Master of Arts Requirements

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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 foundational theology, and pastoral care and counseling.

    The application deadline for a term is two months before the first day of classes. Applications received after the deadline will be considered for admission in the following semester. Each applicant must:
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution with an academic record indicating scholarly ability and academic achievement, including an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or higher (4.0 scale).
  • Official transcript(s) of all undergraduate and graduate work pursued to date are required*;
  • Complete the application form and a statement of purpose
  • Two letters of recommendation.

    In addition to the admissions procedures mentioned, applicants who seek to enter the US to pursue a degree program at NBTS must:

    • Submit transcripts of undergraduate degree programs*, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose written in English
    • Demonstrate their proficiency in English (see English Proficiency Requirements)
    • Apply to the US Government for an F-1 nonimmigrant student entry visa.

    *The Admissions Committee recommends that all transcripts that originate from an institution outside the United States or Canada be sent to a professional transcript service for a course-by-course evaluation.

    For any other questions involving international student admission please contact .

    See information on transferring credits from other institutions here.

  • A $50.00 non-refundable application fee and a $25.00 non-refundable background check fee;
  • $25.00 non-refundable background check fee, and submit a completed background check release form; for more information click here
  • Once admitted, pay a $250.00 admissions deposit at least 30 days prior to the beginning of the new term to indicate acceptance of admission. This deposit is applied to the student's first term tuition. New students are required to complete their registration two weeks before the first day of classes for the term. Registration after that date will be subject to a $100.00 late fee.

    The M.A. degree requires the completion of sixty (60) course credits with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Within this total of 60 credits, specific course requirements vary according to areas of concentration (see "M.A. Areas of Concentration,") No credits of less than two quality points (2.0 or C) and no more than 16 credits of work graded "C" may be used toward the degree.

    A student who has been admitted must indicate acceptance of admission by paying the admissions deposit 30 days in advance of the beginning of the term in which she or he will matriculate. Once the admissions deposit has been paid, the registrar will assign the student an adviser from the faculty in the area of the student's chosen concentration, as indicated on the student's application. In cases in which the new student has completed previous relevant graduate study, the registrar will then request the dean or assistant dean to evaluate the student's transcript(s) for advanced standing. The dean or assistant dean will then contact the student's projected adviser and, together with the adviser, assign advanced standing credit, which will be entered on the adviser's "course audit" form for the student

    The student must be "in residence" for at least 26 credits of her or his coursework toward the M.A. degree. In other words, twenty-six credits plus the thesis/project requirement must be taken in NBTS courses. Students who have received the maximum of 28 credits of transfer credit may reasonably expect to be able to complete the degree in one year of full-time study. In the event that limitations in course offerings within that academic year make it difficult for the student to fulfill the residence requirement of 26 NBTS credits (see previous information) and still meet her or his concentration requirements, faculty in the concentration will arrange independent-study work with the student as necessary. In any case, it is not intended that the residence requirement be waived.

    Students are welcome to enroll for the Master of Arts program at the New York campus. Students, especially those who have been granted substantial advanced standing/transfer credit, may find it necessary to take one or more courses at the New Brunswick campus in order to fulfill their concentration requirements without falling below the residence requirement.

    Learn more about the concentrations in the Master of Arts’ program here.

    *Official transcript(s) of all undergraduate and graduate work pursued to date are required. Applicants completing undergraduate study are accepted on the basis of a partial transcript, but a transcript showing a baccalaureate degree must be provided prior to matriculation.

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