Graduate Program

The School of Religion offers biblical, theological, and practical courses to help its students experience a growing relationship with Jesus Christ, understand His teachings in the context of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and live ethical lives in harmony with the Scriptures. It provides quality graduate training with emphases in Church Leadership and Management, Church Ministry and Homiletics, Evangelism and World Mission, Biblical and Theological Studies, and Religious Studies, so its graduates, solidly grounded in Scripture and with a clear burden for others’ salvation, become instruments in God’s hands to impact the world.


Each School of Religion graduate course is offered in three parts:

•  Pre-session reading assignment.

•  On-campus summer intensive for two to three weeks.

•  Post-session research paper or major project.

A master's degree in religion cannot be earned at Southern Adventist University by attending the traditional Fall and Spring academic semesters.

Degrees Offered

The School of Religion offers two graduate degree programs, one professional and one academic. 

The Master of Arts (MA), with the following two emphases:

• Biblical and Theological Studies
• Religious Studies 

These 36-credit-hour emphases are designed to provide quality academic graduate education for those preparing to enter an academic doctoral program or to further their religious education knowledge base.

 The Master of Ministry (M.Min.), with the following three emphases:

• Church Leadership and Management
• Church Ministry and Homiletics
• Evangelism and World Mission 

These 36-credit-hour emphases are designed to provide quality professional graduate education in leadership, ministry, preaching, outreach, evangelism, and mission.  Church Leadership and Management is specificlly designed to prepare church leaders and administrators with training in the principles of business management, through the cooperation of the School of Business, and to equip students with leadership ministry training skills.

Admission to Classes

Anyone who intends to attend a graduate class must submit a graduate application.  There is an application for degree- seeking or non-degree-seeking students.

Graduate applicants may apply for specific classes by completing a class application from the School of Religion Graduate Office.  Permission to attend any School of Religion class is by approval of the School of Religion Graduate Office. 

Students are admitted to classes on a non-degree basis until they are granted either regular or provisional acceptance into one of the degree programs from the School of Religion. 

Students may take no more than 12 hours of coursework (4 classes) before completing all prerequisites for admission and being formally accepted into one of the degree programs.  These requirements are listed on the degree pages.  


The M.Min. and MA degrees consist of 36 semester credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree.

A maximum of six semester hours of transfer credit may be allowed from other institutions (see Academic Policies in the Graduate Catalog).

All degree requirements must be completed within seven years from first enrollment.

Course requirements include a pre-session reading assignment, attendance and participation in a two- or three-week summer intensive class session in residence, and a post-session research paper or major project.

Pre-Session and Post-Session Assignment Guidelines

• A typical pre-session assignment includes 1000-1200 pages of reading per intensive class.
• Pre-session assignments are due the first day of the intensive.
• Post-session assignments give the student an opportunity to apply information learned during the intensive to the local ministry context and to do further research on the subject matter. Due dates for these assignments are listed in each course syllabus.  

Course Audit

With the approval of the School of Religion, students may register on an audit basis in courses for which they are qualified. Auditors may be admitted to classes if space is still available after all students who wish to enroll for credit have been accommodated. Class attendance is expected, but examinations, reports, and other assignments will be omitted, except as requested by the student and allowed by the professor. With the approval of the professor and School of Religion dean, the student may change a course registration from audit to credit or from credit to audit only during the first three days of the summer intensive classes. No credit may be given at any later time for courses audited. Courses taken for audit are charged at one-half of the regular graduate tuition charge.