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Master of Arts: Pastoral Ministry
Northwest Nazarene Universityís Master of Arts: Pastoral Ministry program is designed to provide theological education to those preparing for vocational Christian ministry today. The degree approaches ministry from a Wesleyan-Arminian theological perspective and emphasizes leadership practices for effectiveness in Christian ministry.
Adult learners in NNUís MAPM program remain in their present ministry contexts without having to relocate for graduate study. Students work with a pastoral mentor from one course to the next, participate in an online learning community with other pastors and leaders, develop a strong biblical and theological foundation for ministry, and graduate in just 28 months. When combined with an additional supervised ministry course in the summer, our MAPM program has also been validated as meeting the educational requirements for ordination as elders in the Church of the Nazarene*. Our faculty members hold doctoral degrees in their areas of specialization and include pastors with extensive experience as leading-edge practitioners, not to mention scholars with wide-ranging teaching experience, including a number with proficiency in cross-cultural teaching contexts.
Students in NNUís MAPM program begin their studies with a one-credit online orientation, followed by twelve three-credit courses lasting eight weeks each. This 36-credit program covers the breadth of ministerial studies, with courses in Christian education, missiology, pastoral leadership, spiritual formation, preaching and worship, Bible, church history, theology, and philosophy, as shown in the chart above.
Financial aid is available for those who qualify, or students may take advantage of a zero interest monthly payment plan. Avoid expensive travel costs associated with modular programs at other seminaries, not to mention costly time away from home and your workplace. Tuition discounts are also available to assigned Nazarene clergy.
*While NNUís MA in Pastoral Ministry program has been validated by Nazarene Clergy Services as meeting the educational requirements for ordination in the Church of the Nazarene, denominational polity gives final authority on such matters to the district, not to general authorities.
Core Curriculum (15 semester credits)
CHED6160. Christian Educational Ministries (3 credits): The course provides a Wesleyan approach to Christian discipleship by integrating Wesleyan theology and current developmental theories. The course explores how pastors can develop educational ministries that foster faith formation and Christian discipleship in local congregations. Particular attention is given to the role congregations play in forming faith disciples through teaching, worship, and congregational life.
PRTH6000. Program Orientation (0 credit): This course orients students to the resources, procedures, electronic operations, and expectations of the program.
PRTH6560. Ministry Formation (3 credits): The personal and spiritual formation of the minister will be explored. Special attention will be given to personal and spiritual formation, the role of he family in ministry, pastoral care and counseling, and congregational care.
PRTH6960. Missiology & Contextualization (3 credits): This course provides a study of the challenge and complexity of mission within the cultural diversity of today's world. Students will review the historical dimensions of missiology, develop biblical and theological foundations for missional ecclesiology, and strategize for cross-cultural communication of the gospel.
PRTH7560. Pastoral Leadership (3 credits): This course will help to equip ministers to lead and manage churches and mission agencies. Special attention will be given to the studentís ability to conceive and articulate purpose, mission, and vision for ministry and assist the student to develop the strategic means to realize that vision.
PRTH7960. Preaching & Worship (3 credits): An advanced study of the methods of homiletics as well as applying principles of biblical interpretation to worship and preaching. A major focus of the course will be on practical application to selected biblical passages through the writing and preaching of expository sermons as well as a study of the Christian practices of the Church including baptism, funerals, weddings, and the Eucharist.
Foundational Studies (21 semester credits)
BIBL6560. Introduction to Biblical Studies (3 credits): An in-depth study of the books of the Bible in their historical, cultural, and literary context. Matters of canon, text, content, structure, theology, chronology, geography, and archaeology will be dealt with.
BIBL7560. Biblical Theology (3 credits): A survey of the historical and theological discipline and data of biblical theology. Some attention is given to its history, definition, methods, and challenges. The course will focus on the content of biblical theology: its major witnesses, themes, and theologically significant passages. Some consideration is given to the relationship between this synthesizing account of the religious and theological message of the Bible and responsible exegesis, hermeneutics, systematic theology, and preaching.
CHIS6560. History of Christianity I (3 credits): A study of the historical development of Christianity from 150-1500 C.E., from the Patristic period through pre-Reformation. The course will trace theological and doctrinal development as well as offer a general survey of the history of the Church in its ecclesiastical and cultural contexts. The student will have opportunity to read primary as well as secondary sources, and do research on a specified and focused area of interest.
CHIS6960. History of Christianity II (3 credits): A study of the historical development of Christianity from 1500-present, C.E., from the Reformation through the 20th century. The course will trace theological and doctrinal development as well as offer a general survey of the history of the Church in its ecclesiastical and cultural contexts. The student will have opportunity to read primary as well as secondary sources, and do research on a specified and focused area of interest.
PHIL7560. Philosophical Foundations of Ministry(3 credits): This course will provide the fundamentals for logical reasoning, review the philosophical foundations of theology, explore contemporary issues in the philosophy of religion, and develop methods for making ethical decisions within the framework of Christian values.
THEO7560. Christian Theology I: Central Issues (3 credits): Students will explore the theological issues pertaining to the classical doctrines of the Wesleyan tradition. This exploration will focus upon the main characteristics of the nature of God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the human person, sin, salvation, the Christian life, the Church and sacraments, and eschatology.
THEO7960. Christian Theology II: Contemporary Theology (3 credits): Students will reflect theologically on life and ministry by exploring various sources of theological reflection. In particular, dominant themes and figures in contemporary theology will be explored. In this exploration, students will compare and contrast distinctive characteristics of Wesleyan theology, including various understandings of holiness, with issues found in contemporary theology.
Elective Class: PRTH6990. Supervised Ministry (3-6 credits): Under the direction of a ministry mentor, students will be involved in practical ministry experience in a local ministry context. Special attention will be given to preaching, counseling, teaching, education, evangelism, and administration. This experience will be under the direction of the instructor in cooperation with the supervising ministry mentor.
- The graduate understands and is able to explain Wesleyan-Holiness Theology as it relates to Scripture, Christian tradition, reason, and experience in the practice of ministry.
- The graduate identifies characteristics of the cultural context of ministry and assesses them through an appropriate theological perspective, compares existing cultures with alternative cultural expressions, and develops personal and corporate practices consistent with the Kingdom of God.
- The graduate practices the means of grace (spiritual disciplines) that lead to emotional and spiritual health, personal Christian virtue, and responsible social engagement.
- The graduate integrates Christian theological themes in the understanding and practice of ministry and leadership.
- The graduate understands and applies the offers of ministry to their cultural context in light of the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition.