Undergraduate Studies - Bachelor of Divinity

Conferred through Maryvale HIRS by Faculté Nôtre Dame in Paris

Ecclesiastical Bachelor of Divinity



The Ecclesiastical Bachelor of Divinity is a five-year part-time distance-learning degree programme in theology providing a comprehensive exposition and analysis of Christian doctrine based on the study of the sacred Scriptures, the works of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and the documents of the Magisterium. This degree is established by the Holy See (which is a signatory to the 1999 Bologna Declaration) according to the norms governing Higher Institutes of Religious Sciences (HIRS) and is conferred through Maryvale HIRS by La Faculté Nôtre-Dame in Paris under the authority of the Holy See.

La Faculté Nôtre-Dame

Who is the programme aimed at?

Students are typically from all walks of life, aged 18–75, married, single, and religious. Some have strong academic backgrounds; others have done little academic work since leaving school. The Programme provides an academic formation specialising in Catholic theology and also develops the religious formation of the students so that they may participate more fully in the life and mission of the Church.

The programme has two pathways:

Pathway A

This pathway is ideally suited to any adult Catholic capable of studying at undergraduate degree level who wishes to develop his or her theological education.

Pathway B

This pathway is ideally suited for:

  • Those people seeking to deepen their knowledge of the faith and serve the pastoral ministry of the Church
  • Those who are responding to the Church's call to become lay catechists in positions of responsibility and leadership
  • Candidates for the permanent diaconate who are sponsored by a diocese, and who may subsequently be ordained as permanent deacons, as well as those who have already been ordained as deacons.

See the tabs below for a clearer indication of the aims and content of the pathways

What are the entry requirements?

In general, entry to this degree programme is ‘open’ in the sense that no specific previous qualifications are needed but evidence will be sought of ability for degree level work and the application will need to be supported by appropriate references. The Programme is delivered in English and evidence of competence in the language may be required of those for whom English is not their first language.

How long is the programme?

The Ecclesiastical Bachelor of Divinity is a five year, part-time, distance learning degree programme.

Those who exit after satisfactorily completing two years are eligible for a Maryvale Certificate. Those who exit after satisfactorily completing four years will gain a Maryvale Diploma.

When does the next course start?

A new programme begins each autumn.

How do I apply?

Applications are welcome any time up to the first week of September.

To apply, download the application form here.

Accessibility support

If you have a disability or any long-term condition that impacts on your day-to-day life, please download the Accessibility Support Form, open and edit it in Acrobat Reader, and email or post the completed document to the Accessibility Coordinator (address included on the form), to ensure we can give you the best possible support during your course of study. Disclosing a disability will not be a factor in Institute’s decision as to whether or not to offer you a place on the course. However, it is important that the Institute knows if you have any specialist needs in order to provide you with appropriate support and facilities. This information will remain strictly confidential. For further information, please contact the Accessibility Coordinator by using the contact button below:


For further information

Please contact us either by making an online enquiry below or by calling 0121 360 8118.



Aims:

  • To provide a comprehensive academic formation in Catholic theology
  • To develop a critical sense and academic judgement so as to evaluate different theological positions
  • To help those participating to discover and realise their vocation in the Church
  • To nourish each person's spiritual life through the enlightenment that comes from revelation

Structure:

Programmes commence in September consisting of two residential weekends and one residential midweek period per year. Between residential periods students work from home, writing eight essays per year. Academic grades are based on the essays and an examination at the end of each year.

Content:

Modules of study are taken on:

  • History of Philosophy
  • Systematic Philosophy
  • Holy Scripture
  • Fundamental Theology
  • Dogmatic Theology
  • Moral Theology
  • Spiritual Theology
  • Liturgical and Sacramental Theology
  • Patrology and the History of the Church
  • Canon Law

Assessment:

Each module is assessed by the completion of one or more assignments and a written or oral examination.

Aims:

  • To provide a comprehensive doctrinal and theological formation together with an understanding of methodologies appropriate to the communication of God's revelation in Jesus Christ.
  • To help those participating to discover and realise their vocation in the Church
  • To nourish each person's spiritual life through the enlightenment that comes from revelation.

