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Home > School of Religion > Graduate > Master of Arts

MASTER OF ARTS

With emphases in

Prerequisites for Admission

In addition to submitting the appropriate application and application fee for graduate study, the candidate must submit the following materials or meet the following requirements in order to be accepted into the M.A. program:

Two recommendations. If the applicant is employed by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, one of these recommendations must be from the applicant’s employing organization.

Denominational employment record. If the applicant is employed by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, a record indicating the places and dates of service and the capacity/capacities in which the applicant was employed is required.

Official transcript with a completed bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. This transcript must include a minimum of 12 semester hours in religion. Other prerequisites may apply to the specific emphasis.

A minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.25. For an undergraduate GPA of 2.75 to 3.24, the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is required with a combined verbal and quantitative score of at least 1080 and a minimum analytical writing score of 4.5.

Submission of a formal paper of at least 3,000 words that meets the following criteria:

A. It is research based, demonstrating appropriate use of valid sources.
B. It reflects the ability to write lucidly, with careful organization of ideas.
C. It demonstrates care and consistency in format, style, and mechanics.
D. It meets the standards of at least a B letter-grade paper when compared with other research papers that are completed on the undergraduate level. 

Upon request, a minimum Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 600 (paper-based)/250 (computer-based)/100 (internet-based), for students for whom English is not the first language. 

International graduate students with TOEFL scores between 550 and 599 will be required to study English as a Second Language (ESL). If they maintain ESL grades of B or above for two semesters or when their TOEFL scores reach 600, they will be permitted to take a full course load of graduate classes.

Final decisions about acceptance into the program are made by the M.A. Program Committee of the School of Religion.

Graduation Requirements

  • File a completed graduation application with the Records and Advisement Office not less than two months before the expected graduation date.
  • Finish all coursework with a minimum grade point average of 3.25, including no more than two classes with a minimum grade of C (see Academic Policies in the front of the Catalog).
  • Pass a written exit examination with a minimum grade of 80 percent. This examination:

        A.  Must be taken no earlier than 3 months and no later than 12 months after completing the last period of the student’s last course in the program.

        B.  Will consist of three 90-minute consecutive writing sessions. Each session will be used to give comprehensive answers to several questions drawn from a larger list of study questions provided by the M.A. Program Committee for research and review.

        C.  Is scheduled with the School of Religion graduate coordinator.
        D.  May be repeated only once if the grade is less than 80 percent. A second failure will disqualify the student for graduation from the M.A. program.

Project and Thesis Procedure

  • All M.A. degree students choosing the emphasis in biblical and theological studies must complete a thesis, while students who choose the emphasis in religious studies must complete either a thesis or a project.
  • The project must be done in conjunction with an adviser assigned by the M.A. Program Committee. The adviser will work with the student to select a topic, plan the research, guide in the organization of the paper, and evaluate the result.
  • The thesis must be done in conjunction with a three-person Thesis Committee, chaired by an adviser and appointed by the M.A. Program Committee. The student will select a topic in consultation with the adviser and prepare a thesis proposal to be submitted to the Thesis Committee for approval. After approval by the Thesis Committee, the student will complete the research chapter by chapter under the guidance of the adviser, submitting each chapter to the Thesis Committee for approval. The Thesis Committee must approve the final product.
  • The project or thesis must conform to the style guidelines of the School of Religion, which are based on the footnote and bibliography style of the latest edition of the Chicago Manual of Style or Turabian’s Manual for Writers.

 

BIBLICAL AND THEOLOGICAL STUDIES

Objectives

• To enhance knowledge of biblical and theological issues.

• To prepare for academic studies at the doctoral level.

• To increase facility in research and writing.

• To increase critical thinking skills and enlarge awareness of the trends and secondary literature in biblical and theological studies.

• To increase the ability to interpret the Bible in harmony with sound principles of biblical hermeneutics.

• To establish a sound theological foundation for Christian faith and practice.

Additional Prerequisites for Admission

Six semester credits in a biblical language with a grade of C or higher. (This may be part of the 12 required credits in religion.)

CORE COURSES

Biblical Studies Courses

RELB 510 Archaeology and Bible Interpretation OR RELB 530 Archaeological Fieldwork OR RELB 565 Topics in Biblical Studies

RELB 555 Studies in Daniel
RELP 556 Studies in Revelation
RELB 545 General Epistles OR RELB 546 Pauline Epistles

 

Theological Studies Courses

RELT 531 Hermeneutics and Biblical Interpretation
RELT 542 Studies in Biblical Doctrines
RELT 546 Doctrine of Salvation OR RELT 563 Contemporary Theological Issues
RELT 581 Biblical Ethics and Contemporary Society

 

Research Courses

RELG 600 Research Methods and Writing
RELB 650 Thesis in Biblical Studies OR RELT 650 Thesis in Theological Studies

 

Electives

Select three semester hours from graduate courses in biblical or theological studies offered by the School of Religion. 


RELIGIOUS STUDIES

Objectives

  • To provide preparation for further academic studies in religion at the doctoral level.
  • To increase critical thinking skills and enlarge awareness of the trends and literature in biblical and theological studies.
  • To provide resources for developing and implementing a biblical philosophy of life.
  • To establish a sound theological foundation for Christian faith and practice.

 

CORE COURSES

Biblical and Theological Courses

RELB 553 Studies in Romans OR RELB 546 Pauline Epistles
RELB 555 Studies in Daniel OR RELB 556 Studies in Revelation
RELT 531 Hermeneutics and Biblical Interpretation
RELT 538 Prophetic Guidance in the Adventist Church OR RELT 563 Contemporary Theological Issues
RELT 542 Studies in Biblical Doctrines OR RELT 546 Doctrine of Salvation
RELT 568 World Religions
RELT 581 Biblical Ethics and Contemporary Society

 

Research Courses

RELG 600 Research Methods and Writing
RELB 620 Project in Biblical Studies OR RELT 620 Project in Theological Studies OR RELB 650 Thesis in Biblical Studies OR RELT 650 Thesis in Theological Studies

 

Electives

Select six to nine semester hours from graduate courses offered by the School of Religion (to constitute a total of 36 hours).

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