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    Andrews University
   
 
  Nov 19, 2017
 
 
    
2017-2018

Religion MA


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Program Description


Felix Cortez, Director

The Master of Arts (Religion) is an academic program usually involving two or three years of study beyond the baccalaureate degree.  The purpose of the program is to prepare students to act as teachers and church workers in the areas of biblical studies, theology, and religious tradition beyond the bachelor degree.  The program requires 38 credits of course work. Only 500- and 600-level courses are accepted and requires a thesis. 

Program Outcomes

Specialized Track 

(Offered on the main campus only)

  1. Conduct effective research that communicates competence in a specialized field of study.
  2. Practice a biblically grounded approach to scholarly inquiry.
  3. Articulate theology and research in terms of Seventh-day Adventist, history, beliefs and practice.
  4. Demonstrate understanding of the content and central issues of the specialized field of study.

Interdisciplinary Track

(offered at international extension sites and online)

  1. Conduct effective research for teaching and ministry.
  2. Practice a biblically grounded approach to scholarly inquiry.
  3. Articulate theology and research in terms of Seventh-day Adventist history, beliefs and practice.
  4. Demonstrate a broad understanding of biblical studies, theology, and religious history within the Seventh-day Adventist church. 

MA (Religion) Specialized Track

Admission Requirements

Admission to the MA (Religion) program is based on the general admission requirements  for all graduate students and the general Seminary admission requirements.  Applicant must hold a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent, preferably with a major in religion or theology with a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.00 or above.

In addition to the General and Seminary Admission requirements specified above, applicants must meet the following:

Prerequisites. Applicants must provide a transcript showing that they have taken the following courses at the undergraduate level with a GPA of 3.00 or better (on a 4.00 system). Prerequisites do not count as part of the 38 credits required for the MA (Religion) degree. 

Prerequisites may be taken at any accredited educational institution.  Students needing to take prerequisite courses, after applying to the MA Religion program, may submit courses by providing an official transcript showing that the course(s) taken meet the Transfer Credit Policy (see below) and the MA Religion prerequisite requirements to fulfill the course or language prerequisites. 

  • Church History - 2 credits
  • New Testament Studies - 2 credits
  • Old Testament Studies - 2 credits
  • Theological Studies - 2 credits
  • E.G. White Writings - 2 credits
  • Electives in Religion - 12 credits

Total prerequisite credits - 22

Language Requirements:

The applicant must demonstrate proficiency, in languages other than English, or show a plan for acquiring language proficiency as determined by the selected area of concentration. Proficiency is defined as the reading knowledge of a language at the intermediate level. Examinations are generally required to demonstrate proficiency. Language proficiency courses do not apply toward the 38 credits of the MA degree requirements.

Applicant must demonstrate Biblical Greek or Hebrew proficiency ath the intermediate level.  Students who have already taken Greek or Hebrew at the undergrad level must take the placement exam and show that they have an intermediate level of competency in both languages.  If the appropriate score(s) are not earned, the student will have to retake the language courses at Andrews.  Biblical language proficiency must be demonstrated before registration of exegesis courses.

A modern language of French or German must generally be completed by examination and/or course work (FREN 505 , GRMN 505 ). Exceptions to this rule are listed below under Areas of Concentration. This is in addition to the minimum 38 program credits. Other modern research languages may be considered by the program director if the language is relevant to the topic of the thesis/project.  Modern language deficiencies must be completed before registering for the MA thesis/project.

Registering Greek and Hebrew Placement Exams:

If a student passes the Hebrew or Greek placement exam, they must register for the zero credit section of the course in order that their academic transcript to show a grade of “P” for passing, which is the designation for Challenge by Examination.  No entry shall be made on the transcript if the student fails the examination.  However, the student will be required to take the prerequisite course for credit, if they fail the examination.  Placement exams must be taken the first year of starting your program and can only be taken once. 

Students will register for placement exam(s) as follow:

NTST551 - Beginner Greek Placement Exam, 0 credits, must receive a score of 45% or higher to pass.

NTST552 - Intermediate Greek Placement Exam, 0 credits, must receive a score of 60% or higher to pass.

OTST551 - Beginner Hebrew Placement Exam, 0 credits, must receive a score of 45% or higher to pass.

