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Master of Divinity

The Master of Divinity prepares you for a future of faithful ministry. Whether you feel called to a pastoral role, overseas missions, Bible translation or something else, the M.Div. at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary will form you holistically. We seek to see you grow academically and as a follower of Jesus so that you can lead well.

The M.Div. is our most comprehensive degree; the course work is rigorous and covers areas that are essential in a variety of ministry settings, including biblical languages, interpretation of Scripture, theology, church history, spiritual formation and much more. We are passionate about serving Christ and His church by preparing ministry leaders for effective service, and our M.Div. demonstrates this commitment. To make this program accessible, a 50% is available for select M.Div students through the Pirsig Fellowship.

Degree Type

  • Master of Divinity


  • On Campus
  • Online


  • Grand Rapids
  • Online

Credit Hours

  • 94


  • Association of Theological Schools (ATS)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Follow God's Call

A seminary education is meant to form both your mind and your soul. The M.Div. program at GRTS is a journey that keeps both of these arenas of formation at the forefront.

The course work is thorough and is designed to train you to lead and serve with humility and wisdom. You’ll complete 94 credit hours in the areas of Bible, theology and ministry. We place a strong emphasis on reading the Bible on its own terms, so our students take a total of 10 courses in Greek and Hebrew grammar and exegesis. We value the great tradition of which we are a part, so M.Div. students take at least seven theology courses. We want our students to have practical experience and be connected to ministry, so they complete five ministry leadership courses as well as a four-course ministry residency sequence.

At the same time, the environment of GRTS is one of intellectual humility where character formation is central. We are deeply dependent on God and His Spirit to work in our hearts throughout the process. We study God’s word to hear His voice and to submit to His call. We worship together in chapel, and, as a community, we seek to grow more like our Lord every day.


An M.Div. will provide a wide range of opportunities for employment—whether you want to work in a church, para-church ministry, nonprofit or another Christian organization.


  • Pastoral ministry
  • International missions
  • Bible translation
  • Pastoral counseling
  • Nonprofit leadership
  • Christian Publishing
  • Ph.D. or D.Min. studies
  • Chaplaincy

Ministry Residency

Grand Rapids Theological Seminary is committed to serving Christ’s church by developing ministry leaders. Our Ministry Residency program is strategic and essential in this endeavor as it provides avenues for students to connect with ministry mentors and to serve in local churches and other ministry sites. Students put their classroom learning to practice, gain important ministry experience and learn valuable lessons in this unique experience.

  • Select a ministry setting that fits with your career goals
  • Invest four semesters in the context you choose
  • Learn from a ministry mentor
  • Earn eight credits toward your ministry degree




Of M.Div. alumni surveyed reported being vocationally employed in a ministry context or pursuing further study 6-12 months after graduation.


Scholarship offered through the Pirsig Fellowship.


Different denominations are represented in our M.Div. student body.

Courses and
Learning Outcomes

The rigorous M.Div. program at GRTS is designed to transform your heart and mind for a life of ministry. Take a look at some of the courses you’ll take as an M.Div. student.

Bible Core Courses

The Bible core of the M.Div. program consists of 35 credits. This sequence will equip you to study the Bible in its original language and context:

  • BBL-510 Greek I
  • BBL-511 Greek II
  • BBL-516 Hebrew I
  • BBL-517 Hebrew II
  • BBL-501 Biblical Hermeneutics: An introduction to the process of determining the original meaning and contemporary significance of biblical texts.
  • BBL-601 Experiencing the Ancient World of the Bible or BBL-506 The Ancient World of the Bible
  • BBL-672 N.T. I: Intro to Exegesis
  • BBL-677 N.T. II: The Gospels
  • BBL-678 N.T. III: The General Epistles
  • BBL-640 OT I: Introduction to Hebrew Exegesis
  • BBL-641 OT II: Exegesis in the Pentateuch
  • BBL-642 OT III: Exegesis in the Prophets & Writings

Theology Core Courses

  • THE-501 Program Introduction Seminar: This course prepares students for the rigors of graduate scholarship by honing the skills of graduate research, reading and writing
  • THE-540 Systematic Theology I: This course introduces and practices a metanarrative for doing theology. The biblical narratives and propositions are heard in the context of the story that begins with creation, is centered in Jesus’ first coming and reaches its culmination in the new heavens and earth
  • THE-640 Systematic Theology II: This course continues our metanarrative theology by examining the Christian story of creation, fall, redemption and consummation, with special attention given to the nature and task of humanity, the distortion of the world through sin and the redemptive work and person of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
  • THE-641 Systematic Theology III: This course will examine in detail the doctrine of salvation (soteriology), the church (ecclesiology), the basic elements of pastoral theology (internal and external call to the ministry, ordination, ministry of the word and sacraments, church discipline and pastoral spiritual formation) and the four last things (death, judgment, heaven and hell).
  • THE-676 Apologetics and Moral Issues in Christian Ministry
  • Two Historical Theology Electives

