Master of Arts (Religion)

Program Director and Administrative Assistant


Ranko Stefanovic
Director, MA in Religion and Seminary Affiliations & Extensions Professor of New Testament
 

  Glenda Patterson
Administrative Assistant, MA in Religion and Seminary Affiliations and Extensions
 

Program Description:

The Master of Arts (Religion) is an academic program usually involving two years of specialized study beyond the baccalaureate degree. The purpose of this program is to prepare students in the areas of biblical studies, theology, and religious tradition beyond the bachelor degree. The program requires 38 credits of course work. Only 500- and 600-level courses are accepted. (See section below on degree requirements).

The MA (Religion) is offered both on campus and at off-campus locations outside the United States.

Program Outcomes:

On Campus

Conduct effective research that communicates competence in a specialized field of study.
Practice a biblically grounded approach to scholarly inquiry.
Articulate theology and research in terms of Seventh-day Adventist history.
Demonstrate understanding of the content and central issues of the specialized field of study.

Off-Campus

Conduct effective research for teaching and ministry.
Practice a biblically grounded approach to scholarly inquiry.
Articulate theology and research in terms of Seventh-day Adventist history.
Demonstrate a broad understanding of biblical studies, theology, and religious history within the Seventh-day Adventist church. 

Admission Requirements:

Admission to the MA (Religion) program is based on the general admission requirements for all graduate students and the general Seminary admission requirements . Applicant holds a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent, normally with a major in religion or theology with a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.00 or above.

Transfer Credits. A maximum of 6 semester hours of credit with a B (3.00) or above may be transferred from an approved seminary or university if applicable to the student’s program. Transfer courses must have been completed within the six-year time limit.

Other Prerequisites. Applicants must provide a transcript showing that they have taken the following courses at the undergraduate level with a GPA of 3.00 or better (on a 4.00 system). Prerequisites do not count as part of the 38 credits required for the MA (Religion) degree.

Church History  2 credits
New Testament Studies 2 credits
Old Testament Studies 2 credits
Theological Studies  2 credits
E.G. White Writings 2 credits
Electives in religion* 12 credits
Total prerequisite credits  22 credits

*For the emphasis in Jewish and Muslim Faiths, Church History is to be replaced with one of the following courses: Jewish History, Arabic History, Introduction to Modern Hebrew, or Modern Dialectal Arabic.

Program Tracks Offered On the Main Campus:

The MA (Religion) offered on the main campus prepares students for further graduate study in specialized areas, or for teaching religion in the secondary school. (Courses in teaching and requirements for certification may be obtained through the School of Education.) This program is offered with the research orientation which requires a thesis and a modern language relevant to the student’s research (French or German is recommended).

Students are to choose an area of concentration form those listed below:

Archaeology and History of Antiquity
Biblical and Cognate Languages 
Church History
Intercultural Studies 
Intertestamental (Jewish) Studies
Jewish and Muslim Faiths 
Mission Studies
New Testament Studies
Old Testament
Theological Studies 

Admission Requirements

In addition to the admission requirements to the MA (Religion) program specified above, these are following requirements for the program offered on campus:

  1. Applicant meets English proficiency requirements of the School of Graduate Studies and Research.
  2. Applicant demonstrates proficiency in other required languages or shows a plan for acquiring language proficiency as determined by the selected area of concentration. Proficiency is defined as the reading knowledge of a language at the intermediate level. Examinations may be required to demonstrate proficiency. Biblical language proficiency must be demonstrated before registration for exegesis courses. Modern language deficiencies must be made up before registering for the MA thesis (see below). Language proficiency courses do not apply toward the 38 credits of the MA degree requirements.
  3. Complete and return the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire as directed.

Prerequisites

Language Prerequisites. Students meet the language prerequisites for the various areas of concentration either by completing the courses listed below or by passing a qualifying examination at the intermediate level.

Archaeology and History of Antiquity
  Intermediate Greek or Biblical Hebrew II
Biblical and Cognate Languages
  Intermediate Greek and Biblical Hebrew II
Church History
  Intermediate Greek or Intermediate Latin
Intercultural Studies
  Intermediate Arabic
Intertestamental (Jewish) Studies
  Intermediate Greek and Biblical Hebrew II
Jewish and Muslim Faiths
  Biblical Hebrew II
Mission Studies
  Intermediate Greek or Biblical Hebrew II or a reading knowledge of a modern foreign language
New Testament Studies*
  Intermediate Greek
Old Testament Studies**
  Biblical Hebrew II
Theological Studies
  Intermediate Greek or Biblical Hebrew II
*Students who choose a major or minor in New Testament Studies must demonstrate proficiency in intermediate Greek either by passing the language-proficiency examination or by taking the Intermediate Greek course at Andrews University and earning a grade of B or above.

**Students who choose a major or minor in Old Testament Studies must demonstrate proficiency in intermediate Hebrew either by passing the language-proficiency examination or by taking the Biblical Hebrew II course at Andrews University and earning a grade of B or above.