Structure:

Programmes commence in September consisting of two residential weekends and one residential midweek period per year. Students also undertake parish-based work related to ministry in the Church. Between residential periods students work from home, writing essays for a designated academic tutor and producing a portfolio of resources for pastoral ministry or catechesis. Academic grades are based on the assignments, a portfolio of applied work, and an examination at the end of each year.

Content:

Modules of study are taken on:

  • Fundamental Theology
  • Dogmatic Theology
  • Holy Scripture
  • Spiritual Theology
  • Liturgical and Sacramental Theology
  • History of Philosophy
  • Systematic Philosophy
  • Moral Theology
  • Patrology and the History of the Church
  • Canon Law
  • Transmission of the Faith

Assessment:

Each module is assessed by the completion of one or more assignments and a written or oral examination.



Student Feedback:

What were the best aspects of the BDiv programme?

  • "The comprehensive nature of the degree has given me a solid overview of the Catholic faith and strengthened me in my own spiritual development."
  • "Its rich comprehensive presentation of the Church’s teaching – learning scripture, tradition, magisterial teaching, along with the tools and skills needed for a sound transmission of the Faith – the course has been an invaluable opportunity to truly learn what the Church teaches!"
  • "Contact with lecturers whom you would not normally meet and getting their views on various aspects of theology."
  • "The way, order, methodology of the module coursebooks and order of learning. The synthesis of learning really worked."
  • "Meeting other students who provide support."
  • "Lecturers' input and course materials."
  • "The excellent hospitality and peace."
  • "Time for prayer together and social time."
  • "I feel truly welcomed by all (parts of the Maryvale family)."

How will you use your Degree in the future?

  • "My priest would like me to help with baptism by speaking with families and for funerals."
  • "Music ministry and liturgy combination, possibly chaplaincy, youth ministry and Church events."
  • "I would like, in the future, to do a Masters in Marriage and Family, and work within the diocese along the lines of marriage guidance."
  • "To enable me to proclaim the gospel and explain Church teaching in light of scripture and tradition in an engaging and accessible manner for our young people (youth work)."
  • "Pastorally, sacramentally and personally."
  • "Diaconal ministry."
  • "In a pastoral ministry."
  • "Not only will I use the degree for whatever ministry the Lord calls me too – but for my life as a whole – how I understand the world etc and also the benefits of the degree for my personal relationship with the Lord. Having the core teachings, the foundational truths of the Faith and skills for its transmission engrained in my heart and mind!"

Can you sum up your BDiv and Maryvale experience in a few words?

  • "Overall, the degree programme has been a gift. From a young age, I have been eager to know what the Church teaches in all its richness and to be able to defend the Faith. Every single module/essay (even the tough ones!) has not only enriched my knowledge and understanding but has contributed to my personal and spiritual growth beyond words. It has been an experience of God’s Love that has also given me friends for life – who made the journey fun and enjoyable!"
  • "A solid foundation of learning and teaching that formed a thorough understanding of Church teaching and provided assistance in my day to day faith and work."
  • "It has been pleasurable and greatly informative and has given me the tools to transmit the faith in a holistic manner. The course has also enriched my own faith development."
  • "It has been an integral formation, in that all the knowledge on the faith informs all areas of my life: my spiritual life, my human relationships, my work and my pastoral ministry."
  • "This has been a fantastic journey and I have deepened my Faith beyond my expectation. Studying with Maryvale has given me confidence and the tools to faithfully echo the teachings of the Church and the experience."
  • "Support from other students is extremely valuable and the tutors' guidance is excellent."
  • "A wonderful experience."
  • "The experience provided is very good."

BDiv Students - July 2018

"This has been a fantastic journey and I have deepened my Faith beyond my expectation. Studying with Maryvale has given me confidence and the tools to faithfully echo the teachings of the Church and the experience. Spread the word....."

BDiv Student - May 2018
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