Master of Arts in Religion (MA)

Master of Arts in Religion (MA)

This program educates and prepares the student for service in a teaching capacity. It can be used as a terminal degree for those who desire a theological background and training for various callings other than full-time, ordained gospel ministry. It can also be used as a transitional degree to additional graduate studies, particularly a PhD program in religion or theology.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  • Exegete individual passages of Scripture accurately, employing their knowledge of the original languages, historical circumstances, and literary and theological relationships;
  • Understand the major issues in faith and life that the church has confronted throughout its history, and the system of truth revealed in the Scriptures;
  • Systematize exegetical, historical, and theological data into a consistent and coherent theology, and explain how that theology applies to personal beliefs and behavior; and
  • Respond with discernment to contemporary trends in biblical interpretation and to contemporary and cultural movements.

Admission Requirements

To apply for study in the MA program, the applicant must ordinarily present the following application components:

  1. A completed online application form.
  2. Two letters of recommendation: an ecclesiastical letter of recommendation from the pastor or consistory (i.e., session or council) of the church of which the applicant is a member, and an academic letter of recommendation from a college professor under whose guidance the applicant has pursued studies.
  3. Official transcripts of all academic work beyond high school. If more than one college was attended, transcripts from each institution must be sent. MA applicants must have completed a four-year bachelor’s degree. If the bachelor’s program has not been completed at the time of application, a final transcript should be submitted before final admission can be granted. Applicants should have achieved a minimum average of 2.7 (B-) in college coursework.
  4. Application essay. All applicants must submit a short essay (250–500 words) explaining why they are applying to PRTS. The specific details for this essay can be found online when completing the general application form.
  5. Academic writing sample. All applicants must submit an academic writing sample. This sample may be a previously written paper, article, or essay that demonstrates proper citation methods and ability to construct, in English, a graduate-level paper.
  6. TOEFL or IELTS results. All ESL (English as a Second Language) students are required to submit their TOEFL or IELTS score. PRTS requires a minimum of 85 on the internet-based TOEFL. The IELTS equivalent required is 6.5. The PRTS reporting code is 0368.
  7. Application fee of $50. The application fee will be applied as a credit towards tuition if the applicant is accepted.

Each applicant:

  • is subject to all the admission and registration regulations of the institution;
  • is responsible to determine whether a current institution will accept credit earned at PRTS, if desired;
  • must understand that falsification of any part of an application may result in cancellation of admission and/or registration at the institution;
  • if transferring from another seminary, must include with the application form an official transcript of their current seminary work, syllabi of courses requesting to be transferred, and an academic catalog from that institution.

Residency Requirement

Students must take a minimum of 50 per cent of their credits of study at PRTS (not counting language studies); this means, at least 27 credits must be completed on campus. The remainder of the coursework may be completed through a combination of: 1) transfer of credit, 2) distance education courses, or 3) independent studies (a maximum of 15 credits can be taken as independent studies).

Areas of Concentration

Students must choose one of four emphases for the MA program:

  • Old Testament
  • New Testament
  • Historical Theology
  • Systematic Theology.

 

In each case, the MA program provides a thorough grounding in the Scriptures, Reformed theology, and church history.

MA Requirements and Time-frame for Completion

The MA program must be completed within five (5) years of matriculation; any exception must be approved by the president and academic dean.

The Master of Arts (Religion) program is earned after completion of a minimum of 65 credits of coursework (depending on the emphasis), including Greek and Hebrew. This allows dedicated students to complete the program in two years (assuming approximately 16 credits/semester), and then proceed to further education. A minimum grade point average of 2.7 (B-) is required. Should a student already possess knowledge of Greek and/or Hebrew, the number of credits may be reduced upon successful completion of a language placement exam.

The required courses for each emphasis are as follows:

  • MA - Historical Theology Emphasis - 66 credits

    • Old Testament (11 Credits Total)
    • New Testament (11 Credits Total)
    • Historical Theology (20 Credits Total)
    • Systematic Theology (16 Credits Total)
    • Additional Degree Requirements (5 Credits Total)
    • Biblical Studies Elective (3 Credits Total)
  • MA - New Testament Emphasis - 66 credits

    • Old Testament (17 Credits Total)
    • New Testament (22 Credits Total)
    • Historical Theology (10 Credits Total)
    • Systematic Theology (12 Credits Total)
    • Additional Degree Requirements (5 Credits Total)
  • MA - Old Testament Emphasis - 65 credits

    • Old Testament (21 Credits Total)
    • New Testament (17 Credits Total)
    • Historical Theology (10 Credits Total)
    • Systematic Theology (12 Credits Total)
    • Additional Degree Requirements (5 Credits Total)
  • MA - Systematic Theology Emphasis - 67 credits

    • Old Testament (11 Credits Total)
    • New Testament (11 Credits Total)
    • Historical Theology (13 Credits Total)
    • Systematic Theology (24 Credits Total)
    • Additional Degree Requirements (5 Credits Total)
    • Biblical Studies Elective (3 Credits Total)

Need more assistance? Call us at (616) 977-0599 or send us an email.