Master of Divinity
The Master of Divinity degree program is designed to prepare students
for a wide range of Christian ministry. This program, required by
many denominations for ordination, is offered at the New Brunswick
campus through day and night classes and at the St. John's site through
Education for ministry is not a matter of simply accumulating certain
knowledge and skills. It is the beginning of a process of personal
transformation whereby the student appropriates the knowledge and
skills pertinent to ministry in a way that shapes the student's
self-understanding and life within the church and the world. Thus,
both the integration of the diverse fields of knowledge and skill,
and the integration of these fields with the actual experience and
practice of ministry, are essential to a theological education.
The course of study for the M.Div. falls into three major categories.
The first consists of the core academic courses, grouped into three
fields: Biblical Studies; Historical, Theological and Ethical Studies;
Ministry Studies. The second consists of the experience and practice
of varieties of ministry. This is found principally in a student's
Field Education placements, but also in the various aspects
of life in the seminary community. Those courses which seek to integrate
the various academic fields, and academic learning with practical
experience, form the final category. The Ministeriums and required
integrative courses constitute this category.
The application deadline for a term is two months before the first day of classes. Applications received after the deadline will be considered for admission in the following semester. The applicant must:
Hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution with an academic record indicating scholarly ability, including an undergraduate grade point average of 2.5 or higher (on a 4.0 scale).
Official transcript(s) of all undergraduate and graduate work pursued to date are required; *
Complete Application Form
Three letters of recommendation, one of which must be a recommendation from the applicant's pastor;
Complete a statement of purpose that provides a sense of who you are and why you are interested in the program.
NON-TRADITIONAL MASTER OF DIVINITY STUDENTS
Under exceptional circumstances, a student without a baccalaureate degree may be admitted to the
Master of Divinity (M.Div.) program as a non-traditional student.
Realizing that each non-traditional student has different credentials, please contact the Admissions
office for information, transcript review, and aid in selecting the needed college courses. Contacting
the office early in the process will allow the student to make the best choices for success in his or her seminary career. During this time before your admission to NBTS in addition to completing these
college courses, we strongly recommend you be in contact with the ordaining body within your church and/or denomination about the possibility of ordination without a college degree.
ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS FOR NON TRADITIONAL STUDENTS
All of the requirements for the Master of Divinity application process and:
Be at least of 40 years of age;
Have demonstrated distinguished service to the church and show a sense of vocation and
commitment to professional ministry;
Prepared for the M.Div. program by completing five college courses with a grade of "B" or
better at an accredited college or university. These courses must cover five areas:
Behavioral sciences (psychology, sociology, or anthropology),
At least three of these courses must be completed with a transcript submitted and with a plan for the completion of the other two courses before the admissions committee will process the application.
Students in this program cannot exceed 15% of the student population. Because of this requirement, there is often a waiting time for students desiring admission into the program. An admissions deposit will be required to place a student on the waiting list and the list is administered on a first-come basis.
Admission to the non-traditional program does not guarantee you are eligible for ordination within your church. It is very important to be in contact with your church's ordaining body before you begin
seminary work. Non-traditional students admitted will be on probationary status until the college
courses are completed with a grade of "B" or better and/or 16 credits of NBTS coursework has been
FITNESS FOR MINISTRY AND ORDINATION
As an institution affiliated with the Reformed Church in America,
New Brunswick Theological Seminary provides educational programs
which meet the denomination's requirements for ordination. It does
so through the core curriculum of required courses and by providing
courses and field education placements directly related to the
The Seminary acts on behalf of the General Synod of the Reformed
Church in America not only in providing education for ministry,
but also by evaluating students to determine their suitability for
ordination to the denomination's ministry of Word and Sacrament.
Testimony to a student's readiness for ministry is given through
a Certificate of Fitness for Ministry, recommended by the Faculty
and granted by the Board of Trustees. A classis is not permitted
to ordain a candidate for ministry who has not been granted this
Certificate. Application for the Certificate of Fitness must be
made 15 months before the intended date of graduation.
Although no Certificate of Fitness for Ministry is granted to students
from other churches, since the M.Div. is a professional degree,
the Faculty evaluates all candidates to determine suitability for
ministerial leadership in the church. The Faculty will not recommend
that an M.Div. degree be granted to a student who, although academically
qualified, does not exhibit the moral, spiritual and personal qualities
requisite for ministry. The ordination requirements of the student's
church may also be taken into consideration in decisions concerning
the awarding of the M.Div. degree.
An M.Div. student who has maintained a GPA of 3.0 or better through
his or her first 64 credits of academic work may petition the Faculty
through the Academic Affairs Committee to be allowed to write an
Honors Thesis under the supervision of a member of the Faculty.
Six (6) credit hours will be granted the student who successfully
completes this research and writing project.