The Master of Divinity degree program is especially designed to equip qualified males who desire to be ordained into the ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Designed to thoroughly prepare men to be ordained ministers, there is a balance between scholarship and practical application. Not only will the student be equipped theologically, but he will be highly trained to be an excellent preacher and teacher of the Word, administering the Sacraments rightly, and trained to relate the means of grace to people in everyday life.
1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9 gives the qualifications for those who would desire to be a minister. Ordinarily, a male who wishes to enroll in the Master of Divinity degree program must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.25 (on a 4.00 scale). He must be a member in good standing of an orthodox Lutheran church for at least three years. If married, his wife must also be a member of the same church and supportive of his application and desire to be a pastor in the Lutheran church. In special circumstances, the Seminary may choose applicants without a bachelor’s degree to be admitted as a “non-degree student.” The applicant must demonstrate that he is able to function on a graduate level.
Onsite and Live Video Conferencing
The curriculum and instruction of the Master of Divinity degree program is a combination of onsite and online learning. Every student is required to physically attend the Seminary in Decatur, Illinois. Many courses are offered by a traditional delivery system that consists of an onsite professor and classroom. Since we have professors in other states, these professors teach their courses through live video conferencing that makes provision for real time student/professor interfacing. The video conferencing takes place in the facility of the Seminary according to the schedule of the Seminary.
Field Education (Vicarage)
While we do not require a vicarage, which is a full year internship like many seminaries, we do require extensive field education. All that would have been covered in a vicarage will be covered over four years as the student will be trained by pastors in the field in Decatur, Illinois. Field education will include training in, but not be limited to, preaching, leading the Divine Service, teaching Sunday School, adult Bible classes, Midweek School, Junior Confirmation, Vacation Bible School, attending various board and voters meetings, hospital and shut-in calls, Evangelism work, Youth, Funerals, and Weddings. Whatever pertains to the life of the congregation, the student will be given opportunity to observe and participate. Your field work supervisor will make certain that you will be able to balance your field education with your class work.
No tuition will be charged for a student in the Master of Divinity degree program. This has been made possible by the generous donations of those who support Walther Theological Seminary. See the FAQ titled: “The catalog says the M. Div. degree program is Tuition Free. That’s cheap! Does that mean that ‘you get what you pay for?'”