Master of Arts in Religion (MAR)

The Master of Arts in Religion program is an academic degree designed to combine a foundational theological education with sufficient flexibility to allow students to pursue particular interests. Two tracks are offered: a concentration track and a general studies track. Students may take a concentration in one of the following subjects: Old Testament, New Testament, Church History, Ethics, Theology, Hispanic Church Studies, Pastoral Theology,  or Liturgics. Students in both tracks may select from a variety of courses within each broad area of study.  All general studies and concentration track students complete a thesis as one of the degree requirements.

In the MA in Religion program, students will:

Being - Character Objectives:

  • acquire the discipline of close reading and critical thinking;
  • develop a curious and generous intellect that readily engages a variety of fields, perspectives, and contexts.

Knowing - Content Objectives:

  • know the texts of the Bible, the history of its interpretation as Christian Scripture, and contemporary choices for interpretation;
  • engage the traditions of Christian moral formation in conversation with contemporary life, faith, and practice;
  • explore the principle developments in the history of Christian institutions and theology;
  • achieve an understanding of the major topics of theological language, and relate them to Christian faith and practice with imagination and creativity.

Doing - Research Objectives:

  • conduct integrative research within a theological area;
  • identify and deploy effective research methods appropriate to a chosen area;
  • to establish, explore, and defend a thesis by way of an extended essay.

The MAR requires 51 credits.  The degree may be completed in two years of full-time study or up to five years of part-time study.  MAR students are invited to participate in all aspects of community life at the seminary.  They may take courses from the Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Counseling, and Master of Arts in Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care sequences.  Students may also take advantage of offerings from the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and the Austin Graduate School of Theology. The MAR program regularly attracts students from a wide variety of denominations.

The MAR also provides a good basis for those interested in further study at the PhD level.

Prior to being awarded the degree, each candidate must fully discharge all financial obligations to the seminary and all requirements for this degree must be completed within five years from the date of entry into the program.

 

COURSE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE CONCENTRATION STUDIES TRACK

Biblical Studies (6 credits)

Historical Studies (6 credits)

Theological Studies (6 credits)

Theological Ethics Studies (6 credits)

MAR Writing Course (3 credits)

Area of concentration (12 credits, including distribution credits)

Thesis  (6 credits)  (includes 1 semester of preparation and 1 semester of writing)

Electives (6 credits)

 

COURSE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE GENERAL STUDIES TRACK

Biblical Studies (6 credits)

Historical Studies (6 credits)

Theological Studies (6 credits)

Theological Ethics Studies (6 credits)

MAR Writing Course (3 credits)

Thesis (6 credits)  (includes 1 semester of preparation and 1  semester of writing)

Electives (18 credits)