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Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion and Ethics

Joint Degree

The Juris Doctor/Master of Divinity (J.D./M.Div.) joint degree program is designed to provide students with both legal and theological training in an interdisciplinary framework. Because it is a collaborative effort between the School of Law and Pepperdine's Seaver College Religion Division, students are able to draw upon the hearty resources of both schools in furthering their professional training. By allowing the methods and ideas from the two disciplines to complement, cross-fertilize, and enrich their learning, students in the program probe the depths of theology and simultaneously develop more fulsome understandings of the law, its effects, and its limitations.

The J.D./M.Div. joint degree program allows students to complete the degree requirements in five years rather than the six years it would normally take for completion of the two degrees. Students must gain acceptance to both the School of Law and Religion Division, and then embark on a course of study comprised of 79 law school units and 74 theology units. Upon successfully completing ten semesters (five semesters in residence at each school), students will receive both a J.D. degree and a M.Div. degree.

While in the program, students may choose to be involved in the work of the Institute for Law, Religion, and Ethics. Graduates of the joint degree program are uniquely prepared to serve their communities in a variety of ways, including traditional law practice, congregational ministry, human rights or other non-profit organizational work, public policy development, or legal advocacy on behalf of the underserved of society.



For more information, contact:

Jim Gash, Associate Dean of Students at the School of Law
jim.gash@pepperdine.edu (Fall 2011 only)

Tom Bost, Professor of Law
thomas.bost@pepperdine.edu (Spring 2012 on)

Dr. Randy Chesnutt, Chair of the Religion Division at Seaver College
randall.chesnutt@pepperdine.edu