Degrees & Programs

Calvin Seminary offers a range of degrees & programs to get you ready to act on your call to ministry—no matter what form it takes. You can prepare for ordained ministry in the church, train for specialized ministries, do advanced study, or even prepare yourself for ordained leadership in the Christian Reformed Church after studying elsewhere.

Master of Divinity (MDiv)
The Master of Divinity (MDiv) program is Calvin Seminary’s top-enrolled program, with students learning together on campus and through the distance learning program. This program is designed to prepare you for diverse ministry opportunities, from pastoral ministry to chaplaincy or missions. It combines foundational study in the biblical and Reformed theological texts, Church history and ancient languages with practical preparation and spiritual formation to make you an effective steward of the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ.Concentrations Include: Old or New Testament, Ancient Near Eastern Languages & Literature, History of Christianity, Theological Studies, New Church Development, Contextual Ministry, Evangelism & Teaching, Preaching & Worship, Pastoral Care & Leadership, or Youth & Family Ministries.Credit hours: 101 credits (includes ministry internships and January/May term courses)Number of years to complete: 3 (on campus), 5 (distance learning)
Recommended preparation: one course each in English and literature, and two each in history, philosophy, natural science, social science, and speech. In addition, you are encouraged to take four semesters of Greek.
Distance learning: Yes. Learn more.
Master of Arts (MA)
Bible and Theology
This unique program can help you deepen your understanding of Scripture, whether you’re a Bible teacher in a Christian school or a college professor wanting to understand more about the Christian faith. The program explores the Bible, systematic theology and church history in context to encourage your spiritual growth and to better equip you for your work in the world.Credit hours: 46
Number of years to complete: 1-2 (1 if you took many biblical and theological courses at the undergraduate level).
Recommended preparation: 1 course each in English, literature, philosophy, and speech and 2 each in history, natural science, and social science
Distance learning: Yes. Learn more.Specializations
If you need training in a particular area of ministry, consider one of Calvin Seminary’s five Master of Arts professional specialization programs. Each program includes a common core program of thirty-five credits, specialized courses, and electives.
Credit hours: 49
Number of years to complete: 1-2 (1.5 if you took many biblical and theological courses at the undergraduate level).
Distance learning: Yes. Learn more.MA in Educational Ministry
Calvin Seminary’s MA in Educational Ministries will equip you to provide creative leadership for educational ministry in many different contexts. Building on a solid foundation in biblical, theological, and historical studies, you will be prepared to assess and create curriculum, develop an intergenerational approach to your ministries, manage church education programs, and challenge your church to think holistically about educational ministry.

MA in Youth and Family Ministries
Understanding the dynamics of family life is essential if you are called to minister to youth and their families. The MA in Youth and Family Ministries builds on a solid core in biblical, theological, and historical studies to equip you to provide creative leadership in intergenerational faith formation. You will learn effective teaching skills, examine youth ministry models, study adolescent counseling, and explore how to integrate young people into the life of the church.

MA in Worship
The Master of Arts in Worship provides you with a rich biblical, theological, and historical foundation for providing imaginative leadership in worship. In a time of significant change in worship practices, the curriculum integrates worship theory with real life experiences to enhance your educational experience. With the resources of the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship at your fingertips, you will experience Calvin Seminary’s integrative approach to worship.

MA in Evangelism and Missions
Calvin Seminary’s MA in Evangelism and Missions will prepare you for evangelistic opportunities, church planting, and cross-cultural leadership locally or globally. You will learn how Scripture forms the foundation of missiology and ministry, how to discern the ways God is at work in the world, and how Christ gathers his church by his word and the Holy Spirit. Additionally, you will practice basic approaches to evangelism and church planting in urban, cross-cultural, and multi-ethnic contexts. You will be equipped to provide missiological leadership through effective oversight, assessment, and leadership training.

