Academic Programs

Master of Divinity Courses

Bible
Old Testament Survey (2 credits)
Pentateuch & History (3)
Psalms & Wisdom Literature (3)
Prophets (3)
New Testament Survey (2)
Synoptic Gospels (3)
Gospel of John/Johannine Literature (3)
Pauline Epistles 1 (3)
Pauline Epistles 2 (3)
Pastoral Epistles (3)

Theology & History
Lutheran Hermeneutics (2)
Creation and the Triune God (3)
Jesus the Christ and the Triune God (3)
Holy Spirit and the Mission of the Church (3)
The Lutheran Confessions (3)
The Theology of Martin Luther (2)
Church History 1: To the Reformation (3)
Church History 2: The Reformation (3)
Church History 3: Since the Reformation (3)

Practical Theology
Homiletics I (3)
Homiletics II (3)
Worship (3)
Being a Pastor 1 (1)
Being a Pastor 2 (1)
Being a Pastor 3 (1)
Introduction to Pastoral Care (3)
Introduction to Children & Family Ministry (2)
Introduction to Youth Ministry (2)
Introduction to Senior Adult Ministry (2)
Introduction to Education (2)

Mission/Evangelism
Foundations of Evangelism (2)
Church Planting (2)
Effective Lutheran Witness (2)
Community Building & Outreach (2)

Parish Service
Certificate Courses

Bible
Lutheran Hermeneutics (3)
Old Testament Survey (3)
New Testament Survey (3)

Systematic Theology
Creation and the Triune God (3)
Jesus the Christ and the Triune God (3)
Holy Spirit and Mission of the Church (3)
The Lutheran Confessions (3)

Practical Theology
Homiletics I (3)
Homiletics II (3)
Worship (3)
* Introduction to Pastoral Care (3)
* Introduction to Youth Ministry (3)
* Introduction to Senior Adult Ministry (3)
* Introduction to Education (3)

* Any two courses in this series

Lutheran Year Courses

Bible
Lutheran Hermeneutics (3)

Systematic Theology
Creation and the Triune God (3)
Jesus the Christ and the Triune God (3)
Holy Spirit and Mission of the Church (3)
The Lutheran Confessions (3)

History
Church History 2: The Reformation (3)

Practical Theology
Homiletics II (3)
Worship (3)

Doctor of Ministry Courses

Year 1
Course 1 – The Law/Gospel Hermeneutic
Course 2 – The Law/Gospel in Preaching
Independent Study – Paper Project

Year 2
Course 1 – L/G in Pastoral Care/Education
Course 2 – L/G in Leadership
Independent Study – Thesis Proposal

Year 3
Course 1 – L/G in Evangelism
Course 2 – Elective
Independent Study – Thesis Defense

Doctor of Ministry Courses

Year 1
Course 1 – The Law/Gospel Hermeneutic
Course 2 – The Law/Gospel in Preaching
Independent Study – Paper Project

Year 2
Course 1 – L/G in Pastoral Care/Education
Course 2 – L/G in Leadership
Independent Study – Thesis Proposal

Year 3
Course 1 – L/G in Evangelism
Course 2 – Elective
Independent Study – Thesis Defense

Mission Developer Courses

Semester One: Foundations

Semester Two: Entering the field
(Identification and Invitation)

Semester Three: Incorporation

Semester Four: Involving

Master of Divinity

The Master of Divinity program prepares pastors and missionaries to bear witness to the saving work of God in Jesus Christ. This 90 credit program is built on a firm foundation of biblical and theological studies, while also training students in the practice of parish ministry and mission development.

Students engage in their studies while simultaneously working in a parish context under the direction of a mentoring pastor and congregation. This method provides students with the opportunity to put their learning directly to work. The internship requirements of the program are built into the curriculum, to be completed throughout the term of enrollment.

Master of Divinity Program Requirements

Prerequisites

  • Bachelor’s Degree (2.5 GPA)
  • Introductory Greek (may be obtained through SPLS)

Contextual Requirements

  • Mentoring congregation
  • Pastoral mentor

Degree Requirements

  • 90 credit hours
  • Internship/field education

Parish Service Certificate

In a variety of contexts, the Holy Spirit raises up leaders in congregations who have not gone through the traditional seminary program. In rural congregations, a local farmer is called to preach when the pastor retires. In urban centers, limited financial resources make the calling of a pastor difficult—so a committed volunteer steps into the void. In immigrant communities, the immediate need for preachers and teachers who speak the language of the people calls people into service without waiting for degree completion.

The Parish Service Certificate provides these faithful servants of the Word with the tools needed to engage in this work. A grounding in Scripture and the Lutheran theological tradition, along with basic skills in preaching, teaching, evangelism, and pastoral care, provides the foundation for effective ministry in these special circumstances. The Parish Service Certificate is not a shortcut to ordained ministry. Rather, it recognizes the ever-changing needs of congregations and is designed to meet those needs as efficiently as possible.

Parish Service Certificate Program Requirements

Contextual Requirements

  • Mentoring congregation
  • Pastoral mentor

Certificate Requirements

  • 36 credit hours
  • Field education

Lutheran Year

In cases where a student receives the bulk of their theological education from a non-Lutheran school, but intends to serve in Lutheran churches, certain core courses from a Lutheran perspective can be helpful. The Lutheran Year courses are recommended to help prepare students serve effectively and faithfully in a Lutheran setting.

Doctor of Ministry in Stewardship of the Word

Through this course of study, students will hone skills and understanding of the pastoral work of bringing God’s Word of Law & Gospel to bear in the variety of circumstances that arise in the course of parish service. Through a combination of course work, independent study, and a thesis, students will explore the rich depths of the Law/Gospel hermeneutic as the foundation of pastoral work.  All courses are taught online using video conferencing.

Admission Requirements:

  • Master of Divinity or equivalent (ministry experience does not substitute for degree).
  • Undergraduate and Seminary transcripts (sent directly from institution to SPLS).
  • Minimum of 3 years of ministry experience after receiving MDiv or equivalent.
  • 3 letters of recommendation.
  • Sponsoring congregation/ministry site.
  • Entrance essay.
  • Sermon sample.

Costs*

  • $1500 per course
  • $400 thesis/project fee

* Accredited program fees slightly higher and intensive courses (2-3) require a short campus stay.

Mission Developer Certificate

Planting and serving a new congregation is a special calling, involving a unique set of skills and gifts. This practicum-oriented program spans four semesters over two years, addressing knowledge, skill, aptitude, formation, action, and accountability in the new ministry development field. Combining directed reading, 1-2 monthly online lecture and discussion sessions, and practicum assignments to be completed between sessions, preferably in the context of the student’s role as a mission developer, this hands-on program is perfect for pastors or lay leaders who are interested in serving as mission developers.

 Costs

  • $700 per course (for credit)
  • $350 per course for auditors/clergy continuing ed.