Prepare for a life of faith expressed through Christian service
People of faith who are called to a ministry of service will thrive in the Jesuit School of Theology's Master of Divinity (M.Div.) program. Whether you are pursuing a lay vocation, religious vocation, or ordination to the priesthood, you will study, learn, and worship alongside a diverse cohort of men and women seeking the Magis, that sense of being called to do more.
Working with faculty who are experts in the richness and depth of the Jesuit, Catholic tradition, you will be formed for a ministry of service to our changing Church and world. You will learn from an expansive offering of courses in scripture, theology, liturgy, and ethics.
As a core element of our curriculum, you will undertake theological field education at an agency of your choice in the San Francisco Bay Area, selecting from a range of schools and universities, parishes, social justice agencies, prisons, or healthcare settings. Using your academic courses as lenses through which to reflect on your ministry, you will integrate theology with lived ministerial experience, enhancing your ministerial skills and ministerial identity.
Over the course of this 3-year, 81-unit program, you will integrate theology, spirituality, and culture into your ministerial identity. In your final semester, you and your classmates will prepare for a rigorous comprehensive exam, after which you will know you are fully prepared to live out your call.
Who is this degree for?
- Parish/Church Leaders
- Individuals planning to serve in ministry full-time
- Aspiring Theologians
Seeking ordination to the priesthood?
You are required to study one year beyond completion of the M.Div. degree. For Jesuits of the United States, the Jesuit Conference stipulates that this fourth year will generally include the completion of 8 graduate level semester-long courses in theological study, the completion of an Advanced Master's degree in theology, or the Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.).
To apply for the M.Div. program, you'll need:
- Completion of a bachelor's degree. (In rare circumstances, an individual may be admitted with the academic equivalent of a bachelor's degree, subject to the discretion of the faculty.)
- 9 semester hours or 12 quarter hours of philosophy. Typically, this prerequisite is satisfied by courses in the areas of history of philosophy, ethics, or systematic philosophy. Students preparing for ordination are required to have completed 24 semester units or 36 quarter hours of philosophy. At the discretion of the faculty, applicants with fewer than the required number of philosophy units may still be considered for admission, particularly if they have completed other relevant courses and have significant ministerial experience. However, these applicants may be required to complete additional philosophy coursework either prior to or upon enrollment in the M.Div. program.
- The personal maturity and faith commitment commensurate with preparation for full-time ministry. Preference is given to applicants with at least one year of post-college work experience and at least part-time ministerial experience.
My time in the M.Div. program gave me a theological depth I don't think I could've gotten otherwise. It's very easy to have a vague idea about what things are about, but I think graduate school is where you actually pick up books and say, 'Let me know what's inside,' and most importantly, to be able to discuss what's inside with others.
A full-time student in the Master of Divinity program may expect to complete the degree in three academic years, but must complete the program within six calendar years from their date of first registration. 9-12 semester units is the normal full-time course load; in addition, up to 3 units may be taken each year during the January intersession. For a more complete explanation of the program requirements, Master of Divinity (M.Div.).
The first year of coursework consists of foundations in Scripture, the history of Christianity, systematic theology, and Christian ethics.
- Bible (6 units)
- Society and Christian Ethics (6 units)
- Systematics (6 units)
- History (6 units)
Students will take 30 units total of distribution courses and electives, including at least 6 units of praxis courses designed to assist students in honing pastoral skills and in reflecting on their experiences as ministers in a multicultural church. Students will be required to directly observe and/or draw upon various social contexts as part of their coursework.
- Bible (9 units)
- Systematics (9 units)
- Religion and Society (3 units)
- Electives (9 units)
Candidates for ordination will be required to take:
- Canon Law (3 units)
- Preaching (3 units)
- Celebrational Style (3 units)
- Confessional Counseling (3 units)
Other students will be required to take:
- Canon Law (3 units)
- Preaching or Lay Presiding (3 units)
- Pastoral Counseling or Spiritual Direction (3 units)
- A pastoral elective (3 units)
Field Education (6 units)
The field education program is designed to help students develop competence in the practice of Christian ministry.
Inter-Religious Dialogue or Ecumenism (3 units)
Third Year Integration Seminar (3 units)
This is required in the third year of the program and is coordinated by the M.Div. Program Director. The principal focus of the Integration Seminar is to integrate students' theological, pastoral, and spiritual learning.
Expand your studies further by taking courses at the Graduate Theological Union and UC Berkeley.