OTST552 - Intermediate Hebrew Placement Exam, 0 credits, must receive a score of 65% or higher to pass.

Students who choose to demonstrate proficiency in Hebrew and/or Greek by taking the courses at Andrews, may use the credits to fulfill course Prerequisite Elective requirements.

Sixteen Personality Factor (16PF) Questionnaire must be completed and submitted as directed on the online application.

Transfer Credits. A maximum of 6 masters level semester hours of coursework, with a B (3.00) or above, may be transferred from an approved seminary or university if applicable to the student’s program. Transfer courses must have been completed within the six-year time limit.

Degree Requirements

In addition to the scholarship standards  in the Graduate Programs Academic Information section of this bulletin, students must fulfill the following requirements:

  • 38 semester credits with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or above. [Only 3 credit courses may be used to meet these requirements.] 
  • Core classes (15 credits):
    • GSEM 620 - Research Methods  (3 credits); to be taken the first time the course is offered after enrolling in the program.
    • OTST XXX Old Testament Exegesis Course (3 credits)
    • NTST XXX New Testament Exegesis Course (3 credits)
    • THST 619 - Principles and Methods of Theology  (3 credits)
    • CHIS 674 - Development of Seventh-day Adventist Theology  (3 credits)
  • The area of concentration with 18 credits in consultation with the Department. 
  • GSEM 679 Thesis for MA Degree (5 credits)

Students must select their area of concentration within the first semester of starting courses.  Concentration options for the MA Religion ares listed below:

  • Archeology and History of Antiquity 
  • Biblical and Cognate Languages  
  • *Church History 
  • Intertestamental (Jewish) Studies 
  • **Jewish and Muslim Faiths  
  • ***Mission Studies 
  • New Testament Studies 
  • Old Testament 
  • Theological Studies

*Students seeking a concentration in Church History must demonstrate proficiency in two of the following: Intermediate Hebrew, Intermediate Greek, or Beginning Latin.

**For the emphasis in Jewish and Muslim Faiths, Church History is to be replaced with one of the following courses: Jewish History, Arabic History, Introduction to Modern Hebrew, or Modern Dialectal Arabic.

***Students seeking a concentration in Mission Studies must demonstrate proficiency in either Intermediate Hebrew or Intermediate Greek.

Required Concentration Courses: In the event that a required course in the area of concentration is not offered during any given term, another course in the same area can be substituted for the required course in consultation with the chair of the department. 

Research Requirements. An MA thesis with a total of 5 credits must be completed and defended. It cannot be started until all language requirements are completed. A student who has registered the required 5 thesis course credits but has not finished the thesis must register for GSEM 688-Master Degree Continuation, 0 credits, until the thesis has been approved/completed.

​Academic Advisement. The director of the MA in Religion program, in cooperation with department chairs, assigns academic advisers in the student’s area of specialization.

Certification for Teaching. Students who plan to teach religion in a Seventh-day Adventist academy or in a secondary school are urged to consult as early in the program as possible with the director of the MA program and the School of Education regarding qualifying for SDA teaching credentials.

Distance Courses. On-line courses must be approved by the MA Religion director before the course begins. These courses must cover appropriate content with sufficient rigor to meet the academic expectations of the MA Religion degree. 

Time Limits. A student must complete the requirements for the MA (Religion) degree and graduate within six years of first enrolling in the program regardless of admission classification.

MA Religion Interdisciplinary International Track

The MA (Religion) Interdisciplinary Track offered online and at thet international sites listed below, provides a survey knowledge of various theological disciplines in order to prepare students to act as secondary teachers and church workers in a variety of areas. The program requires a thesis/project and may reflect context-sensitive needs in its curriculum.

Hong Kong Site: Language of instruction is English

Hong Kong Adventist College

111 Clear Water Bay Road, Sai Kung, New Territories, Hong Kong

 

Poland Site: Language of instruction is Polish

Polish Senior College of Theology & Humanities

U1. Jana Pawla II39, 05-807 Podkowa Lesna, Poland

 

Romania Site: Language of instruction is English

Institutul Teologic Adventist

Şos. Decebal, nr. 11-13, Comuna Cernica, 077035, Judeţul Ilfov, România

 

Ukraine Site: Language of instruction is Russian

Ukrainian Adventist Center of Higher Education

14 Instytutska, 08292 Bucha, Kyiv Region, Ukraine

 

Russian Site: Language of instruction - Russian

Zaoksky Adventist University

Tula , Russia

 

Online Delivery: This program is also offered in an interactive online format (see School of Distance Education and International Partnerships  Definitions). The interactive online degree does not require any on-campus time.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the MA (Religion) International program is based on the general admission requirements  for all graduate students and the general Seminary admission requirements.  Applicant must hold a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent, preferably with a major in religion or theology with a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.00 or above.

