Eastern Mennonite Seminary features new divinity offering
Story by Laura Lehman Amstutz
Eastern Mennonite Seminary is offering students a new opportunity in the master of divinity degree. An academic track has been added to the three-year MDiv program as part of an overall curriculum revision.
This track will give students opportunity for more study in their field of interest and better prepare them for teaching, writing and ongoing scholarship.
Current student Jennifer Weaver is exploring doctoral studies in her last year of seminary. “I want to be a professor of church history or biblical studies,” said Weaver. “Having a PhD is the commonly-accepted degree for that kind of work.”
The new MDiv track will give students like Weaver the opportunity for teaching practicum and internships.
Twenty Eastern Mennonite Seminary graduates have gone on for doctoral studies in recent years. An example is Phil Kniss, pastor of Park View Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg, who recently completed a doctor of ministry degree at Northern Baptist Theological School in Lombard, Ill.
“I decided to pursue DMin studies primarily to push myself to keep learning and growing,” said Kniss.
“Full-time pastoral ministry carries many time demands,” Kniss stated. “If we don’t give it a high priority, reading new things and exploring new avenues of learning can easily take a back seat, or not get done at all.”
“My DMin program focused on church ministry in the 21st century,” he noted. “It opened up new horizons for me and helped me refocus my ministry and bring more theological clarity about the church, the Gospel, and our culture,” he said.