The Master of Arts in Ministry degree program is designed to prepare students for effective ministry leadership as reflective practitioners with foundational theological, theoretical, and practical knowledge. Graduates will be better able to serve and lead in ministry with demonstrated skills in biblical interpretation, theological reflection, communication, leadership, counseling, and spiritual direction. The program requires satisfactory completion of 54 total quarter credit hours and is designed to be delivered in six consecutive quarters over a period of 1.5 years (18 months) for full-time students. Part-time students may enroll in a minimum of one class per quarter. Students are required to earn a minimum grade of “C” in all coursework.
The mission of the Master of Arts in Ministry degree program is to equip students with foundational theological, theoretical, and practical knowledge required for effective ministry leadership in a context of change and diversity. Graduates will be better able to serve and lead in ministry with demonstrated skills in biblical interpretation, theological reflection, communication, leadership, counseling, and spiritual formation.
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. South College will consider the three-year international bachelor’s for admission to the Master of Arts in Ministry. The acceptance of the three-year international bachelor’s degrees is contingent upon the students’ foreign credential evaluation (from an approved evaluation agency). The evaluation must indicate: “That the degree prepares the student for graduate level studies” OR “Given the relatively high proportion of coursework completed in the major field of study, the foreign degree program has prepared this student to meet minimum graduate admission eligibility standards.” If the evaluation indicates that the three-year bachelor’s degree does not prepare the student for graduate level studies, the student must complete a degree equivalent to a US bachelor’s degree prior to entering the MA in Ministry program. The following countries will be considered for three-year bachelor’s degrees: Bologna Process participating countries, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, India, and Vietnam.
- English Language Proficiency Documentation: Since all instruction, reading, and research in the Master of Arts in Ministry 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 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 completed primarily via an asynchronous online format using Canvas as the learning management platform that provides flexibility to accommodate schedules of working ministry leaders. The curriculum equips students to reflect biblically and theologically about the primary practices of ministry. Students have the opportunity to gain foundational understanding of the First and New Testaments and develop skill in interpreting biblical texts. In addition, they engage key theological doctrines and consider their application in their ministry settings. Students also enhance their understanding of leadership in church or faith-based organization settings, develop oral, written, and social media communication skills, develop pastoral counseling skills, and develop understanding of personal spiritual growth. Finally, students grow in their awareness of their own personal strengths and limitations as leaders, as well as in their appreciation of the differences in the people they are called to serve and lead.
A South College online orientation introduces students to instructions for accessing South College email and Student Portal accounts, a review of candidates’ roles and responsibilities in an online asynchronous format, and a discussion and review of South College learning resources and student services.
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.
The Master of Arts in Ministry Studies program is offered online.