The Master of Divinity degree program is designed to prepare students for a wide range of Christian ministry. This program, required by many denominations for ordination, is offered at the New Brunswick campus through day and evening classes and at the St. John’s site through evening classes.
Education for ministry is not a matter of simply accumulating certain knowledge and skills. It is the beginning of a process of personal transformation whereby the student appropriates the knowledge and skills pertinent to ministry in a way that shapes the student’s self-understanding and life within the church and the world. Thus, both the integration of the diverse fields of knowledge and skill and the integration of these fields with the actual experience and practice of ministry, are essential to a theological education.
The course of study for the M.Div. falls into three major categories. The first consists of the core academic courses, grouped into three fields: Biblical Studies; Historical, Theological and Ethical Studies; Ministry Studies. The second consists of the experience and practice of varieties of ministry. This is found principally in a student’s Field Education placements, but also in the various aspects of life in the seminary community. Those courses which seek to integrate the various academic fields, and academic learning with practical experience, form the final category. The Ministeriums and required integrative courses constitute this category.
The application deadline for US students for a term is two months before the first day of the semester. The deadline for international students is six months before the first day of the semester. The applicant must:
- Hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution with an academic record indicating scholarly ability, including an undergraduate grade point average of 2.5 or higher (on a 4.0 scale).
- Official transcript(s) of all undergraduate and graduate work pursued to date is required;*
- Complete Application Form with non-refundable $50 application fee
- Complete Background Check form with $25 processing fee (for USA citizens only)
- Three letters of recommendation, one of which must be a recommendation from the applicant’s pastor; and
- Complete a statement of purpose that provides a sense of who you are and why you are interested in the program.
In addition to the admissions procedures mentioned, applicants who seek to enter the US to pursue a degree program at NBTS must:
- Submit transcripts of undergraduate degree programs*, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose written in English;
- Demonstrate their proficiency in English;
- Apply to the US Government for an F-1 non-immigrant student entry visa.
*The Admissions Committee recommends that all transcripts that originate from an institution outside the United States or Canada be sent to a professional transcript service for a course-by-course evaluation.
In order to ensure success in our degree programs, the Seminary requires that students for whom English is a second language must have their English skills evaluated prior to full matriculation in its Masters or Doctor of Ministry programs. This evaluation will determine whether additional language studies are needed to achieve the proficiency levels described below. Note, this policy does not apply to students who have graduated from a four-year college or university where the instruction was in English. There are several paths to full matriculation into the Seminary’s degree programs:
- A completed application and a TOEFL paper score of at least 550 with an essay score of at least 4 OR an Internet TOEFL score of at least 79-80.
- A completed application and an IELTS score of at least 6.0.
- Students who have not completed the TOEFL or IELTS exam may be provisionally admitted to the Seminary based on their prior academic record. Before matriculating at the Seminary, students will enroll in the Rutgers PALS (ESL), which will issue an I-20 visa. Students enrolled in, or who have completed another accredited ESL program may be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Please see more detailed information here.
Non-Traditional Master of Divinity Students (U.S. Applicants Only)
Under exceptional circumstances, a student without a baccalaureate degree may be admitted to the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) program as a non-traditional student.
Realizing that each non-traditional student has different credentials, please contact the Admissions office for information, transcript review, and aid in selecting the needed college courses. Contacting the office early in the process will allow the student to make the best choices for success in his or her seminary career. During this time before your admission to NBTS in addition to completing these college courses, we strongly recommend you be in contact with the ordaining body within your church and/or denomination about the possibility of ordination without a college degree.
Admission Requirements for Non-Traditional Students
All of the requirements for the Master of Divinity application process and:
- Be at least of 40 years of age;
- Have demonstrated distinguished service to the church and show a sense of vocation and commitment to professional ministry;
- Prepared for the M.Div. program by completing five college courses with a grade of “B” or better at an accredited college or university. These courses must cover five areas:
- English composition
- Behavioral sciences (psychology, sociology, or anthropology),
At least three of these courses must be completed with a transcript submitted and with a plan for the completion of the other two courses before the admissions committee will process the application.
This school offers programs in:
Last updated January 19, 2018