2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
    May 28, 2022  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School of Divinity

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Academic Departments & Programs

Keith W. Plummer, PhD, Dean

Professor Emeritus

Julius C. Bosco, ThM 
Richard D. Emmons, PhD
G. Robert Kilgore, DMiss 
John R. Master, ThD


Donald A. Cheyney, EdD
Brian P. Luther, PhD
Matthew M. McAlack, PhD
Gary E. Schnittjer, PhD
Brian G. Toews, PhD

Associate Professor

G. Thompson Allen, ThM
Jared R. Bryant, PhD
David Crosscombe, DMin
James E. Dolezal, PhD
Kevin W. McFadden, PhD

Part-time Faculty

Edgar B. Hardesty, PhD
Anthony Hurst, DMin
Mark A. Jalovick, ThM
William L. Krewson, PhD

Adjunct Faculty

Jay Butler, MS
Lynn-Marie Cacoilo, MA
Isaiah B. Cramer, MDiv
Keith Treadwell, MDiv
Daniel R. Young, DMin

The School

The School of Divinity faculty is committed to strengthening students’ understanding of God’s Word while cultivating in them an increasing love for God and trust in Him. A serious study of the Bible and theology, together with liberal arts and professional studies, develops biblical wisdom and a perspective that enables students to think deeply about difficult issues of life and work in this world. The School encompasses the Bible core curriculum taken by all University undergraduates, as well as the Biblical Studies, Bible Ministries, Camping Ministries, Christian Studies, Intercultural Studies, Pastoral Ministries, and Youth and Family Ministry programs.

The School follows a pattern modeled by the teacher Ezra, who “set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach His statutes and rules in Israel” (Ezra 7:10). This prescription for spiritual maturity has three elements:

  • First, Ezra’s heart desired to study God’s Word. This desire to know God through His Word is Spirit-motivated and is based in a relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • Second, Ezra studied. His mind was engaged with the content and theology of Scripture, so that he might understand God and His will for humanity.
  • Third, Ezra purposed to practice what God commanded, since obedience to Christ is the goal of spiritual maturity.

The School of Divinity’s curriculum is designed to prepare students to serve Christ in multiple contexts. Students’ hearts are motivated by God’s Spirit to study His Word in order to grow to spiritual maturity. Students’ minds are challenged to diligently study God’s Word, so that they can impact the world around them. Students’ wills are challenged to practice God’s Word personally and in the context of the church and community. The goal is to produce graduates who serve Christ in the church, society, and the world as biblically minded, well-educated, and professionally competent men and women of character.

God has revealed Himself to the world through His creation and His Word. The University seeks to educate students in both of these areas of God’s revelation, with the School of Divinity concentrating on the latter educating students in God’s revelation of Himself in the Bible. All baccalaureate students have significant studies in Bible and theology. This is because God’s revelation of Himself in the Bible is the means to know Jesus Christ, who is the basis for a true understanding of God, ourselves, and the world.

The goal of the core Bible curriculum is to educate students in the Bible and theology in a manner that intentionally integrates it into the total educational experience at Cairn, producing “biblically minded, well-educated, and professionally competent men and women of character.” This is accomplished through a core curriculum of 30 credits. Fifteen of these credits are in biblical studies and fifteen on theological topics. The biblical studies courses include an overviews of the Old and New Testaments, with concentrations in the Pentateuch and Gospels; and an exploration of God’s work of redemption in the Scriptures. Courses in theology consist of a general introduction; a study of the nature and work of God; an examination of contemporary issues from a theological perspective; and a capstone course in apologetics, a study of the defense of the gospel to the world. This core curriculum not only provides students with a foundational understanding of God’s revelation of Himself in His Word, but also shows students how to use God’s Word in their lives and ministries.

By God’s grace, Cairn University has been providing excellent biblical education for over a century. The present School of Divinity endeavors to continue this tradition of excellence and commitment to the Scriptures, so that future generations may continue to seek to know God and His Word.