Ministry Leadership Core and General Elective Courses

  • MIN-500 Christian Spiritual Formation: An investigation into the meaning of biblical Christianity and its relationship to faith and practice within contemporary cultural contexts. Special attention is given to the corporate dimensions of spirituality and spiritual formation
  • MIN-510 Organizational Leadership
  • MIN-560 Global Impact
  • MIN-711 Program Completion Seminar
  • MIN-543 Christian Formation in the Church or MIN-545 Teaching and Learning for Christian Formation
  • Three or Four General Electives

Ministry Specialization

Pastoral Ministries

  • MIN-530 Pastoral Competencies
  • MIN-636 Homiletics I
  • MIN-637 Homiletics II
  • MIN-685 Ministry Residency I
  • MIN-686 Ministry Residency II
  • MIN-781 Ministry Residency III
  • MIN-782 Ministry Residency IV

Student & Family Ministries

  • MIN-553 Sociology of Youth and Emerging Adulthood
  • MIN-641 Foundations for Ministry to Youth and Emerging Adults
  • MIN-685 Ministry Residency I
  • MIN-686 Ministry Residency II
  • MIN-781 Ministry Residency III
  • MIN-782 Ministry Residency IV
  • COU-520 Child & Adolescent Counseling
    or COU-521 Marriage & Family Counseling

Small Group & Discipleship Ministries

  • MIN-630 Small Group Ministries
  • MIN-643 Educational Min. for Adults
  • MIN-685 Ministry Residency I
  • MIN-686 Ministry Residency II
  • MIN-781 Ministry Residency III
  • MIN-782 Ministry Residency IV
  • One of the following:
    • MIN-534 Evangelism & Discipleship Ministry
    • MIN-554 Theology of Women in Ministry
    • MIN-567 The Church’s Relationship to a Post-Christian Culture
    • COU-532 Counseling Women through the Life Cycle
    • COU-612 Group Techniques

Intercultural Ministries

  • MIN-567 The Church’s Relationship to a Post-Christian Culture
  • MIN-660 Cultural Intelligence: Multicultural Understanding
  • MIN-667 Urban and Local Development: Exegeting our Communities
  • MIN-685 Ministry Residency I
  • MIN-686 Ministry Residency II
  • MIN-781 Ministry Residency III
  • MIN-782 Ministry Residency IV

Formation & Soul Care Ministries

  • COU-500 Counseling Philosophy
  • COU-610 Counseling Techniques
  • COU-521 Marriage & Family Counseling
  • MIN-685 Ministry Residency I
  • MIN-686 Ministry Residency II
  • MIN-781 Ministry Residency III
  • MIN-782 Ministry Residency IV

Chaplaincy Ministries

  • MIN-525 Introduction to Chaplaincy
  • MIN-636 Homiletics I
  • COU-500 Counseling Philosophy
  • COU-610 Counseling Techniques
  • Ministry Elective


  • BBL-782/THE-782 Thesis Research & Proposal
  • BBL-783, BBL-784, THE-784, THE-785, or THE-786 Independent Study
  • BBL-783, BBL-784, THE-784, THE-785, or THE-786 Independent Study
  • MIN-685 Ministry Residency I
  • MIN-686 Ministry Residency II
  • BBL-792/THE-792 Master’s Thesis

Program Learning Outcomes

Through rigorous training in theology, biblical languages, exegesis, church history and interpretation of Scripture, our Master of Divinity curriculum and course work requirements are designed to enable you to achieve five learning outcomes.

Biblical Interpretation

Students will conduct disciplined biblical interpretation and application with reference to the Greek and Hebrew texts.

Basic Understanding of Christian Theology

Students will state a basic understanding of the primary elements of Christian theology.

Personal Spiritual Formation

Students will demonstrate knowledge, values and practices essential to personal spiritual formation.


Students will exhibit knowledge, values and skills essential to effective ministerial and public leadership.

Cultural Intelligence and Exegesis

Students will demonstrate basic competency in cultural intelligence and cultural exegesis.

Want to Learn More About GRTS?


GRTS is committed to making the M.Div. affordable. As a result, we offer a wide variety of scholarships that help to cover an average of 26.5% of tuition. In addition, we offer two larger scholarships.

The Pirsig Fellowship exists to support seminarians in their preparation for pastoral ministry, chaplaincy, urban ministry or missions. By combining a cohort-based learning style with a 50% tuition scholarship, the Pirsig Fellowship equips future leaders to minister and share God’s word with clarity and integrity.

The Church Planting Scholarship exists to support a seminarian who is called to plant a church. It covers 37% of tuition over four years.  Contact your admissions counselor for more information.

GRTS prepared me to be a critical thinker. Rather than just telling us the answers, they have taught us how to search for them ourselves. In a world that has issues and problems that are changing and evolving, this has been a real gift that can be used for the rest of my life.

Anthony Raffa (’19)


The M.Div. faculty at GRTS have decades of teaching and ministry experience and are prepared to both teach you and mentor you as you prepare to serve faithfully in God’s church.

Related Programs

The Master of Divinity at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary is one of several ministry-focused programs at GRTS. Take a look at the other related programs at GRTS.

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