Students may combine the Master of Divinity and Master of Arts degrees to form a joint MDiv/MA degree. This is especially attractive to students who are preparing for a teaching ministry or those who are training for parish ministry and wish to pursue an area of particular interest before seeking a call.
The joint MDiv/MA degree requires a minimum of 105 credits, normally completed in four years of full-time study or a maximum of six years part-time study. Course and Degree requirements must satisfy those of the GTU MA program and the PSR MDiv program, sharing at most 24 credits. For a student enrolled in the MDiv program at PSR, PSR is the Common MA school of affiliation.
For the MA Section of the Degree
The MA degree requires a total of 48 credits: 14 three-unit academic courses plus six units of thesis work. Two years of residence are required for satisfactory completion of the degree, and students must maintain an overall “B” average. Letter grades of B- or above in all of the 14 courses are required. The course distribution in the common MA follows:
- Area 1: Old and New Testament Studies (BS, OT, or NT), 3 credits
- Area 2: Historical Studies (HS), 3 credits
- Area 3: Systematic and Philosophical Theology (PH, PT, ST), 3 credits
- Area 4: Ethics and Social Theory or Religion & Society (CE, RS), 3 credits
- Area of Concentration courses: 12 credits (6 of which must be advanced level, 4000 or above)
- Electives, 18 credits
- Thesis (MA 5000), 6 credits
MA students with an area of concentration of Biblical Languages have different course distribution requirements and an oral examination requirement rather than a thesis.
For the MDiv Section of the Degree
Required courses (54 credits)
Required courses must be at least 3.0 credits each and must be taken for a letter grade, unless otherwise specified. These required areas listed usually cannot be fulfilled by taking just any course in that area, but only by taking either the specific PSR course listed in your worksheet or a course/course-combination that is listed on the academics MDIV alternatives 15-16 published each year. All the below are 3 credits, unless otherwise noted.
Biblical Studies (9 credits)
- Old Testament (OT) OT 1115 or OT 8114 1st year Fall
- New Testament (NT) NT 1016 1st year Fall
- Upper Level Biblical Studies Any 3-credit course 2000-level or above with “BS, OT, or NT” in course number; anytime after intro OT and NT basic courses are completed
History, Theology, and Ethics (9-12 credits)
- History (HS) HS 8100 or 1120 1st year Spring
- Theology (ST) ST 2160 2nd year Fall
- Ethics (CE) CE 1051 2nd year Spring
- Upper-level Theology (for students entering Fall 2010 or later:) Any 3 credit 2000-level or above course with “ST” in the course number; anytime after Theology requirement is completed
Field Education (6 credits)
- Field Education 1005 (FE) | 2nd year Fall
- Field Education 1006 (FE) | 2nd year Spring
Formation for Religious Leadership (6 credits)
- Spiritual Formation (SP) SPFT 1082 or 1080 (1.5 credits) 1st year; 1st half of Fall
- Leadership (FT) FT 2923 or FTRS 2973 3rd year Fall
- Senior Integrative Seminar (MDV) MDV 4500 or 8400 3rd year; 1st half of Spring
Cultural Resources for Ministry (9 credits)
- Art and Religion (RA) RA 1156 1st year Spring
- Faith Tradition other than Christianity (HR) Any 3-credit HR course that centers around a religion whose main text is not the “Christian Bible.” Examples of eligible religions the course should be in: Buddhism, Sufism, Judaism, Islam. Examples of religions not eligible for this requirement: Mormonism, Evangelical religions | Any year, any term
- Contextual/Cross-Cultural Immersion see list of approved immersions |Intersession any year
Ministerial Practices for Leadership (12 credits)
- Christian Worship (LS) LS 1201 1st year Spring
- Homiletics (HM) HM 2244 2nd year Fall
- Christian Education (ED) ED 8135 or 1530 2nd year Spring
- Pastoral Care (PS) PS 1060 3rd year Spring
Electives (27 credits)
Elective courses do not need to be taken for letter grade, but letter grades are recommended for those planning to do post-masters level work such as enrolling in a doctoral program in the future.
- Guided Electives/Area of Concentration (12 credits)
These are upper-level courses in an academic area or interdisciplinary field that continue work done in required courses. Students determine their areas in consultation with their advisors, and areas may include but are not limited to those found on the PSR Faculty Expert Areas page.
- General Electives and Denominational Requirements (15 credits)
Each denomination has a unique set of requirements to be fulfilled by persons seeking ordination. The MDiv degree is just one of those requirements. It is your responsibility to learn what particular course work in church polity, languages, field education, and internships might also be required for ordination and what you can fulfill during your course of study at PSR.
We provide the church polity courses and field education required by the United Church of Christ, United Methodist Church, and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Students seeking ordination in other denominations may fulfill church polity, language, and internship requirements at other GTU schools or through specially designed reading courses.
Note that while the denominational courses we offer may be required for your ordination, they are not required for the MDiv and, if taken, will usually be counted as part of your electives.
Student Policies Catalog
Statement of Understanding
Master of Arts
- MA Handbook 2014-2015 year
- Student Policies Catalog
- Common MA Checklist
- Common MA: Biblical Languages Concentration Checklist
- Other MA forms and guidelines
- General GTU policies, forms, and guidelines