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Program Overview

Program Overview

Lipscomb University’s Master of Divinity (M.Div.) program helps you expand your knowledge of Scripture and the theological traditions of Christianity across the world through a mix of online and in-person courses. This hybrid program is the most comprehensive pastoral degree at the Hazelip School of Theology.

The program provides biblical knowledge, missional leadership training and practical ministry experience that empowers you to grow into a spiritual leader who can support lives of faith in your community. Whether you are working toward a formal ordination in your particular faith community or simply seeking a thorough training credential that can sharpen your abilities, you will be prepared for the Kingdom work you are called to lead through our M.Div. program.

Master of Divinity Program Outcomes

With the aim to cultivate spiritually reflective leaders, the M.Div. degree program emphasizes the integration of theological learning with the skills needed to address the complex issues encountered in the practice of ministry. Through rigorous theological training, you can achieve:

  • A deeper faith in Jesus Christ and the development of a spirituality that will sustain life in ministry;
  • Competence in the interpretation of the Bible;
  • A critical knowledge of the Christian tradition and abilities to help the church shape its future in light of that tradition;
  • Skills to lead the church in mission within a rapidly changing and diverse cultural context;
  • Competence to practice day-to-day ministry with integrity.

Pursue Your Calling with a M.Div. Degree from Lipscomb

Want to nurture Christian communities and share the word of God? Join us at the Hazelip School of Theology to earn your M.Div. degree and pursue your calling. We provide guidance, spiritual support and in-depth ministry study for you to become a true servant leader. Apply to Lipscomb University’s M.Div. today to start your impactful journey or request information to learn more!

Admissions Requirements

Admissions Requirements

  • Application with $50 nonrefundable application fee
  • Three letters of recommendation: one from a university administrator or professor (we do accept an additional professional or ministry recommendation in lieu of academic recommendations), one from a professional supervisor/employer and one from a church leader or minister
  • Official transcripts emailed to gradadmissions [at] lipscomb.edurel="noopener" target="_blank" or mailed to Graduate Admissions (One University Park Dr., Nashville, TN 37204)
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Undergraduate or graduate GPA of at least 2.75
  • 750-1,000-word essay discussing the applicant's religious heritage, career goals and how Hazelip School of Theology might contribute to the achievement of those pursuits

Graduate credit hours may be transferred from another ATS-accredited institution. A maximum of 12 hours will be counted toward the M.A.C.M., a maximum of 21 hours towards the M.T.S., and a maximum of 48 hours for the M.Div. degree. The director or appropriate faculty member of the graduate program will evaluate the course(s) being proposed for transfer and make a determination of suitability. No course with a grade below a “B” will be considered for transfer. No more than half of a student’s hours from a completed degree may be transferred. For transfer credit questions from non-ATS accredited institutions, please contact the director of the Hazelip School of Theology for more information.

International Students

International students are required to be proficient in written and oral English before enrolling. A score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) of approximately 570 on the paper-based test, or 80 on the iBT, or an IELTS exam with an overall band score of 6.5 is the minimum accepted for admittance. For more information, see International Students admissions policy.

Admissions Policy

Courses

Courses

With a transformative curriculum design, the Master of Divinity program offers two learning models for students to choose from—cohort and traditional. The part-time cohort model focuses on the integration of various theological disciplines with real contexts of ministry, while the traditional model provides flexibility for you to customize your curriculum to your chosen area of study.

Advanced standing may be granted for as many as one-third of the total hours (approx. 24) required for the M.Div. degree. Only those who have undergraduate theological education from outstanding regionally-accredited colleges and universities will qualify. Any course for which advanced standing is granted must be a reasonable substitute for the course required by the Hazelip School of Theology, and the student must have gained an “A” or a “B.” The granting of such credit is subject to the decision of the HST director and faculty assessor. 

Faculty at the Hazelip School of Theology will assess which undergraduate coursework is suitable for potential credit. The student will be notified before the examination which undergraduate courses are being considered and how they correspond with the graduate courses listed above.

 

The following graduate courses are typically granted credit in the advanced standing process:

GB 5483 - Introduction to Theology
GB 5603 - Introduction to Ministry
GB 5083 - Old Testament Critical Interpretation
GB 5093 - New Testament Critical Interpretation
GB 5493 - Global Christianity
GB 5043 - Biblical Hebrew I or GB 5033 - Biblical Greek I
GB 5063 - Biblical Hebrew II or GB 5073 - Biblical Greek II

Contact Evan Richardson at evan.richardson [at] lipscomb.edutarget="_blank" for further information.

Cohort Model vs. Traditional Model

Cohort Model

Under the part-time cohort model, the sequence of courses weaves together Scripture, theology and ministry. The program provides you the opportunity to serve in a ministry setting as you work through the curriculum. This integration helps you really understand the connections between formal theological training and your faith community. You’ll finish the degree with clearer professional practices that are biblically and theologically informed and skills that will adapt to the issues you may encounter in your present and future work.

Traditional Model

With the traditional model, you gain the same first-class comprehensive learning but with greater flexibility in how you construct the experience. Allowing students to complete the program part-time or full-time, the traditional format offers 15 hours of elective space for you to customize your learning to a particular area, whether that’s in Scripture, theology or specialized ministry skills. With various delivery formats for your classes, you will be able to access a quality Hazelip education even if you are not in the immediate vicinity of Lipscomb University's locations in Nashville, Tennessee.

Tuition & Aid

Tuition & Aid

At Lipscomb University, we strive to make education affordable. Tuition is currently $540* per credit hour, however, all students in the Hazelip School of Theology receive a 25% discount, which brings the cost per credit hour to $405 per credit hour. We also provide various financial aid programs to assist you in affording your tuition.

