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Academics

Master of Arts in Theological Studies (M.A.T.S.)

DR. SCOTT STEVENS
Program Director

The Master of Arts in Theological Studies is a two-year program focused on preparing students for further theological study and church-related vocations. It consists of 36 semester hours in which four hours may be earned by completing a thesis or advanced ministry project. All courses are offered online, adding to the convenience of the program.

This curriculum provides opportunities for intensive study in Christian scriptures, theology, and ministry at the graduate level. Students are equipped with the biblical/theological knowledge necessary to fulfill their calling in the Kingdom of God.

SCHOLARSHIP INFORMATION
Scholarship information can be found here.

GRADUATE ADMISSIONS INFORMATION
Cost | Admission Requirements | Transfer of Credit

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Courses

Course List

To see course descriptions, visit the Academic Catalog.

The Master of Arts in Theological Studies is a two-year program focused on preparing students for further theological study and church-related vocations; it consists of 36-37 semester hours in which four hours may be earned by completing a thesis or advanced ministry project. This curriculum provides opportunities for intensive study in Christian scriptures, theology, and ministry at the graduate level. Students may enter the program during any fall or spring term. 
Bible and Theology Foundations – 21 hours from the following:
CHRM 5309 New Testament Exegesis
CHRM 5310 The Christian Life in the Letters of Paul
CHRM 5311 Christianity and Contemporary Culture
CHRM 5319 Old Testament Exegesis
CHRM 5320 Old Testament Theology
CHRM 5330 New Testament Theology
CHRM 5331 New Testament Ecclesiology
CHRM 5340 Peoples, Theology, and Literature of the Ancient Near East and Israel
CHRM 5342 Selected Topics in Theology
Ministry Studies – 9 hours from the following:
CHRM 5301 Early Childhood Ministry
CHRM 5302 Elementary Children’s Ministry
CHRM 5303 Family Ministry
CHRM 5312 Understanding the Contemporary Mind and Religion
CHRM 5350 The Educational Ministry of the Church
CHRM 5352 Selected Topics in Ministry
CHRM 5355 Spiritual Formation: Scripture, Tradition, and Practice
Christian Traditions - 6 hours
CHRM 5300 The Baptists
CHRM 5360 World Christianity
Thesis Option (4 hours) – Students may elect to complete a thesis (requiring completion of both of the following courses). Completion of CHRM 6101 and CHRM 6301 will substitute for one Bible and Theology Foundations course or for one Ministry Foundations course.
CHRM 6101 Thesis/Ministry Project 1
CHRM 6301 Thesis/Ministry Project 2*
* CHRM 6301 requires the successful completion of a thesis or ministry project report.

  •  A thesis or ministry project report must be determined to be “Acceptable” on all criteria identified in the grading rubric (available online in the Manual for Research Theses and Ministry Project Reports) in order for the student to receive credit (grade of CR) in CHRM 6301 Thesis/Ministry Project 2. 
  • If the student submits a thesis/report determined to be anything other than “Acceptable” on any of the criteria in the grading rubric (or does not submit a thesis/report at all), the student will have the following options:

(a) The student may request that the professor give the student an Incomplete for the course. The student must complete the thesis/report by the due date determined by the professor to receive credit (CR) for the course. The student who fails to satisfy this requirement will be given the opportunity to choose one of the two options below.
(b) The student will receive a grade of NC (no credit) for the course and reregister for CHRM 6301 Thesis/Ministry Project 2 for the next semester.
(c) The student will receive a grade of NC (no credit) for the course and register for an elective course to complete graduation requirements for the MAR degree.

Overview

MISSION STATEMENT
The mission of the Department of Religion is to equip students to be life-long learners of the Bible, models of growing disciples of Jesus Christ, servant leaders, and agents of God’s transformative work among churches and the world. 

