Master of Divinity (Pastoral and General Ministries)


The mission of the Master of Divinity degree program is to equip servant leaders for making disciples worldwide by developing in them an accurate knowledge of the Word of God, the skills necessary to communicate the Gospel effectively, and character worthy of the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ for the leading of the church.

Pastoral and General Ministries Specialization Mission

Provides preparation for a variety of professional ministries including pastor, associate pastor, youth pastor, women's ministries, college and seminary teaching and other leadership roles. (Students anticipating a graduate or undergraduate teaching career will need to pursue advanced studies beyond the Master of Divinity program.)

Program Description

The Master of Divinity curriculum at Talbot School of Theology is designed to foster the purpose for which the seminary was established — education for the propagation of the faith. This purpose entails an accurate knowledge of the Word of God — the source of faith and the effective means of its communication. The course of study is therefore designed around these two basic foci.

Believing firmly that God in love and grace has provided an answer for the needs of the world in Jesus Christ, and that this Jesus is the Christ of the Scriptures, Talbot emphasizes a knowledge of the content of the Word of God. In order that the Word may be known and expounded accurately and authoritatively, matters of biblical background, including the languages of the Old and New Testaments, are studied. Sound principles of literary interpretation are also explored as a basis for the interpretation of the Scriptures. On the basis of such interpretation there comes systematic study so as to organize various parts of the Word into theological categories.

Since the faith of today does not stand alone but is rooted in past centuries during which God has preserved and instructed His people, cognizance of this heritage is taken in a study of the history of the Church and its doctrine. Previous interaction between faith and the world provides a basis for understanding modern times.

It is the seminary's aim that this knowledge of the faith first grip the life of the student and then motivate the student to share it with the world. In accord with this latter aim instruction is given in vital areas of ministry and communication. From the preparation and delivery of sermons to individual involvement in counseling, the curriculum is designed to provide instruction that will facilitate propagation of the faith in the various fields of God's call. Opportunity is also given for the development of ministry skills as principles are applied in the context of ministry in the Church.

With recognition that the Great Commission commands the Church to go into the world to minister to all peoples, the cross-currents of modern thought are considered relevant to the preparation of God's minister. Throughout the course of instruction, interaction is provided with various perspectives for the purpose of inculcating their contributions and understanding their divergences. All the while they are measured by the pattern of the Word.

Talbot's program focuses on the entire person and is meant to contribute to personal spiritual formation as well as cognitive awareness and the development of ministry skills. The curriculum is structured to develop sustainable habits that can be continued in life and ministry after graduation. The various components of the curriculum are designed to complement one another and to reinforce basic principles to which students have been exposed in other parts of their seminary program. A goal of the program is to equip students to think biblically and to respond appropriately to the variety of challenges of life and ministry.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Master of Divinity, students will be able to:

  1. Identify the basic contents of all books of the Old and New Testaments and the broad historical and cultural background information relevant to the study of the Old and New Testaments (ULO 1).
  2. Exegete and apply a biblical text properly through application of historical-grammatical hermeneutics (ULO 3).
  3. Explain the major doctrines of Christianity, including their biblical basis, historical development, and contemporary relevance (ULO 1).
    1. Explain the basic elements of Spiritual Theology, namely, the nature, process, and practices of spiritual growth (ULO 1).
    2. Demonstrate how knowledge of self integrates with knowledge of God in one's own life (ULO 2).
    3. Demonstrate relational skills that develop community (ULO 3).
    4. Articulate how the biblical teaching on vocation shapes one's own understanding of vocation and gainful employment (ULO 1, 2, 3).
  5. Prepare and present sermons demonstrating biblical accuracy, oral clarity and contemporary relevance (ULO 3).
  6. Students will demonstrate ministry skills in areas such as evangelism, administration, teaching, counseling, and worship (ULO 3).

Each Program Learning Outcome (PLO) listed above references at least one of the University Learning Outcomes (ULO 1, 2, 3), which may be found in the General Information section of this catalog.

Admission Requirements

All applicants must hold the Bachelor of Arts degree, or its academic equivalent, with a 2.6 (on a 4.0 scale) grade point average. Those not meeting this latter requirement, if accepted, will be placed on probation. Graduates from approved unaccredited colleges, if accepted, will be granted provisional acceptance, though exceptions may be made when the grade point average is 3.0 or higher. Graduates from approved unaccredited colleges may be required to take additional liberal arts course work (not applicable toward the graduate degree) if their undergraduate program did not include these courses.

Combined B.A. - M.Div. Program

Students in Biola University's Bachelor of Arts in Bible, Theology, and Ministry with a concentration in Divinity may take graduate courses in their senior year, allowing the completion of a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Divinity in an accelerated format. See the Bachelor of Arts in Bible, Theology, and Ministry for the undergraduate portion of the accelerated B.A. - M.Div. program.