The School has three broad objectives. Students will:

  1. Gain competency in their understanding of the content of the whole Bible, biblical theology, systematic theology, church history, and the University’s place within the current evangelical and theological world.
  2. Learn to integrate the truths of God’s Word into their life, resulting in spiritual growth and maturity.
  3. Develop ministry skills to communicate God’s Word in a number of avenues and contexts.

The Programs

Biblical Studies (AA)

Built on a strong Bible curriculum, this program prepares students with a foundation of scripture and theology, while also giving a broad and wide-ranging general education, appropriate for further undergraduate study or for a career. If a student elected to remain at Cairn for further study, this program integrates seamlessly into the bachelor’s degree programs.

Biblical Studies (BS in Bible)

The Biblical Studies program is designed for students preparing for vocational ministry or graduate study.  The program adds an additional 30 credits of biblical and theological courses beyond the core Bible curriculum for students who want a deeper and more extensive biblical and theological education. Students in this program study Greek or Hebrew and delve deeply into the biblical text under the instruction of professors who have years of experience in and passion for ministry.

Bible Ministries

The Bible Ministries program is a two-year program designed for students who have already earned an associate or bachelor’s degree, as well as those who have completed at least 60 credits of college work at another institution.

The program builds upon the general education already earned in any discipline at another institution and helps students develop an understanding of the Bible that will serve them well in life and lay ministry. Students in this program are also prepared for further study in seminary or graduate school.

Camping Ministries

The Camping Ministries program provides classroom theory and hands-on experience, equipping students for service in the ministry of Christian camping. Students in this program gain a solid foundation in biblical studies and the liberal arts, as well as training from camping ministry experts in the areas of camp management, maintenance, public relations, counseling, organization, programming, teaching, and safety.  Students spend 11 months in an intensive hands-on educational experience at Forest Springs Camp and Conference Center in Westboro, WI. Upon successful completion, the student earns a BS in Bible degree with a concentration in Camping Ministries.

Christian Studies

The Christian Studies program is designed for students who do not seek a particular Cairn professional major, but who recognize the need for a broad educational exposure as they pursue their careers. With its large number of electives beyond the core requirement in biblical and general education, this program enables them to construct a course of study suitable to their needs and interests. Upon successful completion of the program, the student earns a BS in Bible degree.

Dual-level programs, in which a student works concurrently toward a BS in Bible degree and either an MA degree in Religion or a Master of Divinity degree, are available.

Intercultural Studies

The Intercultural Studies program at Cairn prepares students to work effectively in cross-cultural contexts in the United States and around the world.  Development of the intercultural competencies necessary to build relationships with people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds is emphasized. Students are prepared to adjust to life and work in a different culture, to work in teams, and to proclaim Christ in culturally appropriate ways.

Pastoral Ministries

The Pastoral Ministries program gives students exposure to essential areas of pastoral ministry.  Students build the biblical foundation necessary to study and preach the Word, as well as the practical foundation necessary to lead and manage a church. Students may take elective courses in Bible and theology, church ministry, camping ministry, counseling, intercultural studies, pastoral ministry, youth and family ministry, and biblical languages.

Youth and Family Ministry

The Youth and Family Ministry program prepares students to lead a ministry to students and their parents in church and para-church settings. This program focuses on developing a strong biblical philosophy of ministry by understanding the needs, culture, and developmental issues of adolescents. Students in this program also learn to recruit and equip a team of volunteer leaders and to build a family-based ministry that equips parents to disciple their teenagers.

Dual-level programs, in which a student works concurrently toward a BS in Youth and Family Ministry degree and either an MA degree in Religion or Counseling, a Master of Business Administration degree, a Master of Divinity degree, an MS in Nonprofit Leadership degree, or an MS in Organizational Development degree, are available. A minor in Youth and Family Ministry is also available.


Students who have graduated from these programs have found career opportunities as pastors, youth ministers, Christian education directors, missionaries, church planters, evangelists, children’s workers, and camp administrators. Many go on to seminary or graduate school.


The School of Divinity also offers minors in Bible, Intercultural Studies, Sports Ministry, Urban Ministry, and Youth and Family Ministry. These minors may be added to bachelor’s degree programs from any of the University’s schools. All students not earning a BS in Bible degree are eligible for the Bible minor.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Academic Departments & Programs