Master of Divinity Degree (MDiv) in Texas

The Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree is our flagship program. This 90-hour degree is designed to prepare you for the broadest possible range of Christian leadership and ministry opportunities.

Students may earn the MDiv (MDiv is the proper abbreviation for a Master of Divinity degree) via:

  • Online
  • Video conferencing
  • Motion (our in-person weekend intensives)
  • On campus in East Texas
  • Or a combination of any of the above

Who Should Get An MDiv Degree?

The MDiv program provides the strongest foundation for the broadest range of ministry opportunities. As such, the Master of Divinity Degree is perfect for anyone aspiring to the following vocations:

  • Pastor or Associate Pastor
  • Minister of Christian Education
  • Minister of Outreach/Discipling
  • Minister of Evangelism
  • Missionary
  • Chaplain
  • Educator/Professor
  • Researcher
  • And more

Get An Online Master of Divinity Degree

At BMATS (Baptist Missionary Association Theological Seminary), we strive to provide a highly flexible educational program. We believe we’ve developed one of the best online Master of Divinity programs in the East Texas region and want to make it accessible to as many prospective students as possible.

That’s why we offer our Master of Divinity degree online. More than ⅔ of the online Master of Divinity program at BMATS can be taken almost entirely online with minimal travel requirements.

We offer in-depth weekend intensives called Motion for the small handful of classes currently unavailable online. These weekend intensives cover the core of the curriculum in a matter of days, so you do not have to move to Texas for a whole semester for just one or two classes.


BMATS is a member of the Baptist Missionary Association and a highly respected theological seminary in East Texas. Founded in October 1956, BMATS has a rich history of providing quality education to ministers and academics throughout Texas and the rest of the United States.

Whether you plan to do schooling on campus or acquire your Master of Divinity online, our accredited seminary will provide you with all the tools you need to minister with knowledge and confidence.

Please reach out for more information about the MDiv or any other theological studies you are interested in.

What’s the difference between a master of theology and a Master of Divinity degree?

The MDiv is considered one of the most respected and recognized achievements in theological higher education.

The MDiv requires more than twice as many credits as a Master of Theology degree and includes 7 classes (21 credits) of in-depth Hebrew and Greek language study and exegesis, as well as several specialized leadership, theology, and preaching courses designed for students called to serve in senior leadership in church or Christian ministry.

While there is a great deal of overlap between the various graduate degree programs we offer, the substantial language requirements are the most significant difference between an MDiv and other graduate-level programs in theology and ministry.

Typically, the MDiv is sought by senior and teaching pastors whose positions require a deep understanding of Scripture, theology, and exegesis. In contrast, more compact degrees are designed for Christian leaders whose vocations are more discipleship, evangelism, outreach, or missions oriented and less teaching and theology oriented.

Be sure to consider the requirements of your denomination or convention before completing your chosen degree program. Many denominations require candidates to have an MDiv to be accepted into their ordination pathway, while others do not but may give priority consideration for ordination to candidates with the MDiv.

Chaplains in the military and health care institutions are nearly always required to have an MDiv or equivalent.

Master of Ministry vs. Master of Divinity

A Master of Divinity degree is much more in-depth than a master of ministry, requiring roughly double the credit hours as an MDiv. The lighter course load makes the master of ministry degree an excellent choice for students who already serve in full-time ministry and want to supplement their career or those seeking a position that does not require a Master of Divinity degree.

Can I Take The MDiv online?

You can earn up to two-thirds of the Master of Divinity online. However, at least 30 credits, or 10 classes, must be completed at BMA Seminary in Jacksonville, TX. All of these required classes may be completed via Motion, our weekend intensive format, if residency on the Jacksonville campus is not an option.

Can I Transfer Credit Towards An MDiv Degree?

Up to 42 semester hours of previous work (63 quarter hours) may be transferred into the BMA Master of Divinity program from another accredited institution. 

What Can You Do With a Master of Divinity Degree?

A graduate of the BMA Master of Divinity program will demonstrate deep understanding and competencies in the following areas:

  • Lead and minister on a professional level as a pastor, chaplain, or church leader in a church or ministry-related organization. 
  • Effectively listen, disciple, and guide spiritual formation with empathy, wisdom, and cross-cultural competency as a pastoral counselor. 
  • Lead, ideate, and disciple for both the academic and practical facets of ministry in a world of increasingly diverse religious heritages and cultural contexts. 
  • Be deeply aware of and committed to ongoing personal development, spiritual formation, boundaries/self-care, and rest/Sabbath in an “always-on” world. 
  • Show deep understanding and ability to effectively communicate biblical truths and theological ideas.  
  • Demonstrate research and academic skills to perform at high levels of ongoing professional ministries or postgraduate/doctoral studies.
Is a Master of Divinity a master’s degree?

Yes. The Master of Divinity program is one of the highest, most respected achievements most ministers ever attain.

Master of Divinity Degree Course Requirements (90 Semester Credit Hours)

Courses fall into the following fields of study:

  • Biblical and Language Studies
  • Theological-Historical Studies
  • Church Ministries
  • Christian Leadership

In addition to the well-rounded foundational core curriculum, 21 hours of biblical language study (7 classes) are required to provide the strongest possible foundation for Christian leadership and discipleship. You can take up to 12 hours of electives to allow for emphasis in a particular area of interest. No more than four courses at the 300-400 level may be taken in your degree plan. The rest must be courses numbered 500-600.

Biblical Studies (33 Hours)

  • NT 511 New Testament Introduction and Survey I
  • NT 512 New Testament Introduction and Survey II
  • Grk 411 Greek Grammar I
  • Grk 412 Greek Grammar II
  • Grk 621 Greek Exegesis I
  • Grk 622 Greek Exegesis II
  • OT 511 Old Testament Introduction and Survey I
  • OT 512 Old Testament Introduction and Survey II
  • Heb 511 Hebrew Grammar I
  • Heb 512 Hebrew Grammar II
  • Heb 621 Introduction to Hebrew Exegesis

    Theological-Historical Studies (18 Hours)

    • TH 511 Systematic Theology I
    • TH 512 Systematic Theology II
    • Elective in theology, philosophy, or ethics
    • CH 511 General Church History I
    • CH 621 Survey of Baptist Heritage
    • CH 631 Special Studies in Church History 

      Church Ministries (24 Hours)

      • PM 511 Pastoral Ministry*
      • PM 514 Principles of Disciple-Making
      • EV 512 Biblical Evangelism and Disciple-Making
      • PM 532 Supervised Ministerial Leadership Experience**
      • PM 521 Theology of Worship
      • PR 511 Special Studies in Expository Preaching*
      • PR 611 Homiletics*
      • Missions Elective

      *Non-ministerial students may substitute electives for PM 511, PR 511, and PR 611. **Students may substitute an approved CPE, PM, RE, or Miss. internship for PM 532.

      Christian Education (9 hours)

      • RE 536 Principles of Christian Counseling
      • RE 511 Principles of Church Administration OR
        RE 512 Administrative Christian Leadership*
      • RE 514 Principles of Christian Teaching OR
        RE 515 Christian Education of Various Groups OR
        RE 631 Special Studies in Religious Education

      Ministerial students lacking prior studies in church administration must take RE 511. 

      Electives (6 Hours)

      • Elective
      • Elective

          Request More Information

          At BMATS, we want to provide our students with the most robust theological education. We aim to see you grow in your knowledge of Scripture and theology. That’s why we strive to offer one of the best Master of Divinity programs in Texas at an affordable cost.

          Contact us today to request more information and find out if BMATS is the right school for you.