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.
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.
THE URBAN MINISTRY CONCENTRATION IN THE M.DIV. PROGRAM
Students in the M.Div. program may choose a specialized focus for
their program that will prepare them for the opportunities and challenges
of urban ministry. Drawing on the rich diversity of cultures and
expressions of faith in the northeastern United States, the urban
ministry concentration comprises a total of 16 credit hours of work
in specified courses within the regular M.Div. curriculum. The concentration
is an honors program to which students must apply for admission.
Applications for admission to the concentration should be made
to the Professor of Metro-Urban Ministry during the semester in
which the student is completing 32 credit hours of work in the regular
M.Div. curriculum. Consideration will be given to candidates who
have: 1) maintained a 3.0 GPA up to the point of admission to the
concentration; 2) expressed a passion for, and knowledge of, the
dynamics of urban living, and; 3) can articulate, in written and
oral form, an understanding of a particular issue or problem on
the urban scene.
All correspondence concerning admission to the concentration should
be addressed to the Professor of Metro-Urban Ministry. Applicants
are required to furnish the following materials:
1. A letter making formal application for admission to the concentration,
and identifying the person giving the reference mentioned below;
2. A 500-1,000 word essay describing the applicant's leadership
style and interest in urban ministry, placing emphasis on a particular
urban issue or problem as the reason for entering the program;
3. A letter of reference from the applicant's local church or denominational
After submission of the written application materials, the student
should seek a personal interview with the Professor of Metro-Urban
The concentration comprises five courses totaling 16 credit hours.
These are as follows:
Foundations of Urban Ministry - 4 credits (taken after 32 credits
of course work)
2 NBTS electives - 4 credits (chosen from a list approved by the
Professor of Urban Ministry)
Integrative Seminar in Urban Ministry I & II - 8 credits
M.DIV. INTERNSHIP TRACK
Within the M.Div. program at both campuses, an internship track
exists for those students who wish to combine extended full-time
practical experience in ministry with the other advantages of the
M.Div. degree. The internship track, when pursued full-time, is
a four year program. It consists of all the normal requirements
for the M.Div. degree, plus a full-time internship of nine to twelve
months duration ordinarily taken between a student's middler and
This internship is pursued in a setting assigned or designated
by the Director of Field Education and approved by the Dean
of the Seminary. While engaged in the internship, the person is
a full-time student, subject to all the policies of the Seminary.
Students pay an internship fee equivalent to the charge for two
Field Education Units. Students wishing to receive a third and
fourth Field Education Unit for their internship pay an additional