Master of Arts in Christian Education (MACE)

The program leading to the Master of Arts in Christian Education degree is designed to provide a graduate-level biblical and theological education for men and women who anticipate vocational ministry as Christian education specialists. This program helps prepare its graduates to assume positions as ministers of Christian education, children’s workers, ministers of youth, parachurch youth leaders, ministers of adults, directors of family-life education, administrators or teachers in Christian higher education, Christian school teachers and administrators, or women’s ministry leaders.


Bible Exposition 22
BE101 Bible Study Methods and Hermeneutics 3
BE102 Old Testament History I 3
BE103 Old Testament History II and Poetry 2
BE104 Old Testament Prophets 3
BE105 The Gospels 2
BE106 Acts and Pauline Epistles 3
BE107 Hebrews, General Epistles, and Revelation 3
BE109 Ruth, Psalms, Jonah, and Selected Epistles 3
Systematic Theology 18
ST101 Theological Method and Bibliology 3
ST102 Trinitarianism 3
ST103 Angelology, Anthropology, and Hamartiology 3
ST104 Soteriology 3
ST105 Sanctification and Ecclesiology 3
ST106 Eschatology 3
Educational Ministry & Leadership 11
EML101 Educational Process of the Church 3
EML102 History and Philosophy of C.E. 3
EML103 Teaching Process 2
EML104 Media Presentations 1
INT165 Christian Education Internship 2
Electives & Spiritual Formation 14
PM101 Spiritual Life 2
Spiritual Formation (4 semesters) 0
Electives 12
65 Hours
earn up to 11 hours in ministry
complete up to 43 hours online

Meet an MACE Professor

Mike Lawson

Dr. Lawson, who prefers to be called Grandpa Mike, is Senior Professor in Christian Education. After completing a degree in accounting at UNT, he felt called to ministry, and he earned a ThM in 1969. He served at Metropolitan Baptist Church in Oklahoma City for 17 years before joining the DTS faculty.

*Note: This curriculum plan is intended for new students only. Current students should refer to the degree requirements available from the Advising Center.


In addition to the goals common to all professional degree programs at the seminary, located on the MA Overview page, students in this program will be able to:

  • develop a biblical philosophy of Christian education;
  • demonstrate knowledge and needs of at least one ministry population, state biblical goals for that ministry, and apply appropriate educational principles to that ministry;
  • organize, administer, and evaluate an educational program based on stated goals and objectives, working successfully with people from a variety of ministry situations; and
  • communicate effectively in a Christian education ministry setting.

Course Requirements

Sixty-five semester hours of coursework are required as a minimum for graduation. Of those hours, 22 are in prescribed Bible Exposition courses, 18 are in prescribed Systematic Theology courses, 2 are in Spiritual Life, 9 are in prescribed Educational Ministries and Leadership courses, 12 are elective Educational Ministries and Leadership hours, and 2 hours are in an internship (INT165 MACE Ministry Formation Internship). No thesis is required.

All students in the MA in Christian Education degree program are required to take EML101 Introduction to Educational Ministries and Leadership, EML102 History and Philosophy of Christian Education, EML103 Teaching Process, EML104 Media Presentations, and INT165 MACE Ministry Formation Internship. In addition, each student must select 12 hours from one of the 10 available ministry concentrations. Concentration courses will be selected in consultation with the student’s advisor.

Spiritual Formation

Because DTS values Christlike character and spiritual maturity, MACE students are required to register for and participate in Spiritual Formation groups each of their first four consecutive fall and spring semesters at either the Dallas campus or Houston Campus. (MACE students who are not planning to be in residence in Dallas or Houston for four consecutive fall and spring semesters must contact the Department of Educational Ministries and Leadership concerning how to meet their Spiritual Formation requirement.)

In the Spiritual Formation curriculum, small groups of five to seven students focus on identity, community, integrity, and fidelity. The groups also provide an atmosphere for prayer, fellowship, and the integration of learning with life and ministry.

