MDiv Program Purpose

The Master of Divinity (MDiv) is the normative professional degree to prepare persons for ordained ministry and for general pastoral and religious leadership responsibilities in congregations and other settings. The MDiv is also the required prerequisite degree for Doctor of Ministry programs and is the recommended graduate theological degree for those intending to pursue advanced theological research degrees (ThM, PhD). Trinity’s distinction is that our MDiv as a ministerial leadership degree heavily emphasizes general biblical and theological studies. Those persons anticipating ministerial leadership in the local church and other settings are likely best served by the MDiv degree. In dependence upon God, and with the diligence of students and faculty, graduates of the Master of Divinity program at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School will be:

  1. Grounded in Scripture and the Gospel
    As evidenced by:
    1. An understanding of and commitment to the gospel and Evangelical orthodoxy within its historical context.
    2. An understanding of and commitment to Scripture as the ultimate authority by which every realm of human knowledge and endeavor should be judged.
    3. Hermeneutical competence in bringing Scripture, in its original languages, to bear on oneself, the church, and society.
  2. Growing in Christian Maturity and Faithfulness
    As evidenced by:
    1. A growing understanding of one’s own creatureliness, depravity, and Christian identity in the light of God’s grace.
    2. A growing dependence upon God’s grace through the regular practice of “means of grace” both privately and in Christian community.
    3. A life that demonstrates commitment to being a disciple of Christ and growing in obedience to his commands.
    4. A growing dependence on and submission to the Holy Spirit as is evidenced by fruit of the Spirit in the context of relationships.
  3. Equipped for Leadership and Pastoral Ministry
    As evidenced by:
    1. The ability to articulate a biblical vision for the local church and pastoral leadership; engaging the multifaceted challenges of ministry with integrity and growing wisdom.
    2. A growing proficiency in the ministry of the Word and the “care of souls,” both in corporate and individual contexts.
    3. An understanding of and commitment to a biblical strategy for educating, equipping, and leading the whole church toward Christian discipleship and maturity.
    4. An understanding of a biblical theology of Christian worship, as well as competence in planning and leading the corporate gatherings of the church.
    5. An understanding of one’s own gifts for ministry, reflection on God’s vocational leading, and a commitment to ongoing growth as a leader and minister.
  4. Able to Engage with a Diverse World for the Sake of the Gospel
    As evidenced by:
    1. An understanding of God’s historical-redemptive mission in the world and commitment to being a partner in that mission through word and deed.
    2. An understanding of and commitment to cross-cultural engagement for the sake of the gospel, critically reflecting on one’s own cultural biases and seeking to be a learner from other cultures for the sake of the gospel.
    3. Competence in “cultural exegesis,” both in reference to congregational culture and broader society.

MDiv Admission Requirements and Prerequisites

In addition to the general admission requirements described in the Admissions section of the catalog, the following further requirements are specific to the Master of Divinity program:

  1. The applicant’s undergraduate grade point average must be a minimum of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale; however, since GPA is not always an accurate indication of an applicant’s abilities for graduate work, those with a lower GPA are encouraged to consult with our admissions counselors. Alternative evaluation is sometimes possible, as is admission status that will permit the applicant to demonstrate the ability to do graduate work.
  2. Scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT)  are required for applicants whose undergraduate GPA is less than 2.5 and is required upon request from the Admission Office for others.
  3. A demonstrated working knowledge of the content of the English Bible by either
    1. Passing the OT section of the Standard Bible Content Test1 or OT 5000
    2. Passing the NT section of the Standard Bible Content Test1 or NT 5000
  4. Completion of a full beginning Greek sequence, normally involving two years of undergraduate study. If a Greek sequence has not been completed, several options are available to early meet this requirement. In all cases, students are required to complete the Greek Proficiency Exam for placement in the Greek Exegesis course sequence:

Note: Complete the Standard Bible Content Test (SBCT) online by logging in to MyTIU > Academics > Exams for the instruction sheet. One must pass OT or NT sections of the SBCT at 70 percent or above (sections graded separately). If a section is failed, it may be taken only one additional time. If failed a second time, enrollment in the requisite OT 5000 or NT 5000 is required. The SBCT measures biblical competency at a level approximate to a Bible college undergraduate or strong evangelical Bible program in a liberal arts undergraduate college.

In every case, this demonstration of English Bible content knowledge must occur prior to enrolling in canon courses (OT 6216, OT 6217, NT 6221, NT 6222).

Preparation in Greek

If still completing undergraduate studies, it is advisable to incorporate Greek into your coursework. Students may also study Greek independently or through a repeatable online course (available through TEDS Online Distance Education Office). Additional study in syntax is usually recommended in conjunction with the DE course.  A popular option is to complete Trinity’s beginning Greek sequence (NT 4030, NT 4031) offered in a July/August six-week summer session or during the first two fall/spring semesters of your enrollment. These are undergraduate-level courses not credited toward your graduate degree.  If Greek has been completed some years ago, one may wish to enroll in NT 4038. Contact the New Testament department chair or a NT department faculty member to discuss this option.

For those who have completed prior study, Greek proficiency is examined through a proficiency exam offered each spring and summer. Registration for the exam may be completed online at MyTIU > TEDS Academics > Exams > Greek Proficiency Exam or by e-mailing Placement in the appropriate level of Greek language sections is based on this exam.

Preparation in Hebrew

Some MDiv applicants may have had prior Hebrew language coursework, which will further facilitate their MDiv program progress. Those who have completed a minimum of 6 semester hours of undergraduate or graduate elementary Hebrew course work with a “B” or better are eligible to take the Hebrew proficiency exam (separate application required prior to registering). Placement in the appropriate level of the Hebrew language sections is based on this exam. See MyTIU > TEDS Academics > Exams for the preliminary application and registration forms. Students satisfactorily passing the Hebrew Proficiency exam for placement beyond OT 5240 and OT 5241 into Exegesis (OT 5242) will be required take any 6 hours of OT credits to reach the required 94 credits to graduate.

MDiv and MA/TS Degree

TEDS students who have completed the MA (Theological Studies) degree program may apply all hours in the degree program to the MDiv. See Degree Combinations for details.

MDiv Residency Requirement

Residency requirements for the Master of Divinity degree are

24 hours must be completed on the Deerfield Campus of Trinity, extending over two semesters that may include fall, spring, or summer semesters.

The final 8 hours must be taken through Trinity.

MDiv Statute of Limitation

All Master of Divinity program requirements must be completed within eight years of matriculation into the program. Petition to extend the statute of limitation may be made by a student to the Academic Exceptions Committee.

MDiv Candidacy Requirements

Admission to the Master of Divinity program must be followed by achievement of candidacy for the degree. A minimum of 25 hours in the program and good academic standing are prerequisites to achieving candidacy. The student should normally attain candidacy by the end of the third semester of full-time study (or its equivalent, approximately 45 hours).

An electronic portfolio (TaskStream©) is used to track student progress toward fulfilling candidacy requirements and to serve as a professional ministry portfolio for placement. The candidacy process is designed to encourage active student learning and development, as well as assess the appropriateness of the student’s vocational goals in light of evident character, gifts, and abilities. The process is as follows:

