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Preparing for Vocational Ministry

We provide a unique program to educate students called to formal denominational ministry or careers in a variety of other ministries and professions. Our Master of Divinity (MDiv) is the base degree for such careers. This three-year, full time residential program requires a minimum of 72 hours of coursework in many challenging subjects. Professors with terminal-level degrees and practical ministry experience present classes in a mentored, seminar-style education.

Deep Curriculum Awaits Students

Students will receive instruction in many courses in biblical studies, theological studies, world religion and culture, spiritual studies, arts and adventure and practical ministry studies. The Master of Divinity program does not require language study, but if a student’s denomination requires biblical languages, YTI provides a language laboratory in biblical Greek and Hebrew.

MDIV Degree Programs

MDiv Degree

The Master of Divinity program prepares graduates to serve in a variety of capacities, including not only pastoral leadership, but also careers in parachurch ministries, teaching, and a wide range of organizations.

72-81 Class Hours
3-Year Program
Full-Time Residency

Requirements

Students pursuing the Master of Divinity degree can take up to three courses per term, or 27 hours per school year. Extra courses may be added in subject areas of special interest to the student. Students in the MDiv program will be assigned an advisor after they have been accepted to study at YTI.

Rich Course Catalog

YTI students will enroll in a rich catalog of courses in Texts & Languages, Faith & Life, World Religions & Culture, and Adventure & the Arts, along with several Practicum courses and a Capstone project.

An Education Experience Like No Other

The unique educational methodology offered at YTI provides a personal, mentored experience for all students. This is particularly true for MDiv students, who not only learn in the traditional classroom, but also are enriched by daily life around them and the relationships they make as they pursue a variety of careers ranging from ministry to social work. Students benefit from the arts and adventure aspect of our curriculum in our concert hall, our artist studio and the amazing outdoors that surround our campus in Bozeman.

Required MDiv Courses

Texts and Languages

  • BIB 530Biblical Interpretation

    In this course, students will learn the basics of biblical interpretation with its cultural elements and theological implications.

  • BIB 531The Biblical Narrative*

    The Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is a unique document. BIB 531 gives an overview of the essential narratives of the Scriptures, with special attention to the cultural contexts and theological function of those narratives. *Required for first year students with no prior biblical training.

  • BIB 532Old Testament 1: The Torah & Histories

    The Old Testament is vast, spanning from the creation of the cosmos to the exile and return of God’s people Israel. In this course, we examine the fundamental texts of the Hebrew faith, called the “Torah” and the “Histories.” The Torah consists of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The Histories cover Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah. The course focuses on the narrative and theology of the Torah and Histories in the quest to understand Judeo-Christian origins, holiness, obedience, and disobedience

  • BIB 533Old Testament 2: The Prophets & Poetry

    The Old Testament is vast, spanning from the creation of the cosmos to the exile of God’s people Israel. In this course, we examine the particular contexts, images, and stories of the prophetic and poetic books within their historical contexts (Isaiah-Malachi, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, and the Five Scrolls), focusing on the theology and interpretation of these texts over time.

  • BIB 534New Testament: The Gospels and Acts

    The New Testament continues and consummates the drama begun in the Old Testament. In particular, it focuses on Jesus of Nazareth as the solution to the cosmic problem originating in Genesis 3. This course focuses on the person, work, and teaching of Jesus provided for us in the four Gospels, as well as the birth of the church in Acts.

  • BIB 535New Testament 2: Romans to Revelation

    Following the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus, the earliest expressions of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church are articulated by Paul, the apostle. This course covers the narrative, history, and theology of the Paul’s epistles: Romans, 1 & Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, Philemon, 1 & 2 Timothy, and Titus; as well as the general epistles: Hebrews, James, 1 & 2 Peter, John’s epistles, Jude, and the Apocalypse of John. The course covers the context, theology, and history of reception of these writings.

  • BIB 630General Epistles (Advanced Bible)

    The advanced Bible course examines individual biblical books, types of biblical literature, or sections of scripture. The course covers text, interpretation, historical contexts, linguistic issues, theological themes, and ethical issues. The course content changes on a regular basis.

Select 1:

  • LAN 530Biblical Languages: Overview

    In a technologically advanced Western culture, where there are abundant computer programs available to the theology student, the need to master the biblical languages seems superfluous. However, an overview of the biblical languages is crucial for a basic understanding of interpreting scripture accurately. LAN 530 provides the overview and introduces several accessible computer programs.

