Jun 29, 2022  
2021-2022 Academic Bulletin 
    
2021-2022 Academic Bulletin

Discipleship in Lifespan Education MA


The MA (Discipleship in Lifespan Education) is a 48-credit degree designed to prepare leaders to train other leaders to understand and facilitate, and train others in the process of discipleship, the life-long journey of learning to follow Jesus and become more like Him. Concentrations in youth and young adult ministry, campus chaplaincy, family ministry, religious education, and Bible teacher training provide areas of specialization depending upon students’ area of interest.

Mission:

The MA (DSLE) prepares individuals to become competent in discipling leaders and training others in one or more phases of spiritual, mental, emotional, and relational development across the lifespan.

Vision:

The MA (DSLE) serves the church by equipping and discipling individuals to address the developmental needs of its new and current members as well as the surrounding communities.

Goals:

All students graduating from the MA (DSLE) will be competent pastor-teachers in the field of discipleship.

Students will have growing expertise as pastor-teachers in at least one of the following areas of human development: children’s ministry, youth and young adult ministry, family ministry, and ministry to the elderly, along with campus chaplaincy ministry.

Students who teach at the elementary or academy level will become competent in discipling students to a love-relationship with God and in understanding the Biblical narrative.

Concentrations:

  • Bible Teaching
  • Campus Chaplaincy
  • Family Life Education
  • Religious Education
  • Youth and Young Adult Ministry

MA (DSLE) Dual Degree Options:

The MA (DSLE) is also available with the following dual degree options:

Distance/Intensive Curriculum Option

The Concentration in Bible Teaching is only available in the online format. The Concentration in Youth and Young Adult Ministry and the Concentration in Campus Chaplaincy offers a combined online/intensive format for those who are unable to study in residence. A field practicum can be arranged in the location of the student’s residence. (Students in the MA (DSLE)YYAM/MSCID Dual Degree program may fulfill 6 elective credits with MSCID courses. Students in the MA (DSLE)/MSW Dual Degree program may fulfill 8 elective credits with MSW courses.) 

Total Credits - 48


Core - 22


Degree Electives


Concentrations - 26-32


Students must choose one of the following concentrations:

Bible Teaching Concentration - 32


The Bible Teaching concentration prepares K-12 teachers who do not have a religion/theology background to teach Bible classes, while those with a strong religion/theology background but no educational background are given advanced standing and introduced to principles of pedagogy/andragogy.

Advanced Standing

Advanced standing may be obtained for up to 12 credits of religion and theology 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, theology, religious education, or education as well as the particular MA (Discipleship in Lifespan Education) focus area chosen. Advanced standing is calculated at the time of admission as follows:

  • 18 or more credits of undergraduate religion or theology credit may qualify for advanced standing of up to 12 credits in appropriate areas of the course plan. Advanced standing based on less than 18 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.

Concentration Courses

Additional Degree Requirements for Religious Education and Bible Teaching Concentrations


Must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.00 in order to graduate. Courses with a grade below B- do not count toward the degree.

Degree Completion: Candidates for the Bible Teaching Concentration may exercise one of the following two options to complete their degree:

  1. Comprehensive Examinations: Must pass comprehensive examinations arranged through the departmental administrative assistant. The one-day exams entail a three-hour morning session and a two-hour afternoon session.
  2. Thesis: Prepare 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. The thesis may add 3 credits to the 48 credit degree requirements, making a total of 51 credits.

Denominational Teacher Certification


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 (DSLE) with the Bible Teacher Concentration. The Bible Teaching focus builds credit toward Denominational Certification but additional courses and a teaching practicum are required. More information about preparing to teach religion in Adventist schools is available from the University Certification Registrar in the School of Education.

Campus Chaplaincy Concentration - 26


The Campus Chaplaincy Concentration is designed for those youth and young adult specialists who see themselves ministering as chaplains on either public or private campuses. This concentration has been approved for credentialing by the Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.

