The M.Div. program is designed primarily for students who are preparing for ordination (i.e., seminarians) in the Orthodox Church. This program offers a strong foundation in both theological disciplines and practical ministry through directed formation opportunities and supervised field education. Applicants not seeking ordination (i.e., non-seminarians) but interested in acquiring a professional degree in pastoral ministry are also welcomed.
Although required of students preparing for ordination in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, this program of study is strongly recommended for those preparing for ordination in other Orthodox jurisdictions as well. Besides regular admission requirements, applicants must have completed a bachelor's degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university. Applicants seeking ordination who have recently embraced the Orthodox faith must have spent at least two years actively involved in an Orthodox parish community.
In addition to the general requirements listed in the catalogue, the candidates for the M.Div. degree are expected to meet the following requirements: a minimum of 92 credit hours of course work over three years; an additional year of course work (or 30 credit hours) is required of candidates for ordination in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese deficient in Greek and other prescribed studies (see "A" below); supervised field education; the successful completion of a thesis (if chosen to replace six credit hours of electives).
There are three categories of students who may enroll in the M.Div. program at Holy Cross:
A. Seminarians of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese who are graduates of Hellenic College enroll in a three-year program, having already completed certain prescribed courses deemed essential for the ordained ministry. Seminarians whose bachelor's degrees are from institutions other than Hellenic College enroll in a four-year program in order to fulfill the required courses they may be lacking. These courses include New Testament Greek, modern Greek (which fulfills an important pastoral need within the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese), Byzantine music, and introductory courses in the Old and New Testaments. Certain other requirements must also be met. These include: participation during one's first year of study in the Holy Week seminar; participation during the spring semester of the senior year in the Archdiocesan Seminar; and involvement in the Summer Program Abroad held at the end of one's middler year.
B. Seminarians of the Antiochian Archdiocese complete the basic three-year program with requirements in language and liturgical practices appropriate to their jurisdiction. Additionally, they are required to participate in the Holy Week seminar.
C. Seminarians of other Orthodox jurisdictions also complete the basic three-year program with requirements in liturgical practices appropriate to their jurisdiction as necessary. In addition, they are required to participate in the Holy Week seminar.
Non-seminarians in the basic three-year program are male and female students pursuing various forms of ministry such as parish ministry, hospital work, or counseling.