  • Lab IHebrew

    Language Lab I meets each Friday of the term from 9am-noon for each of the three terms in the year. The lab studies Hebrew grammar and translation. The language lab is required for Master of Divinity students who need the biblical languages for ordination. This is a “fee only” course.

Select 1:

  • LAN 530Biblical Languages: Overview

    In a technologically advanced Western culture, where there are abundant computer programs available to the theology student, the need to master the biblical languages seems superfluous. However, an overview of the biblical languages is crucial for a basic understanding of interpreting scripture accurately. LAN 530 provides the overview and introduces several accessible computer programs.

  • Lab IIGreek

    Language Lab II meets each Friday of the term from 9am-noon for each of the three terms in the year. The lab studies Greek grammar and translation. The language lab is required for Masters of Divinity students who need the biblical languages for ordination. This is a “fee only” course.

Faith and Life

  • THEO 530Historical Theology I

    Historical Theology I is a basic historical survey of the development of theology from the first century through the medieval Renaissance. It takes care to investigate the first creeds, the canonization of Scripture, catholic orthodoxy and heresy, the medieval papacy, and the formation of the schools at Paris and Oxford. The course gives the student a contextual background for Christian theological claims.

  • THEO 531Historical Theology II

    Historical Theology II is a basic historical survey of the development of theology from the Reformation through the Enlightenment, early Evangelicalism, the 19th century, modern theology, and the postmodern turn. The course gives to the student a contextual background for Christian theological claims.

  • THEO 532Theology for the Church

    Since the founding of the church, its members have sought to articulate its beliefs in light of the context of the day. THEO 532 examines the earliest articulations of the Christian experience, belief, and consequent ethos, with their evolution to the present day. The course takes the students from the biblical confessions through the patristic creeds, to the reformed confessions, general Christian doctrines, the 20th century systematic constructions and the renewal of Christian theological ethics in the postmodern era. The course has a special emphasis on classic Christian teachings (doctrine) for the contemporary church.

  • THEO 533Contemporary Theological Reflection

    Theological reflection, put simply, is “to envision and enact personal, and corporate life out of a God-formed worldview.” The course covers the theory, method and ethos necessary to envision and enact life out of a God-formed, or Christian worldview. Theological reflection has become lost in a postmodern culture where “theology” is left to Sunday mornings. The course is dedicated to recovering a “God-formed” worldview, as well as its nurturing and application in a postmodern culture.

  • THEO 534The People of God: Being the Church

    The church today is suffering a case of mistaken identity. Many Christian believers are unsure of what the church is, why it exists, and what its actual mission is. THEO 534, covers in detail the genesis, nature, and function of the church as the “Body of Christ.”

  • THEO 536Ethics: The Christian Life

    THEO 536 details how Christian theological belief manifests itself in the life – the actions and words – of the individual believer. The course covers the biblical, theological, and, experiential aspects of Christian ethics. Application is made for clergy and lay people.

World Religions and Culture

  • WCT 531Apologetics

    What does it mean to live and promote the “good news” of Jesus in a pluralist world? This course covers the practice of following and witnessing to Christ in a world of competing religions and worldviews. The course gives an overview of select world religions (Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism), secularism, scientism and consumerism, with a selection of Christian engagements.

  • WCT 532World Religions

    WCT 532 gives an overview of the theology and practices of the primary monotheistic world religions, as well as the major “Eastern Religions” – Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, and affiliated expressions.

  • WCT 533World Religions: Historic and Marginalized Expressions

    WCT 533 gives an overview of the theology/philosophy, history and practices of the marginalized religions in history: Mormonism, Native Religions, Mevlevi Sufis, Zoroastrianism, Druze, etc.

Adventure and the Arts

  • ADV 531Introduction to Wilderness Adventure

    ADV 531 introduces the student to the fundamental nature of “wilderness” ministry, as grounded in a basic theology of adventure. It defines “adventure,” then touches on the biblical, theological and anthropological backgrounds for wilderness ministry. It investigates the human understanding of adventure, and why humans actually need adventure. Finally, the course discusses the physical issues of wilderness ministry, and how a renewed theology of adventure can influence mind and body. This course involves practical activities and modeling in the outdoor classroom.

  • ART 531Introduction to Theology and the Arts

    Why do human beings experience attraction to the fine and performing arts? Why is art such a powerful representative of the human experience, including its experience of the Divine? Introduction to Theology and the Arts presents a history of the integration of belief and artistic creation. In this process, the student will come to understand the role of the imagination as the conduit for aesthetics in human understanding; the role of the arts in social commentary and social justice; and, develop a rudimentary theology of the arts.

