Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry
school of theology and ministry
This 48-credit degree combines the four most effective resources of theological education for ministry. First, it contains a thorough grounding in sacred scripture and theology with a view toward ministry and faith based service. Second, its courses in pastoral studies provide graduates with the tools to mediate effective ministry in the life of a faith community or in faith-based service. Third, its contextual education places students in various ministries with experienced supervisors and mentors, to develop the practical arts and reflective skills of ministry. Fourth, the program's spiritual formation provides access to traditions of prayer and spiritual practices that can sustain a life-long vocation in ecclesial ministry and faith based service. Graduates with this degree are ideally prepared – theologically, pastorally, and spiritually – to work in varied functions of ecclesial ministry in parish, campus, or health care settings, or to intentionally put their faith to work in contexts of social service. Students have the option of pursuing the Standard Track, the Religious Education Track, or the Hispanic Ministry Track within the degree program. Click here to learn more about the school's Hispanic Ministry Program.
The M.A. degree program can now be completed through a combination of on-campus summer courses and online courses taken throughout the year. The model below shows you how the degree program would be structured to complete the M.A. in 3 years. However, the degree program is flexible -- you could take on-campus courses during the academic year or spread your program out over a longer period of time. Our faculty advisors will work with your to craft your program of study. Learn more about the Hybrid Track
Contextual Education (Field Education)
Students in the M.A. program are required to enroll in Contextual Education, a supervised field education experience. The purpose of Contextual Education is to enable students to concretely explore a specific ministerial context and to develop the skills for theological reflection on that experience.
Students may choose, in consultation with their advisors, courses in theology, scripture, education, or ministry in order pursue particular interests or to round out their program of study.
First-year M.A. students participate in the one-credit Spiritual Formation program (TMPS7080). Small groups, led by trained facilitators, allow students to integrate their academic work with their spiritual growth in a supportive and prayerful atmosphere. During the academic year the groups meet six times per semester. To complete the requirement, students also develop a personalized Spiritual Formation Plan during their course of study.
Upon completion of course work, M.A. students write a thesis that provides them the opportunity to (1) creatively synthesize their studies in theology, (2) address a question about ministry and (3) outline a pastoral program appropriate to their own ministerial context. A subsequent oral examination allows students to discuss their thesis with two faculty members.