Master of Arts.


Master of Arts

The Master of Arts (MA) degree provides foundational graduate education for:

  • Aspiring scholar-teachers in theology and religious studies
  • Professionals who want to supplement their expertise with theological and ethical frameworks
  • Theologically minded learners discerning future vocation

The Master of Arts is a 44-credit degree that combines training in scholarly skills with a high level of flexibility in course of study. Students work with faculty mentors and align their studies with particular academic passions and professional goals.

The MA is designed to be completed in two years of full-time study. It is common for students to utilize the January and summer terms in order to pace their work.


The majority of the MA coursework consists of 36 credits of electives. Students work with an academic advisor to shape their selections to meet their goals. Some students develop a disciplinary specialization such as in biblical studies or theology. Other students develop interdisciplinary programs with emphases on topics such as ecology or philosophy and the arts.

Declared interdisciplinary concentrations are available in:

  • Religion and Ecology
  • Africana Studies
  • Women/Gender/Sexuality Studies
  • Arts/Creativity/Imagination
  • Social Justice

Two MA research seminars as well as an integrative project round out the requirements. Research Skills 1 and 2 focus on engaging the academic study of religion and developing research questions and skills. An integrative project—whether a 6-credit thesis, an extended paper for a course or an internship—provides the keystone of the MA experience.

Our Faculty

The open format of the MA allows students to get what they need from the degree. They work with specific faculty members or on a topic that crosses disciplines.

Students interested in biblical studies work with a faculty that values methodological variety and ethical interpretation. Stephen Moore has published more than a dozen books on theory and the Bible and edited a dozen more. Danna Nolan Fewell wrote the book—and edited another—on Biblical narrative, including more than 50 authors. Althea Spencer-Miller looks to orality to think about the biblical text, not only to the written word.

Themes of race, economics, diaspora and social justice cross the work of the faculty. MA students interested in Africana studies can study with Kenneth Ngwa in Hebrew Bible, Althea Spencer-Miller in New Testament, Art Pressley in psychology and religion, Traci West in Christian ethics—who was recently named the Walter Wink Scholar-Activist of the Year by Auburn Seminary—and Elias Ortega Aponte, who is also a UUA Social Justice Ambassador.

Ecologically-minded MA students study with Catherine Keller and Laurel Kearns, leading eco-feminists in theology and religion, while also working in the Theological School community garden and studying eco-criticism in the biblical studies department.

Information for International Students

International students have supplemental application requirements, such as submitting a TOEFL or IELTS score.