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4/19/2019 Master of Divinity – Fuller Academic Catalogs

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2018-2019 Academic Catalog

2018-2019 Contents

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.

Purpose

The Master of Divinity program prepares men and women for ministry within the Church of
Jesus Christ.
The curriculum is controlled by a vision of Christ’s Church as the people of God – a living,
worshipping, witnessing community, within which faith is nurtured and through which
Christ is served in the world. Guided by this vision, 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 Godís 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.
Accordingly, the characteristics of the Master of Divinity program are determined by the
marks of true Christian ministry.

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1. The Christian minister should be a person who knows and delights in the Word of God,
one who is able responsibly and in detail to exegete and interpret the divinely inspired
Scriptures, yet one also able to see in its wholeness the story of the saving acts of God
revealed through Israel and consummated in Christ. The Master of Divinity program is
designed to foster ministry that is rooted in the authority of the Bible.

2. The Christian minister should understand the doctrines and traditions of the Church as
they have come to expression over time, and be able to reflect on them with insight and
to interpret them compellingly for our own time. The minister should also be one who
empowers the people of God so that they too are enabled confidently to discern and
clearly to articulate Godís Word for our world. The Master of Divinity program is
designed to foster Christian ministry that is theologically responsible.

3. The Christian minister should possess special abilities, theologically informed, for
leading and equipping Godís people. The tasks that demand these skills are many:
preaching, public worship, teaching, evangelism, counseling, spiritual formation, and
administration. The minister should be one who not only develops such skills but
enables others to share them. The Master of Divinity program is designed to foster
ministry that is professionally competent.

4. The Christian minister should recognize that evangelism in its widest sense is the
responsibility of every Christian and is central to the apostolic nature and mission of
the Church. The minister should be prepared both spiritually and intellectually to “do
the work of an evangelist” and to enable others to share in that task. The Master of
Divinity program is designed to foster ministry that is committed to evangelism.

5. The Christian minister should be an advocate of truth, a person able convincingly to


argue for the credibility of the faith in our contemporary pluralistic setting, and to
witness to the revelation of God in Christ in the confidence of the Spirit of Truth. The
Master of Divinity program is designed to foster ministry that is intellectually
articulate.

6. The Christian minister should be a person of deep and honest faith, a faith that is
rooted in an authentic experience of Godís grace and that is expressed in a growth
toward maturity and wholeness in Christ. He or she should be a person of integrity who
is ready always to seek the will of God in the complex moral problems of personal life,
and sensitive to the even more complex ethical issues of the public arena. The Master of
Divinity program seeks to foster ministry that is spiritually mature and morally
sensitive.

7. The Christian minister should be a servant of the compassionate Lord, a person deeply
concerned for social justice with a burden for the oppressed and the weak, a
peacemaker in a world torn by war, an advocate for the hungry and homeless, a
defender of all victims of oppression, and a prophet calling for justice from the rich and
mercy for the wretched of the earth. The Master of Divinity program is designed to
foster ministry that is socially concerned.

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8. The Christian minister should be personally committed to a specific church within the
Church universal, one who is loyal to the community and tradition of which he or she is
a part yet who honors a wider loyalty to the Church universal. The Master of Divinity
program is designed to foster ministry that is ecumenically open yet denominationally
responsible.

9. The Christian minister should be aware of living in a humanly diverse world and a
diverse church, and be aware of the way in which this diversity is simultaneously a
resource and a source of tensions in world and church. The Master of Divinity program
is designed to foster ministry that affirms diversity in gender, culture, and race; that
heeds those who have been voiceless; and that works for reconciliation and unity within
the one family of humanity and the one body of the church.

These are some of the marks of true Christian ministry which determine the characteristics
of the Master of Divinity program. By this vision of ministry, the curriculum is tested and
controlled, goals are defined and teaching is motivated.

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

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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.

Curriculum

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 (16 units)

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

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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 (16 units)

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

APPRENTICESHIP (0 or 4 units)

Areas of Special Interest

In addition to the rich variety of courses required for Fuller’s degree programs, students can
use their electives to take advantage of our faculty’s expertise in a number of specialized
areas. With its three schools and diverse faculty, Fuller offers courses that track with a range
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of interest. Students may want to concentrate on areas of study that support their sense of
call, or explore several different areas during their time at Fuller. Such areas may include:
African American Church Studies
Ancient Context of the Old Testament
Ancient Near Eastern Studies
Asian American Contexts
Children at Risk
Church Planting
Global Arts and World Religions
International Development and Urban Studies
Islamic Studies
Just Peacemaking
Race, Cultural Identity, and Reconciliation
Recovery Ministry
Theology and the Arts
Worship and Music Ministry
Worship, Theology, and the Arts
Youth, Family, and Culture

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