Master of Divinity

When you study Scripture, you read His thoughts. When you teach Scripture and share it with people around you, you are His voice. It’s a big responsibility and a great mission, one that people from all backgrounds, both professional and personal, can undertake. 

The Master of Divinity will help you in your calling by advancing your understanding of God’s truth and how to relay it to the world through an immersive, engaging online learning setting.

Rated a top “Bang for the Buck” school by Washington Monthly, the Master of Divinity at CIU is one of the most affordable M.Div. programs in the Southeast.

What You’ll Learn

There are eight concentrations within the degree: Bible Exposition, Care and Counseling, Chaplaincy, Ministry Studies, Ministry Studies, Missiological Studies, Muslim Studies, Teaching English as Foreign Language (TEFL) and Young Ministry Leadership. Though different in focuses, each will allow you to develop your own understanding of the word—an understanding that is firmly rooted in God's truth — through high-level research and hands-on learning opportunities.

Bible Exposition

Degree Focus: Interpreting Scripture; communicating Scripture through writing, ministry, and teaching

  • Interpret Scripture in its original languages through direct interaction with the text.
  • Practice sound exegesis and exposition of the biblical text and trace key themes in Scripture.
  • Communicate biblical truth with the goal of life transformation.
  • Discuss the teaching of individual Bible books in detail and contextualize them to a variety of cultures.

Care and Counseling

Degree Focus: Ministry care; providing emotional and spiritual support using biblical and counseling resources

  • Articulate biblical principles for spiritual and emotional health in multi-cultural settings.
  • Develop a theology for using counseling skills in discipleship ministry.
  • Apply ministry care skills effectively.


Degree Focus: Spiritual support roles of a chaplain

  • Articulate the theology, history, and nature of chaplaincy.
  • Articulate the biblical, theological, and worship foundations of chaplaincy in pluralistic settings.
  • Apply and evangelistic approach to bringing others to Christ in a pluralistic setting.

Ministry Studies

Degree Focus: Ministry leadership; enhancing careers and backgrounds in ministry

  • Apply biblical principles of leadership to the practice of ministry.
  • Develop 21st-century strategies for missional renewal in multicultural settings.
  • Communicate biblical truth with the goal of life transformation.
  • Foster healthy relationships among members of the body of Christ.
  • Apply the results of cultural analysis to evangelism and discipleship strategies.

Missiological Studies

Degree Focus: Multiculturalism; supporting cross-cultural exchanges through Christ

  • Apply biblical principles and models for participating in the global mission of God.
  • Develop 21st-century strategies for participating in the global mission of God.
  • Conduct informed cultural analysis and population-segment research.
  • Evaluate historical examples for participating in the global mission of God.
  • Serve effectively in a cross-cultural context.

Muslim Studies

Degree Focus: Muslim beliefs and practices; cross-cultural exchanges with Muslim people and culture

  • Engage in high-level, critical research, analysis, and writing about Muslim studies and its relation to the global mission of God.
  • Learn strategies and tools for working cross-culturally with Muslims.
  • Explore the societal and global issues that affect Muslims and intercultural exchanges and relations.

Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)

Degree Focus: Teaching theory and skills; understanding how language works

  • Understand the major concepts of linguistics and English syntax.
  • Apply knowledge of linguistics and Second Language (SLA) theory to practical classroom instruction.
  • Teach listening, speaking, reading and writing at all levels of proficiency.

Youth Ministry Leadership

Degree Focus: Youth ministry; evangelizing and discipling youth through the power of Jesus Christ 

  • Develop a biblical philosophy and effective strategies for youth ministry. 
  • Integrate appropriately current trends of adolescent culture.
  • Demonstrate necessary leadership skills to plan, direct, and evaluate ministry practices for youth and their families.

Program Length 

This 78 credit hour program can take up to 3 years. 

Career and Ministry Opportunities With This Degree

The Master of Divinity is purposefully designed to give you the credentials and skills you need to answer God’s calling for you. It’s versatile and easy to tailor to your plans and goals for your career.

As a result, students often enter the program with professional experience in everything from church pastor and missionary to engineer and corporate accountant. The degree enhances these skills and leads to better competency and marketability in your current job or to brand new career paths.

  • Church & Ministry Work: Serving as a pastor or associate pastor, itinerant evangelist, member of a church staff, a campus or parachurch ministry professional, youth minister, chaplain, outreach or discipleship team leader, or marketplace ministry team leader
  • Academic Careers: Church and seminary teaching, college-level teaching and research, Bible translator, or Ph.D. work
  • Missionary: Working as an agency-appointed career missionary, international student worker, missions pastor, NGO community-development worker, business or church cross-cultural consultant

Why Earn an M.Div. at CIU Online?

  • Highly engaged, collaborative online classes — just as rigorous as our on-campus classes — with students from all over the world
  • Professors who are practitioners of the subjects they teach and who can provide expert academic advising
  • Faculty and staff who are dedicated to getting to know you and providing not only academic support but spiritual support and guidance as well
  • Internships and research opportunities built into the curriculum


  • Completed application
  • $25 application fee
  • Official transcripts for highest earned degree and any master’s degree work
  • Church leader reference
  • Application Essay (800 words total, typed)
  • Minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA

Program Options That Fit Your Interests

The Master of Divinity is a 78-credit-hour program, designed to be flexible and easy to tailor to your interests and career goals. And, if you find a new interest or career goal during the program, you can easily switch concentrations without losing time or money toward the degree.