The Master of Arts in Ministry provides a foundation for lay ministry or ordination as a deacon in the United Methodist Church
inspiration to students called to Christian leadership within and beyond the church setting.
Deb De Vos
Student, Master of Arts in Ministry
“I had served in lay leadership in my own church, but Drew’s Christian education practicum allowed me to take on new roles, such as preaching and providing pastoral care, while shadowing clergy members and learning about the full breadth of a pastor’s responsibilities. The experience helped to fill gaps in my knowledge as I prepare to pursue deacon’s orders within the Methodist church.”
My Favorite Course
“Mark Miller’s ‘Seminary Choir’ is equally challenging and spirit filled. We sing compositions that are works in progress – he gives us the basic parts and then lets the music happen. That’s a little scary for someone who grew up in the Lutheran church, but I’ve learned to let go and enjoy the creativity of it. The choir, like the seminary as a whole, is a place where every voice matters and contributes.”
Jane Bowman Student, Master Arts in Ministry
Graduation Requirements for Master of Arts in Ministry
The M.A.M. program requires 45 credits of course work and is designed to be completed in two years, or four semesters, full-time study.
The Master of Arts in Ministry is a two-year professional master's degree for students preparing for Christian leadership in congregations, non-profit agencies, or ministries beyond the local church. Through its combination of foundational study, experiential learning, and flexible emphases, the degree provides training for a variety of vocational goals. The internship requirement bridges the seminar room and the larger world enabling relevant and critical theological reflection and integrated development of skills. This program is also approved by the United Methodist Church for those who are preparing for ordination as a deacon in the United Methodist church.
The MA in Ministry program seeks to develop the following abilities in students:
- The ability to read and interpret scripture and other sacred texts with cultural sensitivity, ethical awareness, and a critical understanding of their histories, interpretations, and meanings in church and society
- The ability to think critically and constructively regarding an area of ministry specialization
- The ability to work effectively in ministry as evidenced by the successful completion of a field education component
- The development of communal and personal practices that nourish spiritual and moral well-being
The M.A.M. program is designed to be completed in two years of full time study (including the January and summer terms during those years). All requirements must be completed within five years from the date of initial matriculation. Students may not take more than fifteen credits in the fall or spring semester or three credits in the January term without approval of the Academic Standing Committee.
Students must complete a minimum of 30 credits at Drew Theological School. Students with credits earned elsewhere at the graduate professional level and not applied toward another earned degree may apply for transfer credit. For more information, see the transfer policy in the Academic Policies section of the catalogue.
Credits for the M.A.M. are earned in a combination of regular semester-long courses held on Drew's campus in Madison, New Jersey, online courses, intensive courses that meet in a compressed time period (one to three weeks), hybrid courses that combine on-campus meetings with online work, and off-site courses such as internships, travel seminars, and courses that meet at one of New Jersey's state prisons. Most courses meet once per week and are spread between daytime and nighttime hours. While there is substantial flexibility in the course offerings, it is not possible at this time to complete the M.A.M. with entirely night/weekend courses, online courses, or with traveling to Drew only one day per week.
The M.A.M. degree is awarded at the satisfactory completion of 45 credits of course work, including twenty-one credits in required courses and twenty-four in electives. Students are encouraged to combine required and elective courses in a way that meets their own professional goals, to fulfill UMC requirements for deacon ordination, and to become more proficient in areas where future ministry needs or study interests may have been identified.
The M.A.M. course requirements are as follows:
There are 4 broad areas from which course requirements must be selected
- BBST 501 - Biblical Literature I: Torah, Prophets, Writings
An introduction to the first testament as a source for understanding and appropriating the religious experiences, insights, commitments, and expectations of the various communities of ancient Israel. The focus is on learning to interpret biblical texts with theological and ethical sensitivity, using the tools and skills of historical-critical, social-scientific, literary-critical, and contextual research.
Offered: fall semester annually.
- BBST 511 - Biblical Literature II: Gospels, Epistles, Apocalypse
An introduction to the history, literature, and religion of earliest Christianity. The focus is on learning to interpret biblical texts with theological and ethical sensitivity, using the tools and skills of historical-critical, social-scientific, literary-critical, and contextual research.
Offered: spring semester annually.
- CHST 502 - Church History 1
The history of Christianity, emphasizing its social and theological development, from the first century to the end of the 15th century.
Offered: fall semester annually.