  • During New Student Orientation, the student is to complete a vocational and personality assessment (PEPQ©). This is followed by two to three individual appointments with the Trinity Counseling Center staff for an interview and interpretation. There is a fee for this assessment. In light of the results of the PEPQ© and follow-up interviews, additional assessments or counseling may be required as part of the student’s candidacy process.
  • During the first semester of studies, students are to initiate their online portfolio using TaskStream and begin completing the candidacy requirements stipulated there. Initial requirements include completing a Ministry Focus Declaration and the 1st Candidacy Interview (the first of two candidacy interviews with their faculty advisor). Students not completing these initial steps of the candidacy process by 25 hours may not register for further coursework.
  • As one of the course requirements for PT 5000/PT 6210, students will develop a Personal and Professional Development Plan and post it to their portfolio.
  • One year of Formation Group participation is required as part of the MDiv candidacy process. It is strongly recommended that this requirement be completed in two consecutive semesters, normally the first two semesters for full-time students.
  • After completing two semesters of Formation Group, students will write and post a Development Plan Progress Report on their portfolio and initiate the 2nd Candidacy Interview (the second formal interview with the faculty advisor).
  • Following the second interview, the MDiv Director and the Student Life Committee review the recommendations from candidacy interviews, vocational and personality assessment, Field Education evaluations, academic status, and related student files. MDiv candidacy will then either be granted or the prospective candidate will be contacted with any pending questions or conditions related to candidacy.

MDiv students not achieving candidacy by 60 hours (45 hours for AP MDiv students) may not register for further coursework.

If candidacy has been deferred, consultation must be made with the MDiv Director until pending questions related to readiness for candidacy are resolved. Failure to achieve candidacy may result in dismissal from a program or expulsion from the institution.

Should serious concerns regarding a student’s fitness for vocational ministry be raised subsequent to the granting of candidacy, candidacy may be revoked. The Director of the MDiv Program and the Student Life Committee will investigate grounds for these concerns and provide the student an opportunity to address them. If, upon further consideration, the Student Life Committee decides to revoke candidacy, appeal may be made to the TEDS’ Academic Dean, whose decision is final.

MDiv Graduation Requirements

The following requirements must be completed to earn the Master of Divinity degree:

  1. Complete the General Graduation Requirements for all master’s programs.
  2. Complete 94 semester hours required by the MDiv program with a minimum cumulative grade point average for program course work of 2.0, with no course work below a “C-” applicable to the degree.
  3. Complete all supervised ministry requirements, including three semesters of field education (one being a cross-cultural field education) and an internship.
  4. Complete all requirements for MDiv candidacy.
  5. Complete all requirements for the MDiv Program Portfolio on TaskStream.
  6. Exemplify the character, emotional stability, maturity, and leadership ability that are essential to effective service in Christian ministry.

The curriculum begins in Scripture and Interpretation, our source for understanding how to develop effective ministry practice. The curriculum moves to Theology and Tradition, our considered formulations of biblical truth into a coherent theological framework. Next, the curriculum explores Worldview and Culture, our understanding and relation to God’s world. The curriculum culminates in Ministries and Practices, our theologically rooted skills and practices, in which students choose from one of six different foci for specialization in applied ministry skills. Additional elective hours provide opportunity for participants to further design a program suited to their ministry calling. The curriculum begins in biblical theology and culminates in a capstone seminar designed to address specific issues in ministry, thus moving from biblical foundations to ministry practice.

