Theology Programs

Master of Divinity (M.Div.) Detailed Program Description

Students currently enrolled in the M.Div. must consult the DSPT Student Handbook pdf for program details.

Preparatory Coursework. The M.Div. program presupposes a basic foundation in philosophy such as that provided in the DSPT philosophy program as well as an introduction to Scripture. Consequently, it is highly recommended that all applicants to the M.Div. program complete 18 semester units of philosophy and 6 units of Scripture as indicated in the Course Requirements Checklist pdf. Applicants to the MDiv program who lack this philosophy background may complete the work by first enrolling as a Special Student and indicating such in the MDiv application.

The M.Div. degree is a three-year program which requires a total of 78 semester units: 69 units of core courses, and 9 units of electives, involving both academic and pastoral work. Students must also complete all of the assessment portfolio requirements as described in the DSPT Student Handbook pdf. The maximum time permitted for the completion of the M.Div. program is eight years, computed from the date of initial registration in the pro­gram. Students are required to maintain a 2.3 grade point average.

Coursework. All M.Div. students must take at least one-third of the total required coursework from DSPT, and are encouraged to take one-third from outside DSPT. In addition to required courses, electives are also taken according to particular needs and interests, and are normally related to theology. Up to 6 units of any combination of the following languages may be used as electives in the M.Div. pro­gram: Hebrew, Greek, intermediate or advanced Latin, and intermediate or advanced Spanish.

In order to meet the course distribution requirements of the Program of Priestly Formation pdf (PPF), clerical ministry students are encouraged to take their elective courses in the areas of Holy Orders, the Letter to the Hebrews, spirituality, Mariology, and missiology.

The Course Requirements Checklist pdf provide a detailed list of all coursework required for the program.

The following list provides an overview of the course requirements including core course offerings (69 units), and electives (9 units). Details can be found in the M.Div. Course Requirements Checklist pdf. Unless otherwise noted, all M.Div. courses are offered annually. Some courses cycle on a regular basis. Students should consult the Three Year Course Schedule for Theology pdf for the most recent schedule of cycled courses. Students may fulfill these course requirements through similar course offerings at other GTU schools, if available. However, students should consult first with their Faculty advisor to determine that these alternative courses meet DSPT program requirements.

Historical Theology - 6 units

  • History of Christianity I (3)
  • History of Christianity II (3)

Sacred Scripture - 12 units (6 units in each OT & NT)



  • NT 1003, Introduction to New Testament (3) - Students must take this course before taking NT courses.
  • Synoptic Gospels (3)
  • Johannine Corpus (B) (3)
  • Pauline Corpus (3)

Systematic Theology - 27 units

Dogmatic Theology

  • Theology: Method & Structure (3)
  • Historical Development of Christology (3)
  • Trinity (A) (3)
  • Theology of Sacraments (B) (3)
  • Special Topics in Sacraments (B) (3)
  • Theological Anthropology (A) (3)

Moral Theology

  • Moral Theology Fundamental Moral Theology (3)
  • Roman Catholic Sexual Ethics (B) (3)
  • Roman Catholic Social Teaching (B) (3)

Pastoral Theology - 24 units

  • Preaching (6)
  • Liturgy (3)
  • Canon Law/ Marriage (FST) (3)
  • Confessional Ministry (A) (1.5)
  • Celebration of the Sacraments (A) (1.5)
  • Pastoral Counseling (3)
  • Field Education (6)

Electives - 9 units

Total - 78 units

Field Education. There are three components to the FieldEducation (Field Ed) portion of the pastoral ministry component of the 1) actual ministry; 2) regular on-site ministry supervision; and 3) theological reflection. All three components are credited according to the following norms: approximately 40 hours total from these three components is equivalent to one credit-hour. Students normally engage in 4-6 hours per week of active supervised ministry. Students in the DSPT Master of Divinity programmust complete the following:

  • 3 continuous units (one full year) of Field Education, Level I, at DSPT (FE 1040/1041).
  • A second 3-unit (one-year) sequence of Field Education, Level II, at DSPT (FE 2140/2141);
  • OR, Pastoral Ministry Internship (FE 2150), a year-long supervised ministry experience (see “Substitutions,” below).

The Director of Field Education advises students in their field education work and supervises this aspect of the student's program, including the integration of apostolic work, on-site supervision, and theological reflection seminars. Through seminars and dialogue with on-site Supervisors, the Field Education Director enables Supervisors to better assist students under their direction. The Field Education Director is also responsible for developing and maintaining a Handbook of DSPT Field Education Placement Sites and a Field Education Handbook describing the role and function of the Director, Supervisors, and any theological reflection leaders.

Field Education Review. A ministry learning contract for supervised ministry which is done during the program along with a written summary report from the onsite supervisor on the student's performance is submitted to the student's advisor by the Field Ed instructor.

Field Education Substitutions. Students enrolled in the DSPT Master of Divinity program may make the substitutions noted above for FE 2140 and FE 2141 according to the following guidelines and procedures.
Prerequisites. Criteria for determining acceptability of the substitution belongs to the director of the Field Education program in consultation with the Academic Dean. Students must meet the following criteria before substitution can be granted:

  • 3 continuous units (one full year) of Field Education, Level I, (FE 1040/1041);
  • Submit a formal written petition to the Academic Dean for the substitution;
  • Students who plan to petition for permission to enroll in FE 2150 must provide written evidence that on-site supervision has been arranged and will be conducted on a regular basis throughout the pastoral internship year.

Process for Pastoral Ministry Internship Substitution. Students should follow the guidelines for FE 2150 as described in the GTU Course Schedule. The Academic Dean will determine the final criteria which must be fulfilled to receive academic credit for the year-long supervised ministry.

All questions about substitutions should be directed to the Academic Dean.

M.Div. students may also enroll concurrently in a MA (Theology) degree program, completing both degrees in a minimum of four years. For details, see the program description under Concurrent M.Div./MA (Theology).

M.Div. Complementary Curriculum. Students may pursue the complementary curriculum in addition to the three-year M.Div. program. It allows clerical ministry students to complete the four years of theological study canonically required for ordination in the Roman Catholic Church and substantially to fulfill the course requirements of the Program of Priestly Formation (PPF) pdf which are not entirely met by the three-year M.Div. program. Students in the Complementary Curriculum take an additional 15 units of course­work divided as follows: 3 units in Sacred Scripture, 9 units in systematic theology, and a 3 unit elective.