Note: As of 2015-16 academic year the program has been reduced from 96 credits to 90 credits.
The Master of Divinity Program (M.Div.) is a basic degree program designed for the theological and professional preparation of students for both ordained and non-ordained ministry. It aims at giving students a general introduction to the major areas of theological inquiry. There are two routes for this program namely a seminary route and a lay route. The requirements for seminarians include additional formational and ordination requirements.
M.Div. Seminary Route
Before the seminarian enters formal, academic studies at NTC, he must – as part of his ordination requirements – begin with a propaedeutic or preparatory year at St. Joseph Seminary. During this ten month year, the seminarian resides full-time at the seminary and follows a program of non-academic classes in the seminary, spiritual exercises, human formation sessions, and a regular volunteer pastoral placement in the community. With the philosophy requirements having been completed, the propaedeutic year is intended to build the foundation for theological studies and to help with integration and discernment.
A graduate of NTC’s M.Div. shall:
- Possess an integral academic formation of the foundations of all areas of Catholic Theology.
- Have demonstrated growth towards a maturely developed spiritual life and human formation.
- Have an integrated understanding of the theological disciplines and how they complement one another and enrich one’s ministry.
- Be prepared to engage in professional ministry whether ordained or lay at the service of the Church.
- Ability to work as a member of a pastoral team in an interfaith and ecumenical context.
Candidates for the M.Div. program must possess a previous university degree (such as B.A., B.Ed.). A student‘s previous university work should include 12 credits in philosophy. Deficiencies in this area must be made up before students will be allowed to proceed into the third year of the program. At present we are not able to offer Distance Education courses to residents of the U.S.A., but we welcome inquiries from anyone so interested.
Since the M.Div. is a professional as well as an academic degree, a screening process to determine the candidate’s aptitude for ministry is involved. Initial screening interviews will take place during the candidate's first semester at NTC. A second screening interview will be held prior to the student‘s participation in STP 470 Theological Field Education to determine readiness for practicum learning. On-going evaluation may result in a student being asked to interrupt or to leave the program for reasons over and above academic competence.
This program is a Designated Learning Program and eligible to receive foreign nationals on a study permit. See International Student Admissions for DLI number.
Procedure for Admission
Complete an Application Form and submit with payment of $45.00 non-refundable application fee (International Student Application Fee $250.00).
Arrange for official transcripts to be sent to the Registrar‘s Office from all high school and post-secondary institutions attended. An official transcript is one that has been received by the Registrar‘s Office directly from the issuing educational authority. No photocopies allowed.
Personal autobiography and curriculum vitae.
Three letters of recommendation from persons qualified to judge the character and intellectual ability of the applicant. Letters must be sent directly to the Registrar‘s Office.
Security Clearance Check*.
Application Deadlines: Refer to the Academic Schedule.
*Guidelines for the security clearance check can be requested from the Office of the Registrar.
When all required documentation is received the applicant‘s file will be reviewed by the Admissions & Evaluations Committee. Applicants conditionally admitted will have an interview with three members of the faculty during their first semester. The interview team is responsible for recommending that the conditional admission be changed to a full admission. The interviewers may also advise that admission to the program is not recommended.
The M.Div. degree is awarded upon the completion of 90 credit units distributed as follows: 22 core courses (66 credits), 4 elective courses (12 credits), field education (6 credits), the integrative seminar and the comprehensive exam (3 credits), and the theological synthesis (3 credits). All requirements for credit in the M.Div. program are normally met through 400/500 level courses. M.Div. students are also required to:
- Complete BST 400 Introduction to Scripture, STD 400 Introduction to Theology, STD 450 Christology, STP 400 Introduction to Pastoral Theology, and STP 461 Introduction to Moral Theology during the first year of the program.
- Participate in an integrative seminar during their senior year.
- Participate in THEO 020 - Lay Formation. Full-time, part-time and distance lay students are required to participate in Lay Formation for six semesters. Lay Formation students are required to have an approved Spiritual Director.
- Participate in a mid-program assessment and screening interview early in the student’s second year (after completing 36-45 credits of study at NTC).
- Have read all of the books listed on the M.Div. required reading list. This basic material constitutes matter for the comprehensive examinations.
- Provide an acceptable written synthesis and pass an oral comprehensive examination on the basics of theology, during the last semester of their program or in the second week of June.
Normally, all requirements for the degree should be completed within six years from the date of initial registration in the program. Extenuating circumstances may allow for an extension to be granted by the NTC Admissions and Evaluations Committee.
* Courses must be taken during the 1st year of the M.Div. program.
