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Degree Programs / Master of Arts (Academic)

Master of Arts (Academic)

The Masters of Arts (MA) is an academic degree program offering a course of study in Biblical Studies. The MA program is intended to prepare students to seek further graduate study in pursuit of the terminal degree in Biblical Studies.

Program Information
  • Total Required Credit Hours: 56 Quarter Credit Hours

  • Recommended Time to Complete: 2 Years

  • Maximum Time to Completion of the Degree: 10 Years

The Master of Arts (MA) degree program offers a course of study in Biblical Studies. The MA program is intended to prepare students to pursue further graduate study in their chosen discipline.

While the professional Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry (MAPM) degree program focuses on church-related vocations, students in the academic MA degree program have the opportunity to pursue the academic study of religion in preparation for advanced master’s degrees like the Th.M. and terminal degrees like the Ph.D. The MA degree prepares students for careers in teaching and other scholarly endeavors. For those in ministry vocations, who prefer a scholarly approach to religious studies, this program may also be of interest.

The academic MA degree is offered in response to a growing interest in programs that offer an alternative to the MDiv degree. The majority of our students are second and third-career persons, many of whom are already ordained locally and involved in ministry as pastors, ministers, and lay leaders. Students will study with highly qualified faculty in their areas of concentration.

MA (Academic) Student Learning Outcomes
  • Demonstrate a diverse knowledge of Scripture, theology, ethics and moral theology in historic and the modern global context.

  • Understand how contextuality informs theological interpretation.

  • Interpret Scripture in a wide range of ministry contexts.

  • Understand how contextuality informs ethical considerations.

  • Perform scholarly interdisciplinary research.

  • Effectively serve faith-based organizations as leaders and teachers.

  • Ability to utilize multiple theological methodological approaches.

  • Produce a scholarly thesis/research paper.

Program Requirements

​The academic MA requires 56 quarter hours to complete. Applicants must possess an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university.  The course requirements include a series of core courses that will offer both breadth and depth in the chosen concentration. Students will focus their elective coursework on their area of concentration. Currently, the MA in Biblical Studies is the only concentration offered by ETS. To complete the academic MA, students complete a 4-hour research seminar that culminates in a Masters Thesis approved by the program director and the concentration coordinator.

Admission Requirements
  • 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:

  • ​Complete Application

  • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation

  • Official transcripts

  • A 2-3 page statement of purpose, responding to the following prompt: In what way do you see an academic theological degree to be a part of your vocation or call?  You might choose to discuss your academic preparation for this degree and the courses, mentors, or particular readings that have been most influential.​

  • Email directly to Peggy McIntyre (

  • 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.

Registration Deadlines

UMD/Masters Registration Deadline

December 9, 2022

Admissions Deadline

December 1, 2022

DMin Registration Deadline

December 5, 2022

James Waddell.jpg

James Waddell

Director of the Masters Programs

Associate Professor of Biblical Studies

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