The H.M.S. Richards Divinity School prepares students for pathways of service in ministry and religious education, as well as advanced study in theology. It is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).
The La Sierra University H.M.S. Richards Divinity School, a theological school within the system of Seventh-day Adventist higher education, seeks to integrate believing, thinking, and acting through teaching, scholarship, dialogue, and service, preparing Christian leaders for effective ministries in the church, academy and world in which we live.
Among Student Learning Outcomes for professional programs in the H.M.S. Richards Divinity School:
- Students will be professional and competent—they can understand and confirm their calling in ministry and engage in disciplines of spiritual formation for sustaining spiritual life and growth.
Students in the H.M.S. Richards Divinity School experience a deepened spiritual awareness through activities inside and outside classes. Spiritual formation is foundational to the church and its life. Courses offered address Christian spirituality in the context of faith development. The curriculum is designed to afford students opportunities to deepen their spiritual awareness in classes directly related to the history, theology and practice of spirituality. The course offerings for graduate students that are related to topics of spirituality and the dynamics of Christian formation practices include the following:
- RELP 504 The Calling and Spiritual Identity of the Pastor
- RELP 535 Psychology of Religion
- RELP 545 Fostering Faith Across the Life Cycle
- RELP 564 Religious Development and Moral Learning
- RELP 589 Christian Spiritual Resources
- RELP 616 Seminar in Spiritual Formation
In addition to the student’s regular weekly worship in the church of their choice, campus-related opportunities for strengthening spirituality include devotional gatherings like:
- weekly dormitory worship services Wednesday evenings at 10 p.m. for our residential students
- weekly university chapels Tuesdays at 11 a.m. in the La Sierra University Church
- quarterly Divinity School assembly meetings in Angwin Hall Dormitory Chapel
- annual school one-day fall retreats at the California Citrus State Historic Park
- annual school graduating-student consecration service in Matheson Hall
There are also regular staff devotional meetings for students doing field study. The extra-curricular opportunities for rest and rejuvenating the spirit are provided by the spiritual life office and other campus resources.
We see ourselves as an open community of learning and service, conviction and hospitality, solidarity and diversity, where faith seeks both understanding and transformation.
Our vision is to be attentive to the calling of Jesus Christ to present truth,* while not forgetting how God has led us in our past history,* and ever listening and reaching out through the empowering of the Spirit to a changing church and world. We seek to form leaders who will be both effective and winsome spokespersons for the gospel, and capable of courageously standing for the right though the heavens fall.*
We seek collaborations with congregations and partner institutions where conversations can deepen our service in God’s cause in the world.
[*Allusions to E.G. White, Maranatha 219; Life Sketches 196; Education 57]