Master of Divinity (MDiv)

Who should consider an MDiv?

The Master of Divinity program is recommended for students seeking a comprehensive preparation for Christian ministry. Persons in leadership roles which assume broad knowledge of the church’s faith, tradition and practice should consider this program. You will study the complete range of theological disciplines which include biblical, theological, historical, contextual, formational and practical ministry studies. In some denominations the Master of Divinity is required for ordination to the Christian ministry.

Inquire for more information, schedule a visit or apply today.

What is the curriculum?

81 semester hours completed in three or more years

Ministry tracks

Advisors and faculty will help guide students in the process of selecting a track. Students will choose electives based on ministry goals and potential ministry settings.

  • Primary Track of this curriculum emphasizes an acquaintance with Koine Greek and Biblical Hebrew. Students will take both the Elementary and Readings course in each language.
  • Alternate Track replaces the language requirements mentioned above with the courses Basics of Biblical Language, Interpreting the Biblical Text and an Old Testament and a New Testament book study.

Why EMS?

Formation Studies

A unique strength of Eastern Mennonite Seminary is our formation program. We believe that focusing on one’s own formation during the seminary journey is the way for ministering persons to be healthy and whole in their vocations. Formation in God’s Story I & II (2 credits each) helps students understand their own lives in conversation with and connection to God’s story as found in Scripture and being written in the present in their own lives through spiritual practices. Formation in Ministry I & II (3 credits each) offers students the opportunity to put their learning into practice in internship sites related to their vocational leanings with a mentor to help with on-site theological reflection. /seminary/courses/formation-studies#FS701 (2 credits each) provides space for students to integrate what they have learned about themselves, God, the world, and the church as they look forward to their future in ministry. For more information please visit the formation page.

Supervised Field Education

Mentored ministry refers to a variety of experiential learning opportunities within the overall curriculum. Formation in Ministry I and II (3 credits each) and an additional mentored ministry experience (3 additional credits)are required. Students are encouraged to find internships in settings that will allow them to integrate classroom learning and practice leadership skills. An individual mentoring relationship is important in these settings. Students already in ministry in a congregation may use that congregation for their Formation in Ministry I and II field placement.

For students who want additional practical ministry experience Clinical Pastoral Education and other ministry internships are available. For more information see the Mentored Ministry Requirements

Cross-Cultural Competency

We believe seminary students are best equipped for ministry in our diverse world through interaction with people and cultures different from their own. All seminary students benefit from the cross-cultural study requirement. The experience may involved travel to another country or engagement with a culture significantly different from the students own culture in the United States. The seminary plans at least one cross-cultural trip every two years. Students with previous cross-cultural experience may meet the requirement by taking the Cross-Cultural Integration Seminar to reflect on their cross-cultural competency. Learn more about our philosophy and requirements for cross-cultural competency.

Formation courses (14 SH)

Year 1

  • Formation in God’s Story I (2 SH)
  • Formation in God’s Story II (2 SH)
    Year 2
  • Formation in Ministry I (3 SH)
  • Formation in Ministry II (3 SH)
    Year 3
  • Formation in Missional Leadership I (2 SH)
  • Formation in Missional Leadership II (2 SH)

Other required courses (27 SH)*

Old Testament: Text in Context (3 SH)
New Testament: Text in Context (3 SH)
Christian Tradition I (3 SH)
Christian Tradition II (3 SH)
Living Theology (3 SH)
Missio Dei in Cultural Context (3 SH)
Christian Ethics (3 SH)
SMCL elective (3 SH)
Cross-Cultural Church Experience (3 SH)

Biblical Languages/Studies (12 SH)

Primary Track

  • Elementary Hebrew (3 SH)
  • Hebrew Readings (3 SH)
  • Elementary Greek (3 SH)
  • Greek Readings (3 SH)

Alternate Track

  • Basics of Biblical Language (3 SH)
  • Interpreting the Biblical Text (3 SH)
  • Old Testament book study elective (3 SH)
  • New Testament book study elective (3 SH)

*Anabaptist-affiliated students must take an Anabaptist studies course; Pastoral Ministry track students must take a Denominational Polity course


Electives will be made up of courses in the seminary or another graduate program at EMU that fit the student’s anticipated ministry setting and track. For more specific suggestions see the descriptions of ministry tracks.

Read more about the mission, theological framework, educational philosophy , curricular framework and guiding principles of the curriculum at Eastern Mennonite Seminary.

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