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Master of Divinity (MDiv)

The MDiv is an academic and professional degree program designed to prepare and equip women and men for the ordained parish ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.

 

OVERVIEW

Normally the MDiv program is, at minimum, a four year course of study, following the attainment of Bachlor of Arts degree or its equivalent.

The program contains a mix of learning formats including class work, parish internship, off-site clinical pastoral/counselling training, and a cross-cultural site experience.

Courses: Individual courses are typically intensive classes that are one to two weeks long. Some classes are longer. The intensives are usually held either onsite (at the seminary), or online, or a mix of onsite and online.

Classes are offered in a two-year cycle at the seminary:

Year A offers biblical and pastoral courses. The year starts in academic years that begin with'even' numbers (e.g. 2016-17).

Year B offers theologocial and church history courses. The year starts in academic years that begin with 'odd' numbers (e.g. 2017-18).

Students may begin their studies in either year.

Internship: An 18-20 month internship in a parish is required after completion of Year A and Year B classes.

CPE/PCE: MDiv students are required to complete one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) or Pastoral Counselling Education (PCE). The CPE/PCE are not offered by the Seminary; students must arrange to take them through other qualified institutions.

Cross-Cultural Experience: An off-site cultural immersion trip is required in Year B.

Comprehensive Exams are required for Years A and B.

Endorsement: To be accepted into the MDiv program, ELCIC (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada) students must be endorsed by their respective synodical Committee on Theological Education and Leadership (CTEL). Students from other theological traditions must be recommended to the MDiv program by their own ecclesiastical authorities.

 

GOALS

The aim of the Master of Divinity program is fourfold:

1. to assist all students in the program to grow in a deeper understanding of and commitment to the liberating Gospel of Christ and the life of the church;

2. to enable all participants to appropriate and to interpret responsibly the primary sources and classic traditions of the Christian faith;

3. to develop and to foster in all students the many practical skills necessary to relate the Gospel of Christ effectively to the concrete situations confronting the life and ministry of the contemporary church;

4. to produce not only well trained pastors but also credible scholars, enabling them over time, to build upon the basic foundation of this program, to pursue advanced theological study or specialized ministries for the enrichment of the church in mission.

OBJECTIVES

The faculty of Lutheran Theological Seminary Saskatoon identifies the following objectives to meet these goals:

1. to provide all students with the opportunity to complete the Biblical Language tutorial program in Biblical Hebrew or New Testament Greek, to help them satisfy the language prerequisite for the required exegetical component of the degree

2. to promote a fuller understanding of the Church’s historic and confessional witness to the Gospel and an awareness of how that witness is operative within the Canadian and ecumenical context.

3. to acquaint students with the essentials of Lutheran theology and various approaches to theology and hermeneutics, with a view to develop in them the capacity to think theologically and critically.

4. to familiarize students with the ethical norms underlying Christian responsibility and conduct as presented in the Scriptures and as historically interpreted in the church.

5. to foster a critical awareness of contemporary issues, to practice social analysis and to encourage students to make these issues central to their life and ministry.

6. to help students become informed of current trends in theological reflection and study.

7. to engender foundational perspectives, resources, and skills for the practice of the liturgical and homiletical dimensions of the ordained ministry in the Lutheran church.

8. to introduce students to the theology, nature, and practice of pastoral care and counselling.

9. to instruct students in the stewardship and administration of parish life.

10. to introduce students to the theology and practice of Christian educational ministry.

11. to promote educational opportunities for students who wish to pursue a specific area of concentrated study or interest under faculty direction.

13. to provide students with opportunities for the practice of pastoral ministry and for integrative reflection on these experiences.

12. to involve students in disciplines of spiritual formation including planning and leading daily chapel worship.

13. to provide times, opportunities and forums to reflect upon and discuss issues of concern.

14. to provide all students exposure to the wider global community by providing courses in mission and evangelism and requiring a cross-cultural experience.

 

REQUIREMENTS FOR ADMISSION

1. For ELCIC students - Endorsement from the Committee for Theological Education and Leadership (CTEL). For students of other denominations - a letter of endorsement from their judicatory.

2. Completion of Application for Admission and submit supporting documents (photograph, biography, medical report, application fee ($75) and other requested information).

3. Attainment of the Bachelor of Arts degree, or its equivalent, from a recognized college or university, together with the official transcript.

4. A demonstrated working knowledge of at least one biblical language. This prerequisite must be fulfilled by completing successfully a six-credit class in Hebrew or Greek on a non-credit basis or by successfully completing a Language Competency exam which occurs during the fall semester of the academic year.

This prerequisite must be completed prior to the beginning of the Year A course of study. It may be completed through a Biblical Language course prior to the Year A courses, during the Year B course of study, during Summer Language School, or prior to enrolling at LTS.

5. A World Religions course is strongly recommended

6. The receipt of four letters of reference on behalf of the student.

7. Documentation of criminal records check and child abuse registry check (if available).

8. Be able to meet the “Essential Skills and Attributes Required for Study in Theological Degree Programs,” as listed in the Academic Calendar.


