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Courses | Master of Divinity (Pastoral Care and Counseling)

Below are some of the courses you’ll have an opportunity to take as a student in this program. Take a look at the list below to get an idea of the types of available courses. Also, be sure to review the official program requirements in the Biola University catalog.

Note: This list is intended to give you a quick glimpse into the program’s academic offerings, and should not be used as a guide for course selection or academic advising.

Curriculum Requirements

*Please note that the following courses are not offered online: TTPT 604, TTPT 628, TTPT 693, TTPT 694, TTPT 695, TTPT 702, TTPT 708, TTPT 716, TTPT 725 and TTPT 765.

A study of principles or sound interpretation and application of the Bible, including analysis of presuppositions, general rules and specialized principles for the various biblical genre and phenomena and the development of an exegetical method. Notes: Required of M.Div. and M.A. students. Grade Mode: A.

A broad survey of the Old Testament books, including selected introductory and critical issues, relevant background, major themes and divisions, and crucial problems. Notes: Required of M.Div. and M.A. students. Grade Mode: A.

A general overview of the New Testament books, including selected introductory and critical issues, relevant background, major themes and divisions, and crucial problems. Notes: Required of M.Div. and M.A. students. Grade Mode: A.

History of the church from the Apostolic Fathers to the eve of the Reformation with an emphasis on the development of doctrine. Discussion of key thinkers, such as Origen, Tertullian, Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas and Scotus. Notes: Required of M.A. (Theology) students. May not be substituted for TTHT 514. Grade Mode: A.
History of the church from the Reformation to the present with an emphasis on the key Continental and English Reformers, including Zwingli, Luther and Calvin. Discussion of the counter-Reformation, Protestant scholasticism, the Enlightenment, and important theological developments in the modern era. Opportunity is given for students to study the polity and history of their own denomination. Notes: Required of M.A. (Theology) students. May not be substituted for TTHT 514.Grade Mode: A.
History of the church from the apostolic Fathers to the modern era with an emphasis on the development of doctrine. Highlights key thinkers in the patristic, medieval, Reformation and modern eras. Notes: Required of M.Div. students. May not be substituted for either TTHT 505 or TTHT 506. Grade Mode: A.
An introductory study of the basic elements of New Testament Greek. Translation of portions of the New Testament in the second semester. Designed for students who have not completed a full sequence of beginning Greek courses. Notes: Not for credit in the M.Div. or M.A.C.M.L. (Preaching and Pastoral Ministry) programs unless the student takes it in place of elective credits. Grade Mode: A.
An introductory study of the basic elements of New Testament Greek. Translation of portions of the New Testament in the second semester. Designed for students who have not completed a full sequence of beginning Greek courses. Notes: Not for credit in the M.Div. or M.A.C.M.L. (Preaching and Pastoral Ministry) programs unless the student takes it in place of elective credits. Grade Mode: A.

A comprehensive survey of morphology and syntax, the building of a Greek vocabulary, an introduction to textual criticism, and the development of an exegetical methodology with reading in selected passages of the Greek New Testament. Designed to emphasize the value of Greek study as a tool for understanding the biblical text. Lecture/Lab Hours: Includes a required one hour non-credit lab. Notes: Required of M.Div., M.A. (Bible Exposition, New Testament, Old Testament, Theology), and M.A.C.M.L. (Preaching and Pastoral Ministry) students. Grade Mode: A.

Exegetical study of select passages from the Greek text of the gospels. Application of exegetical methodology and discussion of background issues, including historical backgrounds, composition, authorship, and distinctives of each book. Special attention given to assessment of modern critical methods for the interpretation of the biblical text. Notes: Required of all M.A. (New Testament) students. M.Div. and M.A.C.M.L. (Preaching and Pastoral Ministry) students may take TTNT 604 or TTNT 605. Grade Mode: A.
Exegetical study of select passages from the Greek text of the Epistles in the light of the historical framework of the book of Acts. Application of exegetical methodology and discussion of background issues, including historical backgrounds, composition, authorship, and distinctives of each book. Special attention given to assessment of modern critical methods for the interpretation of the biblical text. Notes: Required of all M.A. (New Testament) students. M.Div. and M.A.C.M.L. (Preaching and Pastoral Ministry) students may take TTNT 604 or TTNT 605. Grade Mode: A.
Basic grammar with translation and written exercises. Notes: Required of M.Div. and M.A. (Old Testament) students. Grade Mode: A.
Additional grammar and syntax with emphasis on reading and translation in selected biblical texts. Notes: Required of M.Div. and M.A. (Old Testament) students. Grade Mode: A.

Reading of Hebrew prose texts (intermediate level), including grammatical analysis and introduction to exegetical methods (especially text criticism, translation, syntax and lexical analysis). Grade Mode: A. 