Degree Requirements

In addition to the scholarship standards in the Graduate Programs Academic Information section of this bulletin, students must fulfill the following requirements:

  • 38 semester credits with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or above. [Only 3 credit courses may be used to meet these requirements.]
  • Core classes (15 credits):
    • GSEM 620 Research Methods (3 credits); to be taken the first time the course is offered after enrolling in the program.
    • OTST XXX Old Testament Exegesis Course (3 credits)
    • NTST XXX New Testament Exegesis Course (3 credits)
    • THST 619 Principles and Methods of Theology (3 credits)
    • CHIS 674 Development of SDA Theology (3 credits)
  • The area of concentration with 18 credits in consultation with the Department.
  • GSEM 679 Thesis or GSEM 695 Research Project for MA Degree (5 credits)
  • Additional language requirements as listed under the Research Requirements below.

Concentration Requirements. In the event that a required course in the area of concentration is not offered during any given term, another course in the same area can be substituted for the required course in consultation with the chair of the deaprtment.

Research Requirements. A foreign language (French or German is recommended) must be completed by examination or course work (FREN 505, GRMN 505) in addition to the minimum 38 semester credits. An MA thesis with a total of 5 credits must be completed and defended. It cannot be started until all language requirements are finished. A student who has completed the required course work but has not finished the thesis (after completing 5 thesis credits) must register for GSEM 688 (no credit) until the thesis has been approved.

Advancement to Candidacy. Upon completion of 50 percent of the course work, a student should apply for advancement to candidacy. Forms are available here. The forms should be completed by the student and approved by the director of the MA program and the dean of the Seminary.

��‹Academic Advisement. The director of the MA in Religion program, in cooperation with department chairs, assigns academic advisers in the student’s area of specialization. The selection of the remaining course requirements is monitored by the director.

Certification for Teaching. Students who plan to teach religion in a Seventh-day Adventist academy or in a secondary school are urged to consult as early in the program as possible with the director of the MA program and the School of Education regarding qualifying for SDA teaching credentials. See recommended methods courses in Bible teaching designed to meet the certification requirements.

Distance Courses. Online courses must be approved by the MA Religion director before the course begins. These courses must cover appropriate content with sufficient rigor to meet the academic expectations of the MA Religion degree.

Time Limits. A student must complete the requirements for the MA (Religion) degree and graduate within six years of first enrolling in the program regardless of admission classification.

Program Track Offered At Off-Campus Sites

The MA (Religion) offered at off-campus sites provides a survey knowledge of various theological disciplines in order to prepare students to act as teachers and church workers in a variety of areas. The program requires a thesis. It may reflect context-sensitive needs in its curriculum as approved by the program director. See the complete listing of off-campus locations and programs.

Degree Requirements

In addition to the scholarship standards in the Graduate Programs Academic Information section of this bulletin, students must fulfill the following requirements for both the research and the general academic orientation options:

  • 38 semester credits with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or above.
  • Core classes (currently 24 credits):
    • GSEM XXX Methods in Biblical & Theological Research (2 credits)
    • OTST 566 Readings in Pentateuch - English (2 credits)
    • OTST 556 Readings in Prophets - English (2 credits)
    • OTST 546 Readings in Daniel- English (2 credits)
    • NTST 536 Readings in the Gospels (2 credits)
    • NTST 539 Readings in the Revelation (2 credits)
    • One of the following:
      • NTST 535 Readings in the Pauline Writings (2 credits)
      • NTST 538 Readings in the Hebrews (2 credits)
    • GSEM 530 Doctrine of the Sanctuary (2 credits)
    • One of the following:
      • THST 615 Doctrine of the Church (2 credits)
      • THST 616 Doctrine of God (2 credits)
    • One of the following:
      • THST 618 The Works of Christ (2 credits)
      • THST 540 Doctrine of Salvation (2 credits)
    • CHIS ___ Course in Church History (2 credits)
    • GSEM 534 Issues in Ellen G. White Studies (2 credits)
  • An area of emphasis with 8 credits chosen by the extension site in consultation with the Program Director.
  • GSEM 697 Thesis/ GSEM 695 Research Project (6 credits); as agreed upon with each extension site.

Independent Study. Independent study credits are not accepted as part of the MA (Religion) degree offered at off-campus sites.

Research Requirements. An MA thesis/project with a total of 6 credits is to be completed and defended. A student who has completed the required course work but has not finished the thesis/project (after completing 6 thesis credits) must register for GSEM 688 (no credit) until the thesis/project has been approved.

Time Limits. A student must complete the requirements for the MA (Religion) degree and graduate within six years of first enrolling in the program regardless of admission classification.

Preparation for the Andrews’ PhD Religion program. Students completing the more general MA Religion at off-campus sites will need to do additional coursework in an area of specialization before they can be accepted into Andrews’ PhD Religion program.

Links

Further information regarding the admision and program requirements for the degree offered on the Main Campus are found in the following link:  MA (Religion) Handbook-Main Campus

Further information regarding the admision and program requirements for the degree offered at the International Sites are found in the following link: MA (Religion) Handbook-Extension Sites

Library Access for Off Campus Students.
http://www.andrews.edu/library/ocls/offcamp.html

Code of Academic Integrity.
http://www.andrews.edu/academics/academic_integrity.html

Graduate Programs Manual

Next steps

You can read up on application requirements, finances and frequently asked questions; or submit your application.

 

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