The applicant must meet the English proficiency requirements  of the School of Graduate Studies and Research, if the program will be completed online or if the language of instruction.

Prerequisites. Applicants must provide a transcript showing that they have taken the following courses at the undergraduate level with a GPA of 3.00 or better (on a 4.00 system). Prerequisites do not count as part of the 38 credits required for the MA (Religion) degree.

Prerequisites may be taken at any accredited educational institution.  Students needing to take prerequisite courses, after applying to the MA Religion program, may submit courses by providing an official transcript showing that the course(s) taken meet the Transfer Credit Policy (see below) and the MA Religion prerequisite requirements to fulfill the course or language prerequisites.

  • Church History                   2 credits
  • New Testament Studies      2 credits
  • Old Testament Studies       2 credits
  • Theological Studies            2 credits
  • Adventist Studies               2 credits
  • Mission/Christian Ministry   2 credits

Total prerequisite credits - 12

Transfer Credits: A maximum of 6 semester hours of credit with a B (3.00) or above may be transferred from an approved seminary or university if applicable to the student’s program. Transfer courses must have been completed within the six-year time limit.

Degree Requirements

In addition to the scholarship standards  in the Graduate Programs Academic Information section of this bulletin, students must fulfill the following requirements for both the research and the general academic orientation options:

  • 38 semester credits with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or above. 
  • Core classes (currently 24 credits): 
    • GSEM 520 - Methods in Biblical & Theological Research  (2 credits)
    • GSEM 530 - Doctrine of the Sanctuary  (2 credits)
    • GSEM 534 - Issues in Ellen G. White Studies  (2 credits)
    • NTST 536 - Readings in the Gospels  (2 credits)
    • NTST 539 - Readings in Revelation  (2 credits)
    • OTST 566 - Readings in the Pentateuch (English)  (2 credits)
    • OTST 546 - Readings in Daniel (English)  (2 credits)
    • CHIS574 - History of SDA Theology (2 credits)
    • One of the following:
      • OTST 556 - Readings in Prophets (English)  (2 credits) OR
      • ANEA 510 - Archaeology and the Bible  (2 credits)
    • One of the following:
      • NTST 535 - Readings in the Pauline Writings  (2 credits) OR
      • NTST 538 - Readings in Hebrews  (2 credits)
    • One of the following:
      • THST 615 - Doctrine of the Church  OR
      • THST 616 - Doctrine of God  (2 credits)
    • One of the following:
      • THST 618 - The Works of Christ  OR
      • THST 540 - Doctrine of Salvation  (2 credits)
  • An area of emphasis with 8 credits chosen by the extension site in consultation with the Program Director. 
  • GSEM 697 - Thesis for MA Degree /GSEM 695 - Research Project  (6 credits); as agreed upon with each extension site.

Independent Study. Independent study credits are not accepted as part of the MA (Religion) degree offered at international sites.

Online courses may be taken with the Program Director’s approval.  Tuition and fees for online courses will be charged in accordance to the program the student is accepted into. 

Research Requirements. An MA thesis/project with a total of 6 credits is to be completed and defended. A student who has registered the required course work (6 thesis credits) but has not finished the thesis/project, must register for GSEM 688 - Master’s Degree Continuation , 0 Credits until the thesis/project has been approved.

Time Limits. A student must complete the requirements for the MA (Religion) degree and graduate within six years of first enrolling in the program regardless of admission classification.

Preparation for the Andrews’ PhD Religion program. Students completing the MA Religion International Interdisciplinary Track will need to do additional coursework in an area of specialization before they can be accepted into Andrews’ PhD Religion program.  They will also have to show proficiency at the intermediate level in Greek, Hebrew, and a modern research language.  Additional languages may be required depending on the area of specialization chosen for the PhD dissertation. 

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