Master of Divinity

The degree of Master of Divinity (M.Div.) certifies completion of a program of theological studies designed primarily, although not exclusively, to prepare the student for pastoral ministry. It has become a requirement for all the Pastors of the Independent Church of India to have this degree. 

COURSE DESCRIPTION
Program:   Master of Divinity

BIBLE & EXEGESIS (OT, NT and Language)
1.    Introduction to the Bible, Part I: This study provides an introductory survey that examines the basic composition and biblical content of the Old Testament as well as the core history of Israel with their relationships to other contemporaneous Near Eastern peoples. This course will also help students in developing a foundational understanding of hermeneutical and exegetical methods and fundamental theological themes as they interface with the Old Testament canonical literature.
2.    Introduction to the Bible, Part II: This course is a survey of the New Testament and its background. This study directs to the true fact that we are the people of the new covenant and it provides an understanding of the revelation of God which is hugely important in a person’s Christian life and relationship with God. This survey study provides basic information, application, and a general outline from each of the 27 books of the New Testament while helping the student see God’s “big picture” in this relevant portion of God’s Word.
3.    Preliminary Greek: This course is intended to provide students with the fundamentals of grammar, syntax, and vocabulary of the New Testament Greek that would enable the learner to understand the New Testament in its original language and translate simple Greek sentences to English. It will enable the students to read and write New Testament Greek and translate it into English. It also helps students to make exegetical studies on their own, rightly dividing the word of God and fetching the divine intent as perfectly as possible.
4.    Preliminary Hebrew: This course is designed to equip the student with the fundamentals of grammar, syntax, and vocabulary of Biblical Hebrew. Knowledge of the basic principles of English grammar is recommended for this study. Selected passages of the Old Testament are studied exegetically so that the students can evaluate and appreciate their syntactical, lexical, literary, historical, socio-cultural, geographical and theological context.
5.    Biblical Interpretation: This is an introductory course that deals with the foundation of biblical interpretation. Moreover, the course will help students to understand the basic methods and principles of biblical interpretation.
6.    Biblical Theology: This course consists of an in-depth study of God’s mission as it is revealed in both the Old and New Testaments. It deals with the mission of God in terms of history, culture and philosophy of the people to whom the mission was delivered, the interpretation of Scripture within the Bible, the progressive development of biblical theology as new cultures and peoples were engaged by Israel and the church, the modes of mission and ministry which are evidenced in the Bible and the application of biblical missiology to the contemporary world context.
7.    Johannine Thought: This is the study of the books written by John in the New Testament (Fourth Gospel, Johannine Epistles and Revelation) through which the student can understand Johannine thought that runs through these books. The different interpretation methods and the major themes of Johannine theology will be given priority.
8.    Pauline Thought: Through this course, the major thoughts found in the writings of the apostle Paul will be taught. Through this course, the students will understand how Pauline theology and thoughts shaped the doctrinal structure of the church and Christian life. The students will also come to realize that the major teachings of God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, man, sin, justification, salvation, sanctification, etc are based on the epistles written by the apostle Paul. This course will give the students a growing interest in the key emphasis of Paul’s theology and also in taking up contemporary theological issues.
9.    Exegesis (Isaiah-Jeremiah): This course will develop the language and exegetical skills necessary for interpreting Old Testament prophetic literature. Isaiah and Jeremiah are studied in their historical context to appreciate the theological contribution of their message in revealing the Lord and his sovereign outworking of redemptive history. Attention will be given to current issues of interpretation with a view toward teaching and preaching out of the prophetic corpus.

