Master of Divinity

The Master of Divinity (M.Div.) is the most comprehensive formational degree for ministry that ACU’s Graduate School of Theology offers. It is our shared mission to serve the church by equipping students.

The M.Div. is designed to offer you a firm grounding in scripture, history and theology as well as training in practical ministry skills such as the art of preaching and reading cultures and contexts. This graduate degree will prepare you to enter into all forms of ministry or expand your current vocation; it also provides a solid foundation for further study in Ph.D., Th.D. and D.Min programs.

Our Master of Divinity also has a Missions track.

Ready to be a part of a graduate community dedicated to helping you answer God’s calling for you? Apply now or contact us for more information today.

NOTE: This degree is available online.

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Why Master of Divinity at ACU?

  1. Through a sequence of contextual education courses, students are formed for ministry by practicing what they learn in specific ministry contexts. We believe ministry preparation cannot be “classroom only” learning nor can it be merely unguided “on the job” training.
  2. Weekly mentoring groups provide an informal setting for prayer and discussion among your peers and faculty mentors.
  3. Our faculty are internationally noted scholars who have a profound commitment to the formation of students. They are accessible and responsive to students needs and hospitable to their ideas and voice.

What outcomes can you expect?

Contemporary Culture: Graduates will have ability to integrate theology in contemporary cultural contexts
  1. Critically interprets the role of historical and cultural contexts in the formation of theological perspectives
  2. Discovers and analyzes the key elements of a cultural context, including congregations and a culture other than one’s own
  3. Constructs specific theological proposals that are in accordance with the purposes of God’s Kingdom and appropriately suited to particular contexts
  4. Formulates and begins to practice a coherent Christian engagement with secular culture and with different religions
  5. Explains one’s core theological commitments and applies them effectively to address the spiritual, ecclesial, ethical, and social issues of one’s context
  6. Exercises effective pastoral leadership, based on a clear understanding of a congregation’s culture, in shaping the sacramental and symbolic life of the church in accordance with the contextualized practice of its mission
  7. Implements practical theological proposals according to the needs of particular contexts, including multicultural and cross-cultural contexts
  8. Effectively embodies the Gospel in ways that integrate theological insight with the competent interpretation of one’s context
  9. Facilitates a critical engagement between theological insights and other areas of knowledge and practice
History: Awareness of the historical and contemporary beliefs and practices of the worldwide church, and the Stone-Campbell heritage in particular
  1. Comprehends and evaluates the key figures, movements, and events of church history
  2. Comprehends and evaluates the key beliefs and practices of contemporary global Christianity
  3. Exhibits critical reflection on and mature respect for the historic and contemporary beliefs and practices of the Stone-Campbell heritage (or one’s own tradition)
  4. Critically analyzes one’s own theological and spiritual practices in relation to historic and contemporary Christianity, especially that of the Stone-Campbell heritage (or one’s own tradition)
  5. Critically analyzes contemporary situations in light of historical knowledge and appropriately applies that knowledge in ministerial practice
Leadership: Graduates will have ability to lead and equip the church for its various ministries
  1. Employs critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making sufficient for ministerial effectiveness
  2. Demonstrates the ability to lead the church in interpreting its context, discerning its mission, and evaluating its orientation to the purposes of God
  3. Demonstrates the ability to lead the church in shaping its corporate identity and implementing God’s vision in its context
  4. Demonstrates the ability to teach, equip, and lead individuals of different ages and various levels of faith development
  5. Exercises one’s ministerial role in a way that constructively engages the polity of one’s context
  6. Works collaboratively with others
  7. Skillfully manages conflict in a way that enables constructive transformation and peacemaking
  8. Manages ministerial boundaries with maturity and wisdom
Care of Souls: Graduates will have capacity to exercise care of souls in fitting and compassionate ways
  1. Treats others with respect and acts according to their best interests
  2. Exhibits sensitive, caring, and skillful attention to the needs of those in crisis
  3. Provides apt counsel, guidance, and practical instruction
  4. Integrates the practice of skillful caregiving techniques with disciplined theological reflection
Character: Graduates will demonstrate growth in Christian character essential for ministerial faithfulness and effectiveness
  1. Conducts oneself in the manner of a Christian exemplar
  2. Demonstrates healthy awareness of one’s personality, behavior patterns, level of interpersonal effectiveness, and patterns of response to anxiety and conflict
  3. Demonstrates commitment to conduct one’s life out of a confessed Christian faith and exhibits the practices of discipleship
  4. Demonstrates sustained participation in Christian community and constructive investment in its life
  5. Takes honest responsibility for one’s actions, habits, and growth, applying effective strategies and spiritual disciplines for achieving ongoing growth
  6. Acts in a principled fashion so as to increase one’s credibility and build trust—with integrity, humility, dependability, and compassion
  7. Discerningly receives criticism and takes initiative to change if necessary
  8. Demonstrates commitment to the well-being of one’s spouse and family
Male and female students studying in the library.

Admission Requirements

  • A completed application and application fee; 
  • An official transcript(s) in English (or translated to English) of all previous colleges attended. The transcript must indicate an earned bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university or equivalent; 
  • A cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale;
  • Two letters of recommendation (may be submitted through the online application); 
  • A purpose statement following these guidelines;
  • GST Writing Assessment (a brief evaluation of academic writing skills).

Program Advisor

Dr. Kelli Gibson
Assistant Professor of Historical Theology
DPhil, University of Oxford, 2015  

Learn More

Download the program brochure for more information about the program format, degree plan, accreditation and distinctives that set ACU’s program apart. See also this information about Graduate School of Theology affordability and scholarships.

Degree Details




Required Hours

Credit hours: 72

Current tuition per credit hour: $676

Program length: 3 - 4 years

Example Coursework

Foundations of the Theology of Ministry

New Testament Theology

Introduction to Hebrew I

Christian Mission in a Global Context


Graduate School of Theology

Application Deadlines

Fall: August 10

Summer & Spring: Please contact the Office of Graduate Programs ( or 325-674-2656)