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MDiv and MA in International Development

MDiv and MA in International Development

Program Overview

This distinctive MDiv dual degree program represents the Seminary's longstanding commitment to holistic ministry, ministry that addresses spiritual, emotional, social and material needs. The MA portion of the program, offered at Eastern University, is intentionally contextualized to issues in the two-thirds world and to issues in urban areas of the U.S.

Students in this program choose one of two concentrations.  The Urban Concentration is for those who desire to serve in an urban context, while the International Concentration is for those interested in development work in rural areas or in some other context outside a major city.

Regardless of the concentration, the MA portion of this MDiv dual degree program seeks to recognize the multi-faceted causes of poverty and to provide instruction and guidance aimed at designing intervention strategies to enable people to move toward economic self-sufficiency. The MDiv portion of the program prepares students for pastoral ministry.

Earning the MDiv and the MA degrees separately would normally require five years of full-time study. This program is designed to enable students to complete both degrees in a total of four years. MA coursework fulfills some of the electives required for the MDiv, while one MDiv course is recognized as fulfilling one of the course requirements for the MA.  (For part-time students the time needed to complete the degrees varies based on course load.)

Differences Between the MDiv/MBA and the MDiv/MA

Both the MBA and the MA are designed for those who are interested in working with and among the poor in the area of economic development.  With either of these MDiv dual degree programs, the MDiv portion remains the same. Thus, the only differences are between the MBA and the MA.  The MBA requires four undergraduate foundation courses as prerequisites to admission to the program: Finance, Accounting, Economics, and Statistics. Also, while both the dual degree MDiv/MBA and the dual degree MDiv/MA are designed to be completed over a four-year time period, MA students are required to take two fewer courses.

Finally, the MBA is for those who want to be prepared to work and minister in a business/finance/accounting capacity.

Program Structure

Students spend the first two years of this program (or longer if they are enrolled part-time) at Palmer Seminary. They spend the next year primarily in the MA program at Eastern University; one required MDiv course is offered each spring at Palmer. While students may fulfill the initial MDiv-related requirements on a part-time basis, when they reach the MA portion of the program, they must be able to attend daytime classes on a full-time basis. The fourth and final year is split between the Seminary and the University.

Coursework for Year 1 (at Palmer Seminary)
Spiritual Formation
Old Testament Pentateuch
Old Testament Historical Books
Gospels and Acts
Biblical Interpretation for Ministry
New Testament Greek or Biblical Hebrew
The Church in Mission through History
Christian Heritage elective
Foundations of Pastoral Care and Counseling
Theological Foundations of Congregational Life
A Guide to Seminary Writing
Vocational Personal Inventories

Coursework for Year 2 (at Palmer Seminary)
Critical Analysis in Theological Studies
Greek Exegesis or Hebrew Exegesis
Systematic Theology and Ethics
Advanced Topics in Systematic Theology and Ethics
Introduction to Homiletics
Preaching Practicum
Prophets or Pauline Epistles or Biblical Theology
Boundaries and Systems for Ministry
Pastoral Leadership
Theological Field Education (two semesters)
Mid-Program Assessment

Year Three (mostly at Eastern University)

Courses at the Campolo College of Graduate and Professional Studies

Year 4 (split between Palmer and Eastern University)

At Palmer Seminary:
Theology and Practice of Worship
Christian Renewal and Evangelism
Christian World Mission
Integrative Seminar
Free electives (including denominational requirements - a total of seven units)

At Eastern University:
Courses at the Campolo College of Graduate and Professional Studies

Tuition and Other Financial Information
Dual degree students pay tuition separately to Palmer Seminary and Eastern University. At Palmer, students are eligible for other scholarship programs, including the Accelerated Scholarship Program (ASP), which offers a tuition discount of approximately 35 percent for full-time students.  For the MBA portion of the dual degree, Eastern University offers a 30 percent tuition discount.

Prior to their beginning the program, the Seminary provides students with a statement specifying the amount of tuition that will be due (and to which institution) for each Fall and Spring semester. This amount does not increase throughout the program. For full-time students who begin the program in the Fall of 2012, tuition at Palmer is approximately $5,750 per semester for ASP scholars. For transfer students, financial adjustments are made based on the amount of previous coursework that is deemed to meet the requirements of the program.

As with all graduate students, dual degree students who are full-time may apply for Federal Stafford loans. In addition, students are encouraged to investigate other sources of financial support, including from their church denomination or individual congregation.

Application Process
Applicants for this dual degree program should complete the application process for Palmer Seminary. As part of that process, they will receive instructions on how to apply for the Eastern University portion of the degree. (Many dual degree students wait till they begin their first year at the Seminary before beginning the application process for Eastern University.)