Master of Divinity (M.Div) Program at Concordia Seminary

Master of Divinity (M.Div.)

In keeping with the major function of Concordia Seminary to equip men for the Holy Ministry of Word and Sacrament in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree is the normative route to certification for ordained ministry in congregations and other ministry settings.


placement of M.Div. students


states received new pastors in 2022


Admission to the M.Div. program ordinarily requires that the applicant be a member of a congregation of The LCMS or of a church body in fellowship with the Synod. An applicant is to have been involved actively as a communicant member in a Lutheran congregation for not less than two years prior to enrollment.

College Preparation

Applicants to the M.Div. program at Concordia Seminary ordinarily must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, with a cumulative grade-point average of 2.5 or higher (on a 4.0 scale). The degree should represent a broad liberal arts background and must include courses in English composition and writing and speech. It also should include courses in the humanities, psychology, social sciences, natural sciences, foreign languages and religion.

Pre-Seminary Preparation

The Concordia University System conducts pre-seminary programs that offer sound preparation for theological study at the post-baccalaureate level. The pre-seminary curriculum “encompasses biblical knowledge, biblical language competency and understanding of Lutheran doctrine; competency in communication skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening; skills in critical thinking and philosophical inquiry; acquisition of a global perspective; … understanding of and appreciation for the Lutheran ethos, identity and ethic; and helping the student to perceive, proclaim, teach and live out the centrality of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the whole of life” (Concordia University System Pre-Seminary Mission Statement). Accordingly, Concordia Seminary strongly supports and encourages these programs as a preferred route to pre-seminary preparation.

For more information, review the Academic Catalog and Entry Level Competency Exam requirements.

The M.Div. curriculum is designed so that it can be completed in four years (three years of academic residence, one year of vicarage). Competency in Bible content and Christian doctrine must be demonstrated before enrolling in any other courses.

To assist students in understanding the curriculum and their own progress through it, the Academic Adviser for First Year Students meets with all first-year M.Div. students in the Fall Semester. The Director of Academic Programming and the Registrar also are available for consultation in the first year and in each subsequent year of a student’s academic residency.

Personal and Pastoral Formation 15 hours
PRA506 Introduction to Pastoral Ministry 3 hours
Personal and Pastoral Formation Labs (noncredit)  
Residential Field Education (noncredit)  
Vicarage 12 hours
EXE507 Interpreting and Communicating the Word 3 hours
EXE522 Synoptic Gospels 1.5 hours
EXE525 Pauline Epistles 1.5 hours
EXE512 The Torah 1.5 hours
EXE515 The Prophets 1.5 hours
EXE518 Psalms 1.5 hours
EXE528 Gospel of John 1.5 hours
Biblical Languages 12 hours
Greek 6 hours
Hebrew 6 hours
Biblical language labs (noncredit)  
PRA507 Introduction to Practical Theology 3 hours
PRA511 Homiletics 3 hours
PRA512 Worship and the Word 3 hours
PRA513 Teaching the Faith 3 hours
PRA514 Pastoral Care and the Word 3 hours
PRA515 Reading and Preaching the Word 3 hours
PRA516 Introduction to Pastoral Leadership 2 hours
PRA517 Pastoral Leadership and Theology 3 hours
PRA52X Post-vicarage preaching elective 1.5 hours
HIS507 Introduction to Historical Theology 3 hours
HIS508 The Reformation and the Lutheran Church 3 hours
HIS5XX Historical elective 1.5 hours
HIS5XX Historical elective 1.5 hours
SYS507 Introduction to Systematic Theology 3 hours
SYS511 Creeds and Confessions 3 hours
SYS512 Systematics I 3 hours
SYS513 Church and World 3 hours
SYS514 Systematics II 1.5 hours
Total credit hours for M.DIV. 98 hours

Student Standing

Completion of the M.Div. curriculum within four years requires that a student assume a course load averaging 12 credit hours per semester.

Students enrolled in the M.Div. program are classified as full-time students if they are registered for at least 9 credit hours (not applicable to Winterim or Summer Terms).

Loads of less than nine hours may be assumed only in special circumstances and after consultation with the Director of Academic Programming.

M.Div. students may not register for more than 16 credit hours in the Fall or Spring semesters (12 hours in the Summer Terms without special permission). See a sample course load in the

See a sample course load in the Academic Catalog.

The Resident Field Education program consists of:

  • pre-vicarage and post-vicarage congregational field education
  • institutional field education
  • cross-cultural field education
  • evangelism (during vicarage experience)
  • course-related work

Congregational field education begins with assignment by the director of Resident Field Education to a congregation in the St. Louis area. The student is placed under the supervision of the pastor of that particular congregation. The program is designed to give the student experience with the role and functions of the pastor of a congregation.

During his first year of studies, the student completes the institutional and cross-cultural modules of Resident Field Education, being assigned to a specific module for a term. Each module requires approximately half of the student’s field education time. The student will maintain as much Sunday contact as possible with his field education congregation.

Resident Field Education normally should involve a maximum of eight hours per week for first-year students and 10 hours per week for second-year and post-vicarage students. Participation is limited to Sunday morning and an average of one other time period per week.

Orientation seminars for the various modules are conducted at the beginning of the academic year. Time spent in Orientation counts toward meeting Resident Field Education time requirements. Field education also is correlated with courses such as PRA506 Introduction to Pastoral Ministry, PRA507 Introduction to Practical Theology, PRA512 Worship and the Word and PRA511 Homiletics.

For more information, contact the Residential Field Education office at 314-505-7113 or

A vicarage “is required of all Seminary students before graduation, ordinarily in the second year before graduation” (2016 Handbook of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, Bylaw 2.8.1 d).

The vicarage consists of one year (12 months) of in-service education, normally in a parish situation. The Evangelism Module of Resident Field Education takes place during the vicarage year. To begin vicarage, a student must have taken all the courses that are specific pre-vicarage requirements. A student may begin vicarage with no fewer than 47 credits and no more than 68 credits. Transfer students ordinarily shall be full-time students for two semesters immediately prior to vicarage.

A minimum cumulative curriculum GPA of 2.35 is required to receive a vicarage assignment. Any student who seeks to go beyond 68 credits or to serve a deferred vicarage (completing all academic course work requirements before vicarage) should consult with the Director of Vicarage and Deaconess Internships to discuss requirements for such exceptions.

Vicars are considered students at Concordia Seminary during the course of the vicarage. Periodic reports are made by the student and the supervising pastor to the Director of Vicarage and Deaconess Internships. A total of 12 credit hours is granted to the student upon successful completion of the vicarage.