The diverse curriculum of the Master of Divinity degree is designed, not only to provide students with the academic and practical formation necessary for the practice of ministry, but also to provide tools for the continual formation of the student. The GST is interested in forming the whole student, body, mind and soul. Here are some of the ways the M.Div. curriculum provides the personal development necessary for future careers in ministry:
Graduates will demonstrate growth in Christian character essential for ministerial faithfulness and effectiveness. The GST has adopted a set of classroom virtues that ground our learning community. Some of these virtues include: humility, honesty, openness, courage, wisdom, and prayerfulness. The classroom experience at the GST is aimed at cultivating such virtues in students, developing a student's character towards the end of being transformed into the likeness of God.
Graduates will have ability to lead and equip the church for its various ministries. Students will learn to employ critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making sufficient for ministerial effectiveness. As such, they should be able to teach, equip, and lead the faith development of individuals and lead the church in interpreting its orientation to the purposes of God and shaping its corporate identity.
Care of Souls
Graduates will have capacity to exercise care of souls in fitting and compassionate ways. In addition to learning information, M.Div. graduates should be able to pastor the churches and people they will be serving. Classes, mentoring, and contextual education equip students with an understanding of how to lead others towards spiritual formation.
Graduates will possess an awareness of the historical and contemporary beliefs and practices of the worldwide church, and the Stone-Campbell heritage in particular. Graduates will be able to comprehend and evaluate key figures, movements, events, and beliefs of Church History. The GST puts an emphasis on studying the full breadth of Christian History, rather than a myopic focus on western Christianity. The goal is for students to learn to critically analyze their own theological and spiritual practices and contemporary situations in relation to historic Christianity.
Graduates will have ability to integrate theology in contemporary cultural contexts. When students complete the M.Div., they should possess an ability to critically interpret the role of history and culture in the formation of theological perspective and discover and analyze the key elements of a cultural context (including congregations and culture's other than one's own) in order to construct theological proposals in accordance with the purposes of God's Kingdom and appropriately suited to particular contexts.