THEOLOGY & ETHICS
10.    Introduction to Systematic Theology: This is a course that deals with Christian theology that formulates a systematic, rational, and coherent account of the Christian faith and beliefs. This course is an overview of all major topics such as bibliology, revelation, God, creation and divine providence, Christology, soteriology, ecclesiology, and eschatology. This course endeavors to enable learners to think theologically and construct a biblical worldview that makes the Christian witness relevant to all people in need.
11.    Person and Work of Christ: This course deals with the doctrines pertaining to the Person of Christ, the study of the human and divine natures of Jesus Christ as they co-exist within one person. This course also gives attention to the doctrine of the atonement work of Christ by which Christ has reconciled humanity with God. By the end of this course, the learners will have a coherent and comprehensive understanding of why Jesus’ incarnation, suffering, and death were necessary for the salvation of humanity. The students will also be oriented on how to resolve controversial historical disputes on Christ’s humanity, divinity, and atoning work.
12.    Christian Ethics: This course deals with the precepts on how Christians should live, what they can and cannot do, and the kind of persons they must be. This course also deals with the development of Christian ethics and considers similarities and differences in the ethical approaches within Christendom. Contemporary moral issues and concerns such as war and peace, terrorism, economics, the environment, globalization, capital punishment, euthanasia, abortion, cloning etc will be addressed so as to enable the students to respond to them on the basic biblical ethical teaching.
13.    Theology in the Asian Context with special emphasis on India: This course is an introductory module for the student to be acquainted with the overall socio, political, religious, cultural and economic contexts of the Asian region that would considerably influence the articulation of theology and interpretation of the Scripture. Various Asian milieus and pertinent theologies of Asian countries as will be introduced to the students. The context of India and her theology are given emphasis in this module which would help the student come to understand that the church of India has persistently been contributing towards the Indian contextual theological articulation apart from traditional Western contribution. The student would also come across such Indian contextual theologies and be oriented to the need for a biblical and evangelical theology even while the contexts are being considered seriously as part of the theologizing process.
14.    Christian Anthropology and Hamartiology: This course investigates the doctrines of anthropology and hamartiology. The creation and fall of humanity, as well as the nature of sin and its consequences, will be evaluated. This course will also address the reciprocal relationship between structural evil and individual humans and the manner in which this relationship impacts the contemporary church.
15.    Soteriology: This course is a study of the nature of salvation. It will focus on the process and responsibilities of salvation from the standpoint of God and from the standpoint of man. We will look both to Scripture and the church history for answers. Focus will be made on the doctrine of justification—the central issue of the Reformation. Much time will be spent attempting to understand the ongoing debate between God’s sovereignty in salvation and man’s responsibility. We will also examine at the different views of atonement, faith and repentance, eternal security, and the destiny of the unevangelized.
16.  Contemporary Theological Trends: The course makes a survey of the 20th-century theological trends which are juxtaposed to the existing traditional systematic theology. The students will be able to acquaint with the challenges of Christian doctrines in a secularized society.  The major purpose is to show that these theologies are postulated because of either missing links in the traditional theologies or because of over-philosophizing and theologizing, or the selfish desires of various individuals.  The course will analyze the philosophies which have influenced the advancement of contemporary theologies.  It will put much emphasis on Feminist, Liberation and other theologies that are challenging to the contemporary world.

HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY
17.    History of Christianity: This course is designed to introduce the students to selected events from the establishment of the church at Jerusalem till the present time. The focus is on the challenges that the church faced through the centuries as it had to go through both internal and external threats. Emphasis is also given to the people who contributed towards the church as well as society.
18.    History of Christianity in Asia with special emphasis on India: This course is meant to acquaint the students with the history of Christianity in Asia. The focus is on enriching the students by helping them identify the different traditions, impulses, forms, and issues contributing directly to a greater understanding of the history of Christian churches in the Asian continent. Special emphasis is given to the advent of Christianity to India, the threats faced, its miraculous survival and its impact on India and especially its contribution to the nation-building of India.
19.    Reformation: This course is a study of the Reformation. Since the Reformation is connected with the medieval period, the students are introduced to the characteristics of the medieval history of the Church and secular history as well. The emergence of Post Reformation denominations and modern movements will be highlighted.
20.    Church History of North East India with special emphasis on the Independent Church of India: This course gives an introduction to the advent and growth of Christianity in North East India. It also focuses of the various contributions of the Christian church toward socio-political, cultural, and educational development in this region. It will have a special emphasis on the Independent Church of India from its beginning to the present time.

RELIGION AND SOCIETY
21.    Survey of World Religions: This is a study of the major religions of the world including Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Sikhism, Jainism and Judaism. Emphasis is also given to developing a missionary approach towards other faiths.
22.    Modern Religious and Secular Movements: This is a survey of contemporary religious movements, social movements, and modern trends of the world, and its relevance to evangelization at large.

