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Graduate Education

Olivet Theological College and Seminary offers graduate degree programs that provide students with the opportunity to continue their education beyond the undergraduate level in order to understand and expand their qualifications for many related vocations. With our accredited graduate degree programs, Olivet’s intentional attempt is to capture our mission in reaching the ‘network generation more completely, and at the same time to meet the needs of mission and ministry in the 21st century.

OTCS Students can choose among two degree programs, each accommodating for individuals in the areas of emphases and specializations.

  • Master of Divinity Program
  • Master of Theology Program
OTCS Master of Divinity Program

The OTCS Master of Divinity program is designed to prepare future ministers for work as pastors, missionaries, and chaplains in the world of 21st century Christian mission. This program provides students with core Biblical and theological learning, leadership training, as well as the skills necessary perform ministerial duties in the local church.

A core program of biblical, theological, historical, and practical studies is complemented with open and ministry electives. When choosing their electives, students can work with their academic advisers to cover classes of up to two emphasis tracks, which are compiled to give in depth training in specific fields of study or ministry.

OTCS Master of Theology Program

Olivet Theological College & Seminary’s Master of Theology (Th.M) degree is designed to develop advanced scholars and ministry leaders who will meet the needs of academic and professional and ministry services around the world. Courses in this 52-hour graduate degree program provide students with scholarly competency and professional skills in the area of biblical and theological studies. It is a program that builds upon competencies developed in the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) program.

Completion of a Master of Theology is generally required for entering the Ph.D. program in Global Theological Studies of the Zinzendorf School of Doctoral Studies.

Master of Divinity

The OTCS Master of Divinity program is designed to prepare future ministers for work as pastors, missionaries, and ministers in the world of 21st century Christian mission. This program provides students with core Biblical and theological instruction, leadership training, as well as the skills necessary to perform ministerial duties in the local church.

Master of Divinity Program Objectives

Students enrolled in the Master of Divinity degree program can expect to:

  • Grow in likeness to Christ
  • Develop advanced knowledge of the Bible and theology within a historical context
  • Interpret contemporary moral and social issues by applying Biblical and theological principles.
  • Develop professional competencies, particularly in missions and church ministry
Admission Prerequisites
  • Hold a Bachelor's degree from a CHEA or USDE-accredited U.S. institution. Note: students with a baccalaureate degree from a state-approved or non-accredited institution are encouraged to apply and ask for a transcript evaluation to determine whether conditional admission is possible.
  • Have at least a 3.0 cumulative undergraduate grade point average. Applicants with an undergraduate GPA of less than 3.0 may be admitted on probation under the following provisions: The applicant must complete twelve hours of graduate courses with a cumulative graduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. Successful completion of these requirements will lift the student's probationary status and allow him or her to continue in the degree program. An undergraduate background supported by undergraduate achievement, which would indicate the ability to engage successfully in graduate theological studies.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in Bible knowledge. A student seeking to enter the Master of Divinity degree program must take a written comprehensive examination in the area of Bible Knowledge. The Bible Knowledge examination tests a student's ability to work with Biblical data. In a multiple-choice format, it determines the student's knowledge of some detailed and specific information about Biblical texts, geography, backgrounds, and people.

A passing score on this exam demonstrates a level of competency that does not require remedial course work in Bible and theology. Scores that rank below the acceptable competency level will determine that a student must enroll in 6 hours of remedial, non-credit Biblical studies courses, which Olivet offers at the undergraduate level as required core curriculum courses for all students enrolled in its Bachelor of Arts degree programs.

Time Limits

The Master of Divinity degree is normally fulfilled by three to five years of study. Except under extenuating circumstances, all requirements for the degree must be completed within six years of the date of enrollment. Students who have not completed the requirements within the six-year period must apply to the Registrar's Office for an enrollment extension every term, up to a maximum of seven years from the date of enrollment.

Graduation Requirement
  • Pass a total of 136 hours: 32 units of Biblical studies and Biblical languages; 32 units of theological/historical studies; 24 units of ministry studies; 12 units of ministry practice; and 36 units of electives.
  • Maintain a 3.00 (B grade point average) in all Olivet University work.
  • Complete all degree requirements within the 6-year time limit unless extenuating circumstances exist.
  • Students are subject to the Master of Divinity degree requirements of the Catalog of the year in which they entered.
  • Satisfy all financial responsibilities to the university.

Master of Theology

The Master of Theology (Th.M.) is an extension program of Master of Divinity (M.Div.) program, designed to equip the students with scholarly competency and professional teaching skills in the area of biblical and theological studies. 52-unit requires one calendar year of full-time study, or may be completed over a longer period, up to a maximum of four years without special permission from the director.

Master of Theology Program Objectives

In the context of Olivet University's mission, completion of the Master of Theology program will enable students to:

  • Mature in Christ-like attitude through affirmative engagement with his Word in a context of Christian community
  • Incorporate advanced study and research skills in the area of their specialization
  • Utilize the Biblical languages of Greek and Hebrew in the pursuit of Biblical and theological knowledge
  • Be prepared for higher studies, especially at the doctorate level.
Admission Prerequisites
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended, demonstrating superior academic ability in a first theological degree (M.Div., M.A. in Theology with a concentration in biblical studies and theology, or the equivalent from an accredited school), with a cumulative graduate grade point average of at least 3.0 on a scale of 4.0, or the equivalent according to the institution's grading norms.
    Note: students with a degree from a state approved, or nonaccredited institution are encouraged to apply and ask for a transcript evaluation to determine whether conditional admission is possible.
  • Those whose native language is not English may elect to submit TOEFL score of 250 (or 600 on paper test). The score must be obtained no later than five years prior to the date of application.
  • At least two letters of recommendations (at least one from an EAPC pastor and one from a professor)
  • Sign the Olivet University's Statement of Faith
  • Submit the Olivet University's application form along with $100 application fee
Time Limits

The Master of Theology degree is designed as one-year extension to the Master of Divinity program. Except under extenuating circumstances, all requirements for the degree must be completed within four years of the date of enrollment. Students who have not completed the requirements within the four-year period must petition for extension to remain in the program.

Graduation Requirements
  • Complete 52 units on the graduate level
  • Satisfy degree requirement for your concentration, including the language requirements
  • Maintain cumulative GPA of 3.00 or above
  • Complete Th.M. Thesis and oral defense
  • Satisfy all financial responsibilities to the university