Additional Degree Requirements for Campus Chaplaincy Concentration


The Campus Chaplaincy concentration is awarded upon successful completion of a minimum of 48 semester credits with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better. A minimum of 24 semester credits are to be taken at the Theological Seminary or at an authorized extension center. The course work for the MA (Discipleship in Lifespan Education) is designed to be completed by full-time students in two years.

Elective Courses

Students in the MA (DSLE) can utilize their elective credits to tailor a program to their specific ministry needs. They can take up to 6 credits in DSLE 690 - Independent Study.

Transfer Credits

A maximum of 9 transfer graduate credits, when applicable, may be transferred into the MA (DSLE) program from other institutions or from other master’s programs within the Seminary upon approval of the dean. Credits approved under the Credit Through Learning in Professional Experience provision (see below) are considered part of the maximum of 9 transfer credits.

Credit Through Learning in Professional Experience

In place of DSRE 660 - Field Practicum, some students may be eligible to receive up to three credits for professional experience when approved by the dean, using the following criteria:

  • Applicants must have completed at least 18 credits toward the MA degree with a minimum GPA of 2.50.
  • The applicant must submit a Professional Experience Portfolio, including (1) an up-to-date curriculum vita, (2) a description of ministerial experiences, (3) a reflection-learning paper in which the applicant analyzes his/her professional skills and ministries and demonstrates how learning based on the reflection-reaction process occurred, and (4) supporting letters from administrative and pastoral supervisors which identify and document a variety of professional experiences.
  • The applicant must submit the completed Professional Experience Portfolio to the program director and the Department of Discipleship and Lifespan Education no later than the semester prior to graduation. For details, contact the director of the MA (DSLE) program.

Additional Information


Graduates of the Campus Chaplaincy Concentration receive calls for ministry.  However, completion of the program does not guarantee employment in Adventist ministry or any other church employment.

Students who seek to serve in general pastoral or church leadership positions should consider, as an alternative, the Master of Divinity program as stipulated by North American Division policy (L 05 05 and L 05 15).

CPE Unit

In addition to completing the 48-credit professional Discipleship in Lifespan Education with an emphasis in Campus Chaplaincy, an individual wishing to be employed as a campus chaplain should complete 1 unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) - Community Based Option (8 months). In international settings where CPE units are not available, supervised internship in campus ministry must be arranged in accordance with established curricula guidelines and with qualified mentoring.

Family Life Concentration - 26


The Family Life Education concentration prepares students to engage in family education ministries both within the church and in other professional settings and to apply for certification as Family Life Educators by the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR). Advanced standing is generally not given for the Family Life Education concentration.

Additional Degree Requirements for Family Life Education Concentration


The Family Life Education concentration is awarded upon successful completion of a minimum of 48 semester credits with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better. A minimum of 24 semester credits are to be taken at the Theological Seminary or at an authorized extension center. The course work for the MA (Discipleship in Lifespan Education) is designed to be completed by full-time students in two years. 

Elective Courses

Students in the MA (DSLE) can utilize their elective credits to tailor a program to their specific ministry needs. They can take up to 6 credits in DSLE 690 - Independent Study.

Transfer Credits

A maximum of 9 transfer graduate credits, when applicable, may be transferred into the MA (DSLE) program from other institutions or from other master’s programs within the Seminary upon approval of the dean. Credits approved under the Credit Through Learning in Professional Experience provision (see below) are considered part of the maximum of 9 transfer credits.