Because students participate with the same group during four consecutive semesters, they should plan their schedules so they may meet on the same day and at the same time each semester. Spiritual Formation is a noncredit, transcripted experience. Internship prerequisites include successful completion of SF100-1, EML102, and completion of half of their DTS course work.

Additional Spiritual Formation courses focusing on leadership may be taken as electives.

MACE Tracks

Adult Ministry
Students completing this ministry concentration should be able to lead an adult ministry in various ministry contexts.
Children’s Ministry
Students completing this ministry concentration should be able to organize and supervise a local church or parachurch ministry to children, including the recruitment and retention of adult staff.
College Teaching
Students completing this ministry concentration should have a foundation for success as a teacher in a Christian institution of higher learning. However, most colleges, universities, and seminaries require an earned doctorate in the teaching discipline. Most seminaries and graduate schools of theology also require an MDiv degree or, in some cases, the ThM/STM degree for admission to doctoral programs.
Educational Administration
Students completing this ministry concentration should be able to serve effectively in a leadership role in an educational institution at the elementary, secondary, or higher level.
Educational Leadership
Students completing this ministry concentration should be able to design, direct, supervise, and evaluate the overall educational process of a local church or other ministry.
Family Life Ministry
Students completing this ministry concentration should be able to develop and direct a church program of family life education including family classes, counseling, and discipleship relationships.
Ministry with Women
Students completing this ministry concentration should understand women as an audience and learners, and be equipped to teach, lead, mentor, shepherd, and care for women in various ministry contexts.
Parachurch Ministry
Students completing this ministry concentration should be able to organize and supervise various parachurch ministries either in the United States or internationally. Courses in this concentration may be selected from any department in the Ministries and Communication division.
Youth Ministry
Students completing this ministry concentration should be able to organize and supervise an effective church program of youth ministry at the junior high and high school levels.
Those on staff with Cru or Young Life may transfer a maximum of 12 hours toward a Parachurch Ministry concentration. Consult the Registrar’s office for further information.
Educational Leadership - Houston Campus
The Educational Leadership concentration is the only CE concentration available in Houston. Other concentrations will be supported as resources and enrollment allow. Students in the Houston Educational Leadership concentration may take EML105 Teaching Process and Media Presentations in place of EML103 Teaching Process and EML104 Media Presentations. In addition to the core Christian Education courses in the MACE program, the Houston concentration also includes EML401 Age-level Ministries, which is only offered at the seminary’s extension sites. Other electives in the Houston concentration will be selected through consultation with the student’s advisor.

Degree Plan*

First Year

Fall Semester

BE101Bible Study Methods and Hermeneutics3
ST101Theological Method and Bibliology3
EML101Educational Process of the Church3
EML102History and Philosophy of C.E.3
SF100-1Spiritual Formation1 
CE Elective(s)3

Spring Semester

BE102Old Testament History I3
BE105The Gospels2
BE109Ruth, Psalms, Jonah, and Selected Epistles3
PM101Spiritual Life2
SF100-2Spiritual Formation1 
CE Elective(s)3

Second Year

Fall Semester

BE103Old Testament History II and Poetry2
BE104Old Testament Prophets3
BE106Acts and Pauline Epistles3
ST103Angelology, Anthropology, and Hamartiology3
ST105Sanctification and Ecclesiology3
EML103Teaching Process2
EML104Media Presentations1
INT165Christian Education Internship22
SF100-3Spiritual Formation1 

Spring Semester

BE107Hebrews, General Epistles, and Revelation3
SF100-4Spiritual Formation1 
CE Elective(s)6
  1. Students have two calendar years (four consecutive fall/spring semesters) to complete the SF100 Spiritual Formation requirement. students who register for SF100 need to keep in mind that the course is a four-semester-long course that will meet at the same day and time each of the four semesters. See the Spiritual Formation and Leadership department for more information.
  2. Students have two consecutive semesters to complete the internship. See the Spiritual Formation and Leadership department for more information.

*Note: This curriculum plan is intended for new students only. Current students should refer to the degree requirements available from the Advising Center.

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