Master of Divinity
The Master of Divinity degree (M.Div.) is the professional degree for theological schools and seminaries. Its purpose is to prepare persons for ordained ministry and for general pastoral and religious leadership in congregations and other settings. The M.Div. is structured to give students the foundational tools for ministry, whatever that ministry might ultimately be.
Final Application Deadline is November 30, 2018
Priority Admissions Deadline is January 15, 2019
Final Application Deadline is May 31, 2019
Masters and Certificate applicants for admission to the McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University are required to have a regionally accredited bachelor's degree with a liberal arts core or proof of an equivalent degree from a foreign university.
For individuals who do not currently possess a bachelor's degree, but who want to work towards a Masters in Divinity, Mercer offers pre-theology education through the College of Liberal Arts in Macon and through Penfield College in Atlanta. For more information about these programs, contact Mercer's Office of Undergraduate Admission.
Admissions requirements for the MDiv and MACM program include:
- Biographical Information: Submitted online here
- Resume: Including church positions and service; secular occupations; community involvement; academic honors; and research, civic, or leadership awards.
- Official Transcripts: required from all higher educational institutions previously attended. Applicants are required to have a regionally accredited bachelor's degree with a liberal arts core or proof of an equivalent degree from a foreign university.
- Background Check*: Completed online at Castle Branch, or call 1-888-666-7788 for more information. Please allow up to two weeks for us to receive the report. The package cost is $33.50, which must be ordered and purchased directly online by the applicant. The admissions office will supply the appropriate step-by-step directions on how to complete the background check. Please download instructions to order your background check and have it sent to the McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University. (International students having obtained an F-1 visa are excluded from the background check requirement).
- Application Fee: $50.00
- Autobiographical Essay: In 1250-1500 words speak to the following four questions: Give an account of your Christian pilgrimage. Tell the story of your personal commitment and call to ministry. What factors have led you to apply to McAfee School of Theology for your theological training? What are your ministry goals (the kind of ministries you envision for yourself)?
- Letters of Recommendation:
- Pastor/Church Leader
Writing Sample: 2000-2500 words. This may be an essay or excerpt of an academic paper on any topic. Please include bibliography and in-text citations or footnotes.
- Admissions Interview (as needed)
*Failure to undergo the background check will result in exclusion from admission consideration. An individual with a criminal conviction is not automatically excluded from admission; the School will evaluate the time frame, nature, gravity, and relevancy of the conviction or charge offense in making a decision. Applicants may appeal the decision and will have the opportunity to present information to dispute the background check.
Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Christian Ministry
What does it cost to attend McAfee?
Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology is a private school with very affordable tuition. Students pay between $420 and $425 per credit hour and this rate is reduced from $910 per credit hour due to generous contributions from supporting churches and organizations. Many students receive additional tuition discounts from their state and national denominations.
What kind of financial aid is available for divinity students?
All of our students receive financial assistance. This ranges from the tuition grant described above to full-tuition scholarships plus living expenses. McAfee hosts two scholarship events in the Fall and Spring. We also assist students in applying for private organization scholarships, grants, and federal programs.
What kinds of things do students go on to do after graduation?
McAfee has an excellent academic reputation. Our graduates are working in churches, colleges, seminaries, non-profit organizations, and missions. They serve in every church position imaginable. We have students working on Ph.D.s in top tier programs around the world and serving as chaplains in hospice, hospitals, and the U.S. armed forces. We have dedicated staff helping students transition from seminary life to their professional ministerial career.
Does McAfee have a denominational affiliation?
Yes, we are a Baptist seminary and a graduate program of the oldest Baptist university in Georgia. We also hold associations with many different Baptist organizations and churches. Our accreditation is under the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship denominational title. You can also read more about our mission and founding principles. About seventy-five percent of our students are affiliated with 15 different Baptist denominations. We also have students representing twenty-one additional denominations such as Disciples of Christ, Presbyterian, AME, CME, Anglican, Nazarene, Church of God, COGIC, and Episcopalian.
Where do people live while attending seminary?
We have on-campus housing and many students also live off campus. There are apartments within walking distance and several within just a mile or two. During spring and summer our admissions office will assist you in connecting with other students as roommates.
What if I don’t have a religion or Christianity undergraduate degree?
As long as you have a bachelor’s degree with a “liberal arts core” from a regionally accredited college or university you will be fine.
What if I have a religion or Christianity undergraduate degree?
Students with previous academic training in religion may seek advanced placement standing.
What is advanced placement?