Credit Through Learning in Professional Experience

In place of DSRE 660 - Field Practicum, some students may be eligible to receive up to three credits for professional experience when approved by the dean, using the following criteria:

  • Applicants must have completed at least 18 credits toward the MA degree with a minimum GPA of 2.50.
  • The applicant must submit a Professional Experience Portfolio, including (1) an up-to-date curriculum vita, (2) a description of ministerial experiences, (3) a reflection-learning paper in which the applicant analyzes his/her professional skills and ministries and demonstrates how learning based on the reflection-reaction process occurred, and (4) supporting letters from administrative and pastoral supervisors which identify and document a variety of professional experiences.
  • The applicant must submit the completed Professional Experience Portfolio to the program director and the Department of Discipleship and Lifespan Education no later than the semester prior to graduation. For details, contact the director of the MA (DSLE) program.

Additional Information


Family Life Certification


The Family Life Education focus will allow the student to obtain the NCFR certification. If student is not seeking NCFR certification, more credits toward the degree can be from Advanced Standing when applicable (up to a maximum of 9 credits only, as specified in the degree requirements section)

Certification in Family Life Education

While completion of the MA (Discipleship in Lifespan Education) with a concentration in Family Life Education does not of itself qualify an individual as a Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) through NCFR, the courses offered through the MA (Discipleship in Lifespan Education) meet all of the requirements needed to apply for CFLE credentials. Applications must be made directly to NCFR within 5 years of completion of any courses that are submitted for CFLE certification, documenting that each course has been successfully completed in the 10 designated NCFR content areas (for provisional certification), and (for full certification) that a practicum has also been completed. The NCFR content areas, and corresponding program course acronyms are:

Religious Education Concentration - 26


The Religious Education Concentration is designed for students who see themselves as pursuing a PhD (Discipleship in Lifespan Education) or a similar doctoral degree. Since this concentration is designed to lead to a doctorate, it is academic in nature and, as such, requires that the student take courses in education and research as well as complete a comprehensive examination. This flexible concentration allows students to focus their studies on an area of interest that may prepare them for advanced doctoral study. Religious Education seeks to integrate biblical foundations and educational research in order to understand and facilitate the process of discipleship, the life-long journey of learning to follow Jesus and become more like Him.

Core Concentration Courses - 8


Additional Degree Requirements for Religious Education Concentration


Must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.00 in order to graduate. Courses with a grade below B- do not count toward the degree.

Degree Completion: Candidates for the Religious Education Concentration may exercise one of the following two options to complete their degree:

Comprehensive Examinations: Must pass comprehensive examinations arranged through the departmental administrative assistant. The one-day exams entail a three-hour morning session and a two-hour afternoon session.

Thesis: Prepare 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. The thesis may add 3 credits to the 48 credit degree requirements, making a total of 51 credits.

Youth and Young Adult Ministry Concentration - 26


The Youth and Young Adult Ministry (YYAM) Concentration is designed for individuals who see themselves as engaging in lifelong ministry to youth and young adults. The graduate of the YYAM Concentration will be competent to serve in a variety of vocations such as youth pastor, university/college/academy chaplain, dormitory dean, local church youth leader, conference youth director, and guidance counselor.

Goals:

The goals of the YYAM Concentration are to provide the church with specialists who:

  1. See their enduring career path as working with youth and young adults in the church in varying capacities.
  2. Are able to critically analyze the theology of youth and young adult ministry.
  3. Develop skills in the design, implementation and assessment of ministry efforts directed at youth for the purpose of improving the retention of youth and young adults in the Seventh-day Adventist church.
  4. Make disciples of Jesus Christ who will disciple the youth and young adults of the church to continue the discipleship process. 

Additional Degree Requirements for the Youth & Young Adult Ministry Concentration


The Youth and Young Adult Ministry concentration is awarded upon successful completion of a minimum of 48 semester credits with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better. A minimum of 24 semester credits are to be taken at the Theological Seminary or at an authorized extension center. The course work for the MA (Discipleship in Lifespan Education) is designed to be completed by full-time students in two years. 

Elective Courses

Students in the MA (DSLE) can utilize their elective credits to tailor a program to their specific ministry needs. They can take up to 6 credits in DSLE 690 - Independent Study.

Transfer Credits

A maximum of 9 transfer graduate credits, when applicable, may be transferred into the MA (DSLE) program from other institutions or from other master’s programs within the Seminary upon approval of the dean. Credits approved under the Credit Through Learning in Professional Experience provision (see below) are considered part of the maximum of 9 transfer credits.

Credit Through Learning in Professional Experience

In place of DSRE 660 - Field Practicum, some students may be eligible to receive up to three credits for professional experience when approved by the dean, using the following criteria:

  • Applicants must have completed at least 18 credits toward the MA degree with a minimum GPA of 2.50.
  • The applicant must submit a Professional Experience Portfolio, including (1) an up-to-date curriculum vita, (2) a description of ministerial experiences, (3) a reflection-learning paper in which the applicant analyzes his/her professional skills and ministries and demonstrates how learning based on the reflection-reaction process occurred, and (4) supporting letters from administrative and pastoral supervisors which identify and document a variety of professional experiences.
  • The applicant must submit the completed Professional Experience Portfolio to the program director and the Department of Discipleship and Lifespan Education no later than the semester prior to graduation. For details, contact the director of the MA (DSLE) program.

 

Admission Requirements


Applicants to the MA (DSLE) program should read the general admission requirements of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary. Applicants to the Youth and Young Adult Ministry, Campus Chaplaincy, and Family Life Education Concentrations must also meet the qualifications listed below:

  1. Hold a baccalaureate degree
  2. Have a minimum GPA of 2.5
  3. Represent high moral integrity with a character, lifestyle, and spiritual commitment reflective of the beliefs and practices of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and show promise of usefulness for ministry through personal maturity and adequate experience in the Church. (Persons of other faiths who are willing to live in harmony with these standards are welcome to apply.)
  4. Submit an autobiographical history and statement of purpose reflecting the applicant’s family, religious development, sense of calling to ministry, experience in church work, and future goals in relationship to the concentration to which they are applying.
  5. Interview with a representative of the MA (DSLE) program, if required, either by personal contact, telephone, or e-mail.
  6. Demonstrate a solid background in Old and New Testament knowledge through a department review of prior transcripts OR take OTST 500 Survey of the Old Testament and NTST 520 Introduction to the New Testament within the first year of enrollment.

Applicants to the Religious Education and Bible Teaching Concentrations are 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 for admission. 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. 

English Language Requirement

For those applicants whose native language is not English, the following is required:

  • MELAB - score of 80 (must achieve a passing score on each section: written, verbal and comprehension) or
  • TOEFL - score of 550 (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.


Additional Information


Students who seek to serve in general pastoral or church leadership positions should consider, as an alternative, the Master of Divinity program as stipulated by North American Division policy (L 05 05 and L 05 15).

CPE Unit

In addition to completing the 48-credit Campus Chaplaincy Concentration, an individual wishing to be employed as a campus chaplain should complete 1 unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) - Community Based Option (8 months). In international settings where CPE units are not available, supervised internship in campus ministry must be arranged in accordance with established curricula guidelines and with qualified mentoring.

Program Learning Outcomes


PLO1: Demonstrate competence at an advanced level in critical thinking, training and education, teamwork, and engaging diverse perspectives related to discipleship across the lifespan. (Transferrable Skills, GIO 1)

PLO2: Achieve a comprehensive and critically-aware knowledge of methods of discipleship and practices with appropriate specializations in youth and young adult ministry, family life education, campus chaplaincy, religious education, and Bible teaching. (Knowledge, GIO 2)

PLO3: Critique from a Seventh-day Adventist perspective key ideas, techniques, or methods in the field of discipleship in lifespan education. (Faith Development, GIO 3)

PLO4: Be prepared to train leaders at all levels of the church in diverse settings and communities using advanced skills and knowledge of discipleship across the lifespan in a manner consistent with both professional and Seventh-day Adventist Christian thought and practice. (Faith Integration, GIO 4)