Master of Divinity Curriculum FAQ

FAQs for Current Students and Alumni

Click on a tab to see relevant FAQs for each area

What changes have been made to the Master of Divinity degree?

The simplified M.Div. is now 84 credit hours:

  • 21 hours in Biblical Studies
  • 21 hours in Theological Studies
  • 21 hours in Practical Studies
  • 21 hours of unrestricted electives

Click here to view the full curriculum of the updated Master of Divinity degree.

What are Graduate Certificates?

Graduate Certificates allow you to earn specialized credentials for specific types of service as you work towards your M.Div. Click here to learn more.

What courses may count towards Graduate Certificates?

Only unrestricted elective courses may count towards Graduate Certificates. Core classes will not be eligible to count. Students pursuing an M.Div. may seek multiple certificates utilizing elective hours within the new MDiv program. See the link above to view a full list of available Graduate Certificates and their respective courses.

International students may earn up to two certificates as a residential student. The I-20 form cannot be extended beyond the 84-credit-hour program requirement for the M.Div. degree.

Am I required to switch my M.Div. to the updated program?

No. Students are not required to switch to the updated program. However, all new students beginning their studies in the Spring of 2024 will automatically be enrolled in updated programs.

How do I switch my current program to the new M.Div. and Graduate Certificate(s)?

Please complete this degree change request form located here.

Please note that no refunds will be granted for current or previous courses.

If I remain in my current M.Div. program, may I still pursue Graduate Certificates?

No. Only current students who switch into the new curriculum announced on November 6, 2023 can pursue Graduate Certificates.

If you switch into the new M.Div., any relevant courses you have already taken at SBTS will count towards Graduate Certificates. You can review courses available for each option on this webpage.

M.Div. alumni may apply to pursue additional Graduate Certificates. See “Transfer Credit” tab for more information.

May I transfer credits into a Graduate Certificate?

No, outside credits are not applicable to Graduate Certificates.

Current students: Any relevant coursework you have already completed at Southern may count towards Graduate Certificates (Only applicable to students who switch into the new M.Div.).

Alumni: You may count previous SBTS coursework towards Graduate Certificates:

  • Up to 2 previous courses can count towards standard Graduate Certificates.
  • Up to 4 previous courses can count towards an Advanced Graduate Certificate.
  • Alumni and non-current students must reapply to SBTS to pursue additional Graduate Certificates.*
    • *Must be a M.Div. alumni or current student to pursue Graduate Certificates.

When will I receive my Graduate Certificate(s)?

Students will receive a digital certificate following the ceremony at which they graduate with their Master of Divinity.

Will my MDiv come from the School of Theology or the Billy Graham School?

The new MDiv will not have a school distinction. It will come from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

If I am graduating this December, may I change to the new M.Div. program and receive Graduate Certificates?

Because these curriculum changes officially take place on January 1, 2024, those who graduate in December cannot update their program.

However, M.Div. alumni are always welcome to reapply for additional Graduate Certificates.

How will my current courses fit into the updated Master of Divinity program?

To understand how your courses will fit into the new program you may compare the courses you have already completed to the new requirements. Click here to view the requirements for the updated MDiv. You may find a list of your completed courses by referencing the Degree Audit tool listed on your account.

What will happen if I switch to the updated MDiv, but have already taken: 26200 – Southern Baptist Heritage and Mission, 40150 – Personal Spiritual Disciplines, and/or Applied Ministry?

If you switch to the updated MDiv and have already completed any courses that are not a part of the updated core, then these courses will count towards your 21 credits of Free Electives.

Will there be a new Advanced MDiv program?

Yes, there has been updates to the Advanced MDiv program as well. For more information you may visit the website here. Boyce Alumni who choose to switch into the updated Advanced MDiv will be able to receive Advanced Standing in their introductory courses based on the courses they took at Boyce College. Boyce Alumni may contact for more information regarding how advanced standing would affect their degree. If you would like to change your degree to an updated program you may complete the Degree Change Form here.

Will there be any changes to the Master of Arts programs?

Yes. Many of our MA programs will now include unrestricted electives. For more detailed information about our updated MA programs, you may visit our website here. If you would like to change your degree to an updated program:

  • To switch your program to an updated Master of Arts degree click here.
  • To switch your program to the updated Master of Divinity click here.

Will switching to the updated Master of Divinity affect my financial aid?

Students receiving institutional scholarships or grants will not be affected by switching to the new Master of Divinity if they continue to meet all pre-existing criteria for their award.

If you are receiving education benefits from the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA): You are not allowed to switch degrees, per VA regulations. This does not apply to students receiving the VA Grant, which is considered an institutional grant.

Can continuing students take advantage of the 9 credit hour residential tuition cap announced on November 6th, 2023?

Yes. Any continuing M.Div. student who takes more than 9 credit hours of residential courses will not be charged for additional residential hours starting in the Spring of 2024.

All courses must be residential (or “main campus”) for students to qualify for the tuition cap.

Do Graduate Certificates qualify me for institutional scholarships?

No. Students pursuing stand-alone Graduate Certificates (outside of the M.Div.) do not qualify for institutional aid.*

*Please note only students who already have a M.Div. from Southern Seminary (or another ATS-accredited seminary) may pursue stand-alone Graduate Certificates.

Still have questions?

Contact the Center for Student Success:


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