The Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, United States, is launching three new offerings that will affect the Master of Divinity (MDiv) program. With a new concentration, another dual degree, and an MDiv degree offered entirely in Spanish, the seminary is opening even more doors for training opportunities.
The MDiv Urban Ministry Concentration is devoted to helping students engage more fully in urban contexts. Being a pastor in major cities can seem like a daunting task, but with this concentration, emerging pastors will be able to enter metropolitan areas with better tools and resources. Furthermore, when pastors graduate and begin working in the field, professionals will continue to support them, mentoring them in their first few years of ministry, seminary leaders said.
The seminary is also rolling out its fourth dual degree program — the MDiv and Master of Health Administration. The other three degrees already available to be paired with the MDiv are the Master of Social Work, Master of Public Health, and the Master of Science in Community and International Development, leaders reported.
“There has long been a need for an integration between health-care administration and pastoral ministry, and this is the beginning of that bridge,” leaders said. “With this dual degree, students will be able to serve in spaces where the health-care administration and pastoral mission of the church intersect. It will also open doors to even more job opportunities for students to work not only as pastors but as health-care managers, administrators, chaplains, and even in private and governmental health-care settings.”
Seminary leaders also announced that the MDiv is debuting a cohort taught entirely in Spanish. This program, which is a collaboration with the Adventist Church’s Florida Conference, is the first of its kind in the North American Division of the church. It is an advanced degree for those who already have the Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry and would like to get an MDiv.
“This historic move has a great potential to help pastors in the field to receive a superior education. This new visionary approach will be very useful to the pastors in their ministerial work,” seminary dean Jiří Moskala said.
MDiv program director Fernando Ortiz added that “the new MDiv cohort will give Spanish-speaking pastors top-notch education and tools to take their ministry to a new level, as well as a platform to move on to doctoral-level programs or chaplaincy endorsement. Completing the MDiv is a dream come true for many.”
Alan Machado, Florida Conference president, said that the church region he leads “is excited to begin this partnership with the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary to heighten the education of our Hispanic pastors and bring their academic and biblical knowledge to the next level. We are happy to start this educational chapter in our conference,” he said.
The need for more well-trained pastors in the North American Division is great, so programs like these will help even more pastors get access to higher education, seminary leaders said. “Andrews University looks forward to seeing how God will use these new programs to equip more leaders for ministry,” they said.