Group Size
81 semester credit hours
Skill Level

Program Description

The Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree program is designed to prepare persons for:

  • ordained ministry,
  • pastoral and religious leadership in local congregations and other faith-based settings, and
  • a variety of non-ordained religious leadership roles in the church and world.

Because of our social location as the graduate school of theology of a Historically Black College/University (HBCU), the MDiv curriculum uniquely sensitizes students to the relevance of the rich social, cultural, and religious history, heritage, and traditions of the peoples and cultures of Africa and the African diaspora as a guiding motif for theological understanding and inquiry.

As a first theological degree, the MDiv seeks to provide a broad theological foundation with practical applications for ministry engagement as well as further study in a theological discipline. The Master of Divinity degree program is offered in a three-year full-time format as well as a five-year Extended Preparation Program format and requires 81 semester hours of credit (27 courses). Students who transfer to STVU to complete an MDiv started elsewhere must complete at least 42 credit hours at STVU and fulfill all degree requirements for graduation.

Our academic year is comprised of five terms – Fall, J-term, Spring, Maymester and Summer. Each course is worth 3 credit hours. Required and elective MDiv courses are offered during on weekdays, evenings, and on Saturdays. Select courses are offered in hybrid, one-week intensive, and year-long (fall registration only) formats.

Required and elective credits can be taken in the pattern of study that best fits students’ schedules, learning styles, and interests: in-person courses, online courses, hybrid courses, one-week intensive courses, directed study, independent study, and through service learning or experiential learning opportunities. More information on requirements and limitations for classroom and non-classroom alternatives can be found in the current academic catalog and program manual. Students should consult with their faculty advisor early in their program to discuss their educational goals and plan the best way to earn required elective credit that meets their interests and needs.

The admission process varies among degree programs. For more information about enrolling in the Master of Divinity degree program, please contact the School of Theology at (804) 257-5716 or via e-mail at

Program Faculty

Dr. Earl Bledsoe
Instructor of Practical Theology
Dr. Patricia Gould-Champ
Associate Professor of Practical Theology
Dr. Faith B. Harris
Assistant Professor of Theology
Dr. James Henry Harris
Professor of Pastoral Theology and Homiletics
Dr. Greg Howard
Associate Professor of Practical Theology and Homiletics
Dr. Alison Gise Johnson
Associate Professor of Historical and Theological Studies
Dr. Yung Suk Kim
Associate Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity
Dr. John William Kinney
Professor of Theology and Historical Studies
Dr. Deborah M. Martin
Assistant Dean and Assistant Professor of Practical Theology
Dr. Ray Mckenzie
Instructor in Practical Theology
Dr. Boykin Sanders
Professor of New Testament and Greek
Dr. Harry E. Simmons
Assistant Professor of Pastoral Care
Dr. Sylvester Thomas Smith
Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies
Dr. Robert Wafawanak
Associate Professor of Biblical Studies
Program Overview