Programs leading to a Master of Divinity prepare students for leadership positions in ministry through studying theology and the texts and traditions of various religious disciplines. Dual degree programs allowing students to also earn a Master of Business Administration prepare prospective religious leaders for business challenges and issues they may encounter in their positions. Some programs include practical experience like an apprenticeship with a current minister.
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MBA and MDiv Dual Degree Program Information
In dual degree programs, both degrees can often be earned in about three to four years by completing coursework in both divinity schools or departments and business schools or departments within a university. Programs granting both degrees may require about 80-100 or more credit hours divided between business and divinity departments including courses like the following.
Interpretation of the New Testament
Divinity graduate programs include an in-depth examination of components of the Bible, including the New Testament. These classes analyze texts to generate an understanding of biblical themes and how they shape Christian belief. They may include studies in biblical Greek, and courses may be structured to focus specifically on books within the New Testament, such as Corinthians or the Gospel of John.
Students in these graduate programs devote attention to foundational ethics within Christianity. Classes in this area explore theological roots of Christian ethical systems, discourse about Christian ethics, and approaches to ethical decision-making. These courses may also include examinations of specific social issues and Christian responses to them.
Introduction to Preaching
Courses on the art and experience of preaching prepare students for ministerial roles. These classes may examine the history of preaching, as well as offer an introduction to preaching approaches and techniques. Students learn to prepare sermons that are grounded in Biblical texts that will be interesting and relevant to audiences.
The MBA portion of these dual degree programs often includes courses on corporate finance to help students understand financial decisions business leaders face. These classes cover planning and implementing corporate financial strategies, types of investments, securing capital, and budgeting. They also offer instruction in risk analysis and balancing costs and risks in business decisions.
Courses in business communication cover effective managerial communication techniques within the workplace. Topics generally include assessing an audience, conducting research, and crafting a message in appropriate formats, including reports, memos, and web sites. Aspects of communication relevant to marketing may be included. Business communication classes also usually cover ethical considerations, like corporate responsibility and managing an organization's public image.
Program Admission Information
Dual degree programs in this area often require that students apply to the business schools and seminaries or theological schools within their universities. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree, and these programs usually require undergraduate preparation in theology or business. Those without such preparation may need to complete additional coursework during their graduate program. Master of Divinity programs often require a commitment to Christian teachings and practices. Other potential factors for admissions decisions include scores on an entrance exam such as the GRE or GMAT, an interview, recommendations, and a writing sample.
Dual degree programs that allow students to earn a Master of Divinity along with a Master of Business Administration prepare students for religious leadership positions and provide an understanding of the business challenges that go along with such careers. Applicants can expect courses in theology, preaching, and ethics along with management topics including finance and communication.