Scripture and Interpretation
(Our source)
ID 5000Biblical Theology and Interpretation3
NT 5210New Testament Greek Exegesis I4
NT 5211New Testament Greek Exegesis II2
NT 5212New Testament Greek Exegesis III1
NT 6600Preaching from the New Testament1
NT 6221Synoptic Gospels & Johannine Literature3
NT 6222Acts, Pauline & General Epistles3
OT 5240Elementary Hebrew I3
OT 5241Elementary Hebrew II3
OT 5242Hebrew Exegesis4
OT 6216Pentateuch and Historical Books4
OT 6217Poetic and Prophetic Books4
Theology and Tradition
(Our considered formulations of biblical truth)
CH 5010History of Christianity4
Select one of the following:1
Denominational History & Polity
Comparative Denominational
Evangelical Free Church History and Polity
ST 5101Theology I: Intro to Theology3
ST 5102Theology II: Christ, Man, Sin & Salvation3
ST 5103Theology III: Holy Spirit, Church, Last Things3
ST 5200Christian Ethics3
Select one of the following:3
American Church History
Christianity in the Non-Western World Since 1700
History of Missions in the Modern World 1
Worldview and Culture
(Our understanding of and relation to God's world)
ME 5000Foundations of Christian Mission 22
ME 5001Foundations of Evangelism2
PR 5500Apologetics2
Select one of the following:2
Bioethics National Conference
Cultural Hermeneutics
Anthropology for Ministry
Social & Cultural Exegesis
Ministries and Practice
(Our theologically rooted skills and practices)
CM 5000Intro to Counseling Ministries2
CM 6000Issues in Counseling Ministries,Issues in Counseling Ministry 31
EM 5000Foundations in Educational Ministry2
HM 5000Theology and Methodology of Biblical Preaching2
PT 5000Personal Assessment and Introduction to Ministry1
PT 7280Christian Worship2
PT 7460MDiv Capstone Seminar1
PT 7465MDiv Internship (Part-time) (Two semesters)2
or PT 7466 MDiv Internship (Full-time)
Field Education and Formation Group:
ID 5080Formation Group (2 semesters; recommended during first two semesters)0
PT 5090Field Education (2 semesters)0
PT 5095Field Education: Cross Cultural Ministries (1 semester)0
Ministry Focus and Electives
Select from one of the seven foci below18
Total Hours94

ME 6410 is an alternative only for those in the Cross-Cultural Ministry focus


ME 6240 may be substituted for those in the Cross-Cultural Ministry focus


CM 6000 possible substitutes include CO 5210, CM 6572, CO 7140


Congregational Ministry: Pastor-Teacher

OT 6600Preaching from the Old Testament1
PT 7210Pastoral Practices2
PT 7220Pastoral Leadership2
Select one of the following:1
Preaching Narrative
Preaching Poetry and Prophecy
Preaching the Parables of Jesus
Select 12 hours of Focus or General Electives courses12
Total Hours18

Congregational Ministry: Team Ministry          

Select 6 hours of the following:6
Christian Leadership and Administration
Christian Formation & Journey
Theology and Methodology of Biblical Teaching
Foundations of Youth Ministry
Youth Ministry Strategies
Additional course work in youth ministry
Select 12 hours of Focus or General Electives courses12
Total Hours18

Cross-Cultural Ministry           

Select one of the following academic/theological courses:3
Theology of Mission & Evangelism
World Religions
Select one of the following applied/skills courses:3
Principles of Discipleship
Teaching Across Cultures
Global Church Planting and Development
Intercultural Communications
Select 12 hours of Focus or General Electives courses12
Total Hours18

Note: Students completing the cross-cultural ministry MDiv Focus who complete PT 7465 or PT 7466, an Intercultural Ministries Internship, may substitute a regular PT 5090 for PT 5095.

Pastoral Care           

CO 5210Counseling Skills Training3
Select one of the following (totaling 3 hours):3
Issues in Counseling Ministries,Issues in Counseling Ministry
Pastoral Counseling for Marriage & Family
Group Counseling
Crisis Counseling
Select 12 hours of Focus or General Electives courses12
Total Hours18

Research Ministry

Advanced electives6
ID 7482MDiv Capstone Research Paper0
Select 12 hours of Focus or General Electives courses12
Total Hours18

Note: The ID 7482 two papers are to be written in conjunction with and during the same semester as two advanced elective courses. Review the Academic Handbook for details. If major papers have not been completed in conjunction with advanced electives, additional course work is required.

