Master of Divinity or Bachelor of Divinity
The special mission of the Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary is to minister to men who aspire to the vocational Christian ministry. These men will be enrolled as Master of Divinity or Bachelor of Divinity students. The paragraphs below address the special procedures for the acceptance and care of such students.
The Bible makes clear that some men are so gifted by God that they should labor vocationally as a pastor or minister of the Word of God (1 Cor. 9:14; Gal. 6:6; 1 Tim. 5:17). The primary purpose of the CBTS is to provide a thorough theological education for men who are presently in the pastorate and those who aspire to the vocational Christian ministry (2 Tim. 2:2).
Admission as a Master of Divinity or Bachelor of Divinity student to CBTS requires first that the pastor or elders of the prospective student’s church recommend him as a legitimate aspirant to the vocational ministry. They may do so through a written letter detailing their assessment of his aspirations. The dean of CBTS must then approve the prospective student by means of an interview examining his fitness for enrollment at CBTS. For practical purposes this interview may be conducted over the phone.
Admission entitles the student not only to take classes for credit at the CBTS, but also includes the special pastoral help and oversight which such an aspirant to the Christian ministry requires. Of course, this status and the oversight it entails only continue as both the elders of the student and the faculty of CBTS view the man’s aspirations as appropriate and legitimate. In other words, this status continues only as long as they view him as a potential, vocational pastor.
Ordinarily, only men who are at least 21 years of age, hold a Bachelor’s Degree and are members in good standing of an evangelical church shall be eligible for acceptance to the Master of Divinity program. Those meeting these qualifications without a Bachelor’s Degree shall be eligible for acceptance to the Bachelor of Divinity program. The administration of the CBTS reserves the right to waive any or all of these entrance requirements or to decline the application of any man to CBTS at its own discretion.
The requirement that a man’s aspirations to the vocational ministry be deemed legitimate and appropriate is not to be construed to mean that his pastor or elders are certain that he will definitely labor full time in the gospel ministry. The intent of this language is simply that the pastor or elders not view such aspirations as misguided because of some observable and significant deficiency in his Christian life or abilities. No man should be engaged in studies for the gospel ministry when an area of glaring weakness in gift or grace makes it unlikely that he will ever be qualified for the Christian ministry.
Accordingly, acceptance as a Master of Divinity or Bachelor of Divinity student does not require that a man’s gifts or graces be so mature or evident that his church is ready to free him from a secular vocation in order to study on a full time basis. It is our expectation that many men in their first years of study at CBTS will take classes on a part-time basis. One of the seminary’s purposes is to assist men who cannot study full time. For such persons modular and distance learning may be helpful options.
View the most recent edition of our MDiv/BDiv program Here.