The Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies requires 54 credit hours (inclusive of classroom and experiential requirements) and requires a minimum of two years of full-time
study to complete.
Required Courses (18 credit hours)
• Theology of Mission and Church
• Biblical Studies I: Torah and Former Prophets
• Biblical Studies III: Jesus and Paul’s Letter or Biblical Studies IV: Gospels, Epistles, and Revelation
• Church History and Doctrine II: Developing Theological Themes
• Constructive Theology
• Denominational History and Polity (or, with permission, American Church History)
Area of Concentration in the Practice of Ministry (18 credit hours)
Students build on required courses as the foundation, dependent on their concentration. At the end of the first year, in preparation for orals, students write a paper noting the particular focus of their concentration and how their coursework fits in that context.
While the exact courses are determined between the student and the program coordinator, the following pattern is typical:
1. The introductory course related to the area of ministry (e.g., Theology and Pastoral Care for those concentrating on some aspect of pastoral care);
2. Three elective courses that build upon and deepen the introductory course, or that are in a related field the understanding of which is important to the area of concentration;
3. A directed study, or a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) if appropriate to the concentration, or one additional elective.
Open Electives (6 credit hours)
Students are required to take at least two courses in Biblical Studies, Historical Studies or Theological Studies. Courses should be selected in consultation with the student’s advisor. Open electives provide a stronger general base and support the student’s ongoing work in the MAPS program.
Ministry Setting and Seminars (9 credit hours)
In the first four semesters, students are involved in an appropriate ministry setting related to their program emphasis enhanced by the MAPS Seminar.
A student engages in a ministry setting placement for 10 hours/week (140 hours/semester) in each of their first four semesters. The placement is appropriate to the student’s specialized area of ministry. Goals for field placements are to provide students a setting and a mentoring relationship in which they can:
• Observe a setting in which one becomes acquainted with skills and experiences related to the student’s area of specialized ministry;
• Have an opportunity to engage in specialized ministry;
• Develop skill in the design, implementation and assessment of the specialized ministry that is their focus.
MAPS Seminar Groups
Students will meet in weekly seminar groups for three consecutive semesters. Seminars are designed to support the process of integration and assist in designing the student’s project.
(3 credit hours)
The MAPS project is developed during the second year of study. It is related to the student’s ministry setting and focused in the student’s area of concentration in the practice of ministry.
The MAPS Project:
• Is an act or exercise in the practice of ministry that can be observed and evaluated;
• Demonstrates an integrative perspective inclusive of biblical and theological understandings, and ecclesiological and multi-cultural awareness;
• Demonstrates a multi-disciplinary approach;
• Includes a 20-30 page essay that critically describes and assesses the project.