- CHST 503 - Church History 2
A continuation of CHST 502, beginning with the backgrounds to the Protestant Reformation and continuing to the 21st century, emphasizing social and institutional developments and theological traditions.
Offered: spring semester annually.
- TPHL 501 - Systematic Theology(Same as: LGON 601.)
Systematic and constructive interpretations of central themes of Christian faith: God, Creation, Humanity, Sin, Jesus Christ, Salvation, the Holy Spirit, the Church, Eschatology.
- TPHL 508 - Challenge of World Religions to Christian Faith and Practice(Same as: THEPH 371.)
An examination of the ways in which the reality of other religions and their teachings poses questions for the church's self-understanding, faith, and mission. The focus of the study is on enabling Christian congregations to deal creatively with religious plurality,
- CSOC 500 - Religion and the Social Process
An introduction to sociological thinking that combines conceptual and experiential content. Students become more sensitive to and informed about current social problems. Focuses on situations of oppression and uses "the view from below" as a key to the entire social process and, specifically, the role of the church in that process. To be taken by students in the M.Div. program in the first year of study. Offered fall and spring semesters and sometimes in the summer.
- PSTH 503 - Introduction to Educational Ministry
This first-level course is intended to provide the learner with an introduction to theory and methodology of Christian Education from a liberation perspective. Christian education, for the purposes of this course, is the theory and practice (praxis or art) of nurturing faith. This course leans heavily upon the development of critical thinking skills. With the permission of the professor, one elective course may be taken before the Introduction to Educational Ministry. The elective course cannot be substituted for the introductory course.
Offered: in fall and spring semesters annually.
- PSTH 501 - Pastoral Formation 1
The Pastoral Formation course is designed for students to explore issues of vital importance to persons preparing for full time ministry. Through readings, small group discussion, written papers, and interaction with active clergy, students will delve into the theology and practice of ministry paying particular attention to the questions: What are some of the theological and biblical foundations for the ordained ministry? What does it mean to be a pastor? What are the specific tasks of the ordained ministry? Am I called to the ordained ministry?
- PSTH 502 - Pastoral Formation 2
The second semester of the Pastoral Formation course is designed for students to explore issues of vital importance to persons preparing for full time ministry. Through readings, small group discussion, written papers, and interaction with active clergy, students will delve into the theology and practice of ministry paying particular attention to the questions: What are some of the theological and biblical foundations for the ordained ministry? What does it mean to be a pastor? What are the specific tasks of the ordained ministry? Am I called to the ordained ministry?
- CSOC 504 - Introduction to Pastoral Care
This course is an introduction to the ministry of pastoral care and counseling, with an emphasis on the helping relationship, theological understandings of pastoral care, pastoral uses of psychotherapeutic theories and strategies for change, various forms of pastoral care and counseling, and various cultural contexts.
Students complete two semesters of internship appropriate to their vocational goals. They also take these courses to accompany their placement:
- PSTH 523 Supervised Ministry Beyond the Parish Setting 1
- PSTH 524 Supervised Ministry Beyond the Parish Setting 2
First year students should see the Associate Dean of Contextual Learning in March of their first year.
*Students entering before the Spring of 2016 may elect to have a placement for only PSTH 523 and to write a Theology Ministry paper in PSTH 524.
Each student, in consultation with an academic advisor, may develop a twelve-credit specialization by combining related electives. Possible areas of specialization could be: Christian Education, Ecological Ministries, Worship, Music, and the Arts, Spiritual Formation, Social Justice Ministries, but are not limited to these.
For example, a Worship, Music and the Arts specialization could use a combination fromcourses such as:
- PSTH 505 - The Church at Worship: Worship
- PSTH 617 - The Arts of Worship
- A course in imagination, writing, or performance
A course in music:
- PSTH 558 - The History of African American Church Music
- PSTH 559 - Worship and Music in the 21st Century Church
- PSTH 563 - Music of the World's Religions
- Seminary Choir
- Chapel Practicum
- Performance and Technique courses in the College of Liberal Arts or Caspersen Graduate School (with permission)
Students who wish to pursue ordination as a deacon in the United Methodist Church should complete the basic requirements as noted above plus the following fifteen credits in electives:
- A course in worship (3 credits from PSTH 505, PSTH 506, or a course on UM Worship)
- A course on the Mission of the Church (3 credits from PSTH 574 or another mission course)
- A course on Evangelism (3 credits from CHST 544, PSTH 574 or another evangelism course)
- Two courses in United Methodist History, Doctrine and Polity (6 credits, CHST 560 and CHST 561)