Jul 13, 2024  
2019-2020 Academic Bulletin 
2019-2020 Academic Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Religion MA (Specialized Track)

The Religion MA (Specialized Track) is offered on the Andrews University main campus. The program specifically provides students with the opportunity to increase their knowledge of biblical and theological disciplines, develop skills in research, and prepare them for future doctoral studies. The Specialized track contributes to the preparation of teachers and church workers with a solid understanding of Adventist history, beliefs, and practices, and the ability to think critically and creatively in matters of religion.

Total Credits - 38

Core - 20

Concentration - 18

Students must select their area of concentration within the first semester of starting courses. The director of the MA in Religion program, in cooperation with department chairs, assigns academic advisers in the student’s area of specialization. Concentration options for the MA Religion are:

​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.

Additional Requirements

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.00 or above. [Only 3-credit courses may be used to meet these requirements.] 
  • In addition to the scholarship standards in the School of Graduate Studies section of this bulletin, students must fulfill the requirements listed above.
  • Research Requirements: An MA thesis with a total of 5 credits must be defended and completed. Thesis 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 - Masters Degree Continuation, 0 credits, until the thesis has been approved/completed.

Graduation Requirements

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.

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.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Religion MA (Specialized) program is based on the general admission requirements for all graduate students and the general Seminary admission requirements. Applicants 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:


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
  • Ellen G. White Writings – 2 credits
  • Adventist Studies – 2 credits  
  • Total prerequisite credits – 12

*(CHIS504 - Adventist Heritage or its equivalent meets Adventist Studies and E. G. White Writings requirements)

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 and Hebrew proficiency at the intermediate level. Students who have already taken Greek or Hebrew at the undergraduate 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.

Registering for Greek and Hebrew Placement Exams

A student who passes the Hebrew or Greek placement exam must register for the zero credit section of the course in order for 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, a student who fails the examination will be required to take the prerequisite course for credit. Placement exams must be taken the first year of starting the program and can only be taken once. 

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

  • NTST 551 - Beginner Greek Placement Exam, 0 credits, must receive a score of 45% or higher to pass.
  • NTST 552 - Intermediate Greek Placement Exam, 0 credits, must receive a score of 60% or higher to pass.
  • OTST 551 - Beginner Hebrew Placement Exam, 0 credits, must receive a score of 65% or higher to pass.
  • OTST 552 - 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.

Modern Language

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 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.

Sixteen Personality Factor (16PF) Questionnaire 

This assessment must be completed and submitted as directed on the online application - on campus and online only.

Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will:

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