Specialized Ministry: Compassion and Justice

Select from the following courses or others relevant to the specialization (totaling 6 hours):6
Ministry in Under-Resourced Communities
Studies in Reconciliation
Ethnicity: Modes of Inquiry and Analysis
Multicultural Issues in Counseling
Political Theologies
Biblical and Theological Anthropology: Race, Ethnicity, Nationality
Understanding the Urban World
Christian Encounter with World Religions
Select 12 hours of Focus or General Electives courses12
Total Hours18

Specialized Ministry: Chaplaincy

Select from the following courses or others relevant to the specialization (totaling 6 hours):6
Intro to Chaplain Ministries
Clinical Pastoral Education
Pastoral Practices
Personal Spiritual Formation for Ministry
Christian Encounter with World Religions
Cultural Engagement
Addiction Counseling
Crisis Counseling
Pastoral Counseling for Marriage & Family
Church Ministry with Adults
Introduction to Bioethics: Matters of Life and Death
Select 12 hours of Focus or General Electives courses12
Total Hours18

Specialized Ministry: Other

Students interested in other specialties are welcome to customize their focus according to their ministry interest. Students considering this option should consult with the MDiv office to gain approval for their plan. This focus is also appropriate for students who simply want to draw from the breadth of courses offered at TEDS and schools of the Association of Chicago Theological Schools (ACTS).

Total Hours18

AP MDiv Purpose

The Advanced Placement MDiv (AP MDiv) is designed for graduates of an accredited Bible college or Christian liberal arts school who seek to build on an undergraduate ministry degree to complete the MDiv at TEDS, and provides opportunity to take additional advanced electives. To qualify, applicants must complete a bachelor’s degree in a field related to Christian ministry, pre-seminary studies, biblical studies, or theological studies in the past five years and have undergraduate coursework to satisfy Trinity prerequisites for the AP MDiv program (outlined below). Applicants with 19 or more hours of prerequisite deficiencies are not eligible for the AP MDiv but may apply to the standard MDiv program.

The requirements for the AP MDiv are the same as the regular MDiv, except as noted below.

AP MDiv Additional Requirements for Admission

  1. Completion of a bachelor’s degree in Pre-Seminary Studies, Christian or Pastoral Ministry, or a similar Christian ministry-based degree during the previous five years
  2. A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.25 or higher with a grade of “B” or better in each required prerequisite course
  3. Documentation of completion of specific prerequisite courses below from the bachelor’s program
    Applicants must complete the AP MDiv Supplemental Application (found online at describing completed course work.

Required Prerequisites

  • Church history or history elective covering the broad scope of the history of the Christian church, from Acts to today: 3-4 hours
  • Pastoral counseling, including lab counseling experiences: 2-3 hours
  • Christian education or educational ministries in the local church: 2-3 hours
  • Introductory preaching, including lab preaching experiences: 2-3 hours
  • Christian mission: 2-3 hours
  • Evangelism: 2-3 hours
  • Apologetics or Christian evidences: 2-3 hours
  • Cultural engagement course examining current cultural trends and their intersection and critique from a biblical perspective: 2-3 hours
  • Biblical or systematic theology covering the scope of theology: 6-9 hours
  • Christian ethics examining contemporary ethical issues in biblical perspective: 2-3 hours
  • Denominational history and polity: 1 hour or as required by the denomination
  • Supervised cross-cultural ministry experience (not a mission trip)
  • Supervised ministry field experience, practicum, or internship: 2 semesters or 200 clock hours
  • A personal ministry assessment course, which includes personal assessment and development of a personal philosophy of ministry, including use of such tools as the MMPI, and CounselAid.

Optional Prerequisites

For applicants who majored in Biblical or Theological studies and who do not fulfill all required prerequisites, up to 6 hours of advanced Bible and/or theology courses (300-400 level) may be credited to the AP MDiv program as electives. Please note; however, that the total hours of prerequisites (required and optional) cannot exceed 19 hours.


Biblical Greek language: 6-8 hrs (two years)

Applicants with prerequisite deficiencies must complete the TEDS graduate-level MDiv course in addition to the required 75-hour curricula. All prerequisite deficiencies will be clearly articulated in the letter of admission. Advanced standing for credit is not available in this program. Waiver of Field Education deficiencies is not available in this program. Transfer coursework is generally not accepted in the AP MDiv.

