Master of Divinity
The Master of Divinity (M.Div.), is a comprehensive degree designed to meet the educational needs of persons called to professional ministerial leadership. Those who elect to pursue this Master of Divinity degree are making a major commitment to prepare for pastoral ministry, choosing to join in the adventure of discerning their gifts and preparing themselves for a life of religious leadership in an evolving church and society.
These ministers extend the religious tradition in spiritual leadership in a variety of contexts (parishes and churches, healthcare institutions, faith-based non-profit organizations, retreat centers, educational institutions, etc.) by preaching and teaching, by counseling, consoling, and offering pastoral care, by serving and challenging, by leading prayer and praying, by empowering and equipping, by prophetically pointing to injustice and by faithfully organizing for needed change. Born of the present needs for church ministers and decision-makers, this degree qualifies women and men for the new genre of pastoral leadership. The M.Div. cultivates a ministerial way of being through academic and formational requirements, which parallel the Church's traditional seminary setting. Loyola's Jesuit and university context provides the breadth and depth that tomorrow's Church requires.
The religious leaders who emerge from this M. Div. program are called upon to resource (both to mediate and to augment) the Christian Tradition. Thus, they require education and formation not only for the way things are, but also for the way things are going to be. They need to be generalists grounded in the faith tradition, but also specialists possessing the interpersonal and spiritual skills to empower others in particular settings. These persons will be leaders who can articulate in religious language their own profound experience, discern the presence of the divine in others' experience, and convoke and nurture community, accompanying others on the journey through life.
While focused primarily to prepare non-ordained people for ministerial leadership, the Loyola M. Div. program also welcomes members of religious communities, clergy, and participants from other communions committed to an academic and formational experience attuned to the diversity, mutuality, and collaboration that will characterize tomorrow's Church.
Students can pursue the degree on either a full- or part-time basis. Full-time students take three-four years to complete the program; part-time students typically complete their degree within five-six years. The typical course load is three or -four courses per semester for full-time students, with additional classes taken over two summers. The M.Div. degree cannot be completed on a summers-only basis.
The M. Div. of the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University Chicago truly assists persons in achieving a degree of difference for tomorrow's Church as it prepares people to lead extraordinary lives.