"Let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest-time, if we will not give up." Galatians 6:9


The Master of Divinity (M.Div.) is the basic professional degree program designed to help prepare men and women for church ministry, chaplaincies or other specialized ministries. It meets American Baptist ordination requirements and is recognized by certain other denominations as well. It also provides an appropriate background for further graduate study in theology and religion. 


The M.Div. program is designed for persons who have completed an accredited undergraduate Bachelor of Arts or Science degree. At least three years of full–time course enrollment, for a total of 78 semester units, is required to complete the degree. The full–time course load is a minimum of 12 units (normally four semester-long courses). Students may enroll on a part–time basis, thereby extending the length of time for completion of the degree for a maximum of seven years. 




The M.Div. program seeks to integrate the disciplines of biblical studies, theology and ethics, and church history with the arts of ministry such as preaching, worship, pastoral care, education, evangelism, and administration. This is accomplished in large part through the interdisciplinary colloquia held in all three years of the program. 


The contextualization program requires that students relate their theoretical training to a variety of ministry contexts as they develop their professional ministry skills.  Three years of contextual work are required. 


Throughout the M.Div. curriculum, and especially in the contextual work, efforts are made to help prepare students to minister within the plurality of cultures that increasingly comprise modern society. 


Participation in classes, context groups, and corporate worship nourishes the intellect and spiritual growth necessary for effective Christian ministry. 


Encouraging students to study not only with ABSW faculty, but also with faculty of other member schools of the GTU, is intended to foster a solid Baptist identity with knowledge and appreciation of various traditions of ecumenical Christianity. 




M.Div. students are expected to take all core requirements with ABSW faculty.  Electives can be taken with ABSW faculty or other GTU-related faculty.  Overall, a minimum of 42 units of the 78 required for completion of the degree must be taken from ABSW faculty (28 units for transfer students from other accredited seminaries), except by written permission of the Academic Dean. 


Core Requirements – 42 Units – These courses are taken with ABSW faculty except by written permission of the Academic Dean. Normally Junior Colloquium and Using Biblical Languages are taken in the first year of study; Middler Colloquium, Church Leadership and Congregational Care are taken in the second year; and Constructive Theology and the Senior Mentor Project are taken in the third year.  


Junior Colloquium (A year- long interdisciplinary course in Church History, Old Testament, Theology/Ethics, and Congregational Studies) 


Old Testament

Congregational Studies3.0


Middler Colloquium (A year-long interdisciplinary course in Preaching, New Testament, and the Arts of Ministry which includes a 9 month placement in the context of ministry) 


New Testament Gospels and Preaching

Contextual Placement3.0
Pauline Letters and Arts of Ministry3.0
Contextual Placement3.0


Other Core Requirements 


Using Biblical Languages

Constructive Theology3.0
Senior Project (year 3)6.0
Church Leadership3.0
Congregational Care3.0


Total Core Requirement Units                       42.0 


Elective Requirements In Specified Areas – 27 Units – Elective courses in the following disciplines can be taken from ABSW or other GTU-related faculty. 

Old Testament

New Testament  3.0
Ethics   3.0
Church History  3.0
An additional elective in Biblical Studies, Theology, Ethics or Church History3.0
Practice of Ministry or Functional Theology6.0
Christian Education3.0

Total Elective Requirement units                  27.0 


Open Electives – 9 units – These courses are electives of the student’s choosing and may be taken from ABSW or other GTU-related faculty. Denominationally required courses in history and polity fit here. 


Denominationally required course or Open Elective

Open Elective3.0
Open Elective3.0

Total Open Elective units                              9.0 


Total M.Div. units                                         78.0