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Master of Divinity

A Degree for the Priesthood

This degree is designed to be completed by seminarians while they are fulfilling the core requirements of the Ordination Formation Curriculum. It may also be adapted to serve as a professional preparation for those who desire to serve the Church in other areas of ministry, but who are not called to the priesthood.

Seminary

Mount St. Mary’s Seminary is a school of faith, discipleship and learning that prepares men for the Catholic ministerial priesthood. We strive to be a spiritual place that fosters a way of life and provides an atmosphere for excellent priestly formation in all its aspects: human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral.

  • Undergraduate Major
  • Undergraduate Minor
  • Certificate
  • Graduate Program
  • Adult Undergraduate
  • Special Program

M.Div. Purpose

The Master of Divinity (M.Div.) is a fully-accredited graduate-level professional ministerial degree. It aims to instill in its students a thorough understanding of the Catholic theological heritage and of its faithful contemporary expression, an enriched practice of the Catholic spiritual life, growth in human maturity, and the acquisition of the skills for effective pastoral ministry.

The foundation of the M.Div. is our ordination curriculum.

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Primary Goals of the Program

The degree program aims to prepare seminarians to share in a special way in the three-fold office of Christ: teaching the Gospel, celebrating the divine mysteries, and shepherding God’s people. The degree demands:
  • a knowledge of the Catholic religious heritage
  • an understanding of the contemporary setting for evangelization
  • the human and spiritual dimensions of priestly formation
  • the pastoral qualities and skills necessary for service as priests

Find more details about the program in our catalog.

Seminary Catalog (.pdf)

M.Div. Course Content

Participation in all dimensions of the formation program: human, intellectual, pastoral, and spiritual, is mandatory.  Candidates for the M.Div. degree must maintain a GPA of at least 2.0 while completing no fewer than 90 credits for the courses in the full Ordination Curriculum, including a minimum credit distribution of basic core courses: 
  • 3 credits in Pastoral Theology (PATH)
  • 6 credits each in Canon Law (CANL), Liturgy/Spirituality (LITY/SPIR), Pastoral Field Educations (PFED)
  • 12 credits each in Church History (CHUR), Moral Theology (MORL)
  • 15 credits each in Sacred Scripture (SCRP), Systematic Theology (SYST)

Educational Resources and Learning Strategies

  • Location/Duration:  The M.Div. program requires a minimum of three academic years of full-time work or its equivalent, including a one-year residency requirement. Degree requirements must be completed within ten years of matriculation.
  • Distinctive Resources Needed:  Priest, lay, and religious faculty members combine scholarly credentials and pastoral experience in their courses, and there are many opportunities for formal and informal community interaction with the candidates. Seminary faculty serve as formation advisors, and spiritual directors are available from a list approved by the seminary Spiritual Director. All M.Div. degree candidates have full access to the library and information technology, learning services, writing center, ESL support, supervised pastoral field education placements, and all other aspects of campus life. 

The Seminarian Handbook gives detailed information about Formation Advising, Academic Norms, MAPS procedures, Pastoral Formation, the SGA Constitution, etc.

Download the Seminarian Handbook (.pdf)

Learning Outcomes and Educational Assessment

  • The M.Div. degree program aims to prepare seminarians to share in a special way in the three-fold office of Christ: teaching the Gospel, celebrating the divine mysteries, and shepherding God’s people.  The primary processes and practices leading to student attainment of these goals and assessment of that attainment are identified in the description of the Intellectual Formation program.
  • The Seminary believes that these goals, specified in the Program of Priestly Formation (2006) together with the goals identified in the other dimensions of formation: human, spiritual and pastoral) meet and surpass the four identified areas of ATS Degree Program Standard A for the M.Div. degree program. There are listed the following four categories which are further specified in A.2.2, A.2.3, A.2.4, and A.2.5. The nomenclature of the Association of Theological Schools lists four program content categories for the M.Div. degree program as follows: 1) a knowledge of the Catholic religious heritage; 2) an understanding of the contemporary setting for evangelization; 3) the human and spiritual dimensions of priestly formation; 4) the pastoral qualities and skills necessary for service as priests
  • The seminary treats the first and second ATS content categories as specified by our 13 goals of intellectual formation.  The third program content category is incorporated into the human and spiritual dimension and its goals.  The fourth content category is addressed by those goals identified in the pastoral formation dimension.  Of course the PPF and the standards of accreditation are not isolated content “silos” but are integrated into one formation program, and program and student achievement must reflect integration. (PPF 82, 112-115, 164, 241, ATS ES 1.2.1 and A.1.3.2.).
  • Details of for the educational assessment of candidates in all areas of formation are found in the Seminary's "Formation Program: Assessment Plan." 

Dual-Degree Options

Qualified Seminary students may enroll in one of two dual-degree programs each with its own focus, entrance requirements, curriculum, and concluding exercise. Students may choose between an M.Div./M.A.(Theology) or an M.Div./S.T.B. combination.

Learn more about our Seminary dual-degree program offerings.

Dual Degree options

M.Div. Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree (or the equivalent) from an appropriately accredited institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (or by the Congregation for Catholic Education in Rome)
  • Completion of a minimum of 30 undergraduate credits in philosophy (see Pre-Theology Formation Program for suggested titles).
  • All seminarians in theology are enrolled in the Master of Divinity degree program and must fulfill the seminary admission procedures. All other students who meet admission requirements must declare their degree program upon application.
  • Candidates with prior transferable credits in courses equivalent to basic core requirements may be accepted in an advanced theology class year. No more than 45 transfer credits may be accepted towards the M.Div. degree. All applicants must submit official transcripts showing prior work to be reviewed by the seminary academic dean and seminary registrar. All course credits applied to the M.Div. degree should be earned (at the Mount or another appropriately accredited graduate-level institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or by the Congregation for Catholic Education in Rome) within ten years of the awarding of the degree. 
  • Mature candidates with evidence of significant professional, military, academic, continuing education may be admitted at the discretion of the seminary academic dean. Prerequisite coursework may be waived based on the judgment that this evidence provides the well-founded hope of the ability to actively pursue and complete the degree.
  • To be considered transferable, credits must be earned with a minimum grade of “C” (2.0), from an appropriately accredited graduate-level institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or by the Congregation for Catholic Education in Rome. Transfer credits are not calculated into the final GPA calculations for the M.Div. degree.
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