Master of Arts in Religious Studies - Concentration in Ministry

Students working in or preparing for church ministry may elect to pursue the Master of Arts in Religious Studies degree with a Concentration in Ministry by completing additional required courses designed to foster pastoral skills and understanding.

Along with an advanced scripture area elective, concentration students will complete courses in Pastoral Theology, Ecclesiology, Worship & Sacrament, and Morality & Justice. In the final semester, a case study examination, with oral and written components, completes the program; students with a program GPA of 3.7 or higher may opt for a 2-credit Pastoral Project on a chosen ministerial issue which they plan, implement, and assess under the direction of a faculty member in lieu of the case study exam.

Degree Requirements

Program Credits30
Required Courses

RS 500, 552, 553, 554, 556, 558, 559, 562, An elective in scripture Case Study Examination or Pastoral Project option (for qualifying students)

Required Auxiliary Courses


Additional Information

Courses in the Master of Arts in Religious Studies program are generally scheduled in the evenings to accommodate working students.  In some courses, a graduate course meets simultaneously with advanced undergraduate courses designed for Religious Studies majors, providing a broad based, intergenerational student experience.

To qualify for graduation from this program, students must:

• Complete the required coursework with at least a 3.0 overall grade point average, with no individual course below a "B-." Any course(s) in which a final grade below a "B-" is earned do not count toward the 30 credit requirement. If a student receives a final grade of "C+" or below in two courses, that student will be automatically removed from the M.A. in Religious Studies program.

• Satisfactorily complete the capstone requirement (comprehensive examination, or thesis option for students with the requisite program GPA; or, for Concentration in Ministry students, a case study examination, or pastoral project option for students with the requisite program GPA).

• Obtain recommendation for graduation from the department chair.

• Satisfactorily complete all requirements for the degree within seven consecutive academic years.