Master of Arts (M.A.)


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 in pastoral care and counseling;
  • 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 in pastoral care and counseling;
  • 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.


    Concentrations include Biblical Studies, Historical and Constructive Theology, and Pastoral Care and Counseling. Applications are currently being accepted for only the Pastoral Care and Counseling concentration.

    Distribution of Credits    
    Introduction to Pastoral Care     3
    Clinical Pastoral Education (1 unit)     6
    Minister as Person     3
    Pastoral Care Electives Courses prefixed PC
    (Research Methods is Strongly Recommended)
    ET00401 Christian Ethics     3
    Theological Studies & Biblical Studies
    Courses prefixed BS, BH, BT, CA, CH, NT, OT, TH
    Elective and University Courses*     3 - 6
    Thesis: PC598 & 599 M.A. Thesis     6
    Project: PC592 M.A. Project     3
    3 credits for thesis or 6 credits for 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.

    The student will be encouraged to take three 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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