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Academics

Theological Studies (M.A.T.S.)

DR. SCOTT STEVENS
Program Director
Within the graduate program, all instruction and learning activities are designed to build a community of scholarly ministers. Course content will be delivered in the context of faculty lecture material, interactive discussions, concept papers, reading of literature in the  discipline, research activities, faculty/student interactions, and units focused on student-generated content. Students will engage in real-world applications of unique issues and concepts inherent in their calling and will study advanced approaches to the challenges facing the contemporary church, as well as global ministry themes.
Faculty assigned to teach in the Master of Arts in Theological Studies and the Master of Arts in Christian Ministry programs are experienced in teaching in the college environment, as well as applying course content in the pastoral and ministerial setting. Faculty also participate in research and scholarship that promote thoughtful inquiry in academic and ministerial contexts.
Students electing to complete the thesis option in the field of religion will choose a thesis director from among the religion faculty. The thesis director will work individually with the student throughout the semester to construct and carry out the analysis of the research question, and assist the student in preparing to write and defend the thesis project.
MISSION STATEMENT
Through advanced biblical, theological, and practical study, the School of Christian Studies graduate programs seek to equip men and women to become Christian servant leaders who possess the knowledge and skills necessary to fulfill their calling in the Kingdom of God.
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.

Courses

Master of Arts in Theological Studies

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:
RLGN 5310 The Christian Life in the Letters of Paul
RLGN 5311 Christianity and Contemporary Culture
RLGN 5320 Old Testament Theology
RLGN 5330 New Testament Theology
RLGN 5331 New Testament Ecclesiology
RLGN 5340 Peoples, Theology, and Literature of the Ancient Near East and Israel
RLGN 5342 Selected Topics in Theology
Ministry Foundations – 15 hours from the following:
RLGN 5300 The Baptists
RLGN 5301 Early Childhood Ministry
RLGN 5302 Elementary Children’s Ministry
RLGN 5303 Family Ministry
RLGN 5350 The Educational Ministry of the Church
RLGN 5352 Selected Topics in Ministry
RLGN 5355 Spiritual Formation: Scripture, Tradition, and Practice
RLGN 5360 World Christianity
PSYC 5300 Understanding the Contemporary Mind and Religion
Thesis Option (4 hours) – Students may elect to complete a thesis (requiring completion of both of the following courses). Completion of RLGN 6101 and RLGN 6301 will substitute for one Bible and Theology Foundations course or for one Ministry Foundations course.
RLGN 6101 Thesis/Ministry Project 1
RLGN 6301 Thesis/Ministry Project 2*
* RLGN 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 RLGN 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 register for RLGN 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 or an elective course to complete graduation requirements for the MAR degree.

Manual for Research Theses and Ministry Project Reports
Course Rotation

Spring 2019
RLGN 5300 The Baptists
RLGN 5301 Early Childhood Ministry
RLGN 5310 The Christian Life in the Letters of Paul
RLGN 5331 New Testament Ecclesiology 

Summer 2019
RLGN 5342 Selected Topics in Theology
RLGN 5352 Selected Topics in Ministry

Fall 2019
RLGN 5311 Christianity and Contemporary Culture
RLGN 5302 Elementary Children's Ministry
RLGN 5330 New Testament Theology 
RLGN 5350 The Educational Ministry of the Church 
RLGN 5355 Spiritual Formation: Scripture, Tradition, and Practice
RLGN 5307 Youth Evangelism and Discipleship
RLGN 5304 History of Missions

Spring 2020
PSYC 5300 Understanding the Contemporary Mind and Religion
RLGN 5303 Family Ministry
RLGN 5320 Old Testament Theology 
RLGN 5340 Peoples, Theology, and Literature of the Ancient Near East and Israel 
RLGN 5360 World Christianity
RLGN 5309 New Testament Exegesis
RLGN 5308 Youth Cultural Issues
RLGN 5305 Strategies for Missions

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

Fall 2020
RLGN 5300 The Baptists
RLGN 5301 Early Childhood Ministry
RLGN 5310 The Christian Life in the Letters of Paul
RLGN 5331 New Testament Ecclesiology 
RLGN 5319 Old Testament Exegesis
RLGN 5306 Theology of Missions
RLGN 5305 Strategies for Missions