Note: A student accepted in the AP MDiv program and later opting to change programs must complete Admissions Requirements and Program Prerequisites for the new program. AP MDiv waivers are not transferable.

AP MDiv Program Requirements

Initial Program Placement

Applicants who have completed undergraduate coursework in Greek or Hebrew must take the TEDS Greek and/or Hebrew placement exams for language placement. AP MDiv students are not required to take the Standard Bible Content Test as the criterion for English Bible competency is met through the undergraduate program.

Required Courses

ID 5000Biblical Theology and Interpretation3
NT 5210New Testament Greek Exegesis I4
NT 5211New Testament Greek Exegesis II2
NT 5212New Testament Greek Exegesis III1
NT 6600Preaching from the New Testament1
NT 6221Synoptic Gospels & Johannine Literature3
NT 6222Acts, Pauline & General Epistles3
OT 5240Elementary Hebrew I3
OT 5241Elementary Hebrew II3
OT 5242Hebrew Exegesis4
OT 6216Pentateuch and Historical Books4
OT 6217Poetic and Prophetic Books4
PT 6210Advanced Personal Ministry Development (required first fall semester) 11
PT 7280Christian Worship2
PT 7460MDiv Capstone Seminar1
PT 7465MDiv Internship (Part-time) (Two semesters)2
or PT 7466 MDiv Internship (Full-time)
ID 5080Formation Group (2 semesters)0
Elective Courses 2
Biblical, Theological and Historical Studies (CH, ST, NT, OT):
Select 12-18 hours with a minimum of 3 hrs in CH (Church History) and 6 hrs in ST (Systematic Theology)12-18
Worldview and Culture Studies:
Select 8-12 hours from at least two areas: BE (Bioethics), CC (Christianity & Culture), ME (Mission & Evangelism), PR (Philosophy of Religion)8-12
Ministries and Practices:
Select 8-12 hours with a minimum of 2 hrs must be completed in each of the following areas: CM/CO (Counseling Ministries & Counseling), EM/ES (Educational Ministries & Studies), HM/PT (Homiletics & Pastoral Theology)8-12

Or PT 5000 as indicated in the letter of admission


Prerequisite deficiencies cannot apply as electives in the AP MDiv. All AP MDiv electives must be 6000 level or above with the exception of all BE classes, EM 5210, EM 5510, EM 5712, EM 5540, EM 5541, CC 5610, CH 5060, CO 5210, and PT 5155. Exceptions are occasionally granted by the Program Director, but only if the course does not significantly overlap with undergraduate study.

Suggested MDiv Course Sequence

Detailed suggested course sequences are available to students through the MDiv program office (online at MyTIU > TEDS Academics > Departments & Program Offices) and address a number of typical student scenarios. In general those entering the MDiv with all prerequisites met (English Bible competency, Greek) can anticipate approximately three years of full-time study for completion of the program. Those needing to complete prerequisites during their program can anticipate approximately four years. Students admitted to the AP MDiv without deficiencies (i.e., having all prerequisites completed) will generally find it feasible to complete the program in six consecutive semesters (including summers).

Overall, there are a host of variations to such templates, depending on the exact courses that are offered in a particular semester, the scheduling limitations of the student, and so on. In addition, summer school courses provide students opportunity to accelerate or catch up on program coursework.

Upon admission, students are encouraged to consult with the Academic Handbook, the MDiv Office (for resources and advisement), their faculty advisor and student colleagues. Note also particular course descriptions and catalog curricula, including any course prerequisites. Projected course schedules are published in MyTIU>TEDS Academics as soon as available. Generally all MDiv core courses are offered at least once each fall and/or spring semester, rotate through a three-year summer cycle, and rotate through a four-year evening school schedule. Field education requirements and the intense period of MDiv internship near the end of the program when accompanied by additional ministry responsibilities often lengthen a student’s program.