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Seminary Books: A Complete List of Required Reading for my MDiv Studies

“What books are you reading in seminary?” This is a question I’ve been asked a lot over the past couple of years. As often as I’ve been asked this question, I thought it might be helpful to put together the entire list of books.

Seminary books

Couple caveats:

1. This list is required reading for MDiv students at Covenant Theological Seminary from fall, 2016 to spring, 2019 based on the classes I took. This list is not meant to curate all the books read at every seminary.

2. This list represents the Master of Divinity degree only.

3. Professors sometimes change the books they assign, which means one could do the same program I did and have, say, 10-15% different books required to read.

4. Most of these books were required. However, I’ve added some of the recommended books from professors if I thought they were worth mentioning.

Note: If you’d like to know which books were my favorites, see my post entitled: Top 20 Best Books I Read in Seminary.


1. Apologetics, Evangelism, and Missions
2. Applied Theology
3. Church History
4. Counseling
5. Covenant Theology
6. Greek
7. Hebrew
8. New Testament
9. Old Testament
10. Preaching
11. Systematic Theology
12. Miscellaneous

You can find the books below.

Seminary Books: A Complete Lists of Required Reading for my MDiv Studies

1. Apologetics, Evangelism, and Missions

Apologetics and the Christian Imagination: An Integrated Approach to Defending the Faith  by Holly Ordway

A Wilderness of Mirrors: Trusting Again in a Cynical World by Mark Meynell

Chameleon Christianity by Dick Keyes

Evangelism in the Early Church by Michael Green

Evangelism: How the Whole Church Speaks of Jesus  by Mack Stiles

Fool’s Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion by Os Guinness

Many Colors: Cultural Intelligence for a Changing Church by Soong-Chan Rah

Reasons of the Heart: Recovering Christian Persuasion by William Edgar

The Heart of Evangelism by Jerram Barrs

The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia–and How It Died by Phillip Jenkins

Translating the Message: The Missionary Impact on Culture  by Lamin Sanneh

2. Applied Theology

[callout]“Applied” is a bit ambiguous. Essentially it just means classes that are more practical in nature and less academic.[/callout]

Children of the Living God by Sinclair Ferguson

Christ-Centered Worship: Letting the Gospel Shape Our Practice by Bryan Chapell

Christian Spirituality: Five Views of Sanctification

Gilead: A Novel by Maryline Robinson

In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership by Henri Nouwen

Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good by Amy Sherman

Letters of Francis A. Schaeffer: Spiritual Reality in the Personal Christian Life by Francis A. Schaeffer

Resilient Ministry: What Pastors Told Us About Surviving and Thriving

The Imperfect Pastor: Discovering Joy in Our Limitations through a Daily Apprenticeship with Jesus by Zack Eswine

Transforming Grace: Living Confidently in God’s Unfailing Love by Jerry Bridges

Union with Christ: Reframing Theology and Ministry for the Church by Todd Billings

What Is Your Church’s Personality?: Discovering and Developing the Ministry Style of Your Church by Phil Douglas

With One Voice: Discovering Christ’s Song in Our Worship by Reggie Kidd

3. Church History

A History of the Church in the Middle Ages by F. Donald Logan

Church History, Volume One by Everett Ferguson

Church History, Volume Two by John D. Woodbridge and Frank A. James III

How (Not) to Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor by James K.A. Smith

4. Counseling

A Family Genogram Workbook

Close Calls: What Adulterers Want You to Know About Protecting Your Marriage by Dave Carder

Descriptions and Prescriptions: A Biblical Perspective on Psychiatric Diagnoses and Medications by Michael Emelet

Generation to Generation: Family Process in Church and Synagogue by Edwin Friedman

Strategic Pastoral Counseling: A Short-Term Structured Model by David Benner

Suffering and the Heart of God: How Trauma Destroys and Christ Restores by Diane Langberg

The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God by Tim Keller

The Leader’s Journey: Accepting the Call to Personal and Congregational Transformation

What Am I Feeling? by John Gottman

When Life Goes Dark: Finding Hope in the Midst of Depression by Richard Winter

5. Covenant Theology

Bible and Mission: Christian Witness in a Postmodern World by Richard Bauckham

Far as the Curse Is Found: The Covenant Story of Redemption by Mike Williams

Introducing Paul: The Man, His Mission and His Message by Michael Bird

Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament by Christopher J.H. Wright

Proper Confidence: Faith, Doubt, and Certainty in Christian Discipleship by Leslie Newbigin

Redemptive History and the New Testament Scriptures by Herman Ridderbos

The Mission of God’s People: A Biblical Theology of the Church’s Mission by Christopher J.H. Wright

Words of Life: Scripture as the Living and Active Word of God by Timothy Ward

6. Greek

A Handbook of New Testament Exegesis by Craig Blomberg

A New Testament Greek Primer by S.M. Baugh

The Complete Vocabulary Guide to the Greek New Testament by Warren Trenchard

Going Deeper with New Testament Greek: An Intermediate Study of the Grammar and Syntax of the New Testament

Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament by Daniel B. Wallace

Novum Testamentum Graece: Nestle-Aland

The Concise Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament by Frederick William Danker

