The M. Div. with a Christian Education and Formation concentration will help you acquire an overview of age-group work, tools in designing a church’s curriculum, and principles in organizing a church for mission and ministry.

School of Divinity

Master of Divinity in Christian Education and Formation

The Christian Education and Formation concentration offers specialized training for those entering the field. Through this study, one acquires an overview of age-group work, tools in designing a church’s curriculum, and principles in organizing a church for mission and ministry.


The Master of Divinity in Christian Education and Formation program is housed in the School of Divinity and requires completion of the 60 hour core: 18 hours of Biblical Studies courses, 12 hours of Historical/Theological Studies courses, 12 hours of Spiritual Formation courses, and 18 hours of Ministry Studies courses. Beyond the core, students may choose, by means of a 30 hour concentration, to earn the M.Div. degree with a concentration in Christian Education and Formation. This degree is designed to offer ministry students the opportunity to gain additional skills and expertise in areas that will enhance the students' ministry.



With a M.Div. in Christian Education and Formation you could serve as a Minister of Christian Education and Spiritual Formation in a local congregation or in forms of pastoral ministry.



The School of Divinity, as an academic unit of Gardner-Webb University, is Baptist in origin and commitment, ecumenical in outlook, and has as its mission the preparation of persons for Christian ministries. To achieve this end, the School of Divinity offers courses of study in which, under the leadership of dedicated and competent teachers, students engage in the study of and reflection upon the data, meaning, and implications of the Christian faith, beginning at its biblical base; enter into thoughtful and critical assessment of church history and theology; become involved in the process of spiritual formation personally, socially, and vocationally; and participate in the study and practice of various expressions of Christian mission and ministry.


Program Objectives

The program objectives for the Master of Divinity degree are to help students know at a rudimentary level the basic body of divinity including:

  • A knowledge of the facts, histories, principles, philosophies, and current discussions in each of the following disciplines: biblical studies, biblical languages, Christian and Baptist history, hermeneutics, homiletics, ethics, philosophy of religion, missiology, evangelism, worship, pastoral ministry, pedagogy, church administration, church policy and denominational organization, psychology, counseling, anthropology, and sociology;
  • A grasp of the various aspects of ministry and how these relate to the needs of church and society;
  • An understanding of personal gifts, talents, and abilities, and how these relate to ministry;
  • A commitment to personal growth and development;
  • The development of a lifestyle of healthy ministry and continuing educational preparation for effective Christian ministry;
  • An understanding and development of expertise in leadership skills, organizational principles, and conflict management
  • An evaluation and improvement of interpersonal skills; and
  • The ability to write and speak with clarity and persuasiveness.


M. Div. Core:

A. Biblical Studies (18 hrs.)

            DSOT 100: Old Testament I (3 hrs.)

            DSOT 101: Old Testament II (3 hrs.)

            DSNT 100: New Testament I (3 hrs.)

            DSNT 101: New Testament II (3 hrs.)

            DSGK 100: Greek I (3 hrs.)

            DSHB 100: Hebrew I (3 hrs.)


B. Historical/Theological (12 hrs.)

            DSHS 100: Christian History I (3 hrs.)

            DSHS 101: Christian History II (3 hrs.)

            DSTH 100: Christian Theology I (3 hrs.)

            DSTH 101: Christian Theology II (3 hrs.)


C. Spiritual Formation (12 hrs.)

            DSSF 100: Introduction to Theological Education for Ministry (3 hrs.)

            DSSF 200: Spiritual Formation: The Christian Journey (3 hrs.)

            DSSF 300: The Theory and Practice of Ministry (3 hrs.)

            DSSF 301: Capstone Seminar (3 hrs.)

            Chapel/Formations/Mentor Conferences


D. Ministry (18 hrs.)

            DSCE 115: Administration and Leadership in the Church (3 hrs.)

            DSPC 100: Pastoral Care and Counseling (3 hrs.)

            DSMS 310: Mission in Biblical and Theological Perspective (3 hrs.)

            DSET 100: Christian Ethics (3 hrs.)

            DSMN 201: Introduction to Preaching (3 hrs.)

            DSMN 202: Introduction to Worship (3 hrs.)

Total: 60 semester hours


Course Requirements for Christian Education and Formation Concentration:


Required Courses: 

            DSCE 105: Teaching and Learning in the Church (3 hrs.)
            DSCE 110: The Church Preparing for Mission and Ministry (3 hrs.)
            DSCE 310: Leadership with Volunteers in the Church (3 hrs.)


Required Electives (Two of the Three): 

            DSCE 200: Christian Education and Formation with Youth (3 hrs.)
            DSCE 206: Christian Education and Formation with Children (3 hrs.)
            DSCE 210: Christian Education and Formation with Adults (3 hrs.)


Two from the Following:  

            Any course from the Pastoral Care and Counseling or Missiology concentrations

     DSSF 202: Creating Education and Formation Curricula (3 hrs.)
            DSCE 315: Communicating Inside and Outside the Church

(3 hrs.)
            DSSF 201: Readings in Spiritual Classics (3 hrs.)
            DSCE 401: Selected Topics in Education and Formation

(3 hrs.)
            DSCE 415: Writing for Publication Seminar (3 hrs.)
            DSMN 100: Life and Work of the Minister (3 hrs.)


An additional nine credits (three courses) from any concentration (electives)


Total: 30 semester hours


Dr. Sophia Steibel

Phone: (704) 406-4464