EVANGELISM AND MISSIONS
23.    Introduction to Missions and Evangelism: This is an introductory course that provides the Biblical and Theological perspective of mission and evangelism. It also introduces the theory and practice of evangelism, and it guides the students in the application of both Biblical and practical principles. Evangelism and social involvement is also discussed as authentic expressions of love, that long to serve people in their need.
24.    Introduction to Communication: Theory and Practice: This course offers a critical analysis of the various theories of communication. Special focus goes to major communication areas such as intrapersonal, interpersonal, group and teamwork, organizational, intercultural and mass media. The second part of this course facilitates the students to discover their skills and most effective methods of communication for Christian ministry.
25.    Tribal Religions: This course looks into the conceptual meaning of the term ‘tribal’ and its changes in nomenclature during the colonial and post-colonial phases. It also looks into the socio-cultural institutions such as marriage, family, kinship, and religion which are important elements of tribal communities. It focuses mostly on religion – beliefs, myths, values, rituals, world view and impacts with some case studies.
26.    Principles of Church Growth and Church Planting: This course introduces the theological foundation and basic strategies for church planting and growth. The course familiarizes the students with resources to understand the dynamics of the most effective methods and strategies of church growth. It also introduces the basic principles of Church planting including issues such as getting started support base and structures, demographics, the person of the church planter and holistic ministry issues.

CHRISTIAN MINISTRY
27.    Church and Ministry, Part I: This is an introductory course that provides a Biblical and Theological perspective of Christian ministry. It introduces the origin, development, Biblical models and the significance of Christian ministry. It guides the students in the application of both Biblical and practical principles. Christian ministry and social involvements are also discussed as authentic expressions of love, that long to serve people in their need.
28.    Church and Ministry, Part II: This is a more detailed study of the Church and its ministry that deals with the significance and practices of the biblical models of Christian ministry. It throws light on different types of ministries, its need and their significance. It guides the students toward the need for holistic ministry and its importance in the Christian Mission.
29.    Christian Spiritual Warfare: This course prepares Christians to help themselves and others experience victory over spiritual opposition from the world, the flesh or satanic sources in their own or other’s cultures. Here, the students will be taught to recognize the forms of spiritual oppositions and be acquainted with resources for dealing with the spiritually oppressed. Through this, the students will develop confidence in their ability in the Lord to confront spiritual opposition in their own lives and ministries.
30.    Pastoral Care and Counseling: This course is an introduction to the theology and practice of pastoral care, psychology and counseling. The study facilitates the student to have basic skills, the right attitude, knowledge, and spiritual character to provide meaningful and faithful pastoral care and counseling. Emphasis is on practical matters for the local pastor.

GENERAL STUDIES
31.    Research Methodology: This course will provide an introduction to the basics and principles of research methodology. Various research designs will be introduced that include experimental and non-experimental as well as qualitative and quantitative designs. This course also gives students basic information and an understanding of data collection, statistics, analysis and evaluation. This course teaches the methods and techniques of studying, researching and the fundamentals of report writing. Under the supervision of a faculty advisor, the student selects a subject in his/her area of concentration and writes a research paper.
32.    Expository Preaching: This course will teach students with expository sermons – the basic elements in sermon construction, central idea, transitions, illustrations, and building a bridge between the biblical world and the contemporary world.
33.    Advanced English Grammar: An advanced English course presenting principles and methods in standard grammar and usage of spoken and written English. It introduces the writing process and requires the writing of paragraphs and essays. The course also emphasizes various styles of writing to enhance the student’s ability to communicate more effectively through written communication.
34.    Christian Education: This course is a basic introduction to Christian education. It explains the theological root and principles of Christian education. It is designed to explain the healthy triangular relationship between parents, the church and the school. It helps the students to have a clearer understanding of how education nurtures people and communities.
35.    Thesis Writing: This course will give the student an opportunity to produce and defend a thesis under the supervision of a teacher. This is a process-oriented writing course that integrates reading, research, writing, and oral presentations. The student will carry out a research project on a topic of interest.