Master of Divinity Student Learning Outcomes

(ver. 2011)

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) express the intended aim and progress for a student’s learning adventure. Some SLOs are connected to a degree and five are shared program outcomes for all degrees. These objectives appear variously in course syllabi as specific goals appropriate to the course.

When you add artifacts to your Portfolio, connect artifacts specifically to one or more of these Outcomes.  Name the Outcome and provide a rationale in your reflections on the artifact. More information about the overarching practices (S, W, C, M) that inform these outcomes can be found here.

Program Outcome 1: Christian Scriptures

Graduate will have knowledge of the content and theological shape of the Christian Scriptures (W)

a) Comprehends the full range of biblical materials
b) Exercises sound critical exegetical practices
c) Critically evaluates scholarly views and traditional readings and applies them constructively in the interpretation of biblical texts
d) Exhibits theological discernment in the identification, evaluation, and synthesis of fundamental biblical themes

Program Outcome 2: Christian Tradition

Graduate will have knowledge of the major theological content, structures, and procedures of the Christian tradition (W, C)

a) Analyzes and evaluates the key facts of the Christian tradition
b) Synthesizes a coherent understanding of the Gospel and the church’s mission
c) Comprehends the major theological loci of the Christian tradition and their interconnectedness with Christian faith and practice
d) Critically evaluates the fundamental theological differences among major Christian traditions
e) Analyzes and evaluates theological claims, formulations, and expressions in terms of their biblical, historical, philosophical, scientific, moral, and experiential dimensions


Program Outcome 3: Languages

Graduate will demonstrate competency in languages appropriate for their degree


Program Outcome 4: Identity

Graduate will have clarity in professional identity (S, W, C, M)

a) Provides a discerning, coherent accounting of one’s internal and external vocations and motivations to pursue ministry or other related fields
b) Focuses one’s attitudes, behaviors, and disciplines to live in accordance with one’s professional identity
c) Expresses a clear understanding of the relationship between one’s professional identity and the life and mission of the church in the world
d) Honestly and critically evaluates one’s own functioning in a professional role

Program Outcome 5: Communication

Graduate will have facility in critical thinking, analysis, and in oral and written communication (W)

a) Skillfully gathers information, critically analyzing, synthesizing, and applying it
b) Critically analyzes arguments and evaluates claims
c) Applies appropriate methodology in formulating coherent theological proposals
d) In written and oral communication makes clear, concise proposals and constructs coherent arguments
e) In oral and written communication conveys ideas accurately and is consistently understandable in diverse settings and for various audiences

MDiv Outcome 1: Contemporary Culture

Graduate will have the ability to integrate theology in contemporary cultural contexts (W, M)

a) Critically interprets the role of historical and cultural contexts in the formation of theological perspectives
b) Discovers and analyzes the key elements of a cultural context, including congregations and a culture other than one’s own
c) Constructs specific theological proposals that are in accordance with the purposes of God’s Kingdom and appropriately suited to particular contexts
d) Formulates and begins to practice a coherent Christian engagement with secular culture and with different religions
e) Explains one’s core theological commitments and applies them effectively to address the spiritual, ecclesial, ethical, and social issues of one’s context
f) Exercises effective pastoral leadership, based on a clear understanding of a congregation’s culture, in shaping the sacramental and symbolic life of the church in accordance with the contextualized practice of its mission
g) Implements practical theological proposals according to the needs of particular contexts, including multicultural and cross-cultural contexts
h) Effectively embodies the Gospel in ways that integrate theological insight with the competent interpretation of one’s context
i) Facilitates a critical engagement between theological insights and other areas of knowledge and practice


MDiv Outcome 2: History

Graduate will have an awareness of the historical and contemporary beliefs and practices of the worldwide church, and the Stone-Campbell heritage in particular (W, C)

a) Comprehends and evaluates the key figures, movements, and events of church history
b) Comprehends and evaluates the key beliefs and practices of contemporary global Christianity
c) Exhibits critical reflection on and mature respect for the historic and contemporary beliefs and practices of the Stone-Campbell heritage (or one’s own tradition)
d) Critically analyzes one’s own theological and spiritual practices in relation to historic and contemporary Christianity, especially that of the Stone-Campbell heritage (or one’s own tradition)
e) Critically analyzes contemporary situations in light of historical knowledge and appropriately applies that knowledge in ministerial practice


MDiv Outcome 3: Leadership

Graduate will have the ability to lead and equip the church for its various ministries (C, M)

a) Employs critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making sufficient for ministerial effectiveness
b) Demonstrates the ability to lead the church in interpreting its context, discerning its mission, and evaluating its orientation to the purposes of God
c) Demonstrates the ability to lead the church in shaping its corporate identity and implementing God’s vision in its context
d) Demonstrates the ability to teach, equip, and lead individuals of different ages and various levels of faith development
e) Exercises one’s ministerial role in a way that constructively engages the polity of one’s context
f) Works collaboratively with others
g) Skillfully manages conflict in a way that enables constructive transformation and peacemaking
h) Manages ministerial boundaries with maturity and wisdom


MDiv Outcome 4: Care of Souls

Graduate will have the capacity to exercise care of souls in fitting and compassionate ways (C, M)

a) Treats others with respect and acts according to their best interests
b) Exhibits sensitive, caring, and skillful attention to the needs of those in crisis
c) Provides apt counsel, guidance, and practical instruction
d) Integrates the practice of skillful caregiving techniques with disciplined theological reflection


MDiv Outcome 5: Character

Graduate will demonstrate growth in Christian character essential for ministerial faithfulness and effectiveness (S, W, C, M)

a) Conducts oneself in the manner of a Christian exemplar
b) Demonstrates healthy awareness of one’s personality, behavior patterns, level of interpersonal effectiveness, and patterns of response to anxiety and conflict
c) Demonstrates commitment to conduct one’s life out of a confessed Christian faith and exhibits the practices of discipleship
d) Demonstrates sustained participation in Christian community and constructive investment in its life
e) Takes honest responsibility for one’s actions, habits, and growth, applying effective strategies and spiritual disciplines for achieving ongoing growth
f) Acts in a principled fashion so as to increase one’s credibility and build trust—with integrity, humility, dependability, and compassion
g) Discerningly receives criticism and takes initiative to change if necessary
h) Demonstrates commitment to the well-being of one’s spouse and family