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Divinity is the study of Christian and other theology and ministry at a school, divinity school, university, or seminary. The term is sometimes a synonym for theology as an academic, speculative pursuit, and sometimes is used for the study of applied theology and ministry to make a distinction between that and academic theology. It most often refers to Christian study which is linked with the professional degrees for ordained ministry or related work, though it is also used in an academic setting by other faith traditions.
Divinity can be divided into several distinct but related disciplines. These vary, sometimes widely, from church to church and from one faith tradition to another, and even among various programs within a particular church. A typical program will include many of the following:
Studying divinity usually leads to the awarding of an academic degree or a professional degree. Such degrees, particularly in modern times the Master of Divinity, are prerequisites for ordained ministry in most Christian denominations and many other faith communities. The exception to this is all "plain" churches such as the Amish, Old German Baptist Brethren, Old Order Mennonite, Dunkard Brethren, and many others. In fact, such churches hold to the belief that seminaries are an institution of man and not supported by Holy Scripture. Students earn such degrees at a free-standing seminary, theologate or divinity school, or at a university.
The following is a list of most of the common degrees in divinity: