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James Waddell
Director of the Masters Program
Professor of Biblical Studies

The Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry is a 72 quarter hour program designed to meet student need for pastoral-theological formation for ministry in a variety of venues, many of which will benefit from leadership with an advanced theological and practical ministry education, but which do not require a Master of Divinity degree. The MAPM is designed to be completed in three years of full-time study or 4-5 years of part-time study. The program requires a series of ten core courses, an identified area of “concentration,” one or two electives, an internship, and a final project. The internship and the final project must be related to the area of concentration.

Application Information

Our recruitment team and admissions personnel are ready to assist you. To apply for the Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry Program, please prepare and submit the following:

  • On-line Application

  • A non-refundable application fee of $45.00 must be paid at the time of submitting the application. Your application will not be processed until payment has been received. 

  • A formally written “Statement of Purpose.” This paper will be used to assess your critical thinking, self-awareness, and writing skills. It does not have a minimum length, but should adequately represent what you will bring to your studies at ETS academically, theologically, and personally. 

  • Three signed letters of recommendation, one of which must be from your pastor or from another church leader. If you have a difficult time obtaining the letters of recommendation, please contact the admissions office. All recommendation letters must be submitted in a sealed envelope.

  • Official transcripts must be mailed directly from your undergraduate or graduate institution to ETS. Student-issued transcripts are not acceptable. All transcripts must be submitted in a sealed envelope. 


An interview with the Program Director may be required based on an evaluation of your completed admission file. The final admission decision will be made by the Admissions Committee on a rolling basis.

Apply today to take the next step into your future.  We look forward to talking with you soon.


The general outline of a Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry degree is as follows:

  • The selection of required core courses (40 credits).

  • The Field Education internship (12 credits)*

  • The Final Project (8 credits)*

  • Electives (12 credits, 8 of which in student’s area of concentration)

* The Field Education experience and the Final Project MUST be directly related to the subject area of the concentration.

The “core course selection” of ten required courses consists of the following:

  • Formation for Ministry- 4 quarter hrs

  • Introduction to Theological Writing and Research – 4 quarter hours

  • Traditions and Trends in Ministry – 4 quarter hours

  • Biblical Hermeneutics – 4 quarter hours

  • Introduction to the Hebrew Bible (OT) – 4 quarter hours

  • Introduction to the New Testament- 4 quarter hours

  • Systematic Theology I: Theological Thinking – 4 quarter hours

  • … Or Systematic Theology II: Doctrines

  • Church and Society- 4 quarter hours

  • Church History I – 4 quarter hours

  • … Or Church History II

  • Introduction to Pastoral Care and Counseling- 4 quarter hours

The required Field Education (internship) and final project courses are:

  • Field Education – 12 quarter hours

  • Final Project – 8 quarter hours


The remaining courses (12 credits) are selected from the program’s course offerings to fulfill the requirements of the student’s “concentration” and the MAPM degree.

The Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry program presently offers four concentrations:

  1. General – The student will complete the required “core courses,” three electives, Field Education, and the Final Project. This concentration allows the student maximum opportunity to “customize” his or her educational experiences to address specific goals or needs.

  2. Pastoral Care and Counseling – In addition to the Pastoral Care and Counseling course which is part of the core requirement, the student will take three additional courses in Pastoral Care and Counseling. Both the Field Education experience and the Final Project will focus on Pastoral Care and Counseling. With the permission of the Field Education director, the student also may have the option of designing a “Clinical Pastoral Education” (CPE) internship and incorporating the CPE credits into this concentration.

  3. Spirituality – In addition to the Formation for Ministry course which is part of the core requirements, the student will take three additional courses in Spirituality. Both the Field Education experience and the Final Project will focus on Spirituality. The student also may have the option of registering for a spiritual direction internship and incorporating the credits earned for this internship into his or her concentration.

  4. Pre-Doctoral – Students who are interested in entering the Doctor of Ministry program at ETS who have a masters degree other than a Master of Divinity may complete an MAPM concentration designed to address prerequisites for the D. Min. program. Students in this concentration must be admitted to the MAPM program and have received “provisional admission” to the D. Min. program. Each pre-doctoral MAPM student will complete a specific plan of study approved by the directors of the D. Min. and MAPM programs and by the Academic Dean. While “advanced standing” may be granted based on the previous graduate study, this concentration will require that a minimum of 36 credits be taken at ETS.

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