Master of Divinity

Overview of the Program

The master of divinity (MDiv) is a professional degree for persons preparing for service in the parish or for other forms of ministry. The program fosters students’ understanding of church and ministry in the contemporary world, and students’ ability to work meaningfully and creatively in a vocation of religious leadership.

The program increases students’ knowledge and strengthens their ability to integrate their understanding of the various disciplines of theology and ministry with their experience of the church and the world. Students completing a Master of Divinity degree at Candler will be able to:

  • Exercise reflective practices of leadership and ministry;
  • Articulate an informed understanding of their vocation as practitioners, leaders, and public theologians;
  • Demonstrate working knowledge of Christian texts, traditions, and theologies;
  • Critically and responsibly interpret texts and traditions, and effectively communicate in appropriate verbal forms;
  • Demonstrate critical engagement with a multiethnic, intercultural, ecumenical, and religiously diverse world;
  • Articulate an informed understanding of their own religious identity and ongoing spiritual growth and development; and

Curricular Requirements

Students enrolling in the Master of Divinity program must complete specifically required courses in Biblical Studies, History and Interpretation of Christianity, Ethics, and Preaching.

In addition to these specific courses, students will have additional requirements to fulfill in World Religions, Introductory Arts of Ministry, Sociology of Religion or Religion and Personality, History of Christianity, and Theology or Ethics. Students will also enroll in courses designated to fulfill the Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Contextual Education elective requirements.

Contextual Education

Contextual Education combines academic instruction with opportunities for formation in ministry and leadership in congregations, campus ministries, social service agencies, hospitals, clinical, and other ministry settings. Candler’s distinctive commitment to contextual theology and theological education is formalized through the four-semester sequence, Contextual Education I and Contextual Education II, required for all MDiv students.

First Year Experience

Candler’s Master of Divinity program is uniquely characterized by the First Year Experience. Within the first year, students will be involved in a number of settings, both academic and contextual, that will provide a basic orientation for their time at Candler and for the profession of ministry.

First-year students will participate in First Year Advising Groups that will assist in orienting them to their academic studies, financial literacy, and life at Candler. Students will enroll in Common Courses in Old Testament and History of Christianity during the first year at Candler. Finally, first-year students will enroll in Contextual Education I, which is comprised of placement and work at a local site, reflection groups and enrollment in a contextualized Introductory Arts of Ministry course that connects academic instruction to ministry at the Contextual Education site.

Concentrations

The selection of an optional concentration can allow students to give their degree focus and depth beyond introductory level courses in an area that is of particular interest to the student. Students may choose a concentration in consultation with their faculty adviser by the end of their first year in the MDiv program. Concentrations are 12-18 hours in length and may require prerequisites.

Concentrations for the 2020-2021 academic year are:

  • Catholic Studies
  • Chaplaincy
  • Criminal Justice Ministries
  • Formation and Witness
  • Justice, Peacebuilding, and Conflict Transformation
  • Leadership in Church and Community
  • Religion, Health, and Science
  • Religion and Race
  • Scripture and Interpretation
  • Society and Personality
  • Theology and the Arts
  • Theology and Ethics
  • Traditions of the Church
  • World Christianity

More detailed information on concentrations can be found at http://candler.emory.edu/academics/degrees/mdiv/mdiv-concentrations.html.

Degree Requirements

To qualify for the MDiv degree, a candidate must complete the following requirements:

Credit Hours

In fulfilling the 86 credit hours required to complete the MDiv degree, students may not exceed the following limits: 15 hours for elective courses taken on an S/U basis (excluding contextual education courses and First Year Advising Group but including a maximum of 4 hours for participation in the Chapel Choir, Candler Singers, Candler Voices of Imani, or Emory Concert Choir); 18 total hours for contextual education (CE) courses (including 10 hours of the required contextual education coursework and up to 8 hours of additional work in Clinical Pastoral Education, internship, Teaching Parish or Contextual Education for Episcopal Studies; 6 hours for internships (CE545R); 6 hours for Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) (CE546R); 14 hours for the Teaching Parish program (including the 10 hours taken for the required Contextual Education); 18 hours of summer courses (no more than 12 during a summer term); 15 hours for the Episcopal and Anglican Studies Contextual Education program (including 11 hours taken for the required Contextual Education); 18 hours for Atlanta Theological Association (ATA) cross-registration (no more than 12 at any host school); 26 hours for transfer credit (including ATA cross-registration); and 6 hours for directed study (no more than 3 in one semester).

GPA Requirements

Courses taken to fulfill Common Course requirements and Common Requirements must earn a letter grade of at least C, i.e., 2.0 on a scale of 4.0. Students who earn less than a C in a course intended to meet an area requirement may retake the course. However, the same course cannot be counted more than once towards the total credit hours for graduation.

