The Master of Arts in Ministry requires successful completion of 54 quarter credit hours. The curriculum is fixed and represents a basic introduction and orientation to the basic knowledge and skills required of pastors and other ministry leaders. The courses for this program are conducted in an online delivery format through a competency-based education (CBE) approach. A faculty model is utilized designed for a 1:1 faculty/student relationship that promotes and involves substantive faculty/student interaction. The faculty engage students through a variety of multimedia presentations, conversations, and qualitative and quantitative feedback.
Students start in the program in a touchstone course that reviews academic skills and introduces students to the contemporary learning needs of pastors and ministry leaders. Student then proceed to courses in biblical interpretation, theological reflection, cultural engagement, spiritual formation and discipleship, leadership, communication skills, counseling, and engagement with world religions. All courses include a strong practical theological orientation focused on the effective practice of ministry leadership.
The program is designed for students who are already in full-time, bi-vocational, or significant volunteer leadership roles. As a result, courses will deal with issues students face in their ministries and will provide resources that can be applied directly. Students will work collaboratively with instructors to created a personalized learning plan that individualizes each demonstration of mastery specific to their settings, rather than a predetermined theoretical application. Each course has a set of competencies that can be demonstrated through application of the topic in the students’ settings. To that end, the courses are designed to address the competencies rather than specific content topics.
The purpose of the Master of Arts in Ministry is to equip students for entry and advancement in full-time or bi-vocational ministry leadership with competencies in biblical interpretation, theological reflection, cultural awareness, and various ministry leadership skills to lead effectively in a variety of settings, including local churches or parishes, institutional chaplaincy, and faith-based non-profit organizations.
Students interested in the Master of Arts in Ministry program are required to confer with an admissions representative and complete an application. The following items are required for consideration of admission:
- Completed online South College application;
- Official transcripts from each regionally or approved accredited institution of higher education attended for earned bachelor’s degree;
- Evidence of a minimum overall GPA of 2.75 earned in the bachelor’s degree or 3.00 for a graduate degree;
- Letter of recommendation from someone who supervises the student’s ministry (such as the pastor, non-profit director, denominational official, or board chair); and
Students with an undergraduate GPA of less than 2.74 may be considered for conditional admission. If they achieve a GPA of 3.00 or higher after the first quarter, they may be admitted as regular enrolled students.
International Student Admission
International students may be citizens of the United States with foreign academic credentials, permanent residents of the US, or non-resident students who must study from their home country. South College cannot issue paperwork for students in the Master of Arts in Ministry program to obtain a student (F-1) visa.
In order to be considered for admission, international students must meet the admissions requirements for the MA in Ministry program, subject to the following:
- Official College and/or University Transcript(s): Official transcripts (written in English or translation, if not originally in English) of students’ college or university work must be sent directly from the college or university to the Admissions Office at South College. If original documents are not available, certified copies will be accepted. The certification must clearly state that the degree completed is equivalent to a two-year graduate degree from a U.S. institution. Credentials earned outside the United States must be evaluated by a National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) member credential evaluation service.
- English Language Proficiency Documentation: Since all instruction, reading, and research in the Doctor of Ministry program is in English, it is essential that all international students be able to understand and speak English fluently. In light of this, the college requires for graduate admission a paper-based TOEFL score of 575, computer-based TOEFL score of 233, or an Internet-based TOEFL score of 90 for students whose native language is not English, or whose primary language of instruction on the undergraduate level was not English. A student’s TOEFL requirement may be waived if he or she is enrolling in a bilingual cohort or has scored above the minimum score for acceptance on either the GMAT or GRE.
It is highly recommended that international students applying to South College submit an application at least four months prior to the desired date of enrollment.
The Master of Arts in Ministry program is designed to equip students for entry and advancement in full-time or bi-vocational ministry leadership in a variety of settings, including local churches or parishes, institutional chaplaincy, and faith-based non-profit organizations.
- Goal 1: Theological Reflection. Students interpret scriptural insights, theological concepts and social-cultural understandings and relate them to specific ministry practices.
- Objective 1.1: Students demonstrate an understanding of the literary, historical, and cultural contexts of the Bible and its relation to ministry.
- Objective 1.2: Students articulate theological concepts related to the practice of ministry.
- Objective 1.3: Students articulate an understanding of the diversity of North American society and culture and its impact on faith communities and ministry.
- Goal 2: Personal Growth. Students demonstrate spiritual maturity and integrity that integrates their personal lives, academic studies, and vocation.
- Objective 2.1: Students articulate their personal calling and a candid assessment of their personal strengths and limitations.
- Objective 2.2: Students engage the disciplines of personal and spiritual growth.
- Objective 2.3: Students articulate and follow the highest personal and professional ethical standards.
- Objective 2.4: Students are able to guide the spiritual and personal growth of others in community.
- Goal 3: Ministry Skills. Students practice the skills of ministry leadership effectively both independently and collaboratively with volunteers and other ministry professionals.
- Objective 3.1: Students lead confidently and competently with smaller teams and/or the whole congregation/organization.
- Objective 3.2: Students communicate biblical and theological perspectives effectively in oral, written, interpersonal and digital settings.
- Objective 3.3: Students provide biblically and theologically informed pastoral counseling and spiritual guidance to others.