Master of Arts


OVERVIEW

The M.A. is a rigorous post-baccalaureate program of theological studies intended for:
  • persons who are ordained ministers in churches that do not require the M.Div. degree who wish to pursue theological study for the enrichment of their ministry;
  • persons in non-church-related vocations (e.g., secondary school teacher, counselor, writer) for whom graduate study in the humanities may be particularly helpful or enriching;
  • persons who, for reasons of professional specialization, wish to combine a professional degree (e.g., the Master of Library Science or the Master of Social Work) with a theological degree;
  • persons who have already completed the M.Div. degree but desire further in-depth theological study;
  • persons who, with or without a M.Div. degree, wish to prepare to enter a Ph.D. program in a theological discipline, or in some other related field within the humanities.

    NBTS offers three MA concentrations: biblical studies, historical and constructive theology, and pastoral care and counseling.

    AREAS OF CONCENTRATION

    Upon applying for admission to the M.A. program, a prospective student must choose one of the following three concentrations: Biblical Studies; Pastoral Care; Historical and Constructive Theology; Church and Society. Upon acceptance of admission, a faculty adviser will be assigned within the chosen concentration.



    BIBLICAL STUDIES   
    Distribution of Credits    
    Introduction to Old Testament     4
    Introduction to New Testament     4
    Biblical Research and Writing    2
    Biblical Studies Courses prefixed BH, BS, BT, OT, NT    18
    Theological Studies Courses prefixed CA, CH, ET, TH     16
    Other Electives     10
    Thesis: BS00598 & 599 M.A. Thesis     6
    OR   
    Alternative:    
    BS00592 M.A. Project (integrative independent study)     4
    plus an additional elective in a Biblical studies field    2
        THESIS OR ALTERNATIVE:
    In the final year of study, the student shall complete a thesis for which six academic credits will be awarded. At the discretion of the adviser, in consultation with the student, the thesis may be waived. In this case, the student shall take an additional elective two credit course and a four credit independent study course with the adviser aimed at integrating the previous coursework and culminating in field examinations.

    UNIVERSITY COURSES:
    The student's adviser may require up to three graduate-level courses at Rutgers University or St. John's University in ancillary fields to aid in conceptualizing and researching the projected thesis.



    HISTORICAL AND CONSTRUCTIVE THEOLOGY   
    Distribution of Credits    
    Church History I     4
    Church History II     4
    Foundations of Theology I     4
    Foundations of Theology II     4
    Additional Courses in Major     10
    Additional Courses in Minor     6
    Introduction to Christian Ethics     4
    Biblical Studies Courses prefixed BH, BS, BT, OT, NT     8
    General Electives     10
    Thesis: HT598 & HT599 M.A. Thesis     6
        MAJOR AND MINOR:
    Within the concentration, the student shall elect one of the two subfields (i.e. Historical Theology or Constructive Theology) as a major and the other as a minor. Christianity and the Arts may be chosen as a particular emphasis within either the major or the minor field.

    THESIS:
    The student shall, in the final year of study, complete a thesis for which six academic credits will be awarded.

    UNIVERSITY COURSES:
    The student's adviser may require up to three graduate level courses at Rutgers University or St. John's University in ancillary field, to aid in conceptualizing and researching the projected thesis.



    PASTORAL CARE AND COUNSELING   
    Distribution of Credits    
    Introduction to Pastoral Care     4
    Clinical Pastoral Education (1 unit)     6
    Pastoral Care Electives Courses prefixed PC
    (Research Methods is Strongly Recommended)
        10
    ET00401 Christian Ethics     4
    Theological Studies & Biblical Studies
    Courses prefixed BS, BH, BT, CA, CH, NT, OT, TH
        14
    University Courses
    (Research Methods recommended plus ind. study)
        6
    Thesis: PC598 & 599 M.A. Thesis     6
    OR   
    Project: PC592 M.A. Project     4
    Other Electives    
    10 credits for thesis or 12 credits for project    
        THESIS OR FINAL PROJECT:
    In the final year of study, the student shall elect either to complete a thesis for which six academic credits will be awarded, or to enroll in a four credit independent study course with a faculty member in the field culminating in a research project in which the student studies some aspect of pastoral care; develops a project providing pastoral care that grows out of the student's study and research; and then provides critical reflection on the outcome of the project.

    UNIVERSITY COURSES:
    The student shall take six credits of graduate-level courses at Rutgers University or St. John's University in fields ancillary to Pastoral Care.



    A major component of this program is a unit (six course credits) of Clinical Pastoral Education in an institutional setting. This requires a certain level of proficiency in conversational English because you are working directly with patients and hospital personnel. Therefore, ESL students with a TOFEL score of less than 24 in Listening and 24 in Speaking (computer based score), will be required to take a conversational English class/course at Rutgers University or another qualified language program prior to beginning CPE. You will need to provide proof of enrollment in this course to your advisor. Your advisor will be able to advise you as to the programs available in the area.

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