Common Course Sequence Grade Average Requirement

Students making a C-, D+, or D in the first semester of one of the Common Course sequences (OT501 or NT501) may enroll in the second semester of the sequence (OT502 or NT502/EE) and will have fulfilled the sequence requirement, provided the grade in the second part of the sequence brings the average for the two-course sequence to at least a grade of C. Students with a sequence average (OT501/502 or NT501/502/EE) of less than C will normally repeat the course or sequence; they also may satisfy sequence requirements with alternate courses upon the advice and consent of the Academic Review Board and sequence instructors.

Curricular Requirements

Students must complete the following courses and requirements in the MDiv curriculum:

Common Courses

Biblical Studies Courses
  • OT501. Interpretation of the Old Testament I (3 hours)
  • OT502. Interpretation of the Old Testament II (3 hours)
  • NT501. Interpretation of the New Testament I (3 hours)
  • NT502. Interpretation of the New Testament II or Exegetical Elective (EE) (3 hours)

Students are required to take the Interpretation of the Old Testament course sequence (OT501/502) and the Interpretation of the New Testament I (NT501) as part of the Common Courses requirement. Students may take either NT502 or a 600-level exegesis course (designated EE) for their fourth Biblical Stucdies course. Students must successfully complete OT501 and OT502 before enrolling in NT501. When two sections of OT501/502 or NT501/502 are offered, students may change instructors at the end of the first semester. Students earning an F in OT501 or NT501 may not enroll in OT502 or NT502/EE.

Students who have already studied the material of OT501, OT502, NT501, and/ or NT502 at a previous institution may request to substitute an elective in the same field. Refer to the Biblical Studies Course Substitution Form on the Candler Registrar’s website for additional information: http://www.candler.emory.edu/academics/registrar/forms.cfm.

History and Interpretation of Christianity Courses
  • HC501. History of Early Christian Thought (3 hours)
  • ST501. Systematic Theology (3 hours)

Students are required to take HC501 and ST501 as part of the Common Courses requirement. Students who have already studied the material of HC501 and/or ST501 at a previous institution may request to substitute an elective in the same field. Refer to the History and Interpretation of Christianity Course Substitution Form on the Candler Registrar’s website for additional information: http://www.candler.emory.edu/academics/registrar/forms.cfm.

Christianity and Culture
  • ES501. Christian Ethics (3 hours)

Students are required to take ES501 as part of the Common Courses requirement. Students who have already studied the material of ES501 at a previous institution may request to substitute an ethics elective. Refer to the Ethics Substitution Form on the Candler Registrar’s website for additional information: http://www.candler.emory.edu/academics/registrar/forms.cfm.

Church and Ministry
  • P501. Introduction to Preaching (3 hours)

Students are required to take P501 as part of the Common Courses requirement. Students who have already studied the material of P501 at a previous institution may request to substitute an elective in the same field. Students who are not planning to enter the ordained ministry after graduation may request to substitute another Introductory Arts of Ministry course. Refer to the Preaching Substitution Form on the Candler Registrar’s website for additional information: http://www.candler.emory.edu/academics/registrar/forms.cfm.

First Year Advising Group
  • MDIV505. First Year Advising Group (1 hour)

First-year students are required to complete the First Year Advising Group (MDIV505). Advising groups will be composed of approximately 10 first-year students along with a faculty adviser and a third-year MDiv student peer adviser. These groups will assist first-year students with orientation to the Candler community, Emory, financial literacy, and the first year of graduate studies. Students enrolled in Episcopal and Anglican Studies in the first semester of Contextual Education will receive 3 hours of credit for CE551ANGa, rather than enrolling in a separate section of MDIV505.

Contextual Education

Contextual Education combines academic instruction with opportunities for formation in ministry and leadership in congregations, campus ministries, social service agencies, hospitals and other clinical and ministry settings. Candler’s unique commitment to contextual theology and theological education is formalized through the four-semester sequence, Contextual Education I and Contextual Education II, required for all MDiv students.

Candler School of Theology will screen all students by requiring and facilitating a criminal background check at the student’s expense (approximately $18) through a vendor designated by the school. For additional information, see the Criminal Background Checks section of the Catalog/Handbook. Students participating in internships will be required to complete Stewards of Children—Adults Protecting Children from Sexual Abuse training and SAP-G training. Enrollment in one of the following options fulfills the Contextual Education requirement.

