognizing that some students do still come to Seminary with a liberal arts degree, all or part of the Propaedeutic year may be waived on the basis of proficiency examinations and one of the following: 1) college transcripts showing comparable course work completed with at least a B average, or 2) distance education/taped classes on those topics with a grade of B or better.
As helpful as practical courses may be, they are no substitute for personal experience. Therefore, an integral part of the Divinity program is Field Education. Here, the Seminary works in concert with Presbyterian and Reformed churches to provide a structured training experience for Divinity candidates. The Seminary will make every effort to assist the non-Presbyterian candidates in locating a church of their denomination in which to complete their Field Education requirements. This segment of the Divinity Program is designed specifically to help enable prospective Teaching Elders to complete internship requirements while attending Greenville Seminary. However, it will be the candidates' responsibility to insure that their work meets the internship requirements of their particular Presbyteries.
The Seminary requires 12 units of field education. This may be met by:
- 1) At least six semesters of part time work (two hours per week) plus one full-time semester in a church; or
- 2) Two years of full-time summer work in a church; or
- 3) One year of full-time work in a church; or
- 4) Two to three years of part-time work (depending on number of hours per week) in a church.
Preaching is at the heart of the Divinity program; therefore, the Seminary requires that each student in his final year of study preach a "Senior Sermon." The student will deliver this sermon before the faculty and student body the semester that he plans to graduate. The sermon will be followed with an evaluation and critique by the faculty. The student must pass this requirement to graduate.
Those applying to the B.D. program must be at least 30 years old and under the care of a Presbytery or appropriate church governing body. In addition, the Seminary requires from the Candidates Committee of the applicant's Presbytery or other ecclesiastical body a formal statement of approval and support for the applicant's enrollment in seminary. Finally, the Seminary requires a personal interview with the B.D. applicant. Those applying for the M.Div. must hold a B.A. degree or its equivalent. These men normally are expected to be under the care of a Presbytery when applying. Those applying for either Divinity Program must provide three letters of reference: pastoral, character, and academic.
the divinity curriculum
The chart below gives a concise overview of the divinity curriculum, divided into the departments of theological study. Descriptions of the various departments and courses, as well as a course rotation schedule, may be found here or in the section of the Catalog entitled "Course Descriptions." Two electives of two credit hours each, in any discipline, are required along with the following courses:
|OT16||History and Poets||3|
|OT21||Hebrew Exegesis I||3|
|OT22||Hebrew Exegesis II||3|
|OT32||OT Biblical Theology||2|
|Apologetics & Ethics|
|AP21||Intro. to Apologetics||3|
|ST11||Intro. to Reformed Theology||3|
|ST31||Prolegomena & Theology||3|
|ST32||Creation, Man & Sin||3|
|ST41||Christ & Salvation||3|
|ST42||Ecclesiology & Polity||3|
|HT10||Presbyterian Church History||2|
|HT21||Ancient Church History||3|
|HT22||Medieval Church History||3|
|HT31||Reformation Church History||4|
|HT32||Modern Church History||3|