The Master of Arts degree is designed to prepare women and men for advanced graduate study in a specific theological discipline, or alternatively, to educate the laity who want a knowledge of theological disciplines. The M.A. degree requires the successful completion of 16 courses with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (B). Admission to the Master of Arts program requires a bachelor’s degree attained with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (B). There are three options for study in the Master of Arts program.
1. Master of Arts in Kairos Studies
The MA in Kairos Studies provides students with a unique opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge of Kairos from biblical, theological and historical perspectives. Kairos, a Greek word for “time”, refers to “God’s time” – a concept in sharp contrast to the chronological time by which we most often order our day-to-day lives. Kairos represents God’s “in-breaking” into the times in which we live, providing an essential lens through which we must view, understand and ultimately respond to the realities of our present lives.
The new master's track in Kairos Studies engages the Global Kairos Movement while continuing the CRCDS legacy of justice with an emphasis on the social gospel. Through the exploration of Kairos, students will learn how to live out the foundational values of justice and love as they are applied specifically to both global and local contexts, while engaging this growing, transformative movement.
The MA in Kairos Studies will provide opportunities for global travel as well as a three-month immersion project. It will provide students with the concrete tools necessary to speak truth to power, to advocate for the “least of these”, to build communities of radical reconciliation and to boldly proclaim the Gospel.
The degree program consists of 16 courses, 12 required and 4 electives.
Introduction to the Old Testament
Introduction to the New Testament
Christian Belief Today
Black Church Studies
Women and Gender Studies
Faith & Christian Response to Pluralism
Kairos Moments in American Religious History
Organizing for Change: Tools and Discernment
Introduction to Kairos Studies
Introduction to Kairos Immersion
Final Project (2 course equivalence)
Elective Courses (students may choose 4 of the following):
Ministry on the Margins
Small Christian Communities
Abrahamic Faiths & the Making of War and Peace
Global Reading of the Bible
Preaching Difficult Texts
Preaching Contemporary Issues
Introduction to Islam
Graduates of the program will be equipped for careers in community activism, advocacy, social justice ministry, or NGO work. Career preparation includes a three-month immersion experience giving students opportunity for the practice of kairos in accompaniment groups, border ministry, peace & justice work, or community organizing.
2. Master of Arts with Thesis
For students preparing for advanced graduate study, a curriculum is developed in consultation with their advisor, who is assigned according to the discipline in which the student will concentrate. Students are required to take seven courses in the area of their concentration, one course in each of the four curricular areas, two courses as thesis writing, with three open electives. All students preparing for advanced study must evidence competence in at least one theological language (usually Hebrew, Greek, Latin, German, French, or Spanish) and undertake research in this language as a constituent part of thesis writing.
3. General Master of Arts with Comprehensive Exam
For students who want a more general knowledge, the M.A. curriculum includes three courses in Christian Scriptures (including at least one Old Testament and one New Testament), three courses in Christian Faith (including one Church History, one Theology and one Ethics), three courses in Multi-cultural Society (including one Black Church, one Women & Gender, one Interfaith), two Practical Theology as related to their ministry, and five open electives.
Students selecting this option shall provide two papers, 15 to 20 pages in length, from two classes that have been submitted and graded as part of their M.A. course of study. These papers shall total approximately 30 to 40 pages in length. In addition, students shall submit a 5 to 7 page integrative essay with a supporting bibliography. This essay will present the theological, historical, biblical and practical themes and motifs that have shaped their course of study in the program. These papers will be the basis for an oral defense in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the awarding of the Master of Arts degree. The student’s Academic Advisor and a member of the core Faculty that the student has selected shall be conduct the oral defense.