** Students who take BST 425 cannot take BST 421 and/or BST 422 for credit.
FTH 400 Early Church History
FTH 402 Christianity and World Religions
FTH 410 Medieval Church History
FTH 411 Modern Church History
BST 400* Introduction to Sacred Scripture and Their Interpretation
Plus 4 of:
BST 421 Matthew and Mark**
BST 422 Luke-Acts**
BST 423 Pauline Literature
BST 424 Johannine Literature
BST 425 Synoptic Gospels
BST 433 The Pentateuch and Historical Books
STD 400* Introduction to Theology
STD 401 Theology of Revelation
STD 442 Baptism, Confirmation & Eucharist
STD 450* Christology
STD 451 Theology of God
STD 452 Theological Anthropology
STD 453 Ecclesiology
AND one of the following two courses:
STD 440 Liturgical Theology
STD 442 Introduction to the Sacraments and Christian Initiation
Moral, Pastoral, and Spiritual Theology
STP 400* Introduction to Pastoral Theology
STP 461* Introduction to Moral Theology
STP 462 Introduction to Spiritual Theology
STP 463 Theology of Ministry
STP 464 Practice of Ministry
STP 470 Theological Field Education
STP 471 Social Teaching of the Church
12 elective credits chosen from graduate level courses listed under the Foundational, Sacred Scriptures, Systematic, and Moral, Pastoral, and Spiritual Theology areas.
Integrative Seminar and Comprehensive Exam
M.DIV. 900 M.Div. Integrative Seminar and Comprehensive Exam
M.DIV. 901 M.Div. Synthesis
The integrative seminar, theological synthesis and comprehensive examination are taken in the final year of the program.
Theological Field Education
Theological field education is based on the assumption that theology should not only inform pastoral practice, but that the lived experience of ministry should inform theology. The basic goal of this component of the program is the integration of one‘s theology through a process of experiential learning. Broadly speaking, its objectives are: personal growth and development, acquisition of pastoral skills for various settings, and learning to do theology in a practical context. Ordinarily this is accomplished through a ministry practicum completed in the second or third year of the M.Div. program. This involves a time commitment of 10 to 12 hours per week throughout the academic year.
M.Div. education expects regular and substantive student-faculty interaction to achieve the stipulated learning outcomes, and this interaction requires that at least one year of full-time academic study (30 credits) shall be completed at our main campus.
A student may transfer a maximum of 45 credits towards the M.Div. degree from other recognized colleges and universities. Such credits must not be part of a previous degree program. The transfer of credits is subject to the approval of the NTC Admissions and Evaluations Committee.
M.Div. Required Reading List
Kelly, J.N.D. Early Christian Doctrines. Revised. San Francisco/New York: Harper and Row, 1960, 1976.
Pelikan, J. Christian Doctrine and Modern Culture (since 1700). (The Christian Tradition. A History of the Development of Doctrine. Volume 5.) Chicago/London: The University of Chicago Press, 1989).
Moral, Pastoral, and Spiritual Theology
Bouyer, L. Introduction to the Spiritual Life. Notre Dame, In: Ave Maria Press, 2013.
Cahalan, K. Introducing the Practice of Ministry. Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 2010.
May, W. An Introduction to Moral Theology. 2ND ed. Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division, 2003.
Pinackaers, S. The Sources of Christian Ethics. Washington: Catholic University of America Press, 1995.
Kinast, R. Making Faith Sense. Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1999.
Wood, S. K. ed. Ordering the Baptismal Priesthood. Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 2003.
Wood, S. K. Sacramental Orders. Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 2000.
Anderson, B.W. Understanding of the Old Testament. 4th abridged ed. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice- Hall, 1986.
Bechard, D. P. The Scripture Documents. An Anthology of Official Catholic Teachings Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press; 2001.
Brown, R.E. An Introduction to the New Testament. New York: Doubleday, 1997.
Brown, R.E. et al. The New Jerome Biblical Commentary. London: Geoffrey Chapman; 1990.
Pope Benedict XVI Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini. Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2010.
Balthasar, H.U. von. Theological Aesthetics. Vol 1. Seeing the Form. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1982.
Kasper, W. The Catholic Church: Nature, Reality, and Mission. London: Bloomsbury T & T Clark, 2015.
Kasper, W. The God of Jesus Christ. New York: Crossroad, 1984.
Nichols, A. The Shape of Catholic Theology. Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1991.
O’Neill O.P., C. E. Meeting Christ in the Sacraments. Revised Edition, Romanus Cessario O.P. 2002. New York: Alba House, 1991.
Schoenborn, C.C. God Sent His Son: A Contemporary Christology. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2010.
Sachs, J.R. The Christian Vision of Humanity: Basic Christian Anthropology. Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1991.
What can you do with a M.Div.?
Our Master of Divinity graduates have found employment in a number of areas such as hospital, university, high school, prison and military chaplaincy, in retreat work, as pastoral assistants in parishes, as diocesan directors of catechesis, marriage and family life, ecumenism, social justice and adult faith formation.