2020-2021 Academic Catalog

All Catalogs > 2020-2021 > School of Theology > Master of Arts Degrees

Master of Arts Degrees

The School of Theology offers two distinct master of arts degrees: the Master of Arts (Theology), and the Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry.

Master of Arts (Theology)

Customizable and foundational, Fuller’s MA (Theology) program offers the academic groundwork to prepare for further academic study, or to enrich theological reflection in relation to any vocation where a committed follower of Jesus might find themselves. Available either on campus or fully online, this degree allows you to immerse yourself in biblical and theological studies, spiritual formation, and church history while tailoring your studies to focus on one of our faculty’s many areas of interest.

The degree provides excellent preparation for those called to ministries requiring more extensive analytical skills in theology; especially those involving research or writing. The program can also be used to prepare for application to a PhD program, and culminates in a capstone essay rather than an apprenticeship.

Learning Outcomes

In accordance with our commitment to provide the highest level of educational effectiveness possible through a healthy culture of assessment, and in alignment with the Fuller Institutional Student Learning Outcomes, this program offers the following outcomes.

  • Students will have demonstrated competence in the practice of biblical interpretation for faithful use of Scripture in their own lives and ministries.
  • Students will have demonstrated capacities for historically informed theological and ethical reflection.
  • Students will have demonstrated capacities to cultivate a theologically reflective practice of Christian discipleship.
  • Students will have demonstrated academic capacities appropriate to an area of focus in a theological discipline or to interdisciplinary theological study.

Admission Requirements

General standards for admission to Fuller Theological Seminary may be found in the Admission Standards section of this catalog. To be admitted to the Master of Arts (Theology) program, applicants must have been awarded either a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited institution before the starting date of the desired quarter of entry. Regular admission requires at least a 2.7 cumulative grade point average in all undergraduate work; students with a lower GPA may be considered for admission on probation. Students admitted on probation are subject to certain limitations during their first 40 units of course work at Fuller.

Residence Requirements and Transfer Credit

A minimum of 28 quarter units must be earned at Fuller Seminary. Requests for transfer of credit for approved graduate studies done at an institution accredited by The Association of Theological Schools or a recognized regional or international accrediting agency will be evaluated on an individual basis by the Academic Advising Office. This may include a maximum of 52 quarter hours of graduate theological and biblical studies. Non-theological studies are normally not considered for transfer credit. Course work taken in a non-religious setting which might be considered as parallel to course work in the Fuller curriculum may be considered on an individual basis if it is appropriate and approved by the master’s academic affairs committee, and integrated through a 4-unit directed study.

Distance Learning

A Master of Arts (Theology) program may be completed entirely online, or with any combination of online and campus coursework.

Time Limit for Completion of Degrees

In order to ensure that a degree, when granted, represents education that is current and reasonably focused (not acquired a little at a time over an unreasonably long period), all credit applied to the degree must be earned within a certain period of time. For the Master of Arts (Theology) degree at Fuller, this period has been set at ten years. This includes all credit earned elsewhere and applied to the degree, as well as all credit earned at Fuller.

Degree Requirements

The faculty at Fuller has developed a flexible, unified curriculum for the Master of Arts (Theology) degree. A total of 80 units is required to earn the Master of Arts (Theology) degree. The degree requirements can be completed in two years of full-time study, although many elect to earn the degree over an extended period of time through part-time study.

Degree Outline

Integrative (12 units)

Students are required to take IS500 and choose two from the remaining three.

  • IS500 Practices of Vocational Formation
  • IS501 Practices of Worship
  • IS502 Practices of Community
  • IS503 Practices of Mission

Interpreting (16 units)

  • BI500 Interpretive Practices
  • OT500 Old Testament Introduction
  • NT500 New Testament Introduction
  • Any Biblical Studies Elective

Theologizing (20 units)

  • History and Theology (16 units). Must take two history courses and two theology courses
    • God and Christ: any course with the TH1 attribute
      • HT500 The Church’s Understanding of God and Christ in its Historical Development
      • HT501 The Church’s Understanding of God and Christ in its Theological Reflection
    • The Church, Humanity, and the Christian Life: any course with the TH2 attribute
      • HT502 The Church’s Understanding of the Church, Humanity, and the Christian Life in its Historical Development
      • HT503 The Church’s Understanding of the Church, Humanity, and the Christian Life in its Theological Reflection
    • Modern and Global Contexts: any course with the TH3 attribute
      • CH504 The Modern Church in a Global Historical Context
      • CH506 American Christianity in a Global Historical Context
      • HT504 Modern Theology in a Global Context
    • Theologizing elective: any course with the TH4 attribute
      • Almost any course with a CH, HT, ST, or TH prefix (ST511, CH549, CH551, and TH550 do not meet this requirement)
  • Christian Ethics: any course with the TH6 attribute

Electives (32 units)

  • May be used to explore one or more areas of interest (see below)

Capstone Essay

After completing at least 60 units, students in the Master of Arts in Theology program must submit a one-page (250-300 words) essay reflecting on the academic capacities gained in their course of study.

Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry

Practical and ministry focused, Fuller’s MA in Theology and Ministry (MATM) offers a guided, experiential program designed to train leaders for positions in the church as well as other spheres. Available on campus or fully online, this degree combines spiritual and vocational formation with rigorous, essential coursework in biblical studies and theology to prepare you to serve in your context. The MATM degree culminates in a supervised apprenticeship so you can integrate and apply your learning in a real-world ministry context.

The degree provides excellent preparation for those called to be on the pastoral staff of a church or denomination that does not require the Master of Divinity degree as a qualification for ordained ministry, and can also serve as a prerequisite for the Doctor of Ministry program. The curriculum covers the basic areas of theology, biblical studies and ministry. Combined with supervised ministry in a local church, it promises to be especially effective in the preparation of students for pastoral ministry in today’s world.

Learning Outcomes

In accordance with our commitment to provide the highest level of educational effectiveness possible through a healthy culture of assessment, and in alignment with the Fuller Institutional Student Learning Outcomes, this program offers the following outcomes.

  • Students will have demonstrated competence in the practice of biblical interpretation for faithful use of Scripture in their own lives and ministries.
  • Students will have demonstrated capacities for historically informed theological and ethical reflection.
  • Students will have demonstrated capacities to cultivate a theologically reflective practice of Christian discipleship.
  • Students will have demonstrated capacities for being theologically reflective practitioners for Christian ministries.
  • Students will have demonstrated capacities to engage diverse cultural contexts for transformational discipleship, mission, and ministry.

Admission Requirements

General standards for admission to Fuller Seminary may be found in the Admissions section of this catalog. To be admitted to the MA in Theology and Ministry program, applicants must have been awarded either a bachelor’s of master’s degree from an accredited institution before the starting date of the desired quarter of entry. Regular admission requires at least a 2.7 cumulative grade point average in all undergraduate work; students with a lower GPA may be considered for admission on probation. Applicants without an accredited bachelor’s degree must meet special requirements and will be considered for admission on probation on an individual basis. Students admitted on probation are subject to certain limitations during their first 40 units of course work at Fuller.

Residence Requirements and Transfer Credit

A minimum of 28 quarter units must be earned at Fuller Seminary. Requests for transfer of credit for approved graduate studies done at an institution accredited by The Association of Theological Schools or a recognized regional or international accrediting agency will be evaluated on an individual basis by the Academic Advising Office. This may include a maximum of 52 quarter hours of graduate theological and biblical studies. Non-theological studies are normally not considered for transfer credit. Course work taken in a non-religious setting which might be considered as parallel to course work in the Fuller curriculum may be considered on an individual basis and approved by the School of Theology master’s academic affairs committee, and integrated through a 4-unit directed study.

Distance Learning

An MA in Theology and Ministry program may be completed online, or with any combination of online and campus coursework. This includes any distance learning classes taken elsewhere and applied to the student’s Fuller program as transfer credit.

Time Limit for Completion of Degrees

In order to ensure that a degree, when granted, represents education that is current and reasonably focused (not acquired a little at a time over an unreasonably long period), all credit applied to the degree must be earned within a certain period of time. For the Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry degree at Fuller, this period has been set at ten years. This includes all credit earned elsewhere and applied to the degree, as well as all credit earned at Fuller.

Degree Requirements

The faculty at Fuller has developed a flexible, unified curriculum for the Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry degree. A total of 80 units is required to earn the Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry degree. The degree requirements can be completed in two years of full-time study, although many elect to remain in their current context and earn the degree over an extended period of time through part-time study.

Integrative (12 units)

Students are required to take IS500 and choose two from the remaining three.

  • IS500 Practices of Vocational Formation
  • IS501 Practices of Worship
  • IS502 Practices of Community
  • IS503 Practices of Mission

Interpreting (16 units)

  • BI500 Interpretive Practices
  • OT500 Old Testament Introduction
  • NT500 New Testament Introduction
  • Any Biblical Studies Elective

Theologizing (16 units)

  • History and Theology (12 units). Must take at least one history course and one theology course
    • God and Christ: any course with the TH1 attribute
      • HT500 The Church’s Understanding of God and Christ in its Historical Development
      • HT501 The Church’s Understanding of God and Christ in its Theological Reflection
    • The Church, Humanity, and the Christian Life: any course with the TH2 attribute
      • HT502 The Church’s Understanding of the Church, Humanity, and the Christian Life in its Historical Development
      • HT503 The Church’s Understanding of the Church, Humanity, and the Christian Life in its Theological Reflection
    • Modern and Global Contexts: any course with the TH3 attribute
      • CH504 The Modern Church in a Global Historical Context
      • CH506 American Christianity in a Global Historical Context
      • HT504 Modern Theology in a Global Context
  • Christian Ethics: any course with the TH6 attribute

Ministry (12 units)

  • Leadership: any course with the LDR attribute
  • Worship, Preaching, and Communication: any course with the WPC attribute
  • Evangelism: any course with the EVG attribute

Contextualizing (4 units)

Select one.

  • Engaging Global Realities: any course with the C1 attribute
  • Engaging Culture: any course with the C2 attribute
  • Engaging Human Diversity: any course with the C5 attribute

Electives (20 units)

  • May be used to explore one or more areas of interest (see below)

Apprenticeship (0 or 4 units)

All Catalogs > 2020-2021 > School of Theology > Master of Arts Degrees