Programs leading to the professional Master of Arts degrees are designed to give men and women a biblical and theological foundation for various kinds of Christian service other than pulpit ministry. Graduates normally are recommended only for the types of ministry positions for which their degrees are intended. These MA programs are not designed to prepare students for PhD study at the seminary but may prepare students for DMin or DEdMin study.
Common Goals for Professional MA Programs
In addition to the specific goals listed for each professional MA program in this section, professional MA students will be able to:
- demonstrate a general knowledge of the Bible, including a synthetic understanding of the major books;
- evidence an understanding of the historical development of theology, a knowledge of premillenial theology, and an ability to support their theological views and apply them to contemporary issues; and
- evidence an increasing likeness to Christ as manifested in love for God, love for others, and the fruit of the Spirit
Admission requirements and application procedures for professional MA degree programs are the same as for all programs of study at the seminary. (See the Admission section of this catalog.) Students generally will not be admitted into a degree program without goals consistent with the ministries for which the program is designed to equip them.
Those applying to the MA in Biblical Counseling program also will need to complete a process of testing and interviews with faculty in the department. This process will determine whether the applicant has the dispositional and relational skills needed to enter into this kind of interpersonally intense program of study.
Transfer of Credit
Transfer of some credit is allowed toward the professional MA programs from accredited graduate theological schools. Up to 30 hours of credit may be transferred toward the MA in Christian Education, the MA in Christian Leader- ship, the MA in Cross-cultural Ministries, or the MA in Media Arts and Worship. Up to 45 hours may be transferred toward the MA in Biblical Counseling. (Of the 45 hours, students are limited to 12 hours of transfer in counseling courses.) MABC students pursuing licensure may have stricter transfer- credit guidelines as required by the state licensing agency.
Students must have earned a grade of C or better for a course to be considered in transfer. Transferability of credits earned at this institution and transferred to another is at the discretion of the receiving institution. Consult the Registrar’s office for information on eligibility for transfer credit.
Accelerated MA Programs
Students entering DTS with a strong background in Bible or theology from an approved Christian university, Bible college, or parachurch ministry may apply for an accelerated professional MA program. In place of core courses of a Master of Arts curriculum, accelerated MA participants take four advanced standing courses (AS103– 106). This results in a curricular reduction of a professional MA program by up to 16 credit hours.
For more information about an accelerated professional MA program visit www.dts.edu/advancedstanding.
Of the 90 semester hours required for the professional MA in Biblical Counseling, a minimum of 30 hours must be taken in resident study at either the Dallas, Houston, or Washington DC campus. Of the 66 semester hours required for the MA in Christian Education, a minimum of 22 hours must be taken in resident study at the Dallas, Houston, or Washington DC campus. Of the 63 semester hours required for the MA in Christian Leadership, a minimum of 21 hours must be taken in resident study at a DTS location approved for the degree. Of the 64 semester hours required for the MA in Cross-cultural Ministries, a minimum of 22 hours must be taken in resident study at the Dallas, Houston,
or Washington DC campus. Of the 66 semester hours required for the MA in Media Arts and Worship, 22 must be taken in resident study at the Dallas campus.
All work leading to any of the professional MA degrees must be completed within seven years from the time of matriculation. Extension of this limit requires approval of the Credits Committee. Reinstatement to these programs after withdrawal requires Admissions Committee action and may subject the student to additional requirements for the degree.
Admission to Candidacy
Students may be admitted to candidacy by action of the faculty for the MA in Christian Education degree, the MA in Christian Leadership degree, the MA in Cross-cultural Ministries degree, or the MA in Media Arts and Worship degree in the fall or spring semester prior to the semester/term of degree conferral, or the semester prior to their participation in the Commencement ceremony They must have a minimum grade point average of 2.0.
Students may be admitted to candidacy by action of the faculty for the MA in Biblical Counseling degree. They must have a minimum grade point average of 2.0 and show reasonable promise for effective ministry in people’s lives.
In addition, students must evidence, to the satisfaction of the faculty, proven Christian character and adherence to the following doctrines: the authority and inerrancy of Scripture, the Trinity, the full deity and humanity of Christ, the spiritual lostness of the human race, the substitutionary atonement and bodily resurrection of Christ, salvation by faith alone in Christ alone, and the physical return of Christ. Students in all MA programs also must provide a written statement of church involvement from the local church regularly attended while in seminary and a reference form completed by a pastor or spiritual overseer. Those students who are required to complete an internship must demonstrate satisfactory progress toward the completion of all internship requirements prior to admission to candidacy, thereby evidencing ability and acceptability in Christian ministry.
Admission to candidacy is valid for one year. Students who postpone degree conferral beyond one year from original admission to candidacy or who postpone participation in the Commencement ceremony until the following spring will be required to reapply for admission to candidacy.
All students in a professional master’s degree program at DTS complete the MinistrySafe Sexual Abuse Awareness Training as part of their required practicum, apprenticeship, or Ministry Formation Internship. In an effort to equip students to combat sexual abuse in their ministry contexts, the MinistrySafe program provides students with an entry-level certification in sexual abuse awareness. For more information, visit www.ministrysafe.com.
Candidates for the MA in Biblical Counseling degree must have completed 90 hours of coursework. Candidates for the MA in Christian Education degree must have completed 66 hours of coursework. Candidates for the MA in Christian Leadership must have completed 62 hours of coursework. Candidates for the MA in Cross-cultural Ministries degree must have completed 64 hours of course- work. Candidates for the MA in Media Arts and Worship must have completed 66 hours of coursework. Candidates must have a minimum grade point average of 2.0, and must evidence, to the satisfaction of the faculty, proven Christian character and adherence to the doctrines stated in the Admission to Candidacy section.
Diplomas (or certificates) will not be released, transcripts issued, or placement assistance provided unless all nancial obligations to the seminary and/or student loan program are current.
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