MA (Religious Education)
John V. G. Matthews, Director
The Master of Arts (Religious Education) is an interdisciplinary academic program that prepares individuals for leadership roles as scholars and specialists in discipleship in settings where religious, moral and spiritual nurture and growth are primary concerns. The curriculum is designed with core courses, electives and a selected area of emphasis. The master’s program generally requires attendance during the regular academic year, but many classes are taught over the summers as intensives with post-campus academic and fieldwork assignments.
1. As a Christian Apologist - Articulates a philosophy of religious education.
2. As a Pastor-Teacher - Uses appropriate methodologies to disciple.
3. As a Servant-Leader - Applies the principles of servant leadership.
4. As an Evaluator/Researcher - Understands basic terminology, potential contributions, and limitations of scholarly research in the evaluation and implementation of discipleship initiatives.
5. As a Maturing Christian - Engages consistently with Scripture in biblical and spiritual disciplines to be open to the transforming work of the Holy Spirit in his or her life.
6. As a Lifelong Learner - Pursues personal and professional development.
7. As an Area Expert - Demonstrates the ability to apply all relevant core competencies to the area of emphasis.
Admission to the MA (Religious Education) program is based on the student’s meeting the general admission requirements for all graduate students as outlined in the School of Graduate Studies & Research, and the general Seminary admission requirements Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary. In addition, students must have earned a baccalaureate degree or equivalent and have a minimum GPA of 2.75. Official scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test taken within the last five years should be submitted to the Office of Graduate Enrollment Management. Applicants must also complete and return the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire as directed.
English Language Requirement
For those applicants whose native language is not English, the following is required:
- MELAB - score of 81 (must achieve a passing score on each section: written, verbal and comprehension) or
- TOEFL - score of 565 (paper based) or score of 85 (computer based with a minimum of 20 on each section: written, verbal and comprehension) and
- A personal interview with the program director or designee
Applicants who fail to meet any of the above may be admitted only after departmental consideration of the specific circumstances. Additional coursework in English may be required. A student who graduated from a four-year English-speaking high school, college or university may be exempted from all or parts of the above requirements.
Advanced standing may be obtained for up to 10 credits of religion and up to 5 credits of education or religious education for a combined maximum total of 12 credits. These credits are dependent upon a background of advanced theological or educational study or prior extensive undergraduate studies in religion, religious education, or education as well as the particular MA (Religious Education) emphasis area chosen. Advanced standing is calculated at the time of admission as follows:
- 15 or more credits of undergraduate religion or theology credit may qualify for advanced standing of up to 10 credits in appropriate areas of the course plan. Advanced standing based on less than 15 credits of prior undergraduate studies is prorated at a two-thirds ratio.
- 8 or more credits of undergraduate education or religious education may qualify for advanced standing of up to 5 credits in appropriate areas of the course plan. Advanced standing based on less than 8 credits of prior undergraduate studies is prorated at a two-thirds ratio.
- Prior graduate study in religion, theology, education, or religious education appropriate to the chosen emphasis area may be applied as advanced standing without proration.
The MA (Religious Education) is an academic degree awarded upon successful completion of 48 credits of interdisciplinary study in the Seminary and School of Education. Candidates with advanced theological or educational study or with prior extensive undergraduate studies in religion, religious education, or education may submit a petition requesting advanced standing for a combined total of up to 12 credits. Advanced standing is determined at the time of admission. Evaluation of advanced standing is dependent upon the particular MA (Religious Education) emphasis area chosen, and the level and appropriateness of prior learning to the chosen emphasis.
Transfer credits for graduate studies other than through advanced standing are permitted under the regular graduate transfer policies based on a 48-credit curriculum, but only to the extent that the combined credits for advanced standing and graduate transfers do not exceed 16 credits. A minimum of 32 credits must be from Andrews University Religious Education degree program courses.
To remain in regular standing, students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.00. Courses with a grade below B- do not count toward the degree.
Advancement to Candidacy. In the semester that students will complete 50 percent of their course work, they must apply for advancement to candidacy. See p. 60 of the Graduate Programs Academic Information section of this bulletin.
Degree Completion. Candidates for the MA degree may exercise one of the following two options to complete their degree:
- Comprehensive Examinations: Must pass comprehensive examinations given at the published times. The one-day exams entail a three-hour morning session and a two-hour afternoon session.
- Thesis: Do a thesis (minimum 3 credits). A two-member faculty committee guides the student in developing the project and evaluates the defense. Students who complete a thesis are exempt from writing comprehensive examinations but are required to make a portfolio presentation.
Time Limits. A student must complete the requirements for the MA (Religious Education) and graduate within six years of first enrolling in the program regardless of admission classification.
Prerequisite - 3 credits
An undergraduate or graduate course in Human Development.
Core Courses - 21 credits
Focus Courses - 27 credits
*Adds 3 credits to total program requirements.
Additional Information on Certification
Denominational Certification for Teaching Religion/Bible on the Secondary Level SDA Basic Certificate
The Basic Teaching Certificate for denominational certification may be issued to the candidate presenting a Verification of Eligibility form from Andrews University. The certificate is issued by the union conference where the candidate takes his/her first teaching position.Requirements for this certificate may be completed by taking additional courses along with the MA in Religious Education. More information about preparing to teach religion in Adventist schools is available from the University Certification Registrar in the School of Education.
Certification on Family Life Education
While completion of the MA (Religious Education) with an emphasis in Family Life Education does not, of itself, qualify an individual as a Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) through NCFR, the courses offered meet all of the requirements to apply for the CFLE. Application must be made directly to NCFR, documenting that approved courses have been successfully completed in each of the 10 NCFR content areas, and that a practicum has also been completed. The NCFR content areas, and corresponding program course acronyms are:
Families and Individuals in Societal Contexts (DSRE 655 - Families in Society
Internal Dynamics of Families (DSRE 658 - Internal Dynamics of Families
Human Growth/Development across Life Span (GDPC 614 Human Development
Human Sexuality (DSRE 659 - Human Sexuality
Interpersonal Relationships (DSRE 503 - Marriage, Family, and Interpersonal Relationships
Family Resource Management (CHMN 575 - Principles of Stewardship
Parent Education and Guidance (DSRE 679 - Parenting Education and Guidance
Family Law and Public Policy (DSRE 657 - Social Policy
Professional Ethics and Practice (DSRE 635 - Christian Perspectives on Professional Ethics
Family Life Education Methodology (DSRE 610 - Teaching for Discipleship