These are the degree requirements for students who matriculated in the 2017-18 school year. Requirements for other years can be found in their appropriate sections. The Master of Divinity (MDIV) is the most recognized professional theological degree. Designed for those who seek vocations in ministry in a variety of settings, the MDIV is the primary way to meet educational requirements for those seeking ordination or endorsement in many Christian denominations. This degree requires 120 quarter credit hours across the theological curriculum, includes an Internship, and other attention to personal, professional, and spiritual formation. This degree can be acquired in both a residential and flexible residency track of study.
The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of those preparing for ordained ministry or other forms of contemporary religious leadership. The curriculum is organized into one introductory interdisciplinary course, one each of a breadth and depth courses from six areas (see below), two professional formation courses, internship, and consultation and formation. The rest of the credits will be obtained by other course work, which students are free to select from a wide variety across the curriculum. They made include weekend Praxis classes, immersion courses, and others listed in our course catalog. Substitution of other courses, such as those taken at other institutions, can be requested by petition to the Academic Vice-President/Dean of the Faculty.
Students must meet the requirements as specified in the Master’s Student Handbook (of their year of matriculation) to graduate. Requirements of the degree are: course credits and grades, core requirements, and personal, professional, and spiritual formation requirements, which include consultation and formation requirements.
The MDIV degree requires at least 120 quarter credits (or 80 quarter credits and a two-year theological degree from an accredited seminary) with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better. In addition, all required courses below (68 of the 120 credits), must be completed with a letter grade of C or better (or with a Pass, when no letter grade is offered).
Students wishing to write a master’s thesis may petition to do so. All requirements for the degree must be completed within ten calendar years from the date of the first course taken in the program.
First Year Interdisciplinary Course (4 credits): This course is team-taught and limited to 25 students per section. This course will introduce students to terminology, reading of primary texts and how to write academic papers as well as expose them to the complexity and significance of theological reflection.
Core Courses (48 credits)―One course each of a breadth and depth designation in six areas:
Comparative Religious Traditions (CR) (4 credits depth & 4 credits breadth)
Sacred Texts/Contextual Analysis (TX) (4 credits depth & 4 credits breadth)
Social/Contextual Analysis (AN) (4 credits depth & 4 credits breadth)
Historical Development & Expressions of Religious Traditions (HI) (4 credits depth & 4 credits breadth)
Constructive Theology (TH) (4 credits depth & 4 credits breadth)
Theology and Religious Practices (PR) (4 credits depth & 4 credits breadth)
Personal and Professional Formation (16 credits)―Required courses:
Vocation and Orientation (2 credits)
Identity, Power, and Difference (2 credits)
Internship (12 credits, September-May)
Consultation and Formation to be completed during the first quarter of classes at Iliff School of Theology
Other Courses (52 credits)
Total for Master of Divinity: 120 credits
Length of Study: Students who average 40 quarter credits each year (13-14 each quarter of the academic year) will complete the course work for the Master of Divinity degree in three years. Students may, however, elect to take their courses over a longer period of time.
Student Assessment Process: To ensure the breadth and depth of the educational experience and fulfill accreditation requirements,students will be required to participate in Iliff’s outcomes assessment process as they approach graduation. Students must enroll in Master's Recital (offered in multiple formats in the Winter and Spring quarters) as a way to reflect on and provide feedback about their Iliff education. Further information is available from the Dean's Office or from the student's academic advisor.
MDIV Degree Learning Goals
Students completing this degree program should be able to:
Comparative Religious Traditions (CR): demonstrate basic awareness of a range of religious traditions and an emerging capacity to engage in comparative analysis between traditions around a particular topic.
Sacred Texts (TX): demonstrate an informed understanding of sacred texts as historically-situated; utilize various methodologies for responsible interpretation of these texts to contemporary audiences.
Social/Contextual Analysis (AN): identify and critically evaluate the symbolic systems, power structures, ideologies, values, and religious meanings at play in events and interactions, institutional structures, ethical judgments, and living communities, and articulate and enact a vision for increased social justice in these contexts.
Historical Development/ Expressions of Religious Traditions (HI): demonstrate awareness of religious traditions as historically-situated movements that interacted and changed in relationship to their surrounding cultures and subcultures over time, resulting in various expressions located within and influenced by social structures and institutions, historical events, and ethnic and cultural ideologies.
Constructive Theology (TH): critically engage historical and contemporary theological expressions of religious traditions and articulate one’s own constructive theological position in relation to contemporary events and/or situations.
Theology and Religious Practices (PR): engage in analysis of contemporary religious traditions and institutions in order to assess, design, and perform meaningful leadership practices with sensitivity to contextual realities and relationships.
Personal and Professional Formation (PPF): develop strategies for spiritual formation and self-care, demonstrate an awareness of the importance of social location for self-understanding and professional presence, and enact self-aware and collaborative leadership within a specific vocational context.