Specialization Requirements

Changes of specialization may be authorized under certain circumstances prior to the completion of 40 credits, but are discouraged after that point.

Advanced Standing

Applicants who have taken undergraduate courses in biblical or theological studies may request advanced standing based on collegiate work. See Talbot Admissions Requirements for details.

Graduation Requirements

  1. Satisfactorily complete 79 semester credits.
  2. Take the courses prescribed in the Master of Divinity curriculum.
  3. Complete the requirements in the specialization below, including co-curricular requirements.
  4. Students without previous courses in Old Testament Survey and New Testament Survey must take TTBE 519 and TTBE 520, which are not for credit unless taken in place of general elective credits.

  5. Complete the online introduction to theological research and writing by the end of the second semester.

  6. At least 50% of the total credits required for the degree program must be completed at this seminary, calculated prior to applying any advanced standing or transfer credit.
  7. The M.Div. program can be completed in three years. For those who need to extend the program, contact the department for advising on a four-year curriculum for the Master of Divinity in Pastoral and General Ministries specialization.
  8. Must have a 2.5 cumulative GPA with no grade below a "D-".
  9. Meet with graduate academic records and degree specialist in the Office of the Registrar one year prior to graduation to declare intent to graduate. (See Graduate Graduation Check description in the Admission, Enrollment and Graduation Requirements section.)

Biblical Languages Requirement

Two biblical languages are required: Greek and Hebrew.


The courses listed below are required. Qualifying examinations to test out of TTNT 501 or TTNT 502 are available to all interested students. Depending on exam results, a student may enroll directly into TTNT 502 or TTNT 503. For any language courses waived by a qualifying examination, the student should take an equal number of credits in the New Testament department (3 or 6).

TTNT 501Beginning Greek I3
TTNT 502Beginning Greek II3
TTNT 503Introduction to Exegesis3
TTNT 604Exegesis in the Gospels3
or TTNT 605 Exegesis in the Epistles


The courses listed below are required. Qualifying examinations to test out of TTOT 603 or TTOT 604 are available to all interested students. Depending on exam results, a student may enroll directly into TTOT 604 or TTOT 703. For any language courses waived by the qualifying examination, the student should take an equal number of credits in the Old Testament department (3 or 6).

TTOT 603Elements of Hebrew I3
TTOT 604Elements of Hebrew II3
TTOT 703Introduction to Hebrew Exegesis3
TTOT 722Hebrew Exegesis2

Curriculum Requirements

Prerequisite Courses 1
Old Testament Survey
New Testament Survey
Program Courses
Students enrolling in the Pastoral and General Ministries specialization will take the following courses:
TTBE 517Hermeneutics and Bible Study Methods3
TTHT 505Patristic and Medieval Theology3
or TTHT 506 Reformation and Modern Theology
or TTHT 514 Historical Theology Survey
TTNT 501Beginning Greek I3
TTNT 502Beginning Greek II3
TTNT 503Introduction to Exegesis3
TTNT 604Exegesis in the Gospels3
or TTNT 605 Exegesis in the Epistles
TTOT 603Elements of Hebrew I3
TTOT 604Elements of Hebrew II3
TTOT 703Introduction to Hebrew Exegesis3
TTOT 722Hebrew Exegesis2
TTPT 591Field Apprenticeship I1
TTPT 609Expository Preaching3
TTPT 707Foundations of Pastoral Care and Counseling2
TTSF 501Introduction to Spiritual Theology and Formation3
TTSF 503Personal Foundations for Spiritual Formation3
TTSF 504Spiritual Formation, Vocation, and the Disciplines1
TTSF 505Talbot Spiritual Direction I0
TTSF 506Talbot Spiritual Direction II0
TTTH 521Theology I: God, Scripture, Creation3
TTTH 522Theology II: Christ, Humanity, Sin, Salvation3
TTTH 623Theology III: Spirit, Church, Last Things3
Pastoral and General Ministries Specialization Courses
TTPT 592Field Apprenticeship II0
TTPT 602Pastoral Ministry3
TTPT 610Contemporary Biblical Preaching3
TTPT 691Field Apprenticeship III0
TTPT 703The Church and Society3
TTPT 730Biblical Leadership and Management3
TTPT 791Field Apprenticeship IV1
Select two of the following:6
Introduction to World Missions
Evangelism and Disciple-Making Strategies
Developing Strategic Church Ministries
Elective Courses
General elective courses9
Total Credits79

TTBE 519 Old Testament Survey and TTBE 520 New Testament Survey are prerequisites for this degree. To meet the prerequisite, students must have received a "C" or higher in approved undergraduate or graduate survey courses from a regionally accredited institution. Students who enroll without the prerequisite courses must take TTBE 519 and TTBE 520 before graduating. Credits from these courses may count as general electives, or may add to the length of the program if electives are not available.