The Master of Arts in Ministry and Leadership Degree Program

OFFERED ON THE ONLINE, PORTLAND, SACRAMENTO, AND SAN JOSE CAMPUSES

Program Objectives & Requirements

Western Seminary offers the Master of Arts (M.A.) in Ministry and Leadership degree for students seeking to develop the core ministry and leadership skills necessary to be effective in a variety of ministry contexts. For example, they may be seeking to serve as associate pastors on a church staff, in parachurch agencies, or in specialized areas of ministry (e.g. chaplaincy, coaching, mission and culture, pastoral care to women, youth ministry, etc.). The program is not recommended for those preparing for a ministry where ordination is expected or required (e.g., the pastorate) or for those who anticipate subsequent doctor of ministry studies.

Students will take a common sequence of courses to build the core outcomes in spiritual formation, biblical and theological studies, and ministry studies. As students proceed with their classroom studies, they will be challenged to put what they learn into action through mentored field ministry. The interaction between student, faculty advisor and ministry mentor will facilitate the refining of ministry effectiveness by identifying areas of strength to be honed and areas of critical weakness to be improved. Building on these core areas, students will develop more specialized ministry and leadership skills through their electives. Students will follow one of the defined specialization tracks, or they may choose the open track specialization which includes a variety of ministry and leadership courses in consultation with their faculty advisor.

M.A. Program Outcomes

In addition to the Seminary’s general educational goals, the M.A. in Ministry and Leadership Ministry program attempts to achieve specific outcomes:

  • Applies biblical truth to life and ministry based on sound hermeneutics and a thorough understanding of the biblical canon.
  • Employs mature theological thinking to evaluate competing ideas, communicates theological truths clearly, and applies theological truths to life and ministry.
  • Demonstrates cultural awareness and discernment in theological thinking and ministerial practice.
  • Exhibits a Christ-like character worthy of being emulated, and integrity that imparts credibility to his/her ministry.
  • Demonstrates self-awareness and a commitment to ongoing personal and spiritual formation.
  • Implements a gospel-centered philosophy of ministry that is biblical, missional, and transformational.
  • Leads others in effective ministry by casting a vision for transformational ministry, equipping others for ministry, and faithfully modeling servant leadership.
  • Demonstrates mastery of the key principles of their chosen area of ministry through effective service in that area.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the general requirements for admission to the Seminary, applicants for the M.A. program are expected to present an accredited baccalaureate degree (or its equivalent) with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale), including a breadth of liberal arts. Applicants who do not meet these general academic requirements may petition the Admissions Committee for consideration. A recommendation from the applicant’s pastor and three personal recommendations regarding the applicant’s Christian character and leadership potential also are required.

Transfer Credit

Upon approval by the Registrar, transfer of up to 30 credit hours is allowed toward the M.A. in Ministry and Leadership program from graduate institutions accredited by the Association of Theological Schools or regional accrediting associations. Students must have earned a grade of B or better for a course to be considered for transfer and coursework must have completed no more than five years prior to matriculation to Western Seminary. Alternatively, students may receive advanced standing of up to 15 credit hours of the 30 credit hours of transfer credit allowed toward their program if they are able to demonstrate current competency in required coursework based on prior study (based on parallel undergraduate work or transfer credit that is ineligible for consideration based on age). Transferability of credits earned at Western and transferred to another institution is at the discretion of the receiving institution. Consult the Registrar’s Office for information on eligibility of transfer credit and advanced standing.

Residence Requirements

For the Portland, San Jose and Sacramento Campuses:

Of the 60 credit hours required for the M.A. (Ministry and Leadership) program, a minimum of 30 credit hours must be completed through coursework at Western Seminary, with a minimum of 20 credit hours taken in resident study at one of Western Seminary’s physical campus locations. All work leading to the Master of Arts (Ministry and Leadership) must be completed within five years from the time of matriculation. Permission to extend the five year statute of limitation must be granted through submission of an academic petition. Reinstatement to the program after withdrawal requires Admissions Committee action and may subject the student to additional requirements for the degree. All credits applied toward the degree requirements must be earned within ten years of the awarding of the degree.

For the Online Campus Only:

Of the 60 credit hours required for the M.A. (Ministry and Leadership) program, a minimum of 30 credit hours must be completed through coursework at Western Seminary, with a minimum of 6 credit hours taken in resident study through the following three, specific courses and program orientation:

  • During October or June of a student's first year, the student must travel to Portland for one week to attend program orientation and two threshold courses, SFS501 Learning to Love God and Others (2 credit hours) and MFM500 Discovering and Developing Your Ministry Potential (2 credit hours).
  • During February of a student's final year, the student must return to Portland to attend the capstone course, THS 508 Integrating Ministry and Theology (2 credit hours).

All work leading to the Master of Arts (Ministry and Leadership) must be completed within five years from the time of matriculation. Permission to extend the five year statute of limitation must be granted through submission of an academic petition. Reinstatement to the program after withdrawal requires Academic Committee action and may subject the student to additional requirements for the degree. All credits applied toward the degree requirements must be earned within ten years of the awarding of the degree.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Arts in Ministry and Leadership degree is conferred upon the attainment of certain personal and academic requirements. In addition to the general seminary requirements, degree candidates must (1) give evidence of a genuine Christian character, orthodox belief, and conduct consistent with a God-given call to a position of leadership; (2) complete all courses in the prescribed M.A. curriculum with a minimum grade point average of 3.0.

