The newly designed, 75-hour Master of Divinity (M.Div.) is perhaps the most innovative degree of its kind, built around local church ministry in action. It has at its core six six-hour “praxis” courses (praxis is the joining of theory with practice) having to do with mission, leadership, worship, proclamation, congregational spiritual formation, and congregational relationships. In these courses, the primary assignment each week involves action research in and feedback from a local church. Accordingly, all students have to be connected at least 20 hours a week with a local church in some way (although that connection can also flow principally through a chaplaincy of some kind—hospital, prison, military, etc).
A one-hour spiritual formation course accompanies your progress through the six praxis courses. These courses are meant to lead you through an actual process of personal and spiritual change, starting with an awareness of how change takes place in general, to a course on self-awareness and appraisal, then goal setting and accountability, mentoring and spiritual guidance, personal and corporate spiritual disciplines, and finally recovery and deliverance.
The entire seminary comes together at the beginning of each August for a yearly convocation in which we worship and fellowship together. Two intensive courses take place the week before and after this event. The first intensive course of the degree—Pastor, Church, and World—is an orientation not only to the seminary and our unique M.Div. degree, but to the personal dimensions of ministry itself. This course can be taken on campus in August, January, or May, the three times each year when you can begin your M.Div. in a new seminary cohort. Four other "foundational" courses are also offered in the intensive, one-week format, particularly for those with no prior educational training for ministry. These courses have to do with the contextual, biblical, theological, and church historical basics that integrate with ministry.
However, beyond these four foundational courses, Bible, theology, and church history are woven throughout the praxis courses in a tapestry unlike any other seminary degree. These courses have been team designed and are team taught, giving you up to four different experts as a part of each praxis course. Thus, about a third of the core program has to do with biblical, theological, and church historical foundations, integrated within the courses rather than as isolated, self-standing courses you might never apply to your actual ministry.
Finally, you have 15 hours of elective credit, with which you can concentrate on a particular area of ministry (e.g., leadership, youth ministry, etc.), do Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), or take a collection of courses of interest to you (Greek, Hebrew, etc.). At least once a year seminary students can go to a cutting-edge ministry site for an intensive course (e.g., Sheffield, England; Santa Cruz, CA, etc.), and each year we bring in a major ministry figure to teach an intensive course on campus. Indiana Wesleyan University also offers the possibility of taking electives in its other graduate programs, such as counseling and business administration.