Our desire is to create a curriculum that enhances and deepens the knowledge-base you've established in undergrad. If you have a B or better in at least two undergraduate courses that fit with any of our Foundation courses, the Associate Dean will review your transcript and will allow you to attempt to place out of a foundational course. In some cases (Biblical languages), you have to actually take a test. In others, (OT, NT, etc.) you may submit a syllabus for that class.
- You do not receive seminary credit for these courses, but you get to replace a Foundations course with an additional prescribed elective.
- Each person that approaches advanced placement is unique. We will work specifically with you and examine your transcripts and allow you to test out of as many classes as makes sense to you and your educational hopes.
How long does it take to complete the program?
The Master of Divinity is a 74 hour degree. Most students complete it in three years. The Master of Arts in Christian Ministry is 38 hours and can be completed in two years. Students have up to 8 years to complete the M.Div. and 6 years to complete the M.A.C.M.
What kinds of jobs are available for students while at McAfee?
One of the advantages of being in Atlanta is the number of places to work. Students work in area churches, on campus, coffee houses, restaurants, etc. We assist in placing students in church related jobs.
Are you located in downtown Atlanta?
No, we are about nine miles northeast of downtown. Our campus is just inside interstate 285 where it crosses Interstate 85. Surrounded on three sides by protected woodlands, the Mercer Atlanta campus is a quiet place to study and live.
Does McAfee offer online or correspondence courses?
Our D.Min. program is mainly an independent or distance learning program which only requires 2-3 weeks in residence per year during the summer. Our Masters and Certificate programs offer some classes online.
What about taking classes at other schools?
We may consider transfer credit (only B’s or better, within the time limits, and up to 18 hours for the M.Div. and 9 hours for the M.A.C.M.) from other seminaries that are both regionally and (for the theological core) ATS accredited and meet all other requriements for transfer credit. After admission, the Associate Dean reviews your official transcripts to determine which classes transfer. While at McAfee, you may cross-register and take elective classes at our consortium member schools: Columbia Theological Seminary, Candler School of Theology, and the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC).
What is the difference between a “Seminary” and a “School of Theology?"
Generally speaking they are the same thing. We usually refer to a stand alone school as a “seminary” and a school associated with a university as a “divinity school" or "school of theology." In both cases, students are considered “seminary” students.
What are the other students like at McAfee?
Our student body is evenly divided between males and females. In addition to our denominational diversity, we are an ethnically diverse learning community with African American, Hispanic, Asian, and international students making up over fifty percent of the student body. Students come from evangelical and mainline protestant backgrounds and embody a heightened sense of social justice and a holistic view of evangelism and mission.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us:
Office of Admissions
McAfee School of Theology
3001 Mercer University Drive
Atlanta, GA 30341-4115
Fax: (678) 547-6478
Religious Heritage: 24 hours
- Foundations in Old Testament, THOT 500, 3 hours
- Foundations in New Testament, THNT 500, 3 hours
- Elective in Old Testament, 3 hours
- Elective in New Testament, 3 hours
- Christian Traditions 1 & 2, THCH 511 & THCH 512, 6 hours
- Foundations in Theology, THTP 500, 3 hours
- Elective in Theology/Philosophy, 3 hours
Cultural Context: 9 hours
- Global Perspectives in Ministry & Mission, THPT 500, 3 hours
- Cultural Context Electives, 6 hours
Personal and Spiritual Formation: 11 hours
- Spiritual Formation 1 & 2, THSP 511 & THSP 512, 2 hours
- Elective in Spirituality, 3 hours
- Ethics, THET 500, 3 hours
- Emotional Intelligence in Ministry & Leadership, THPT 502, 3 hours
Capacity for Ministerial & Public Leadership: 15 hours
Choose: 6 hours
- Contextual Education 1 (THPT 701) and Contextual Education 2 (THPT 702)
or Clinical Pastoral Education Unit 1 (THPT 703)
Choose 1 of the following: 3 hours
- Models of Moral Leadership (THET 501)
- Leadership for Church & Community (THPT 501)
Choose 2 of the following: 6 hours
- Spiritual Care through Crisis Ministry (THPT 503)
- Intro to Community Development (THPT 504)
- Faith Development through the Lifespan (THPT 505)
- Preaching (THPT 506)
- Worship through the Christian Year (THPT 507)
Free Electives: 15 hours
Note: Students are strongly encouraged to take a polity course within their denomination. Baptist students are strongly encouraged to take Baptist Heritage as one of their free electives. A polity course may be required for ordination within certain denominations; students are responsible for learning the specific requirements for ordination within their denomination.
Combined Degree Options:
- Master of Divinity (M.Div.) and Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (M.S.)
- Master of Divinity (M.Div.) and Master of Science in Organizational Leadership with Concentration in Nonprofit (M.S.)
- Master of Divinity (M.Div.) and Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.)