Reading of Hebrew texts (advanced level) and application of comprehensive exegetical methods to selected texts. Notes: May be taken multiple times with different content. Required for M.A. (Old Testament) students. Two credits minimum required for M.Div. students. Grade Mode: A. 

Introduction into the practical elements of ministry. Emphasis will be placed on career planning, field experience and preparation for Field Education Internship in the M.Div. and M.A.C.M.L. programs. Notes: Required of M.Div. students and M.A.C.M.L. (Preaching and Pastoral Ministry) students. Grade Mode: A.
A study of a pastor's call, purpose, and role in ministry. Special attention will be given to providing leadership in worship, music, ordinances, weddings, funerals, and hospital and home visitation. Notes: Required of M.Div. (Pastoral and General Ministries, Christian Education, Evangelism and Discipleship, Spiritual Formation) students, and M.A.C.M.L. (Preaching and Pastoral Ministry) students. Grade Mode: A.
Study of pastoral care to the physically and emotionally sick and suffering, crisis ministry, and ministry to the dying and bereaved. The special nature and demands of chaplaincy, including workplace, military and especially healthcare chaplaincy, will also be studied. Students will be required to establish a volunteer relationship with a healthcare agency (hospital or nursing home) in the community in order to complete a 36-hour clinical assignment for the class. Notes: Required of M.Div. and M.A.C.M.L. (Pastoral Care and Counseling) students. Grade Mode: A.
The process of preparation that results in sermons that are biblically accurate, easy to follow, interesting to listen to and relevant to contemporary needs. Notes: Required of M.Div., M.A.C.M.L. (Preaching and Pastoral Ministry and Women's Ministry), and B.A. (Preaching and Pastoral Ministry) students. Grade Mode: A.
Explores the foundations of marriage and marital conflict from scriptural and psychological perspectives. Reviews approaches to counseling and explores change and growth procedures and skills. Notes: Required of M.Div. and M.A.C.M.L. (Pastoral Care and Counseling) students. Grade Mode: A.
A series of interviews of pastors and agency leaders to discover the breadth of ministry approaches, practices, perspectives and goals. A proposal near the end of the semester for involvement in a specific ministry is submitted for approval to the pastor or agency leader, and then submitted to the professor for Talbot approval as well. Grade Mode: A.
One-hundred hours of supervised ministry under the mentorship of an approved pastor or agency leader. Grade Mode: A.
One-hundred hours per credit of supervised ministry under the mentorship of an approved pastor or agency leader. Notes: May be taken for 1 or 2 credits; 100 hours are required for each credit. Grade Mode: A.
Building upon the introductory counseling content discussed in previous coursework, this course will explore integrative pastoral counseling strategies that can be appropriately and effectively used to counsel individuals seeking such assistance in a church or para-church context. Special attention will be given to defining common presenting problems, determining appropriate counseling strategies and seeking consultation or referral when necessary. Notes: Required of M.Div. (Pastoral Care and Counseling) and M.A.C.M.L. (Pastoral Care and Counseling) students. Offered Spring semester only. Grade Mode: A.


A study of biblical ethics and the role the local church plays in the community. Special attention will be given to major social problems such as sanctity of life, chemical abuse, domestic violence, social ills, and the political process. Notes: Required of M.A.C.M.L. (Pastoral Care and Counseling, Sports Ministries; Preaching and Pastoral Ministry may take TTPH 602 instead), M.A. Diversified, and M.Div. (except Missions and Intercultural Studies) students. Grade Mode: A.
Explores ministry to people who request counseling in church and para-church contexts. Starting with relationship building skills, students will discover their limits in help-giving, and learn appropriate referral process. Much of the course focus will then be an exploration of building small communities within a church ministry. Notes: Required of M.Div. (except Spiritual Formation), M.A.C.M.L., and M.A.C.E. students. Grade Mode: A.
This course moves beyond learning relationship skills to developing skills that help people with the realization of physical, spiritual, emotional and moral issues in their lives. Secondly, there is a focus on skills that help people take responsibility for the awareness they have gained. The spiritual transformation process is integrated into the development of these skills. Notes: Required of M.Div. and M.A.C.M.L. (Pastoral Care and Counseling) students. Offered Fall semester only. Grade Mode: A.
A study of some of the common concerns presented to pastors and pastoral care leaders. Issues such as ADD and related disorders, alcohol and substance abuse, anger, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, loss and grief, self-image and identity disorders, sexual addictions and pornography, and suicide will be studied. Specific interventions will be studied to augment the overall helping processes learned in other classes. The integration of theology and psychology will be prominent in this course as well. Notes: Required of M.Div. and M.A.C.M.L. (Pastoral Care and Counseling) students. Grade Mode: A.
A comparison of positive and negative family systems in Scripture, in theory and in church life. The development of a team approach to intervention, enrichment and equipping for ministry to families. Notes: Required of M.Div. and M.A.C.M.L. (Pastoral Care and Counseling) students. Grade Mode: A.

