Program Overview

The Master of Arts in Religion is a two-year program focused on preparing students for further theological study and church-related vocations; it consists of 30-31 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. Program candidates will be vocational or dual-vocational ministers who wish to have a firm Biblical underpinning for effective ministry and for those who desire to attain an academic foundation for further graduate study. Students may enter the program during any fall or spring term.

Click the course title below for description.

Bible and Theology Foundations - 12 hours from the following:

RLGN 5310 The Christian Life in the Letters of Paul
An in-depth study of the ethical theology, methodology, and instruction of the Apostle Paul. The course gives significant attention to literary and contextual issues in determining how the Apostle Paul sought to shape the lives of his converts for the purpose of witness in the world of life as God intends. Particular focus will be directed to the Christological, Ecclesial, and Eschatological dimensions of Pauline moral discourse.
RLGN 5311 Christianity and Contemporary Culture
A multi-directional study of the relationship between Christianity and contemporary culture, including analysis of various understandings of “culture,” a survey of biblical and historical models for the relationship of Christian faith and practice to broader cultural settings, analysis and evaluation of various methods of theological interpretation of cultural texts and trends, and application of such methods to selected expressions of contemporary North American culture.
RLGN 5320 Old Testament Theology
An advanced study of the nature, history, methods, and themes of Old Testament theology. The Old Testament teaching about God, creation, the land, anthropology, hamartiology, soteriology, community, leaders, and eschatology will be treated as well as the relationship between the Old Testament and the New Testament.
RLGN 5330 New Testament Theology
A study of the major theological themes of the New Testament. The focus of the course will be on the exegesis of critical New Testament texts as the basis for New Testament Theology. Attention will be given to the question of the theological coherence of the New Testament canon.
RLGN 5331 New Testament Ecclesiology
A study of the church as presented in the New Testament. The focus of the course will be on the exegesis of critical New Testament texts, examining the purpose, function, organization, and leadership of the church.
RLGN 5340 Peoples, Theology, and Literature of the Ancient Near East and Israel
A study of the archaeology, historical geography, religion, manners and customs, economics, social concerns, and literature of the Old and New Testaments, the Ancient Near East, and the Greco-Roman world.
RLGN 5341 Biblical Theology
An advanced study of the nature, history, methods, and themes of biblical theology. The topics of God, creation, anthropology, hamartiology, soteriology, ecclesiology, and eschatology will be treated both synchronically and diachronically.

Ministry Foundations - 6 hours from the following:

RLGN 5350 Leadership and the Educational Ministry of the Church
This course identifies the educational leadership needs of a church. An examination will be made of Bible study, discipleship, and mission education and action needs for adults, youth, children, and preschools in a church. Emerging twenty-first century educational and ministry needs will be examined.
RLGN 5355 Spiritual Formation: Scripture, Tradition, and Practice
This course examines various traditions, disciplines, and practices of Christian spirituality in the context of their historical development and explores how these influence contemporary spiritual formation. Classical readings from spiritual pioneers will highlight the interconnectedness of scripture, faith, and practice, and will serve as an intellectual foundation for the students’ own experience of spiritual formation. Students will also read and study scripture from a devotional perspective and will practice, both individually and communally, the spiritual disciplines that have shaped the Church. All instruction, study, and practices have the goal of promoting personal and spiritual formation as a vital component of the Christian life and ministry.
RLGN 5360 World Christianity
Introduction to the recent growth of worldwide Christianity with a particular emphasis on the perspective and contributions offered by Christians from Africa, Asia and Latin America. Attention will be given to recent theological developments; key historic, demographic, and cultural themes; and emerging partnership opportunities.
HIST 5300 The Baptists
The graduate level colloquium examines the historical origins, development, theology, polity, and mission of the Baptist denomination, with attention to the historic Baptist groups and denominations, their presence around the world, and the varieties of Baptist expressions through the churches, conventions, and other organizations. The colloquium will involve readings in primary source materials and significant secondary works, with close focus given to the Southern and Texas Baptists.
PSYC 5300 Understanding the Contemporary Mind and Religion
The focus of this course is on the meaning religion has for an individual in today’s world. Utilizing a synthesis of classic and contemporary research on religious thought, feeling, belief, and behaviors, the course will explore a three-dimensional model of different ways of being religious person. The course is not concerned with purely conceptual or philosophical discussions of religion, but seeks to provide a comprehensive evaluation from an empirical perspective.

Electives - 12 to 13 hours from the following:

Any Bible and Theology Foundations course
Any Ministry Foundations course
RLGN 6101 Thesis/Ministry Project 1
This course is the preparation of a prospectus for a Religion Master of Arts research thesis/ministry project. A completed prospectus will include a clear statement of the focus of the thesis/project and a survey of the professional literature relevant to the thesis/project.
RLGN 6301 Thesis/Ministry Project 2*
RLGN 6301 required the successful completion of a thesis or ministry project report. This course consists of the completion of a graduate research thesis or ministry project, including the submission of a research thesis/project report in both written and oral formats. This course will be graded on a Credit/No Credit basis.

Click for Course Offerings and Faculty for Spring 2016

Click for Manual for Research Theses and Ministry Project Reports

Click for Master of Arts in Religion Writing Style Guide

Click for Writing Papers-Turabian Writing Examples

Click for Graduate Catalog