Master of Arts
Master of Arts | M.A.
The Master of Arts program provides a broad-based, foundational course of study for college graduates who want to pursue graduate level studies in theology but are not preparing for ordained ministry. The M.A. program prepares students for more advanced study in a theological discipline, as well as providing a broad-based exposure to theological studies for persons in other fields. It requires a total of 33 credits and can be completed in about one and a half years of full-time study or else extended over a longer period.
*Additional costs may apply. (Application fee, books, costs associated with researching and producing the independent projects or the final project or thesis, etc.) are also the responsibility of the participant.
Course of Study
|Course Requirements||Credit Hours|
|A Total of 33 Credits from a Subset of the Following Subjects:|
|Biblical Theology||9 Credits|
|Historical and Systematic Theology||12 Credits|
|Philosophical Theology and Theological Ethics||12 Credits|
*All work must be in the student’s field of study.
Biblical Theology (9 Credits):
- BT 504: Lutheran Biblical Interpretation
Two (2) of the following:
- BT 500: Introduction to New Testament Greek
- BT 511: Pentateuch and The Histories
- BT 530: Wisdom and the Prophets
- BT 561: The Gospels (requires BT 500)
- BT 566: Paul and His Legacy (requires BT 500)
History and Systematic Theology (12 Credits):
- HST 501: History of Christian Thought I: Origins to 1500
- HST 502: History of Christian Thought II: The Reformation (requires HST 501)
- HST 613: History of Christian Thought III: 1700-1900 (requires HST 502)
One (1) of the following:
- HST 614: Twentieth Century Theology (requires HST 613)
- HST 643: The Theology of Martin Luther (requires HST 501)
- HST 655: The Lutheran Confessions (requires HST 502)
Philosophical Theology and Theological Ethics (12 Credits):
- PTE 501: Faith, Knowledge, and Reason
- PTE 510: Ethics in Lutheran Perspective
- PTE 602: Critical Reasoning for the Theologian (requires PTE 501)
One (1) of the following:
- PTE 520: Theology and World Religions
- PTE 603: Philosophy of Religion (requires PTE 602)
- PTE 681: Theology and Science
Total: 33 Credits
After completing this program, students will be able to:
- Articulate central issues of Biblical interpretation as they relate to the life and mission of the church, as well as to one’s contemporary cultural circumstance.
- Explain the church’s struggle to articulate its biblical message, with an emphasis on the Lutheran Reformation understanding of that message.
- Understand central issues in philosophy and ethics from a theological perspective.
Application requirements include:
- Completion of a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited educational institution, or in special cases, an equivalent preparatory experience.
- Completion of the online application for the Master of Arts in Religion degree.
- Three letters of recommendation from individuals with knowledge of the applicant’s academic performance.
- Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions. Applicants are required to have their official transcripts sent directly to the Office of Admissions from all of the institutions attended. Transcripts must demonstrate a minimum GPA of 2.50 on a 4.00 point scale or equivalent (Applicants with a GPA of less than 2.50 may be admitted on Academic Probation.)
- Applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit a score from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) that is not more than two years old. Normally, minimum acceptable scores for the TOEFL are 26 on the speaking section and 24 on the writing section. Minimum acceptable scores on the IELTS are 8 on the speaking section and 6.5 on the writing section. Please request that your score be sent to ILT. ILT’s DI Code for the TOEFL is 5745. More information concerning TOEFL can be accessed at the Education Testing Services website. Information regarding the IELTS can be found at their IELTS website.
- Completion of the Theology Questionnaire.
- Pass the Bible Proficiency Exam with a score of at least 60%.
- Non-Refundable Application Fee
- Copy of official photo ID.
- An admissions interview with the Program Director.
- A 50-75-page (12,000-20,000 word) thesis paper is required for completion of the degree.
- Thesis Research course (BT 598, HST 598 or PTE 598)
This is a readings course on the student’s proposed thesis topic. The student and his or her advisor agree on a reading program before the start of the semester. The student reads independently, meeting with his or her advisor regularly for consultation.
In consultation with a thesis advisor, the student develops a thesis proposal (900 words). At least 60 days prior to the first day of classes in the semester when the student will enroll in the STM Thesis course, the student submits the proposal to a thesis committee. The thesis committee consists of 2-3 faculty members (including the advisor), at least one of whom should be a member of ILT’s permanent faculty.