Master of Arts in Religion Degree: Specializations and Expected Outcomes
The Master of Arts (Religion) is oriented toward general and theological studies. The MAR allows a variety of concentrations and specializations taken from a research perspective that encourages students to integrate general biblical, theological, and historical studies into a study concentration.
The MAR degree is a 54-hour degree that should take at least two years to complete. Students with extensive undergraduate work in theology or ministry programs may be eligible to shorten the duration of their 54 hour MAR degree by as many as 18 hours, thereby allowing degree completion with as few as 36 total credit hours.
The MAR degree should not be seen as preparatory for professional ministry. It allows practitioners to research and deepen their understanding of specific concentration areas, or allows students to prepare for advanced (usually doctoral) studies in their field of concentration.
The following concentrations are available within the MAR degree:
Expected Outcomes for all MAR degrees
Expected Outcomes for Biblical Studies
Translate and exegete selected Greek or Hebrew biblical texts.
Describe and assess various perspectives on issues of Biblical criticism and interpretation, both historical and contemporary.
Describe and assess how the Biblical text both reflects and transcends its cultural setting.
Articulate the central thrust of each book of the Old or New Testament.
Demonstrate special expertise in selected sections of the Old or New Testament.
Complete graduate level research and writing in the field of Biblical Studies.
Explain the role that Biblical exegesis plays in personal Christian growth, the development of competent leadership within the church, and the church’s ability to address the issues of the modern world.
Expected Outcomes for Theological Studies
Express clearly the foundational idea of Scripture’s divine inspiration and authority as well as the need to establish all beliefs and practices upon Biblical teaching.
View Biblical teaching from a broad perspective that seeks out the inherent harmony and consistency between all Bible doctrines.
Determine what the Biblical teaching is on a given subject, drawing upon the foundational work of Biblical exegesis and interpretation of specific passages.
Critique a wide variety of theological and philosophical views and discern which ideas do not have solid Biblical support.
Make a practical application of the theological teaching of Scripture to the life of the individual Christian and to the church.
Complete graduate level research and writing in the field of theology.
Expected Outcomes for Church History
Communicate a knowledge and understanding of the history of the church.
Demonstrate an awareness of the major influences that have shaped Christianity in the present.
Develop the ability to think critically about the perspectives of various historians and their presuppositions.
Complete graduate level research and writing in the field of church history.
Expected Outcomes for Leadership Studies