Master of Arts (Theology)

Degree Overview

Vocational Calling

To serve as a teacher, researcher, and/or writer in various fields of theological studies, such as Theology, Church History, Philosophy of Religion, Apologetics, Christian Ethics, and Islamic Studies. This is an advanced degree and students are expected either to have a baccalaureate degree in religion or philosophy or significant coursework in religious studies or philosophy before entering the program.

Program Outcomes

  1. Students will demonstrate their understanding of and ability to communicate biblical, theological, and historical truth.

  2. Students will demonstrate an awareness of the broader Christian tradition and affinity for a Baptist theological heritage.

  3. Students will demonstrate an ability to contextualize theology in their respective cultural and ecclesial settings.

  4. Students will show personal and spiritual maturation in their development as Christian theologians.

  5. Students will demonstrate effective skills in research and writing.

For further information, please contact:

  • Dr. Lloyd A. Harsch (Program Supervisor)

  • Dr. Michael H. Edens (Program Coordinator/Advisor)

Program Requirements

Master of Arts Core (36 hours)

Biblical Studies (18 hours)

course

hours

Interpreting the Old Testament 1

3

Interpreting the Old Testament 2

3

Interpreting the New Testament 1

3

Interpreting the New Testament 2

3

Advanced Greek Exegesis course

3

Advanced Hebrew Exegesis course

3

Students with elementary and intermediate Greek and Hebrew credits at the collegiate level are able to go directly into advanced Greek and Hebrew exegesis courses. Applicants who cannot earn credit in Greek 1 & 2 and Hebrew 1 & 2 through the Accelerated MDiv Program must earn these credits as a condition of graduation.

Theological and Historical Studies (12 hours)

course

hours

Systematic Theology 1
OR

Systematic Theology 2

3

Baptist Heritage

3

Philosophy of Religion

3

Christian Ethics

OR

Biblical Ethics

3

Applied Ministry Studies (6 hours)
*One course from the Applied Ministry Studies section must be taken in a mentoring format.

course

hours

Evangelism (M)

OR
Christian Missions (M)

3

Discipleship and Spiritual Formation (M

3

Theology Core & Electives (15 hours)

Theology Core (9 hours)

course

hours

Select 9 hours from any THEO courses.

9

Electives (6 hours)

course

hours

Select 6 hours from any ETHC, HIST, or THEO courses

6

Summative Evaluation (3-4 hours)

Choose ONE option from the following:

course

hours

Complete the THSE6300 Theological Research and Writing Seminar**

3

Complete a THEO, HIST, or ETHC PhD Seminar***

4

Complete a Thesis****

4

Total Required: 54-55 hours

(M) Indicates course is available in a mentoring format, as well as other formats.

*One course from the Applied Ministry Studies section must be taken in a mentoring format.

**The Theological Research and Writing Seminar is the standard requirement for the summative evaluation component of the degree program. Students who demonstrate in Theological & Historical Studies electives the necessary skills to excel in a PhD seminar or to complete the thesis component may see approval to replace THSE6300 with the PhD seminar or Thesis options.

***Per ReDOC policy, admittance to a PhD seminar is contingent upon approval from the professor teaching the seminar, the Theological & Historical Studies Division, the ReDOC Committee, and availability of space in the seminar. Students should seek approval during the semester before the seminar is offered, concurrent with ReDOC registration.

****After completing 30 hours in the degree program, a student may work with the Program Coordinator/Advisor to secure a faculty member who agrees to serve as the Thesis Advisor. The Theological & Historical Studies Division must approve any request for the Thesis component. For more information about the MA Thesis, see the Master of Arts Thesis Guide.

Admission Requirements

Applicants for the MA (Theology) degree must fulfill all the normal admission requirements for NOBTS, including the admission form, transcript, church endorsement, statement of call, medical clearance, TOEFL for international students, etc. Admission to the MA (Theology) program requires additional approval by the Theological and Historical Studies Division. The following criteria will be used in reviewing applications for the MA (Theology) program:

  • Applicants must have earned a baccalaureate degree, normally with at least a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale, from an institution accredited by a regional accreditation agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or holding membership in the Association of Universities and Colleges in Canada, or the educational equivalent.

  • Applicants must have completed a total of at least 15 transcripted credit hours with a grade of “B” or above in biblical studies, theology, historical studies, philosophy, and/or ethics.

  • Applicants must submit a research paper on a topic in some area of theological studies for consideration by the Theological and Historical Studies Division. In some cases the division may require a personal interview with the applicant.

  • Students should evidence the interests, aptitudes, and personal qualities necessary for the particular application of this degree.

  • The Theological and Historical Studies Division, in consultation with the Registrar, shall determine the applicant’s suitability for admission and admit qualified candidates into the MA (Theology) program. Upon admission to the MA (Theology) program, the Theological and Historical Studies Division, will tailor a program of study for each student. Students with weak undergraduate preparation in a discipline may be required to take introductory courses or, in some cases, remedial work to insure minimum competency in that discipline. Students with strong undergraduate preparation in a discipline may be eligible for advanced standing and may therefore take advanced electives in that discipline rather than the introductory courses in that discipline.

Academic Requirements

The 54- to 55-hour course requirement of the MA (Theology) degree (as delineated above) is intended to introduce students to a broad range of theological disciplines necessary for further studies in theological research or interdisciplinary studies related to theology. Students in the MA (Theology) must maintain at least a 3.25 GPA to remain in the program. Those who do not maintain a 3.25 GPA will go on probation status after the first semester, and will be dismissed after the second consecutive semester below a 3.25 average.

PhD Eligibility

Students who complete the MA (Theology) are eligible to apply to the PhD at NOBTS. Students should, however, refer to all current admission requirements for Research Doctoral Programs to ensure the MA (Theology) meets the criteria for specific majors.