Selected topics in the field of pastoral counseling. Notes: may be taken a maximum of 2 times for credit with different content. Grade Mode: A. 

Introductory study of the nature of spiritual theology and formation, which attempts to understand the nature of new life in Christ, the process of formation in the Spirit and the directives for cooperating with His work. Attention is given to the implications of Spiritual Theology for seminary training and classroom experience. Particular attention is given to understanding the implications of life in Christ regarding guilt, shame and legalism as well as the New Covenant ministry of the Spirit in transforming the heart in light of the dynamics of original sin, early relational development and the habits of sin developed over time. Attention is also given to developmental spirituality, how the Spirit transforms the heart over time and how this affects ministries of teaching, preaching and discipleship in the church. Notes: Required of all Talbot students not in a Spiritual Formation academic program. A retreat will be introduced and required. This course will include a cohort group of no more than 15 students who explore the course content as well as the student's own life and growth within community. Required in the students' first semester at Talbot. Only students in the Talbot M.Div. program with a specialization in Messianic Jewish Studies (Feinberg Extension) are eligible to take this course for 2 credits. Grade Mode: A, N.
A theological and experiential exploration into human relationships and issues related to gender, romance, marriage, family and parenting as they relate to spiritual growth. Course includes an investigation into the impact of personal and family history on theological outlook, emotional congruence, relational attractions and moral decisions. Personal assessments and a one-day retreat are an integral part of this course. Students will experience spiritual community and intercessory prayer as they begin individual spiritual direction with a spiritual director and continue relationships within a cohort group to explore deeply their relational capacity at the heart of how Christ is formed in them, thereby developing deeper levels of trust and vulnerability.Prerequisites: TTSF 501. Notes: Required of all Talbot students not in a Spiritual Formation academic program. Cohort groups will continue to meet from TTSF 501 and a one-day group spiritual retreat will be required. Only students in the Talbot M.Div. program with a specialization in Messianic Jewish Studies (Feinberg Extension) are eligible to take this course for 2 credits. Grade Mode: A, N.
A theological and experiential exploration of the believer's vocation and the various 'callings' in the Bible as it relates to the general call of loving God and neighbor, a training in righteousness and conformity to Christ's image. Explores the panoply of spiritual disciplines sanctioned by the Bible and developed throughout Church history in order to enter deeply into one's calling. This learning takes place in a cohort group and includes various modalities of learning. A retreat component is included with this course. The retreat focuses on various spiritual disciplines and one's relation to the various calls of God in one's life, particularly one's personal call to ministry. Notes: Required of all Talbot students not in a Spiritual Formation academic program. Grade Mode: C, N.
A personal experience is required in Spiritual Direction at the Center for Spiritual Renewal at ISF. This course provides students the opportunity to explore their life of prayer and growth with a trained spiritual director from the Institute for Spiritual Formation. Notes: Two semesters of spiritual direction must be completed for the Spiritual Formation Focus requirement (TTSF 506 after completion of TTSF 505). Students are required to meet with an approved spiritual director a minimum of four times per semester. Required of all Talbot students not enrolled in a Spiritual Formation academic program. Grade Mode: C.
A personal experience is required in Spiritual Direction at the Center for Spiritual Renewal at ISF. This course provides students the opportunity to explore their life of prayer and growth with a trained spiritual director from the Institute for Spiritual Formation. Notes: Two semesters of spiritual direction must be completed for the Spiritual Formation Focus requirement (TTSF 506 after completion of TTSF 505). Students are required to meet with an approved spiritual director a minimum of four times per semester. Required of all Talbot students not enrolled in a Spiritual Formation academic program. Grade Mode: C.
An introduction to theology and theological method. Scripture, including inspiration and inerrancy. God, including his attributes and triune nature. God's work of creation, including God's eternal plan, the angels, and providence. Notes: Required of M.Div. and M.A. students.Grade Mode: A.
Humanity in the image of God, including human nature, the family, and civil government. The fall and the effect of sin upon humanity. The person and work of Christ. The nature and application of salvation, including regeneration, justification, and sanctification. Notes: Required of M.Div. and M.A. students.Grade Mode: A.

The person and work of the Holy Spirit. The inception and nature of the church, both as a living organism and an organization, its function, ordinances, and mission. The broad kingdom purpose of God, including Christ's second coming, the millennial reign of Christ, the resurrection of the dead, judgment, and the eternal state. Notes: Required of M.Div. and M.A. students. Grade Mode: A.