Contextual Education
  • Contextualized Introductory Arts of Ministry Class (first or second semester only; 3 hours)
  • CE551a. Contextual Education I Site Reflection (first semester only; 2 hours)
  • CE551b. Contextual Education I Integrative Seminar (second semester only; 2 hours)
  • CE552a. Contextual Education IIa (third semester; 3 hours)
  • CE552b. Contextual Education IIb (fourth semester; 3 hours)
  • Contextual Education Elective (CEE) (taken concurrently with CE552a or CE552b, 3 hours)
  • Any Introductory Arts of Ministry (IAM) or P501 (taken concurrently with CE552a or CE552b, 3 hours)

OR

Contextual Education for Teaching Parish
  • Contextualized Introductory Arts of Ministry Class for Teaching Parish (first semester only; 3 hours)
  • CE551TPa. Contextual Education Ia Teaching Parish (first semester only; 2 hours)
  • CE551TPb. Contextual Education Ib Teaching Parish (second semester only; 2 hours)
  • CE552TPa. Contextual Education IIa Teaching Parish (third semester; 3 hours)
  • CE552TPb. Contextual Education IIb Teaching Parish (fourth semester; 3 hours)
  • Contextual Education Elective (CEE) (taken concurrently with CE552TPa or CE552TPb in either fall or spring semester; 3 hours)
  • Any Introductory Arts of Ministry (IAM) or P501 (taken concurrently with CE552a or CE552b, 3 hours)
  • CE553TPR. Teaching Parish (every semester after year two; 1 or 2 hours; fulfills MDiv elective credit)

OR

Contextual Education for Episcopal and Anglican Studies
  • Introductory Arts of Ministry Class (first or second semester only; 3 hours)
  • CE551ANGa. Contextual Education Ia and Advising for Episcopal and Anglican Studies (first semester only; 3 hours)
  • CE551ANGb. Contextual Education Ib for Episcopal and Anglican Studies (second semester only; 2 hours)
  • CE552ANGa. Contextual Education IIa for Episcopal and Anglican Studies (third semester only; 2 hours)
  • CE552ANGb. Contextual Education IIb for Episcopal and Anglican Studies (fourth semester only; 2 hours)
  • Any Introductory Arts of Ministry (IAM) or P501 (taken concurrently with CE552ANGa or CE552ANGb, 3 hours)
  • Contextual Education Elective (CEE) (taken concurrently with CE552ANGa or CE552ANGb in either fall or spring semester during the second year, 3 hours)
  • CE553ANGR. Episcopal and Anglican Studies Seminar (every semester after year two; 2 hours. Fulfills MDiv elective credit)

The first year of Contextual Education includes three interrelated courses: the fall Reflection Group (CE551a, CE551TPa, CE551ANGa), the spring two-hour Integrative Seminar (CE551b, CE551TPb, CE551ANGb), and the contextualized Introductory Arts of Ministry course that is taken either in the fall or spring. Students must successfully complete the fall course in order to enroll in the spring course, and both semesters must be successfully completed at the same Contextual Education site in order to receive credit for the entire year. Students who do not receive a passing grade in the spring course also will fail the fall course and will be required to repeat Contextual Education 1 at a different site the following year.

The second year of Contextual Education includes three interrelated courses: the fall and spring Reflection Groups (CE552a/b, CE552TPa/b, CE552ANGa/b), P501 or anther three-hour IAM course that is taken in either the fall or spring , and a Contextual Education Elective (CEE). CEE courses are developed and taught by faculty in all four areas (Biblical Studies, History and Interpretation of Christianity, Christianity and Culture, Church and Ministry) to provide a strong link between academic theological education and the practice of ministry, between learning in the classroom and learning in a specific ministry context.

Students are required to complete one CEE course in either fall or spring semester of Contextual Education/ Teaching Parish/Episcopal and Anglican Studies II enrollment.

Information regarding registration for CEE courses is communicated by the Candler registrar’s office prior to the pre-registration period. Enrollment requires a permission number and there are a limited number of spaces available in each course.

Students enrolled in CE552a/b, CE552TPa/b and CE552ANGa/b (year 2) are required to enroll in one of the common requirement three-hour Introductory Arts of Ministry courses or P501 in either the fall or spring semester and in one CEE in either fall or spring semester.

Common Requirements

In addition to the Common Courses, the following Common Requirements must be fulfilled by all students enrolled in the Master of Divinity program. Each requirement may be filled by any course listed within the specific subject area.

  • 3 hours History of Christianity (designated 500-level HC courses)
  • 3 hours World Religions (a Candler course with the WR designation or a non-Candler course approved by the registrar in consultation with the academic dean)
  • 6 hours Introductory Arts of Ministry (IAM) (CC501, CC502, CC511, CC645, EV501, PC502,PT501, RE501, RE517, LA501, LA503, LA505, LA645, and W501) in addition to P501 and the (contextualized) IAM course taken with Contextual Education I/Teaching Parish I/Episcopal and Anglican Studies I. One of these IAM courses or P501 must be taken in conjunction with second year of Contextual Education /Teaching Parish/ Episcopal and Anglican Studies. (Total IAM credits, including P501 and (contexualized) IAM, taken with first year Contextual Education will be at least 12 hours. Each of the four IAM courses must be from a different subject area.)
  • 3 hours Sociology of Religion or Religion and Personality (any SR or RP course)
  • 3 hours Theology or Ethics (any designated theology HC course or any ST or ES elective course; may not include HC501, HC500-level courses, ST501, or ES501)
  • 3 hours Contextual Education Elective (CEE; any course designated as a CEE course on the course schedule). CEE courses may fulfill other Common Requirements. For example, a designated CEE course may also be an SR course and/ or REG course. In this case, credits for the course only count once towards the degree and the total number of elective hours required is adjusted.
  • 3 hours Race, Ethnicity, and Gender (REG; any course designated as ‘REG’ on the course schedule and in the Candler catalog). REG courses may also fulfill other common requirements. For example, a designated REG course may also be an SR course and/or CEE course. In this case, credits for the course only count once towards the degree and the total number of elective hours required is adjusted.

Concentrations

The selection of an optional concentration can allow students to give their degree focus and depth beyond introductory level courses in an area that is of particular interest to the student. Students may choose their concentration in consultation with their faculty adviser from an approved list, ordinarily by the end of the first year in the Master of Divinity program. Concentrations are 12–18 hours in length and may require prerequisites.

Concentrations for the 2020–2021 academic year are:

  • Catholic Studies
  • Chaplaincy
  • Criminal Justice Ministries
  • Formation and Witness
  • Justice, Peacebuilding, and Conflict Transformation
  • Leadership in Church and Community
  • Religion, Health, and Science
  • Religion and Race
  • Scripture and Interpretation
  • Society and Personality
  • Theology and the Arts
  • Theology and Ethics
  • Traditions of the Church
  • World Christianity

Courses taken to meet concentration requirements fulfill elective credit or meet common requirements when applicable. All concentrations have the option for directed studies, internships and the MDiv thesis. These usually cannot be substituted for the capstone courses (where applicable), but can be substituted for other requirements with the approval of the concentration coordinator(s). Within each concentration, a maximum of one concentration course may be taken S/U, in accordance with Candler’s policy regarding S/U courses. Capstone courses cannot be taken S/U. All other concentration courses must receive a grade of C or above in order to fulfill concentration requirements. For concentrations requiring a capstone course, the capstone will be designated in consultation with the instructor and concentration coordinator from among the upper-level concentration courses offered during the student's final year.

More detailed information on concentrations can be found at http://candler.emory.edu/academics/degrees/mdiv/mdiv-concentrations.html.

Electives

The balance of the 86 hours required for graduation will be satisfied by elective courses. A student may choose to enroll in denominational studies courses, concentration courses, certificate program courses, language courses, or other courses of interest.

Course Substitution

Students who have already studied the material of a specifically required Candler course at a previous institution may request to substitute an elective in the same field. Students petitioning for a substitution should first discuss the matter with their adviser. The student should then submit a petition to the chair of the relevant area, who will decide whether to grant the substitution in consultation with the instructor(s) of the required course. The student will need to document what topics the previous course covered, what textbooks were used, and what assignments were required. A syllabus for the prior course will normally accompany the petition. The student must complete a form, to be signed by the area chair, identifying both the course for which the substitution is being made and the proposed elective that will replace it. When completed, this form goes to the Registrar. This general substitution policy does not override the policy attached to P501.

Advising and Assessment

In addition to the curricular requirements listed above, students in the MDiv program are required to complete advising each semester and to complete the Final Year Integrative Advising Conversation.

First year students are required to enroll in the First Year Advising Group (MDIV505). Advising groups will be composed of 10 to 12 first-year students along with a faculty adviser and a third-year MDiv student peer adviser. These groups will assist first-year students with orientation to the Candler community, Emory, financial literacy, and the first year of graduate studies.

The faculty adviser will hold an advising conversation with every advisee at least once each semester during the advising period, in which the student’s progress in the MDiv program and coursework for the coming term are discussed.

Students who do not have an advising conversation prior to preregistration will have a hold placed on their OPUS account and will be prevented from registering until advising is completed and the faculty adviser notifies the Candler registrar’s office.

Final Year Integrative Advising Conversation

In the final year of the MDiv program, the academic advisers conduct an Integrative Advising Conversation with their advisees. The purpose of this conversation is to discuss the student’s overall progress in theological studies, reflection on the Candler experience, state of vocational discernment, and post-MDiv plans (including continuing education). Completion of the Integrative Advising Conversation is a graduation requirement. In preparation, students will prepare a portfolio that will be submitted to the academic adviser at least one week prior to the interview. The portfolio shall include:

  • Faculty, supervisor, and self-evaluations from Contextual Education I and II — copies of evaluations can be requested from the Office of Contextual Education. Please note a copy fee may be charged and requests must be submitted two weeks in advance.
  • Up-to-date Master of Divinity plan of study (available to student and adviser on OPUS).
  • The autobiographical statement originally submitted as a part of the student’s application for admission (available from Candler Registrar upon email request).
  • A personal statement crafted according to directions provided by the Candler registrar.
  • Final paper from NT 502/EE (student should include a cover sheet that indicates the instructions for the assignment as provided by the faculty member or the syllabus) [May be waived or substituted with an NT elective exegesis paper if the student received a waiver/substitution for NT 502].
  • Summative paper or project from REG course (ideally chosen in consultation with course instructor) [please provide a cover sheet with course number and name, semester taken, and the instructions for the assignment as indicated by the faculty member or in the syllabus].
  • Summative paper or project from a 600-level course, preferably a CEE course [please provide a cover sheet with course number and name, semester taken, and the instructions for the assignment as indicated by the faculty member or in the syllabus].
  • A paper from an ST course [please provide a cover sheet with course number and name, semester taken, and the instructions for the assignment as indicated by the faculty member or in the syllabus].
  • A sermonm preferably one submitted for a Candler course [please provide a cover sheet with course number and name, semester taken, and the instructions for the assignment as indicated by the faculty member or in the syllabus].
  • Any additional documents requested by the adviser.