Course Requirements

Students may complete their studies in as few as four semesters, including mentored field ministry, with a minimum of 60 credit hours required as a minimum for graduation. The program is designed around a common core of 46 hours and an elective track of 14 hours which contains six hours of mentored ministry. The elective track involves either the completion of a ministry specialization (14 hours of prescribed and elective credits) or an open track (14 hours of prescribed and elective credits approved by a faculty mentor).

Ministry Specialization Options

The intent of a ministry specialization is to further equip an individual with the skills, insights, and training experiences necessary for a distinctly defined ministry role. Like the core, the ministry specializations are outcome-driven. Fourteen credits of course work reflect a thoughtful blend of required courses and restricted electives designed to impart the character, knowledge, and skill outcomes deemed essential for each particular role. Current specializations include Open Track, Chaplaincy, Coaching, Pastoral Care to Women, and Youth and Family Ministry.

Master of Arts in Ministry and Leadership Curriculum Plan

Spiritual Formation studies: 6 credits
SFS501 Learning to Love God and Others 2
SFS502 Practicing Prayer and Other Key Disciplines 2
SFS504 Growing into Ethical Maturity 2
Biblical Interpretation studies: 16 credits
Please note: Biblical studies, theological studies, hermeneutics and church history courses may be offered in 4-credit or 2-credit formats, depending on the campus location.
DBS506 -or- Learning to Interpret Scripture 4
DBS506X and Learning to Interpret Scripture, Part 1 2
DBS506Y Learning to Interpret Scripture, Part 2 2
BLS501 -or- Interpreting Genesis to Song of Solomon 4
BLS501X and Interpreting Old Testament I: Genesis to 2 Samuel 2
BLS501Y Interpreting the Old Testament II: 1 Kings to Song of Solomon 2
BLS502 -or- Interpreting the Prophets and Gospel 4
BLS502X and Interpreting Old Testament III: The Prophets 2
BLS502Y Interpreting the New Testament I: Gospels 2
BLS503 -or- Interpreting Acts to Revelation 4
BLS503X and Interpreting the New Testament II: Epistles 1 2
BLS503Y Interpreting the New Testament III: Epistles 2 2
Theological studies: 12 credits
THS501 -or- Knowing the Triune God: Theology I 4
THS501X and Knowing the Triune God: Theology I, Part 1 2
THS501Y Knowing the Triune God: Theology I, Part 2 2
THS502 -or- Glorifying the God of Our Salvation: Theology II 4
THS502X and Glorifying the God of Our Salvation: Theology II, Part 1 2
THS502Y Glorifying the God of Our Salvation: Theology II, Part 2 2
THS503 Living as the Community of the Spirit: Theology III 2
THS508 Integrating Ministry and Theology 2
Ministry and Leadership Studies: 10 credits
Select 10 credits from the following courses:
DIS501 Communicating Christ in Culture 2
DMS501 Thinking Theologically About Ministry Leadership 2
DMS506 -or- Developing Godly Leadership for the 21st Century 2
PCW 513 Women in Leadership 2
EMS505 Growing Disciples Intentionally 2
PTS504 Maximizing the Church's Redemptive Influence 2
PTS505 Providing Leadership in Ministry 2

Specialization or Track: 16 credits (select one)