MA in Pastoral Care
Caring for people’s spiritual and emotional needs from a biblically and theologically informed perspective is essential for effective healing work to happen in their lives. Calvin Seminary’s MA in Pastoral Care equips you with the essential skills of pastoral care and counseling. You will learn to integrate biblical principles, theological perspectives, historical and educational understanding, counseling theory, and cultural discernment into your skills of pastoral care.

Master of Theological Studies (MTS)
The Master of Theological Studies (MTS) program is a flexible academic program designed to prepare you for further academic study or other careers that can be enriched by a strong theological education. You may also be interested in this program if you desire to understand the Christian faith more deeply. The MTS includes courses in Old and New Testament, Greek, Christian theology, apologetics, and more.Credit hours: 65
Number of years to complete: 2 (on campus), 3 (distance learning)
Recommended preparation: one course each in English and literature, and two each in history, philosophy, natural science, and social science. In addition, you are encouraged to take four semesters of Greek.
Distance learning: Yes. However, U.S. immigration policy currently does not permit international students to participate in the Distance Learning version of the MTS program. Learn more.
Master of Theology (ThM)
If you already have an MDiv or MTS and want to explore a specialized area of biblical or theological studies, or pastoral care, the 21-credit Master of Theology program could meet your needs. Use this program to deepen your knowledge in a certain field or to prepare for doctoral work.Concentrations include: Old Testament, Ancient Near Eastern Language and Literature, New Testament, History of Christianity, Systematic Theology, Philosophical and Moral Theology, Pastoral Care, Pastoral Leadership, Preaching, Worship, Evangelism or Educational Ministry
Credit hours: 21
Number of years to complete: 1-2
Recommended preparation: MDiv or MTS degree from an accredited institution
Distance learning: No.
ThM Handbook
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Calvin Seminary’s Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program can equip you for teaching and research in colleges, theological seminaries, and universities, as well as for general church leadership. Degrees are offered in history of Christianity, systematic theology, philosophical theology, and moral theology.
Number of y
ears to complete: 4-5, two for coursework, one to prepare for comprehensive exams, and typically one or two years for dissertation.
Residency: Required for two years to complete coursework
Distance learning: No.
Ecclesiastical Program for Ministerial Candidacy (EPMC)
The Ecclesiastical Program for Ministerial Candidacy (EPMC) is available to you if you are in an MDiv program at another seminary but seek ordination as a Minister of the Word in the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA). This ten-credit program prepares you to meet CRC synodical requirements by giving you an orientation to the theology, history, and ministry of the Christian Reformed Church and by walking with you on the final leg of your ministry formation journey.Credit hours: 10
Number of years to complete: One semester, or alternately, 24 months if you choose the EPMC non-residential program.
Preparation needed: MDiv in process at another seminary.
Distance learning: Yes. Please contact David Koll for details.For program information, see the EPMC_Handbook
Diploma for Ministry
The Diploma for Ministry is a program that may be ideal for you if you want to take graduate-level courses in Bible, theology and specific areas of ministry related to your current vocation without gaining a full masters degree. The program can also prepare you to be a commissioned pastor in the Christian Reformed Church (or similar denominations). Though the program is not accredited, courses taken can be applied to degree programs you choose to complete at a later time.Credit hours: 26-28 credits
Number of years to complete: 1
Distance learning: Yes. However, at this time, international students are not eligible to participate in the distance learning Diploma for Ministry program. Learn more.
**Note: Financial aid is not available for the Diploma for Ministry program.
Certificate Programs
The Certificate Programs provide excellent training and enrichment for church staff and volunteers, or if you are want to do graduate-level seminary study without completing a full degree.Certificates include: Ministry, Church Planting, Youth Ministry, Worship, Missions & Evangelism, Educational Ministries, Pastoral Care, English Bible and Theology.Credit hours: 15-17 credits
Number of years to complete: 1 (or less if completed all in one semester)
Distance learning: No.
**Note: Financial aid is not available for Certificate programs.
Course Descriptions
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