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.
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.
M.Div. Program Outline
M.Div. Required Reading List
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 a non-credit 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. The grade received on this exam will constitute 20% towards the final grade given for the degree.
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 Academic Dean.
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.
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.
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.