Master of Divinity (MDiv)

The MDiv curriculum offered at FST provides an interdisciplinary education with a theological foundation preparing students for careers in education and professional ministry grounded in the Franciscan tradition.

A three-year professional degree preparing students for Church ministry, the MDiv offers appropriate preparation for those intending to serve in lay and ordained ecclesial and service ministries. Those pursuing ordained ministry in the Church are required to complete an additional year of theological and ministerial training. Note that completion of the MDiv degree does not entitle the recipient to ordination. Admission to ordination is the decision of local diocesan ordinaries or superiors of religious orders who may have further requirements or expectations.

The following guidelines were used in establishing the Franciscan School of Theology’s MDiv program:

  • National Certification Standards for Lay Ecclesial Ministers, approved by the USCCB Commission on Certification and Accreditation, November 2011
  • The Program for Priestly Formation, USCCB, Fifth Ed., 2006
  • Priestly Formation, General Chapter of the Order of Friars Minor, Rome, 1971
  • The Basic Plan for Priestly Formation, The Sacred Congregation for Priestly Formation, Rome, 1970
  • De Formatione Candidatorum ad Sacerdotium Ministeriale et ad Vitam Religiosam, ed.
  • G. Barauna, O.F.M., Rome, 1969
  • Ratio Formationis Franciscanae, Rome, 1991
  • Ratio Studiorum, Order of Friars Minor, Rome, 2001
  • Ratio Studiorum Provincae, Oakland, California, 2005

MDiv Program Learning Outcomes

The program of assessment described here focuses on the Master of Divinity (MDiv). Spiritual, psychological, and pastoral formation are unique to the MDiv.

FST faculty identified eight MDiv Program Outcomes as the student’s ability to:

  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the specified theological disciplines
  • Exhibit a focused knowledge in a chosen theological discipline
  • Exercise sound practices of compassionate understanding
  • Communicate coherently, effectively, and persuasively in writing and speaking
  • Collaborate in a spirit of openness, mutuality, and intercultural sensitivity
  • Manifest psychological health, display appropriate interpersonal boundaries, understand the responsible exercise of power
  • Interpret/apply theological learning in religiously and culturally diverse contexts

Goals of the MDiv Program

The goals of the MDiv program are to prepare students to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the basic documents and heritage of the Roman Catholic Church through instruction in Scripture, church history, systematic theology, liturgy, and moral theology within diverse cultural contexts
  • Develop skills for ministerial leadership through pastoral training, liturgical preparation, preaching, supervised field education, and experiences with diverse cultural groups
  • Achieve personal and spiritual growth and integration through theological reflection, professional ethics training, and a personal ministry statement

Special Requirements for Admission


Requirements of the MDiv Program


Certificate in Priestly Formation

Candidates for ordination are required to take a 24-unit Certificate in Priestly Formation covering the sciences and skills necessary for ordination in addition to the requirements of the MDiv program. Note that completion of the Certificate does not entitle the recipient to ordination. Admission to ordination is the decision of local diocesan ordinaries or superiors of religious orders who may have further requirements or expectations.

The Ministry Seminar

MDiv students participate in a series of four ministry seminars, one each semester. The seminars are collaborative teaching and learning environments where students integrate theological, ministerial, and educational insights and understandings. The seminars draw from theology, sociology and psychology of religion, cultural and ethnic studies, and religious education.

In the final semester of the ministry seminar, students prepare a synthesis project under the direction of a faculty advisor in which they address theological questions of critical relevance to a multicultural church and society and apply them to a particular ministerial context and practice. Upon completion of written material, students give oral presentations incorporating multiple learning styles and multicultural sensitivity.


Supervised Field Education

Under the guidance of the Field Education Program Director, MDiv students are assigned to ministry placements made according to their professional goals in areas such as parish work, health care or prison chaplaincy, community organizing, justice and advocacy, retreats, catechetics, campus or university ministry, Christian initiation, or educa- tional leadership.

Curriculum of
the MDiv Program

Select semester
  • First Semester
  • Second to Sixth Semesters
  • Third to Sixth Semesters
Course Area Units
Introduction to Old Testament 3
Basic Christian Liturgy 3
Basic Systematic Theology (Intro or God and Trinity) 3
History of Christianity I (Ancient/Medieval) 3
Course Area Units
Demo 4
Demo 4
Demo 4
Demo 4
Course Area Units
Demo2 4
Demo2 4
Demo2 4
Demo2 4