Olivet Theological College and Seminary has completed its 3-year revision process of its flagship degree the Master of Divinity. It has always been a goal for OTCS to prepare ministry-bound men and women for the 21st mission challenges awaiting them outside the seminary walls, but now the tool for achieving this has been redesigned for greater clarity across a constantly widening range of ministry callings.
Traditionally a core of required courses was complemented by a group of Ministry Studies electives while another smaller group of open electives allowed students to select course from other graduate school catalogs to broaden their knowledge. Practical experience in various fields was gained through Christian Service requirements and Ministry Practice internship classes. Ideally this allowed for greatest possible flexibility in course selection and combination for potentially unique future callings to ministry. In less ideal cases, students had selected rather random courses based on availability and convenience rather than targeted ministry preparation.
Based on general employment and course selection trends as well as feedback from alumni and experienced practitioners in WOA missions and ministry, a number of desired ministry tracks within graduates preparing for ordained ministry have become apparent. In the latest academic catalog, these have now been prepackaged into standalone concentrations with a strong praxis component requirement via practical experience courses in the curriculum. Initially, a Master of Divinity student has to decide on one of four concentrations in order to complete the degree.
Business as mission in the “Marketplace Ministry” is a concentration for future ministers preparing for self-reliant church planting via founding supporting businesses to sustain the mission financially.
“Media Ministry” concentration provides training in the core elements of journalism. Theory and practice of gathering, processing, and delivering news is emphasized, preparing individuals with theological training to become professional online journalists, news editors, and media managers. Additionally, graduates will gain valuable practical experience in the publishing and communications industry to minister to working professionals much more effectively than they would be possible with a traditional seminary degree.
The two other concentrations are “Nehemiah Ministry” and “Church Planting”, respectively gearing towards specialized skills for church building construction/ renovation management and evangelistic outreach. More concentrations will be added in the coming quarters and years.