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Master of Divinity: Christian Studies

If you've already earned a master's degree in a Christian discipline at a seminary or university and you'd now like to pursue an M.Div. degree, Northwest Nazarene University's new Master of Divinity: Christian Studies degree is for you!

Whether you want to earn your M.Div. degree for certification as a chaplain, in pursuit of denominational ordination, for your own edification, or as a step toward a doctor of ministry degree someday, we'd love to explore how NNU's MDIVCS program can help you achieve your goals.

This program equips women and men to leverage a previous degree (e.g., M.A., Th.M., M.R.E.) and apply up to 32 semester credits toward their Master of Divinity degree at NNU. Some limitations apply, so contact us to learn more.

NNU's graduate theological online education programs are fully online, with no residential requirements whatsoever. Enrolling in just one course a time, MDIVCS students can complete their studies in roughly 30 months. Students in our MDIVCS program may transfer up to 32 semester credits from their previous graduate degree, complete a free online orientation, and 42 credits in their pastoral ministry core, for a total of 74 semester credits.

Financial aid is available for those who qualify, or students may take advantage of a zero interest monthly payment plan. Avoid expensive travel costs associated with modular programs at other seminaries, not to mention costly time away from home and your workplace. Tuition discounts up to 25 percent are also available to assigned Nazarene clergy.

Earn your degree from a university with both regional accreditation by the Northwest Commission on Colleges & Universities and associate membership in The Association of Theological Schools.

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Course Descriptions

BIBL6760 — Old Testament Interpretation (3 Credits)
This course introduces key strategies and exegetical tools particular to interpreting the Old Testament. Students will develop exegetical skills and the ability to recognize Scripture's theological texture through study of selected texts from the different genres of the Old Testament.

BIBL7760 — New Testament Interpretation (3 Credits)
This course introduces key strategies and exegetical tools particular to interpreting the New Testament. Students will develop exegetical skills and the ability to recognize Scripture's theological texture through study of selected texts from the different genres of the New Testament.

BIBL8090 — Advanced Biblical Exegesis (3 Credits)
An in-depth exegetical study of an Old Testament and/or New Testament book(s). The course will emphasize the historical occasion, purpose and theological message of the selected biblical books. It will survey relevant contemporary biblical hermeneutics. It will utilize inductive, grammatical, historical-critical, literary, and reader-oriented exegetical methods. The course will self-consciously focus on interpretation within and for the believing community.

CHED6160 — Congregational Education & Formation (3 Credits)
The course provides a Wesleyan approach to Christian discipleship by integrating Wesleyan theology and current developmental theories. The course explores how pastors can develop educational ministries that foster faith formation and Christian discipleship in local congregations. Particular attention is given to the role congregations play in forming faith disciples through teaching, worship, and congregational life.

CHIS6560 — History of Christianity I (3 Credits)
A study of the historical development of Christianity from 150-1500 C.E., from the Patristic period through pre-Reformation. The course will trace theological and doctrinal development as well as offer a general survey of the history of the Church in its ecclesiastical and cultural contexts. The student will have opportunity to read primary as well as secondary sources, and do research on a specified and focused area of interest.

CHIS6960 — History of Christianity II (3 Credits)
A study of the historical development of Christianity from 1500-present, C.E., from the Reformation through the 20th century. The course will trace theological and doctrinal development as well as offer a general survey of the history of the Church in its ecclesiastical and cultural contexts. The student will have opportunity to read primary as well as secondary sources, and do research on a specified and focused area of interest.

PHIL7560 — Philosophical Foundations of Ministry (3 Credits)
This course will provide the fundamentals for logical reasoning, review the philosophical foundations of theology, explore contemporary issues in the philosophy of religion, and develop methods for making ethical decisions within the framework of Christian values.

PRTH6000 — OnRamp Program Orientation (0 Credits)
This course orients students to the resources, procedures, electronic operations, and expectations of the program.

PRTH6760 — Spiritual & Personal Formation (3 Credits)
This course examines spiritual formational practices with particular emphasis on the personal and spiritual formation of the minister. Students will gain personal spiritual formational practices for the purpose of developing them holistically.

PRTH6960 — Missiology & Contextualization (3 Credits)
This course provides a study of the challenge and complexity of mission within the cultural diversity of today's world. Students will review the historical dimensions of missiology, develop biblical and theological foundations for missional ecclesiology, and strategize for cross-cultural communication of the gospel.

PRTH6990 — Supervised Ministry (3 Credits)
Under the direction of a ministry mentor, students will be involved in practical ministry experience in a local ministry context. Special attention will be given to preaching, counseling, teaching, education, evangelism, and administration. This experience will be under the direction of the instructor in cooperation with the supervising ministry mentor.

PRTH7560 — Pastoral Leadership (3 Credits)
This course will help to equip ministers to lead and manage churches and mission agencies. Special attention will be given to the student's ability to conceive and articulate purpose, mission, and vision for ministry and assist the student to develop the strategic means to realize that vision.

PRTH7960 — Preaching & Worship (3 Credits)
An advanced study of the methods of homiletics as well as applying principles of biblical interpretation to worship and preaching. A major focus of the course will be on practical application to selected biblical passages through the writing and preaching of expository sermons as well as a study of the Christian practices of the Church including baptism, funerals, weddings, and the Eucharist.

THEO7560 — Christian Theology I: Wesleyan Theology (3 Credits)
Students will explore the theological issues pertaining to the classical doctrines of the Wesleyan tradition. This exploration will focus upon the main characteristics of the nature of God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the human person, sin, salvation, the Christian life, the Church and sacraments, and eschatology.

THEO7960 — Christian Theology II: Contemporary Theology (3 Credits)
Students will reflect theologically on life and ministry by exploring various sources of theological reflection. In particular, dominant themes and figures in contemporary theology will be explored. In this exploration, students will compare and contrast distinctive characteristics of Wesleyan theology, including various understandings of holiness, with issues found in contemporary theology.


Specialization Courses

Thirty-two semester credits in an earned degree in a specific Christian Studies concentration approved by the Master of Divinity program director.

Program Outcomes

  • The graduate understands and is able to explain Wesleyan-Holiness Theology as it relates to Scripture, Christian tradition, reason, and experience in the practice of ministry.
  • The graduate identifies characteristics of the cultural context of ministry and assesses them through an appropriate theological perspective, compares existing cultures with alternative cultural expressions, and develops personal and corporate practices consistent with the Kingdom of God.
  • The graduate practices the means of grace (spiritual disciplines) that lead to emotional and spiritual health, personal Christian virtue, and responsible social engagement.
  • The graduate integrates Christian theological themes in the understanding and practice of ministry and leadership.