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. It may be the highest degree a student plans to pursue, and so be used for personal enrichment or appropriate vocational training; one may also pursue the MAR as a transitinal degree in preparation for further advanced studies.
Students who enroll in the MAR are seeking formation in the life of Christian theological scholarship. The program regularly attracts students from a wide variety of denominations, and these students work together throughout their time here as they develop research plans. Each student works with a common program advisor in the initial stages of her or his studies, and then is assigned to a field-specific faculty member in their second semester. All MAR students are invited, though not required, to participate in chapel worship and other community events on campus.
In the Master of Arts in Religion program, students will:
- Develop the scholarly disciplines that accompany and support a curious and charitable intellect;
- Acquire a broad knowledge of the content and methods of biblical studies, church history, theology and Christian ethics;
- Display skills for sharing theological knowledge and engaging in theological argument in both written and oral form.
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, but not required, 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, Master of Arts in Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care and Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation sequences. Students may also take advantage of offerings from the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and the Austin Graduate School of Theology.
The MAR also provides a good basis for those interested in further study at the PhD level.
Two tracks are offered: a general studies track and a concentration track. Students may take a concentration in one of the following subjects: Old Testament, New Testament, Church History, Ethics, Theology, Hispanic Church Studies or Liturgics.
All students complete a thesis or comprehensive exams as part of the degree requirements.
Prior to being awarded the degree, each candidate must fully discharge all financial obligations to the seminary. All requirements for this degree must be completed within five years from the date of entry into the program.