*Note: Graduate tuition rates may increase annually, effective at the start of the summer term.

Why Earn Your Master of Divinity Degree at Lipscomb?

Comprehensive Curriculum

Lipscomb University’s Master of Divinity program provides the in-depth academic study and comprehensive theological training that you need to embrace your calling. Through 72 credit hours of study in a cohort environment, along with our attentive faculty, you will foster a profound understanding of Scripture, Biblical languages, theology, Christian history, and spiritual formation in a global context. In addition, you also have the opportunity to customize your degree with at least 15 hours of elective or concentration courses to specialize in a specific area of ministry.

Hybrid Program Format

Knowing that many of our students may have other responsibilities outside of school, we offer a flexible learning format to accommodate their needs to attend the Master of Divinity courses. With a hybrid program design, you can complete the program requirements part-time or full-time with a blend of online and in-person classes in Nashville. You may earn up to 48 credits through online classes and complete the other 24 credit hours in residence. In-person courses are offered in short residencies either over 2-3 weekends (Friday-Saturday) or one 2-day meeting in a semester.

Advanced Standing

Advanced standing may be granted for as many as one-third of the total hours (approx. 24) required for the M.Div. degree. Only those who have prior theological education (undergraduate or graduate) from outstanding regionally-accredited colleges and universities will qualify. Any course for which advanced standing is granted must be a reasonable substitute for the course required by the Hazelip School of Theology, and the student must have gained an “A” or a “B.” The granting of such credit is subject to the decision of the HST director and faculty assessor. Advanced standing can save students almost $10,000 in tuition.

Valuable Service Experience

With an emphasis on integrating theoretical knowledge with practical experience, the M.Div. program gives you ample opportunities to serve your community while you are in school. Through field practicum requirements and service learning, you can foster valuable field experience in various ministry and nonprofit settings.

Small Class Sizes

With a low student-to-faculty ratio, we foster a tight-knit learning community to support our students through their individual journeys. In our small-size classes, you have opportunities to engage in meaningful discussions, receive one-on-one faculty mentorship and ask difficult questions.

Our Faculty

Meet our key faculty.

  • Frank Guertin headshot

    Frank Guertin

    Assistant Dean and Associate Professor

    Frank Guertin is Assistant Dean for the Hazelip School of Theology at Lipscomb University and Assistant Professor of Theology. Guertin completed his bachelor's degree at Ohio Valley University and his...

    Meet Frank Guertin
  • Mark Black

    Mark Black

    Adjunct Faculty

    Mark teaches Luke-Acts, Synoptic Gospels, New Testament Theology, Corinthians, New Testament Exegesis, and Biblical Ethics. He has preached at the Moreland Ave Church of Christ in Atlanta, the Okolona church...

    Meet Mark Black
  • Earl Lavender headshot

    Earl Lavender

    Professor

    Earl was born to missionary parents in Trieste, Italy. He earned undergraduate degrees from Ohio Valley College and David Lipscomb College (Physical Education and Coaching).  He is married to the...

    Meet Earl Lavender
  • Lee Camp headshot

    Lee Camp

    Professor

    Lee is an Alabamian by birth. He met his wife Laura at Lipscomb as an undergrad (BA in Computer Science), and then did seminary at Abilene Christian University (MA and...

    Meet Lee Camp
  • Phillip Camp headshot

    Phillip Camp

    Professor

    Phillip Camp teaches Old Testament and Hebrew courses. He is the author of "Finding Your Way: A Guide to Seminary Life and Beyond" (Cascade, 2009) and "Living as the Community...

    Meet Phillip Camp
  • John Mark Hicks headshot

    John Mark Hicks

    Adjunct Faculty

    John Mark Hicks has taught full time in higher education among Churches of Christ since 1982 and is currently Professor of Theology at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. He has...

    Meet John Mark Hicks
  • Aaron Howard headshot

    Aaron Howard

    Assistant Professor

    Aaron teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in ethics. He holds a PhD in Ethics and Society from Vanderbilt University. an MA in Theology & Biblical Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary,...

    Meet Aaron Howard
  • Lipscomb Featured Faculty

    Derrick Jackson

    Adjunct Faculty

    Meet Derrick Jackson
  • Kris Miller headshot

    Kris Miller

    Assistant Professor

    Kris Miller joined the faculty of the College of Bible and Ministry in 2015, serving as assistant professor of theology and director of Lipscomb's Institute for Christian Spirituality. He has...

    Meet Kris Miller
  • Paavo Tucker headshot

    Paavo Tucker

    Adjunct Faculty

    Paavo was born in Nashville, and grew up in Finland as a missionary kid before moving to the United States to go to college at Freed-Hardeman University. He attained his...

    Meet Paavo Tucker
  • Lauren White headshot

    Lauren White

    Assistant Professor

    Lauren Smelser White has served as Assistant Professor of Theology at Lipscomb since 2018 and teaches various undergraduate and graduate courses in Bible and systematic, historical, and contextual theology. She...

    Meet Lauren White

Career Paths

Chaplaincy

Serve others in their seasons of need as a chaplain in a variety of settings, including the military, hospitals, hospice and universities.

Christian Publishing

Play a substantive role in the publishing industry where you can use your critical thinking skills and honed communication abilities.

Nonprofit Work

Lead organizations in their faith-centered mission as they do good in culture and work to improve the lives of others in your community.


Ministers

Provide pastoral leadership in various aspects of congregational ministry.

Private Christian School Teachers (K-12)

Instruct students in Bible and other spiritual formation classes common to these settings.