[special]Related: How to Learn Biblical Greek Without a Seminary Degree [/special]

7. Hebrew

Beginning Biblical Hebrew by Mark Futato

A Reader’s Hebrew Bible

A Guide to Biblical Hebrew Syntax by Bill Arnold and John Choi

Student’s Vocabulary for Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic by Larry Mitchel

The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon – Coded with Strong’s Concordance Numbers

[special]Related: How to Learn Biblical Hebrew Without a Seminary Degree[/special]

8. New Testament

An Introduction to the New Testament by D.A. Carson and Douglass Moo

Acts (Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (IVP Numbered)) by I. Howard Marshall

John (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) by Andreas Kostenberger

Letters to the Church: A Survey of Hebrews and the General Epistles by Karen Jobes

Paul, Apostle of God’s Glory in Christ: A Pauline Theology by Thomas Schreiner

Readings from the First-Century World: Primary Sources for New Testament Study

The Heresy of Orthodoxy: How Contemporary Culture’s Fascination with Diversity Has Reshaped Our Understanding of Early Christianity by Andreas Kostenberger and Michael Kruger

The Theology of the Book of Revelation by Richard Bauckham

Theology of the New Testament: A Canonical and Synthetic Approach by Frank Thielman

Pastoral Epistles, Volume 46 (Word Biblical Commentary) by William Bounce

9. Old Testament

A Biblical History of Israel by Iain Provan

An Introduction to the Old Testament Historical Books by David Howard Jr.

An Introduction to the Old Testament Prophetic Books by C. Hassell Bullock

Forgotten Songs: Reclaiming the Psalms for Christian Worship by Ray Van Neste

From Paradise to the Promised Land: An Introduction to the Pentateuch by T. Desmond Alexander

Is God a Moral Monster?: Making Sense of the Old Testament God by Paul Copan

Leviticus: An Introduction and Commentary by Jay Sklar

Old Testament Ethics for the People of God by Christopher J.H. Wright

Proverbs (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries) by Dee Kidner

Psalms 1-72 (Kidner Classic Commentaries) by Dee Kidner

Psalms 73-150 (Kidner Classic Commentaries) Dee Kidner

The God of Miracles: An Exegetical Examination of God’s Action in the World by Jack Collins

The Interpretation of Prophecy by Patrick Fairbairn

The Biblical Psalms in Christian Worship: A Brief Introduction and Guide to Resources by John D. Witvliet

The Wisdom of Proverbs, Job & Ecclesiastes by Dee Kidner

10. Preaching

Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon by Bryan Chapell

Preaching the Old Testament by Scott Gibson

How to Preach and Teach the Old Testament for All Its Worth by Christopher J.H. Wright

Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism by Tim Keller

Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture: The Application of Biblical Theology to Expository Preaching by Graeme Goldsworthy

Preaching That Speaks to Women  by Alice Mathews

Preaching to a Post-Everything World: Crafting Biblical Sermons That Connect with Our Culture by Zack Eswine

Preaching with Cultural Intelligence: Understanding the People Who Hear Our Sermons by Matthew Kim

Recapturing the Voice of God: Shaping Sermons Like Scripture by Steven W. Smith

Recovering Eden: The Gospel According to Ecclesiastes by Zack Eswine

11. Systematic Theology

A Light to the Nations: The Missional Church and the Biblical Story by Michael Goheen

A New Heaven and a New Earth: Reclaiming Biblical Eschatology by J. Richard Middleton

By the Renewing of Your Minds: The Pastoral Function of Christian Doctrine by Ellen Charry

Christ, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper: Recovering the Sacraments for Evangelical Worship by Leonard Vander Zee

Ecumenical Creeds and Reformed Confessions

Justification and the Gospel: Understanding the Contexts and Controversies by R. Michael Allen

Living in God’s Two Kingdoms: A Biblical Vision for Christianity and Culture David VanDrunen

On the Incarnation by Saint Athanasius

Our Reasonable Faith by Herman Bavinck

Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin by Cornelius Plantinga

The Doctrine of God by Gerald Bray

The Doctrine of Humanity by Chalres Sherlock

The Doctrine of the Christian Life (A Theology of Lordship) by John Frame

The Holy Spirit by Sinclair Ferguson

The Freedom of a Christian by Martin Luther

The Westminster Confession of Faith

Why I Am Not an Arminian by Michael Williams and Robert Peterson

12. Miscellaneous

[callout]These are books from elective classes or books that do not fit neatly in the above categories. They are by no means academic books and are not representative of what seminary students typically read, although many of them are helpful nonetheless.[/callout]

Christian Reflections by C.S. Lewis

From Weakness to Strength by Scott Sauls

God in the Dock by C.S. Lewis

Knowing God by J.I. Packer

Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian in Community by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power by Andy Crouch

Reflections on the Psalms by C.S. Lewis

The Imperfect Disciple: Grace for People Who Can’t Get Their Act Together by Jared C. Wilson

The Nuts and Bolts of Church Planting: A Guide for Starting Any Kind of Church by Aubrey Malphurs

The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis

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