  • WCT 538Imagination and Theology

    The “imagination” and its relationship to theology is a burgeoning area of study today. WCT 538 discusses the relationship between imagination and theology historically, and examines the role of the imagination in theological construction.

Practicum

  • COM 531Introduction to Preaching and Teaching

    This course studies preaching from sermon construction to the delivery of the message, with special attention given to preaching context, verbal delivery, and the variety of preaching styles.

  • COM 532Advanced Preaching and Teaching

    This course examines advanced preaching styles such as narrative, exegetical, and conversational. Sermon construction is emphasized, including delivery of the message, with special attention given to context and hearers.

  • LED 532Entrepreneurial Leadership

    Entrepreneurial Leadership explores what it means to be a Christian leader in a postmodern, post-denominational culture. The class explores the latest in contemporary leadership theory with a focus on creative or “entrepreneurial” leadership. The class applies these leadership principles in conversation with biblical and theological resources in order to explore the student’s vocation, as well as enhance the mission of the contemporary ekklesia.

  • MIN 531Introduction to Pastoral Care

    Introduction to pastoral care is an important aspect of pastoral ministry, including self-evaluation, exploration of human spiritual/emotional frailty, practice of basic techniques, and understanding movement toward both personal and familial wholeness.

  • WCT 536Christian Mission: Theology & Practice

    In the 21st century, the very nature and theology of the Christian mission is being revisited and revised. WCT 536 discusses the theology and practice of mission in local, national and international cultural contexts. Beginning with the nature of the gospel, this course enables the student to understand mission as the lifestyle, and cooperative effort of every Christian and church.

  • CSC 631Mentored Ministry (3 terms)

    Students with concentrations in Adventure Ministry, Christian Ministries, and Peace and Justice Ministries must complete a series of term-long ministry mentorships, each focusing on the growth of the student, as well as a specific ministry area. Students in Biblical Studies, Christian Studies, Christian Theology, Entrepreneurial Leadership, Spirituality, and Theology and the Arts may also complete a Ministry Project in lieu of a thesis. For each mentorship, the student will have an on-site ministry mentor with whom she/he will meet each week for accountability and reflection. In addition, the student will have weekly communication with the his or her faculty mentor in order to stay on task toward meeting the targeted goals. By design, no student who earns the MA degree in Adventure Ministry, Christian Ministries, Entrepreneurial Leadership, or Peace and Justice ministries, or who earns the MDiv degree, will be without significant mentored ministry experience. At the end of each project, the student will write a 10-page project report culminating in a 30-page summation where the student reaches a final conclusion by synthesizing and analyzing the projects into a whole, and determining how these projects work together in ministry. MDiv students enroll in CSC 631 for three terms.

Select 1:

  • SPR 530Spiritual Formation

    SPR 530 studies the various interpretations, and methods of Christian spiritual formation, as well as its goal in the life of the individual, and the spiritual communities with which they are involved. The course utilizes the works of Christian writers throughout history, from the apostle Paul to Eugene Peterson. (Course may be repeated with content changes.)

  • SPR 531Discipleship: Practicing Christian Spirituality

    Discipleship, or Spiritual Practice regards the manner in which both ministers and Christians-in-general attend to the care of their own spiritual life in Christ. To that end, this course will examine the place of intentional spiritual practices in a person’s life through creating, sustaining, and deepening a dynamic relationship with God. Our spiritual practices focus on creating healthy individual and communal spirituality, as well as how we can help others cultivate a healthy spirituality.

Optional Courses:

  • LED 531Basic Leadership: A Servant and Collaborative Approach

    LED 531 explores a shared form of leadership, one that combines the servant leadership paradigm modeled in the New Testament, with a contemporary approach that considers the various ways in which leaders communicate appropriately with their teams.

  • MIN 533Stages of Faith Development

    MIN 533 explores the origins, development, and maturation of Christian faith in the human life-cycle. This course emphasizes Fowler’s “Stages of Faith,” and seeks to give the student a better understanding when developing discipleship, missionary, and worship programs for the local church.

  • WCT 539Evangelism

    WCT 539 details the nature of evangelism – the sharing of the “good news” in our world. The course gives an overview of the “good news” and describes how it can be embodied and shared as a witness to the Christian faith.

Capstone

  • Review and Jury (fee only)
  • Thesis or Project (fee only)

“[Man] can certainly flee
from God (he does so),
but he cannot escape Him.

-Karl Barth

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