2020-2021 Academic Catalog

All Catalogs > 2020-2021 > School of Theology > Master of Divinity

Master of Divinity

The Master of Divinity degree is a comprehensive graduate theological program covering a wide range of general and specialized subjects, designed to prepare students for full-time service in the church of Jesus Christ.

The curriculum is controlled by a vision of Christ’s Church as the people of God – a living, worshiping, witnessing community, within which faith is nurtured and through which Christ is served in the world. The curriculum is designed to instruct students in the study of theology in its widest sense, so that they may grow in the knowledge of God, discover and develop their God-given gifts and become more effective members of the body of Christ. This involves a deepening understanding of God and God’s world through rigorous academic discipline; but it also involves, in part as the fruit of such discipline, personal spiritual growth and maturity, and the acquiring of the relevant skills that will enable students to use their theological insights effectively in practical Christian ministry.

Learning Outcomes

In accordance with our commitment to provide the highest level of educational effectiveness possible through a healthy culture of assessment, and in alignment with the Fuller Institutional Student Learning Outcomes, this program offers the following outcomes.

  • Students will have demonstrated competence in the practice of biblical interpretation for faithful use of scripture in their own lives and ministries.
  • Students will have demonstrated capacities to engage diverse cultural contexts for transformational discipleship, mission, and ministry.
  • Students will have demonstrated capacities for being theologically reflective practitioners for Christian ministries.
  • Students will have demonstrated capacities for historically informed theological and ethical reflection.
  • Students will have demonstrated capacities to cultivate a theologically reflective practice of Christian discipleship.

Admission Requirements

General standards for admission to Fuller Theological Seminary may be found in the Admission Standards section of this catalog. To be admitted to the MDiv program, applicants must have been awarded a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited institution before the starting date of the desired quarter of entry. Regular admission requires at least a 2.7 cumulative grade point average (GPA) in all undergraduate work; students with a lower GPA may be considered for admission on probation. Applicants without an accredited bachelor’s degree must meet special requirements and will be considered for admission on probation on an individual basis. Students admitted on probation are subject to certain limitations during their first 40 units of course work at Fuller.

Residence Requirements and Transfer Credit

A minimum of 40 units must be earned at Fuller Seminary. Requests for transfer of credit for approved graduate studies done at an institution accredited by The Association of Theological Schools or a recognized regional or international accrediting agency will be evaluated on an individual basis by the Academic Advising Office. This may include a maximum of 80 quarter hours of graduate theological and biblical studies. Non-theological studies are normally not considered for transfer credit. Course work taken in a non-religious setting which might be considered as parallel to course work in the Fuller curriculum may be considered on an individual basis if appropriate and approved by the Master’s Academic Affairs Committee, and integrated through a 4-unit directed study.

Distance Learning

The Master of Divinity program may be completed entirely online, or with any combination of campus-based and online course work.

Time Limits for Completion of Degrees

In order to ensure that a degree, when granted, represents education that is current and reasonably focused (not acquired a little at a time over an unreasonably long period), all credit applied to the degree must be earned within a certain period of time. For the Master of Divinity degree at Fuller, this period has been set at ten years. This includes all credit earned elsewhere and applied to the degree, as well as all credit earned at Fuller.


The faculty at Fuller has developed a unified curriculum for the Master of Divinity degree. A total of 120 units is required to earn the Master of Divinity degree.

Integrative (12 units)

Students are required to take IS500 and choose two courses from the remaining three.

  • IS500 Practices of Vocational Formation
  • IS501 Practices of Worship
  • IS502 Practices of Community
  • IS503 Practices of Mission

Languages (8 units)

  • LG500 Hebrew Tools for Biblical Interpretation
  • LG510 Greek Tools for Biblical Interpretation

Interpreting (24 units)

  • OT500 New Testament Introduction
  • NT500 New Testament Introduction
  • BI500 Interpretive Practices
  • OT527 Old Testament Exegesis or NE527 New Testament Exegesis
  • Biblical Studies Elective (in an alternate Testament to the exegetical course)
  • Any Biblical Studies Elective

Theologizing (24 units)

  • History and Theology (16 units). Must take two history courses and two theology courses
    • God and Christ: any course with the TH1 attribute
      • HT500 The Church’s Understanding of God and Christ in its Historical Development
      • HT501 The Church’s Understanding of God and Christ in its Theological Reflection
    • The Church, Humanity, and the Christian Life: any course with the TH2 attribute
      • HT502 The Church’s Understanding of the Church, Humanity, and the Christian Life in its Historical Development
      • HT503 The Church’s Understanding of the Church, Humanity, and the Christian Life in its Theological Reflection
    • Modern and Global Contexts: any course with the TH3 attribute
      • CH504 The Modern Church in a Global Historical Context
      • CH506 American Christianity in a Global Historical Context
      • HT504 Modern Theology in a Global Context
    • Theologizing Elective: any course with the TH4 attribute
      • Almost any course with a CH, HT, ST, or TH prefix (ST511, CH549, CH551, and TH550 do not meet this requirement)
  • Ethics, Philosophy, or Theology and Culture: any course with the TH5 attribute
    • Any course with an ET, PH, or TC prefix
  • Ethics: any course with the TH6 attribute

Ministry (20 units)

  • Leadership: any course with the LDR attribute
  • Pastoral Care: any course with the PC attribute
  • Evangelism: any course with the EVG attribute
  • PR500 Homiletics
  • Preaching Practicum: any course with the P1 attribute

Contextualizing (12 units)

  • Engaging Global Realities: any course with the C1 attribute
  • Engaging Culture: any course with the C2 attribute
  • Engaging Human Diversity: any course with the C5 attribute

Electives (20 units)

  • May be used to explore one or more areas of interest (see below)

Apprenticeship (0 or 4 units)

All Catalogs > 2020-2021 > School of Theology > Master of Divinity