Open Track (Online, Portland, Sacramento, & San Jose campuses)
Mentored Ministry: 6 credits
MFM500 Discovering and Developing Your Ministry Potential 2
MFM501 Mentored Field Ministry 1
MFM502 Mentored Field Ministry 1
MFM503 Mentored Field Ministry 1
MFM504 Mentored Field Ministry 1
Note: Check with your program advisor for MFM501-504 details.
Restricted electives: 8 credits
Select 8 credits from DMS, EMS, FMS, ICS, MCS, PCW, PTS or YMS courses. Recommended electives:
DMS502 Introducing Theology and Practice of Worship 2
MCS510 Introduction to Coaching 1
MCS511 Coaching Change, Transition, and Transformation 1
MCS513 Coaching Approach to Leading and Managing 1
MCS514 Coaching Spiritual Transformation 1
PCW511 Pastoral Understanding of Women 2
PCW515 Develop and Deliver Life-Changing Messages 2
PTS503 Practicing Evangelism and Apologetics 2
PTS507 Pastoral Counseling 2
PTS508 Developing Strong Families 2
PTS510 Preparing and Preaching Expository Sermons 2
Open electives: 2 credits
Chaplaincy Specialization (Portland, Sacramento, & San Jose campuses)
Chaplaincy Studies: 8 credits
ICS501 The Chaplaincy 2
ICS530 Chaplaincy Practicum 4 total
MFM500 Discovering and Developing Your Ministry Potential 2
Restricted electives: 6 credits
Select from the courses below or related electives with advisor approval:
CNS503 Family Systems 2
CNS512 Group Counseling 3
ICS505 Hospital Chaplaincy 2
ICS506 Military Chaplaincy 2
ICS533 Clinical Pastoral Education 2
PTS503 Practicing Evangelism and Apologetics 2
PTS506 Providing Pastoral Care 2
PTS507 Pastoral Counseling 2
PTS510 Preparing and Preaching Expository Sermons 2
Open electives: 2 credits
Coaching Specialization (Portland, Sacramento, & San Jose campuses)
Coaching Studies: 8 credits
MFM500 Discovering and Developing Your Ministry Potential 2
MCS510 Introduction to Coaching 1
MCS511 Coaching Change, Transition, and Transformation 1
MFM501 Mentored Field Ministry 1
MFM502 Mentored Field Ministry 1
MFM503 Mentored Field Ministry 1
MFM504 Mentored Field Ministry 1
Restricted electives: 6 credits
Select from the courses below or related electives with advisor approval; at least two of these credits must be MCS-prefix courses:
MCS512 Life and Personal Coaching 1
MCS513 Coaching Approach to Leading and Managing 1
MCS514 Coaching Spiritual Transformation 1
MCS515 Coaching and a Brain-Based Approach to Learning 1
MCS516 Using Assessments, Inventories, and Tools in Coaching 1
MCS517 The Language of Coaching 1
MCS518 Growing Your Coaching Practice 1
MCS561 Coaching Seminar 1
SFS515 Becoming a Spiritual Director 2
SFS543 Readings in Spiritual Classics 2
SFS545 Readings in Contemporary Spirituality 2
THS536 Evaluating Approaches to Sanctification 2
THS561 Equipping for Spiritual Warfare 2
Open electives: 2 credits
Global Leadership Specialization (Portland campus only)
Global Leadership Studies: 14 credits
MFM500 Discovering and Developing Your Ministry Potential 2
GLS510 Spiritual Formation and Discipleship in the Global Context 2
GLS515 Theology in the Global Context 2
GLS520 Leadership in the Global Context 2
GLS525 Self-Directed Learning for Global Leadership 2
GLS501 Field Leadership Mentorship I 1
GLS502 Field Leadership Mentorship II 1
GLS503 Field Leadership Mentorship III 1
GLS504 Field Leadership Mentorship IV 1
Note: Check with your program advisor for GLS501-504 details.
Open electives: 2 credits
Jewish Ministry Specialization (Portland campus only)
Jewish Ministry Studies: 8 credits
MFM500 Discovering and Developing Your Ministry Potential 2
JMS501 Theological Themes in Jewish Ministry 2
JMS531 Jewish Ministry Practicum 1
JMS532 Jewish Ministry Practicum 1
JMS533 Jewish Ministry Practicum 1
JMS534 Jewish Ministry Practicum 1
Restricted electives: 6 credits
Select from the courses below or related electives with advisor approval:
JMS502 Jewish History 2
JMS503 History of Jewish Missions 2
JMS504 Jewish Religious Thought 2
JMS509 Practical Issues in Jewish Evangelism 2
Open electives: 2 credits
Pastoral Care to Women Specialization (Portland, Sacramento, & San Jose campuses)
Students are required to complete at least five PCW courses in addition to PCW531-4.
Pastoral Care to Women Studies: 8 credits
MFM500 Discovering and Developing Your Ministry Potential 2
PCW511 Pastoral Understanding of Women 2
PCW531 Pastoral Care to Women Practicum 1
PCW532 Pastoral Care to Women Practicum 1
PCW533 Pastoral Care to Women Practicum 1
PCW534 Pastoral Care to Women Practicum 1
Restricted electives: 6 credits
Select from the courses below or related electives with advisor approval:
MCS510 Introduction to Coaching 1
MCS511 Coaching Change, Transition, and Transformation 1
PCW512X Women in Pain, Part 1 2
PCW512Y Women in Pain, Part 2 2
PCW513 Women in Leadership 2
PCW514 Building Relational Ministries for Women 2
PCW515 Develop and Deliver Life-Changing Messages 2
PCW521 Develop Life Changing Bible Study Curriculum 2
Open electives: 2 credits
Youth and Family Ministry Specialization (Portland, Sacramento, & San Jose campuses)
Youth and Family Ministry Studies: 10 credits
MFM500 Discovering and Developing Your Ministry Potential 2
MFM501 Mentored Field Ministry 1
MFM502 Mentored Field Ministry 1
MFM503 Mentored Field Ministry 1
MFM504 Mentored Field Ministry 1
YMS502 Developing a Theological Model for 21st Century Youth Ministry 2
YMS503 Leading a Youth Ministry 2
Restricted electives: 4 credits
Select from the courses below or related electives with advisor approval:
CNS546 Counseling Adolescents 2
FMS501 Family Ministry in the Church 2
FMS503 Building the Pastoral Team 2
YMS501 Understanding Adolescent Development 2
YMS504 Communicating to Youth 2
YMS505 Issues for 21st Century Youth Ministry 2
YMS506 Spiritual Formation of Youth 2
Open electives: 2 credits

2016-2017 Academic Catalog