MDiv Thesis Option

The thesis option provides an opportunity for independent study and research geared to the individual student’s ability and interests. MDiv students with a minimum grade point average of 3.5 at the end of thirty-six hours of coursework, including Contextual Education I and the first semester of Contextual Education II are invited in the spring semester of the second year to write an MDiv thesis. A maximum of 12 students per year will be selected. All course, Contextual Education, and advising requirements of the MDiv program will apply to those selected to write a thesis.

Eligible students will be contacted in February of the eligible year and invited to apply. Interested students submit a one-page, single-spaced letter of intent detailing their thesis interest, plus supporting letters from the faculty adviser and proposed thesis adviser, before the stated deadline to the academic dean. For most students, this will be at the beginning of the fourth semester (spring of the second year). Selection will be made before the end of the fall pre-registration advising period by the academic dean.

As the title suggests, the main feature of the thesis option is the writing of a thesis. Students selected for the thesis option are required to enroll in a directed study with their thesis adviser in the fall (typically the fifth) semester. This directed study (which may be free-standing or connected to a class that the thesis adviser is teaching that semester) will be awarded between one and three hours of credit, as determined by the academic dean in consultation with the thesis adviser. It will be focused on the thesis topic and will culminate in a 15-20 page paper to be read and assessed by the thesis adviser.

The thesis adviser determines if the paper is of sufficient quality, shows progress in research, and is leading to a clearer understanding of the thesis topic. If these conditions are not met, then the student will be given a grade for the directed study but will not be allowed to complete the MDiv thesis option. If the thesis adviser determines that the initial paper does meet these conditions, then a grade of IP (in progress) will be assigned to the directed study and the student will be permitted to enroll in three hours of MDIV650: MDiv Thesis in his or her final (typically the sixth) semester. At this stage, the thesis adviser and the student, in consultation with the academic dean, select a second reader for the thesis, who agrees to read and assess the thesis for a grade.

Students enrolled in MDIV650 will be assigned a grade for both semesters of work on the thesis on the basis of the final grade awarded for the thesis. The IP grade for the fall semester directed study will be changed to reflect the grade for the thesis once the thesis has been marked. The thesis and directed study must be taken for a letter grade, and the minimum passing grade is a B. Thesis credits do not fulfill MDiv common courses or common requirements, but may fulfill concentration requirements with the approval of the concentration coordinator. The completed thesis is normally 45–60 pages in length.

The final draft of the MDiv thesis is due to both readers by the first Monday in April of the semester of graduation. The two readers agree on a grade for the thesis, which is submitted to the registrar. In cases where the readers cannot agree on a grade, the thesis will be submitted to the academic dean for adjudication. After the graded copy is returned, the student must submit a corrected version, based on reader comments, to Emory Library’s ETD system by the senior grading deadline (etd.library.emory.edu). Students who do not complete the thesis by the deadline, but have completed all other courses needed for graduation, are required to register for MDIV999R: Master of Divinity Administrative Fee each semester until the thesis has been submitted successfully and the student graduates. For further information, contact the associate dean of faculty and academic affairs.

Application for the Degree

Early in the graduating semester, the candidate must submit a formal application for the MDiv degree before the deadline stated in the academic calendar. A late fee of $25 will be assessed for applications submitted after this date. The Application for Degree is available in OPUS during a window of time set by the university registrar each semester. A separate application is required for each degree received. Students are required to be enrolled during the semester of graduation.

Residence

Students must complete a minimum of six full-time equivalent semesters, to include at least five fall/spring semesters with not more than 18 hours of total summer term enrollment. The last two semesters of the program must be completed at Candler. Students in good standing at other seminaries accredited by the Association of Theological Schools, or at other regionally accredited universities where they are studying religion at the graduate level, may, with approval, transfer up to 26 credit hours. A maximum of 18 credit hours taken through cross-registration at Atlanta Theological Association (ATA) schools, may be applied toward the degree, counted as transfer credit. Advanced standing with transfer credit may be granted on a case-by-case basis. Upon the transfer of 26 credit hours, no additional transfer work or ATA cross-registration work will be allowed. Students who transfer into Candler’s MDiv program must complete a minimum of four semesters with at least 60 Candler semester hours, including completion of the four-semester Contextual Education program, at Candler. The MDiv degree is structured to be completed in three or four years of full-time study; the maximum length of time allowed to complete the program is six calendar years.

