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Master of Divinity (MDiv)

Talbot School of Theology

Master of Divinity Overview

Prepare for a lifetime of faithful and effective professional ministry with the Master of Divinity degree, taught at one of the top theological schools. Talbot’s MDiv is a flexible and wide-ranging program designed to ready you for the intellectual, spiritual and practical needs you'll encounter as you pursue your calling.

As the flagship program for men and women called to serve in the church, missions or other Christian ministry — especially those seeking positions that require ordination — Talbot's MDiv degree program offers a pastoral education at a prominent theological seminary. Students learn to be faithful to the Bible, committed to the church, reliant upon the Spirit and serious about the gospel. Under the guidance of reputable Christian scholars, MDiv students receive a broad biblical and theological education, coupled with practical training in ministry leadership to further their personal and spiritual formation and prepare them for the work ahead.

Students in the Master of Divinity program have the opportunity to choose one of six concentrations tailored to different vocational interests and callings. At 79 credits, the program can be completed in three to four years of full-time study. More than half of the coursework is available for remote learning across all concentrations, which makes it possible to pursue a divinity degree online. The Missions and Intercultural Studies and Pastoral and General Ministries concentrations allow divinity students to fully complete their MDiv online, which allows students to pursue their degrees without hitting pause on current work and ministry.


  • Evangelism and Discipleship: Available on-campus or hybrid
    This concentration will prepare you to be an effective evangelist, ready to disciple believers in living the Christian life and equip others involved in outreach or evangelistic Christian ministry.
  • Messianic Jewish Studies: Available on campus in New York and Los Angeles or hybrid
    This concentration is geared toward men and women who have had experience in ministry and desire additional training and a specialized study of the Bible and theology with a focus on Jewish studies and Jewish ministry.
  • Missions and Intercultural Studies: Available fully online, on campus or hybrid
    This concentration will prepare you to advance God’s global mission through pastoral ministry in the local church, the mission field or other local or international intercultural settings. Study aspects of church history, cultural anthropology, Greek, Hebrew and much more.
  • Pastoral and General Ministries: Available fully online, on campus or hybrid
    The most popular of Talbot’s MDiv concentrations, this program provides broad academic and practical training to equip you for a professional position in a variety of roles, whether as a pastor or youth ministry leader, in church leadership, church administration and ministry, or as an educator at the undergraduate, graduate and seminary levels.
  • Pastoral Care and Counseling: Available on campus or hybrid
    This concentration will prepare you to minister in areas of pastoral counseling, such as biblical counseling, conflict resolution, crisis management and grief counseling, as well as how to develop care teams and lay counselors.
  • Spiritual Formation: Available on campus or hybrid
    This innovative degree program prepares you for pastoral leadership with a specialty in spiritual direction and soul care.

Program Structure

Each of the six concentrations within Talbot’s Master of Divinity degree is built around a common structure. The program’s 79 credits include:

  • Biblical and Theological Foundations. This set of foundational coursework equips you to study the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. You will be prepared to apply your knowledge faithfully and seriously to understand the essential doctrines of the Christian faith and share them through teaching ministry. Biola uses a systematic theology approach to give you a thorough grasp of the great doctrines of the Christian faith.
  • Spiritual Formation Core (SFC). This set of five courses is designed to deepen your experience of life in the Spirit through prayer, retreats, small groups, spiritual direction and theology of spiritual growth. (Note: This requirement varies in the Messianic Jewish Studies and Spiritual Formation concentrations.)
  • Area of Specialization. The primary share of the MDiv program is a set of concentration-specific courses, which vary according to your choice of emphasis.
  • Biblical Languages. All MDiv students complete a series of courses in the two primary biblical languages, Hebrew and Greek, either of which may be completed first.
  • Elective Courses. Some concentrations include a flexible elective requirement, allowing you to take courses suited to your specific interests and goals.
3–5 years
Standard Duration
This indicates the standard duration of this program. Completion time may vary by student depending on background and courseload.
Total Program Credits
Every program at Biola University features rigorous academics, biblically integrated curriculum and vocational preparation.
Biola University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. Additional accreditations may apply to specific programs.