M.Div. Full Residence

The Master of Divinity (MDiv) is a professional degree designed to develop biblical, theological, historical, practical and contextual competencies, and to integrate these competencies in the practice of ordained leadership in congregations and related ministry settings.  The MDiv prepares students for ordained ministry in the ELCA, ordained ministry in another Christian tradition, or other rostered ministry in the ELCA especially for chaplaincy or other professions requiring a degree with 72 credit hours.

The MDiv degree program consists of 84 credit hours of coursework as well as contextual and co-curricular completion requirements.

A full-time MDiv program is defined as 12 credit hours per semester.  A normal course load is considered to be 12-15 credits per semester.  Core courses must be taken with PLTS faculty.  Substitutions to this requirement must be approved by the faculty member teaching in the area and received by the Office of the Dean.

The contextual completion requirements include Teaching Parish, Clinical Pastoral Education, and Internship.  Contextual requirements require a one-time completion of a professional boundaries workshop prior to beginning at a site. Teaching Parish is defined as 9 preparation and contact hours per week in a congregation for three semesters and receives 0.00 credit hours per semester.  Clinical Pastoral Education is normally completed in an ACPE accredited site.  Internship ordinarily consists of 40 contact hours per week over the course of twelve months [note that permission is needed from a student’s synodical candidacy for any change in the length, duration, and sequencing of internship; for placement in a specialized internship site; or for taking other coursework while on internship.].  Internship includes weekly pastoral visits, worship leadership, administrative duties, and other responsibilities as agreed upon.  Internship is or exceeds the equivalent of enrollment in full-time coursework at PLTS.  The designation of full-time academic enrollment is maintained each semester while a normal course load is considered to be 0.00 credits per semester. 

The co-curricular completion requirements include four semesters of participation in a Formation for Ministry in Community Group and an annual anti-racism training. 

A student preparing 1) for specialized lay ministry, 2) for other rostered ministry in the ELCA, or 3) for ordained ministry in another Christian tradition will be in contact with the Contextual Education Office in order to prepare a plan for how to meet the internship requirement in a way that fulfills respectively 1) the student’s vocational requirements, 2) the requirements of ELCA candidacy for other rostered ministry, or 3) the candidacy requirements of the student’s Church body or denomination.  For a student who is a member of a denomination that does not require internship, this requirement may be waived by petition to and vote by the faculty. 

A student may arrange to do a specialized thesis or project paper as part of her or his MDiv program.  Prior to making any arrangements, she or he must consult with the Office of the Dean to determine requirements and deadlines, including the procedures for proposing a thesis or project paper, for constituting an evaluation committee, and for determining completion.  A final draft of the thesis or project paper must be submitted to the evaluation committee for review by November 15 for fall graduates and April 15 for spring graduates.