Contextual Education Program

Contextual Education I

During the first year of Contextual Education, all students enroll in a social service or clinical setting, unless they are enrolled in Teaching Parish or Episcopal and Anglican Studies. Immediately prior to the start of the fall semester, students meet their site supervisor and visit the site. Four hours of weekly engagement at these sites during the entire academic year give students the opportunity to experience various ministries and pastoral relationships.

In the first semester, students also meet weekly as a site group on campus or at the site with the site supervisor.

In the second semester, students continue at the same site. Students meet with a faculty member and the site supervisor for a weekly, two-hour theological integrative seminar.

The anchors for Contextual Education are the weekly reflection group in the fall led by the site supervisor and the spring Integrative Seminar co-taught by the faculty adviser and site supervisor. Two or three Contextual Education groups enroll in one contextualized Introductory Arts of Ministry class offered in the fall or spring.

Contextual Education II

Contextual Education II takes seriously the role of engaged practice for the formation of leaders for the Church’s ministries in the world. In the second year of Contextual Education all students practice ministry in ekklesia, gatherings and communities of the faithful in congregations, campus ministries, or other ministry settings. Students work eight hours per week during the entire academic year at a site of their choosing, which may be a congregational or non-congregational setting. Students who are already employed in churches, campus ministries, or other ministry settings typically work in those sites as their second-year placement. Sites must be able to support student engagement in all five areas of ministry. These five areas are: (1) Leadership and Administration; (2) Gathering, Proclamation, and Engagement; (3) Pastoral Care and Community Care; (4) Outreach, Mission, and Advocacy; and (5) Religious Education and Spiritual Formation. Students are supervised by a Site Mentor who is a ministry leader in the setting with a demonstrated capacity and commitment to aid students in theological reflection, vocational discernment, and spiritual formation. The site mentor is typically a fulltime employed, ordained pastor or person with comparable ministry experience and a graduate of an accredited seminary or possessing comparable education. Students will meet with their site mentors for receive 1.5 hours of biweekly mentoring from their site mentor.

Along with the site work, students are assigned to a bi-weekly reflection group facilitated by an experienced practitioner in ordained pastoral ministry. Groups meet in the sites in which students are serving. In addition to the site work and reflection group, students are required to take one Introductory Arts of Ministry course or P501 and one Contextual Education Elective (CEE) course while they are enrolled in Contextual Education II.

For additional information on the Contextual Education program, please visit http://www.candler.emory.edu/academics/con-ed/index.html.

Episcopal and Anglican Studies Program

The Episcopal and Anglican Studies program forms and equips students for ministry in the Episcopal Church and all the churches of the Anglican Communion. The program provides a community of learning, worship, and service for students, along with faculty and staff (including those with holy orders, those discerning holy orders, and those in all degree programs), including priests, deacons, postulants, aspirants, and laity, and those preparing for parish ministry, and those seeking to pursue God’s call to ministry outside the parish.

Students seeking the Episcopal and Anglican Studies Certificate will fulfill their Contextual Education requirements through the Episcopal and Anglican Studies program. In the fall semester of the first year of Contextual Education for Episcopal and Anglican Studies, students enroll in Contextual Education Ia and Advising for Episcopal and Anglican Studies (CE551ANGa, 3 hours). Students are placed in parish settings and participate in a two-hour weekly reflection seminar in which they examine the parish as a situation of ministry. The class analyzes specific church ministry situations, acts of ministry, priorities and dilemmas, and development of an operational theory of ministry. First semester students also receive ongoing orientation to Candler and graduate theological studies through the weekly seminar (in place on the MDiv505 course taken by other first year MDiv students). In the spring semester, first-year students enroll in Contextual Education Ib for Episcopal and Anglican Studies (CE551ANGb, 2 hours). During the first year, students also enroll in an Introductory Arts of Ministry course of their choosing.

In the second year, students will enroll in Contextual Education IIa for Episcopal and Anglican Studies (CE552ANGa, 2 hours) in the fall semester and Contextual Education IIb for Episcopal and Anglican Studies (CE552ANGb, 2 hours) in the spring semester. Second-year students also will enroll in a Contextual Education elective (CEE) and Introductory Arts of Ministry (IAM) course during fall or spring. In the third year and beyond, students enroll each semester in CE553ANGR. Contextual Education for Episcopal and Anglican Studies (2 hours per semester). A maximum of 18 hours of contextual education (CE) credits (including the 13 ordinarily taken for three years of Contextual Education for Episcopal and Anglican Studies as well as options such as internship and Clinical Pastoral Education) can be counted toward the required 86 hours for the Master of Divinity program.

For further information, contact Lang Lowrey, director, at pierce.lang.lowrey.iii@emory.edu.

Teaching Parish Program

The Teaching Parish program enables United Methodist students appointed to student pastorates to meet in geographically located reflection groups.

