Candidates for the MDiv degree must complete a program including 106 credits plus 45 formation hours or, four years of full-time study (approximately 13 credits per semester). Students must also complete either comprehensive exams or thesis project in consultation with their advisor to fulfill the MDiv degree.
Elective courses are regularly offered to allow professors and students to explor particular questions in detail or to approach issues and fields not covered in the core curriculum. Academic progress normally does not allow MDiv students to enroll in electives until their third or fourth years.
Students in all degree programs may elect to pursue an area of particular interest as a Directed Independent Study (DIS). All DIS courses must be approved by the Academic Dean upon presentation of a written description of the area and goals of the investigation, together with a bibliography. The course may be directed by a core or adjunct member of the academic faculty or, extraordinarily, by another qualified professional who must be approved by the Academic Dean. A DIS may be designed for 1, 2 or 3 credit hours. Evaluation of the work by the director should normally be based on one or more papers, projects or examinations. A student may take only two DIS courses per degree program.
For the MDiv/MAT programs, the Seminary will accept 15 credits, including those successfully earned from Byzantine Online, as transferable. Only academic credits from an accredited Masters program will be considered for transfer. Credits earned in the last six years prior to application are eligible for transfer.
Applicants who have already achieved a Master’s Degree cannot use credits from the previous program towards a second Master’s Degree at BCS. BCS will only consider transferring credits which were not used towards the awarding of a degree.
Formal application for consideration of transfer credits is made to the Academic Dean.
Graduating MDiv/MAT candidates must present one of the following as evidence of their integration of the curriculum:
In their final semester, graduating MDiv or MAT students can elect to sit for written comprehensive examinations in Sacred Scripture, Dogmatic Theology and Liturgical Theology, with special emphasis on their area of focus. These exams occur over three days and represent a comprehensive integration of learning from their Seminary experience. Complete information on Comprehensive Examinations, including questions and bibliography, is available from the Academic Dean of the Seminary.
MDiv/MAT candidates can design and submit a research project (thesis), which demonstrates a significant synthesis of theological research relating to Eastern Christian topics. The Academic Dean must approve the theme and scope of the project as well as the project director. A committee of two faculty members, approved by the Academic Dean, will judge this project on a pass/fail basis.
Candidates who have completed CPE expand upon their research and develop a theological application from a dogmatic, scriptural, liturgical or moral perspective. The theme and scope of the project must be approved by faculty in Pastoral Theology as well as the Academic Dean. This project will be judged on a pass/fail basis by a committee of two faculty members appointed by the Academic Dean.
Candidates for the M.Div. degree must complete the required curriculum with a cumulative G.P.A. of at least 3.0.
Academic semesters are 14 weeks, not including holy days, vacations, and final exams. Once accepted into formation, seminarians are typically given a pastoral assignment during summer breaks.