REQUIREMENTS FOR GRADUATION

Upon recommendation of the faculty, the MDiv degree is granted to students who have fulfilled all degree requirements, including:

1. a demonstrated competence in at least one biblical language through the successful completion of the required exegetical courses in either the Old or New Testament.

2. an accumulated average of not less than 65% over the three or four years of classroom study.

3. successful completion of the required cross-cultural immersion experience, the CPE/PCE unit and the supervised pastoral internship.


REQUIRED CURRICULUM (A SUMMARY)

27 three-credit courses and 3 one-credit courses

BIBLICAL

6 three-credit courses

BL 231 Pentateuch: God Calls and Liberates

BL 224 Psalms: God Listens

BL 228 Isaiah and the Prophets: God Acts for Justice

BL 276 OR 277 OR 278: The Gospel for the Lectionary Year: God Incarnate

BL 272 Galatians OR BL 275 Romans: God Justifies

BL 283 Pastoral Epistles and Revelation: God Cares

CHURCH HISOTRY AND HISTORICAL THEOLOGY

4 three-credit courses

HA/HL 111 The Story of Christianity, Part 1: Early and Medieval

HA/HL 112 The Story of Christianity, Part 2: Reformation and Modern

HL 248 Confessional Lutheranism in the Canadian Context

SL 120 Lutheran Confessions

SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY, ETHICS

5 three-credit courses

SL/PL 155 Globalization Ethics

SL 210 Theology I

SL 211 Theology II

SL 338 Contemporary Ethics: Lived Confessions in the World

One Course on Contemporary Theologians

PASTORAL THEOLOGY

3 three-credit courses

PL 115 Introduction to Liturgy

PL 215 Introduction to Homiletics

PL 230 Pastoral Care and Counselling

PASTORAL INTERNSHIP/ELECTIVES

9 three-credit courses

PL260 Christian Education: Formation, Teaching Theology

PL261 Christian Educaton: Formation, Teaching the Bible

One Systematic Theology OR Ethics OR History elective

One course in Leadership in the Parish

One course in Outreach Ministry

One course in Advanced Homiletics OR Liturgy OR Pastoral Care

One Biblical elective

One open elective

CL399 Capstone Course: Biblical Proclamation in Parish Ministry

COLLOQUIA COURSES

3 one-credit required courses (prior to Pastoral Internship)

CL 100 Orientation: God Speaks: the Theology of the Word

CL 101 God Speaks: the “I AM” texts and Creedal Formation

CL 102 Globalization/Cross Cultural Immersion Practicum (field component of SL/PL 155 Globalization/Ethics) (The cross-cultural/immersion practicum is described here.)

MDiv Academic Tracking Form

 

COMPREHENSIVE EXAMS

At the end of academic Years A and B (and prior to Pastoral Internship), the student will be examined by the faculty in an approximately one-hour interview. The examination will cover those subjects covered during the course of the year just completed. Students are advised to pay particular attention to the outcomes section of the course syllabi as a study guide. A grade of Pass, Pass with conditions, or Fail will be assigned. Students must pass both examinations for Year A and Year B to qualify for pastoral residency. If a grade of Pass with conditions is assigned, the faculty and student will work out a plan to address the conditions noted, along with an approved timeline for the completion of the work required.

INTERNSHIP (18-20 months)

Students are eligible for an internship once they have completed all the pre-intern classes in Year A and B, along with one CPE unit. The internship normally occurs in a congregation under a supervising pastor. The seminary's Director of Contextual Education, the faculty, the supervising pastor, and congregational representatives are closely involved in the initial placement, progress assessment and final evaluation of the intern and intern site.

While the final nine academic courses (for interns) are similar to the first two years of academic courses, intern students are expected to work proficiently with a well-integrated perspective on the practice of the ministry. It is planned that each of these nine academic courses will be offered as one week intensives. The assignments for these courses are focussed on integrating their learnings into the intern site in which they are engaged, through teaching, preaching or working on special projects with the internship community.

CPE/PCE

CPE/PCE involves enrolment in an approved three-month program of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) or Pastoral Counselling Education (PCE), usually during the summer months. Students may also take an extended CPE unit, which is spread over eight months during the academic year, while taking a reduced course load. In CPE, students minister to persons in clinical settings, share and evaluate their individual experiences, and receive feedback from both peers and supervisors. The final evaluation of each CPE/PCE unit is shared with the student, who subsequently shares it with the seminary. CPE/PCE needs to be completed before the pastoral residency year.

Students normally complete this component in the summer following the first year of study, or in the summer of the second year. Students may also consider taking their CPE/PCE before they begin seminary, since it is not always easy to get into the program in Saskatoon. Students may need to find a placement outside of Saskatoon.

Further details on the MDiv curriculum are found in the academic calendar.

 

JUDICATORY CONTACTS

Each ELCIC student’s course of study is encouraged and monitored by her/his respective synodical CTEL (Committee on Theological Education and Leadership). Prior to graduation, candidates for ministry in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) are recommended by the faculty for call .

Students from other theological traditios should be in regualr contact with their own ecclesiastical authorities.