The program is a cooperative venture between Candler and the Tennessee, Holston, North Georgia, South Georgia, Florida, Virginia, Mississippi, North Alabama, Alabama-West Florida, North Carolina, Western North Carolina, and South Carolina Annual Conferences of The United Methodist Church and other denominational and non-denominational churches. Normally, only those students who are certified candidates for ordained United Methodist ministry are considered for appointment. Enrollment in Teaching Parish fulfills the Contextual Education requirement.

Student-pastors in a geographic area constitute a Teaching Parish group. Each group meets together (presently on Mondays) throughout the fall and spring semesters. Each group is led by a Teaching Parish supervising pastor, an elder serving in that area who has been chosen for this responsibility. The elder’s job is to lead the Teaching Parish group in its work, to evaluate each student-pastor’s performance, and to provide individual counsel to each student-pastor. Teaching Parish activities are suspended during the summer, though there is an orientation for all student-pastors at the end of the summer.

Due to immigration regulations limiting off-campus employment to an 18-month term of service, international students will not be considered for a student-pastor appointment in their first year of study. International students may be considered for appointment during their final 18 months of study at Candler. For additional information regarding international students and student-pastor appointments, please contact the Office of Admission at 404.727.6326.

In the fall semester of the first year in the Teaching Parish Program, students will enroll in a Contextualized Introductory Arts of Ministry Class and Contextual Education Ia for Teaching Parish (CE551TPa). In the spring semester, students will enroll in Contextual Education Ib for Teaching Parish (CE551TPb). In the second year, they will enroll in Contextual Education IIa Teaching Parish (CE552TPa) in the fall semester and Contextual Education IIb Teaching Parish (CE552TPb) in the spring semester. Second-year students also will enroll in a CEE and IAM during fall or spring. In the third year and beyond students enroll each semester in CE553TPR. Teaching Parish (one or two hours each semester). A maximum of 14 credit hours is granted for the Teaching Parish Program.

For further information, including application, contact Thomas Elliott Jr., director, at 404.727.4178 or thomas.elliott@emory.edu.

Admission

Admission to the MDiv degree program requires a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university, a well-balanced program of work in the liberal arts, and an overall grade point average of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale. Strong candidates, including those who have been out of college for a number of years, are encouraged to apply. All completed applications, regardless of the GPA of the applicant, will be fully reviewed by the admissions committee.

Students enrolled as MRL, MRPL, MTS or as special students at Candler may apply for admission to the MDiv program. A new application with supporting materials must be submitted. If the applicant is admitted, coursework completed satisfactorily by an MRL, MRPL, MTS or special student will be considered toward the MDiv program. The registrar will determine which credits may be applied to the MDiv program with a maximum of twenty-six credits applied to the program.

Students in good standing at other seminaries accredited by the Association of Theological Schools, or at other regionally accredited universities where they are studying religion at the graduate level, may be admitted as transfer students. These students may receive transfer credit approval for up to 26 credit hours for courses in which they earned a grade of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (84 on a numerical scale). Twelve hours may be applied to Common Courses and fourteen hours may be applied to all other areas excluding Common Courses, Contextual Education, and First-Year Advising Groups. Transfer students are required to complete the two-year Contextual Education sequence. See the MDiv program transfer credit policy page.

Application Deadline

Offers of admission to the MDiv program are made on a rolling admissions basis between November and August of each year. When an application is complete, it will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Typically, a decision will be reached within three weeks. Applications submitted and completed by November 1 will receive an admissions decision and preliminary scholarship award by December 15. (Submission of a FAFSA is required for a preliminary scholarship decision.) Further scholarship review, including review for the Woodruff Fellowships, will begin January 15. Applications received after January 15 will be considered for scholarship, based on the availability of funds. The final deadline for application is July 1 for the fall semester.

Those admitted who do not matriculate at the time for which they were admitted may request, in writing, a deferral of status for one academic year. Application materials for those who do not matriculate and who do not request an enrollment deferral will be kept on file for one academic year, after which applicants will be expected to submit a new application for admission to be considered for study in a future semester.

Applications for the MDiv program are not accepted for the spring semester or summer term, although applicants may request admission as special students for the spring semester or summer term. Coursework completed as a special student will be considered toward the MDiv.

Application Procedures

Applicants should apply online at application. http://apply.candler.emory.edu/apply. For further information, contact the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid, Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, telephone 404.727.6326, fax 404.727.2915, email candleradmissions@emory.edu.

To be considered for admission to the program, an applicant must supply the admissions office with the following:

  1. Application for admission.

  2. $50 nonrefundable application fee paid online or by mail (check or money order made payable to Emory University).

