Master of Divinity (MDiv)


Credit Hours


Years to Complete

  • Residential
  • Hybrid

    The Master of Divinity (MDiv) program is Calvin Seminary’s top-enrolled program, designed to prepare you for diverse ministry opportunities, from pastoral ministry to chaplaincy to missions.

    Master of Divinity: An Overview

    Your home for a Reformed MDiv. Explore the kingdom of God in a streamlined program that is cohesive and applicable to your ministry.

    What Is an MDiv?

    A master’s of divinity (MDiv) degree is a comprehensive theological degree forming a solid foundation to build upon for a lifetime of ministry.

    Is an MDiv a Terminal Degree?

    A terminal degree is the highest degree in one’s field. While doctorate-level programs (for example, PhD, DMin) are available from some theological schools, the MDiv is generally regarded as the terminal degree for pastors.

    How Long Does an MDiv Take?

    The residential MDiv program at Calvin Theological Seminary is designed to be completed in 3–4 years. The distance MDiv program at Calvin Theological Seminary is designed to be completed in 5 years.

    What Can I Do with an MDiv?

    The following are just some of the vocational and ministry paths that an MDiv can prepare you for:

    • Pastor
    • Youth pastor or youth director
    • Worship pastor or worship director
    • Ministry pastor or ministry director
    • Worship pastor or worship director
    • Parachurch ministry leader
    • Denominational ministry leader
    • Nonprofit leader

    MDiv Credit Hours & Classes

    The MDiv at Calvin requires 87 credit hours.

    The MDiv program has not only challenged how I think about the Word of God, but how I apply what I've learned in my own life, and the lives of those around me.

    Zack DeBruyne, MDiv '19

    Vocational Formation9

    Cornerstone Courses8

    Core Courses49

    Elective Courses21

    Get to Know Calvin Theological Seminary

    Meet Your Faculty

    Faculty at Calvin Theological Seminary carry out the seminary’s mission as inspiring thought leaders, invested teachers and mentors, and committed followers of Christ.

    Academics & Vocational Support

    In additional to contextual learning, the Vocational Formation Office offers students the following support during their academic journey:

    Formation Groups with Peers

    Both residential and distance learning students will be placed in formation groups during their first year at Calvin Seminary. Formation groups are led by mentors from both within the seminary and the broader community. Students will learn and grow alongside their peers, meeting weekly to pray, develop, and learn together. This peer group is designed to normalize peer care and prayerful support using structured conversations and reflective assignments.

    Vocational Mentors

    Calvin Seminary's mission is to equip ministry leaders to make disciples. Part of this process is supporting students, not only as they learn about theology or best practices in ministry, but also as they learn about themselves. Just like students learn within a classroom, self-discovery happens in community. That is why each student is connected with a vocational mentor.

    Assessment Tools

    A new tool of the vocational and leadership formation initiative at the seminary is a 65-year-old, strengths-based assessment called the Birkman, a tool that both Calvin Seminary and the CRCNA’s Pastor-Church Resources office is using with promising results.

    How to Apply

    Financial Aid & Tuition Assistance

    A significant number of our students have not formally studied religion and theology prior to attending seminary. Students come from a range of educational backgrounds, from the sciences to the arts and humanities.

    Application Requirements

    General Admission Requirements

    The Registrar’s Office, with oversight from the Admissions and Standards Committee, will examine the academic, professional and ministry background of each applicant. If it is determined that an applicant would benefit from further study in a particular area, a learning plan will be developed which could include specific seminary electives or additional courses from another academic institution.

    MDiv Requirements

    Typically a bachelors degree (or its equivalent) from an accredited institution is required, as well as having a grade point average (GPA) of 2.67 (B-) or higher. Due to special circumstances, an applicant without a bachelor's degree may be considered, as is allowed by the Association of Theological Schools.

    A strong liberal arts education provides an excellent foundation for graduate level theological education. A liberal arts education shapes well-rounded, intellectually and culturally astute graduates. Therefore, it is recommended that a candidate’s baccalaureate preparation consists of courses in the liberal arts, including English, philosophy, history, literature, social science and natural science.

    For more details on admission requirements for the MDiv program, please review the MDiv section of the Academic Catalog.

    Requirements for Non-Native English Speakers

    Applicants who are non-native in English must submit official TOEFL exam results as part of their application for admission. A minimum internet-based total score of 80 with a score of 23 in the writing section is required. Use Calvin Theological Seminary's institutional code 1096 to order scores.

    International Student Admissions Requirements

    For information on international student application requirements, visit the international student information page.

    Admission Deadlines

    Applications are generally accepted on a rolling basis, but international students are encouraged to apply as early as possible to coordinate travel and immigration logistics.

    The following are general application deadline guidelines:

    • Priority Scholarship Consideration: March 1
    • International Students: June 1
    • North American Students: July 1

    Spring Term

    • November 15

    Summer Term

    • April 1

    Apply Now

    Start your MDiv journey today when you apply now.

    Request Information

    Ask a specific question about the MDiv program or application process by contacting us.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    Master of Divinity vs. Master of Theology: What’s the Difference?

    A master’s of divinity (MDiv) degree is a comprehensive theological degree forming a solid foundation to build upon for a lifetime of ministry. Once you have achieved an MDiv degree, your next step in learning may be to pursue a master’s of theology degree.

    Calvin Seminary’s Master of Theology (ThM) program is a post-MDiv program designed for advanced study and academic research in a specialized area of the theological curriculum.

    Do I Need a Degree to Become a Pastor?

    Depending on your denomination and goals, you may or may not need an MDiv degree to become a pastor. In the CRCNA, an ordained Minister of the Word needs to complete certain requirements, including the completion of an MDiv degree (see the CRCNA’s paths to ordination). Continuing education helps to form and equip pastors as they shepherd their congregations.

    What Other Jobs Can I Get with a Master of Divinity?

    In addition to the popular career paths related to the MDiv degree above, including ordained ministry, the MDiv can also enhance the following vocational paths:

    • School administrator
    • Teacher
    • Professor
    • Artist
    • Musician
    • Writer
    • Editor
    • Other (reflecting the priesthood of believers by following Christ in all fields)

    Speak with our Admissions Team

    The Admissions Office at Calvin Seminary is happy to help with any questions you might have. Please call (616) 957-7035 or email us.