STATEMENT OF PHILOSOPHY
The nature of graduate education is to foster an environment with the student as an active participant in the learning process as leader, researcher, and practitioner. Significant time is spent on the review of the literature of the discipline. The activities of the course are writing intensive, engage the biblical text more closely and thoroughly than is typical in an undergraduate course, require careful, detailed analysis of diverse and conflicting interpretations, incorporate reflective thought on the part of the student, include an increased expectation of independent research, and necessitate a search for additional resources to bring to class to inform discussion. At their discretion students may work in collaborative groups to complete the course goals and objectives, but each student must be prepared to participate personally in seminar discussions and presentations.

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS
For the Master of Arts in Theological Studies and the Master of Arts in Christian Ministry, students will complete a total of 36-37 graduate credit hours with a grade of “C” or higher and maintain at least a 2.75 grade point average. Students must complete all requirements for the degree within five years of being granted full admission. Read more about the requirements on the Graduation Requirements page.

DISMISSAL FROM PROGRAM

  1. Students who fail to achieve full admission after the completion of nine graduate hours will be dismissed from the program.
  2. Students who fail to maintain at least a 2.75 grade point average will be placed on probation and will have one semester to raise the grade point average. Following that semester, failure to regain at least a 2.75 grade point average will result in dismissal from the program.
  3. Students who earn a grade of “D” or “F” in any one course may be dismissed from the program based on a recommendation from the Program Director and Dean.

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES
 1. Students will (a) construct a biblical approach to ministry and (b) design a personal philosophy of ministry grounded in Scripture and tailored to his or her calling, personality, and gifting.
 2. Students will demonstrate skills in Christian ministry such as (a) leading devotions on biblical concepts and passages and (b) planning worship services.
 3. Students will demonstrate the ability to prepare Bible studies or sermons
 4. Students will (a) demonstrate knowledge of the seven pillars of leadership, and/or (b) evaluate models of Christian leadership, and/or (c) demonstrate the ability to apply the principles of Christian servant leadership to ministry situations.
 5. Students will apply key principles and strategies used in contemporary global missions.
 6. Students will demonstrate skills in using the various methodologies of biblical interpretation in analysis of selected biblical texts.
 7. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the significance of major doctrinal themes of the Christian faith, their biblical foundations, and their historical and contemporary expressions.
 8. Students will identify and explain the basic contributions to moral philosophy and Christian ethics of key figures of the Western tradition.
 9. Students will analyze the strengths and weaknesses of evangelistic methods used worldwide.
10. Students will defend the biblical and theological basis for evangelism and display proficiency in sharing the gospel in a variety of contexts.

Manual for Research Theses and Ministry Project Reports
Course Rotation

Summer 2020
CHRM 5342 Selected Topics in Theology
CHRM 5352 Selected Topics in Ministry

Fall 2020
CHRM 5300 The Baptists
CHRM 5301 Early Childhood Ministry

CHRM 5306 Theology of Missions
CHRM 5319 Old Testament Exegesis
CHRM 5331 New Testament Ecclesiology

HIED 5303 Christian Servant Leadership 

Spring 2021
CHRM 5304 History of Missions

CHRM 5307 Youth Evangelism and Discipleship
CHRM 5311 Christianity and Contemporary Culture 
CHRM 5330 New Testament Theology 
CHRM 5350 The Educational Ministry of the Church 

Summer 2021
CHRM 5342 Selected Topics in Theology
CHRM 5352 Selected Topics in Ministry

Fall 2021
CHRM 5302 Elementary Children's Ministry

CHRM 5303 Family Ministry
CHRM 5308 Youth Cultural Issues
CHRM 5310 The Christian Life in the Letters of Paul 
CHRM 5340 Peoples, Theology, and Literature of the Ancient Near East and Israel 
CHRM 5360 World Christianity

Spring 2022
CHRM 5300 The Baptists

CHRM 5305 Strategies for Missions
CHRM 5309 New Testament Exegesis
CHRM 5312 Understanding the Contemporary Mind and Religion
CHRM 5320 Old Testament Theology

CHRM 5355 Spiritual Formation: Scripture, Tradition, and Practice

Summer 2022
CHRM 5342 Selected Topics in Theology
CHRM 5352 Selected Topics in Ministry