Spring 2021
RLGN 5302 Elementary Children's Ministry
RLGN 5311 Christianity and Contemporary Culture 
RLGN 5330 New Testament Theology 
RLGN 5350 The Educational Ministry of the Church 
RLGN 5355 Spiritual Formation: Scripture, Tradition, and Practice
RLGN 5307 Youth Evangelism and Discipleship
RLGN 5304 History of Missions

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

Fall 2021
PSYC 5300 Understanding the Contemporary Mind and Religion
RLGN 5303 Family Ministry
RLGN 5320 Old Testament Theology 
RLGN 5340 Peoples, Theology, and Literature of the Ancient Near East and Israel 
RLGN 5360 World Christianity
RLGN 5309 New Testament Exegesis
RLGN 5308 Youth Cultural Issues
RLGN 5305 Strategies for Missions

Spring 2022
RLGN 5300 The Baptists
RLGN 5301 Early Childhood Ministry
RLGN 5310 The Christian Life in the Letters of Paul
RLGN 5331 New Testament Ecclesiology 
RLGN 5319 Old Testament Exegesis
RLGN 5306 Theology of Missions
RLGN 5305 Strategies for Missions

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

Fall 2022
RLGN 5302 Elementary Children's Ministry
RLGN 5311 Christianity and Contemporary Culture 
RLGN 5330 New Testament Theology 
RLGN 5350 Leadership and the Educational Ministry of the Church 
RLGN 5355 Spiritual Formation: Scripture, Tradition, and Practice

Spring 2023
PSYC 5300 Understanding the Contemporary Mind and Religion
RLGN 5303 Family Ministry
RLGN 5320 Old Testament Theology 
RLGN 5340 Peoples, Theology, and Literature of the Ancient Near East and Israel 
RLGN 5360 World Christianity

Summer 2023
RLGN 5342 Selected Topics in Theology
RLGN 5352 Selected Topics in Ministry

Fall 2023
RLGN 5300 The Baptists
RLGN 5301 Early Childhood Ministry
RLGN 5310 The Christian Life in the Letters of Paul
RLGN 5331 New Testament Ecclesiology 
RLGN 5319 Old Testament Exegesis
RLGN 5306 Theology of Missions
RLGN 5305 Strategies for Missions

Spring 2024
RLGN 5302 Elementary Children's Ministry
RLGN 5311 Christianity and Contemporary Culture 
RLGN 5330 New Testament Theology 
RLGN 5350 Leadership and the Educational Ministry of the Church 
RLGN 5355 Spiritual Formation: Scripture, Tradition, and Practice

Summer 2024
RLGN 5342 Selected Topics in Theology
RLGN 5352 Selected Topics in Ministry Fall 2024

Fall 2024
PSYC 5300 Understanding the Contemporary Mind and Religion
RLGN 5303 Family Ministry
RLGN 5320 Old Testament Theology 
RLGN 5340 Peoples, Theology, and Literature of the Ancient Near East and Israel 
RLGN 5360 World Christianity

Spring 2025
RLGN 5300 The Baptists
RLGN 5301 Early Childhood Ministry
RLGN 5310 The Christian Life in the Letters of Paul
RLGN 5331 New Testament Ecclesiology 
RLGN 5319 Old Testament Exegesis
RLGN 5306 Theology of Missions
RLGN 5305 Strategies for Missions

Summer 2025
RLGN 5342 Selected Topics in Theology
RLGN 5352 Selected Topics in Ministry

Fall 2025
RLGN 5302 Elementary Children's Ministry
RLGN 5311 Christianity and Contemporary Culture 
RLGN 5330 New Testament Theology 
RLGN 5350 Leadership and the Educational Ministry of the Church 
RLGN 5355 Spiritual Formation: Scripture, Tradition, and Practice

Spring 2026
PSYC 5300 Understanding the Contemporary Mind and Religion
RLGN 5303 Family Ministry
RLGN 5320 Old Testament Theology 
RLGN 5340 Peoples, Theology, and Literature of the Ancient Near East and Israel 
RLGN 5360 World Christianity

Summer 2026
RLGN 5342 Selected Topics in Theology
RLGN 5352 Selected Topics in Ministry

Additionally the Thesis/Ministry Project courses [RLGN 6101 and RLGN 6301] will be offered as needed.