  3. Resume.

  4. Autobiographical statement: The three-four page typed, double-spaced autobiographical statement is a critical element in the evaluation of your application. Please consider your response carefully, tending to content, style, grammatical correctness, and essay organization. The statement is a way to introduce yourself to the Admissions Committee. It also will help faculty advisers guide and evaluate your learning experience in your program. With this in mind, write a reflective essay about your life that addresses the following:

    • Significant life experiences that have affected your view of self, God, and the world. Include references to family members and significant others, courses, and experiences in college, church, service-related activities, and employment.
    • Aspects of your background that inform the unique perspective you would add to the diverse and vibrant community that exists at Candler School of Theology.
    • Your reasons for applying to Candler School of Theology.
    • Your understanding of vocation, details of a call to ministry, and plans following completion of study at Candler School of Theology. United Methodist applicants should indicate plans for ordination as a deacon or elder in an annual conference and status in the United Methodist candidacy process, if applicable. An additional page may be added.
  5. A sample of recent academic writing.

  6. Official transcripts from all colleges, universities, graduate schools, and seminaries, regardless of when the applicant attended, how many hours were completed, and whether a degree was granted. Official transcripts should be sent directly from these institutions or delivered in a sealed and signed envelope. If currently enrolled at an institution, the applicant should send an official transcript of work to date and ask that a transcript be sent promptly following the completion of the term and/or conferral of a degree.

  7. Three letters of recommendation from persons who are not family members: one pastoral reference, provided by a pastor; two additional references, provided by college or graduate school professors or by a work supervisor or a character reference who has known the applicant three or more years. Those seeking merit scholarships are strongly encouraged to have two academic references if currently enrolled or recently graduated from college or a graduate program. Applicants who have been out of college for more than five years and are unable to secure an academic reference should submit additional professional references. Episcopal students who wish to participate in the Episcopal Studies Program must submit a letter from their bishop stating that they are postulants or requesting that they be granted participation in the program.

    Students who have been enrolled previously at another theological institution must provide a letter certifying that they leave the school as students in good standing.

  8. The admissions committee welcomes, but does not require, the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). While not required, GRE scores may be considered in applications if applicants submit them. The institution code for Candler is 5198.

  9. Persons whose first language is not English must furnish, with the application, recent evidence of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a score of at least 95 (Internet-based total) with a minimum score of 21 or higher in each of the four sub-areas, 250 (computer-based total), or 600 (paper-based total). The TOEFL results should be submitted directly from TOEFL to Candler (Institutional Code: 5455, Department 01). Applicants whose first language is not English are strongly encouraged to complete an intensive English course, at an institution in your home country, for at least six months prior to enrollment.

  10. A criminal background check is required of all students prior to enrollment at the expense of the student (approximately $18) through a vendor designated by the school. Candler School of Theology will provide information regarding the process of securing the required background check in early spring to admitted students. Students will not be allowed to register for classes—including Contextual Education—until the results of this report have been received and reviewed. Reports from criminal background checks are due August 15. Any student for whom the criminal background check has not been received by August 15 will forfeit the opportunity to participate in any program of Contextual Education for one year. Results of the criminal background check can impact placement in Contextual Education sites and may be released to a site supervisor.

  11. Stewards of Children—Adults Protecting Children from Sexual Abuse online training is required of first year MDiv and MRL students and those enrolled for internships. The training is offered on-line and at the expense of the school. Students will not be allowed to register for classes—including Contextual Education—until notification of completed training is received. Notification must be received by August 15 to participate in Contextual Education I.

  12. SAP-G training is required of all degree and nondegree students. SAP-G is an online learning platform designed to educate students on preventing and responding to interpersonal violence, including sexual assault, harassment, domestic violence, and stalking, in the Emory community. The training is offered at the expense of the school. Students will not be allowed to register for classes until notification of the completion of part I is received. Notification must be received by August 15. Part II of the training is completed six weeks after part I. Notification of completion of part II is required by October 15 for students interested in registering in future semesters.

  13. All incoming Emory students must meet the CDC and American College Health Association immunization guidelines prior to registration for classes. For additional information, please see the Immunization Requirement section of this Catalog/Handbook. To access the Entrance Health Survey and Consent for Treatment Forms, visit www.studenthealth.emory.edu.

In addition to supplying the above documents, international students (persons who are not US citizens or permanent residents) must comply with the following:

Upon admission, and before the visa process can begin, international students must complete the Emory University Financial Certificate, which indicates adequate financial resources to cover tuition, fees, travel, and living expenses for the first year of study in the United States. (An I-20 will not be prepared until this certificate has been approved; it must be approved by the university before July 1 for the fall semester.)

International students will be billed automatically for health insurance through Emory University unless insurance compliance information indicating proof of comparable United States–based coverage is submitted by July 1. Information regarding insurance for international students can be found online at http://isss.emory.edu/students/index.html.

Admission Deposit

A nonrefundable admission deposit of $100 is required of all students enrolling at Candler School of Theology. This deposit is required by April 1 for fall admission, or within three weeks of notification of admission to the degree program after April 1, in order to secure the student’s place in the program. The deposit will be posted as a credit to the student’s Emory University account; students who pay the deposit but fail to enroll will forfeit the deposit.