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Master of Arts Degree Programs

The Master of Arts degree is offered in two academic concentrations and two professional concentrations. The purpose of the M.A. degree is to provide a graduate theological education for students not pursuing ordination in particular denominations. Students pursuing a Master of Arts degree must complete requirements within four years or be subject to extension fees.

Required GPA for graduation: 3.0.

  • Master of Arts in Religious Education (M.A.R.E.)
  • Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (M.A.P.S.) [coming in 2014]
  • Master of Arts in Theological Studies (M.A.T.S.)
  • Master of Arts in Theological Research (M.A.T.R.)

Students meet these degree requirements through a combination of core requirements (all students must take a particular course), distribution requirements (students may select among options in a required area of study), free electives, and three-credit directed studies toward integrative papers and projects. Detailed information about these papers and projects, as well as faculty contact persons for each degree program, is available in the Academic Dean’s office.


Master of Arts in Religious Education

The Master of Arts in Religious Education (M.A.R.E.) offers a degree with a professional emphasis. This program is designed for men and women with a special interest in the ministries of religious education within the contexts of the local church and the larger community. It provides education in the basic theological disciplines as a base for special training in religious education. The goals of this degree include:

  • Preparing women and men for educational ministries within churches, schools, denominations, agencies, or the wider community.
  • Equipping persons for creative and critical theological reflection on educational thought and practice.
  • Fostering understanding of social, psychological, and educational sciences that support effective educational practice.
  • Encouraging spiritual imagination in teaching and educational planning.
  • Enhancing previous educational or theological training with focused study in religious education.

Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies [New in 2014]

The Association of Theological Schools has approved Andover Newton’s petition to create a new degree program for the fall of 2014: A specialized professional Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (M.A.P.S.). This 48-credit (approximately 16-course) degree program will provide an opportunity for those engaged in ministry – in its many, varied forms – to receive both solid grounding in classical theological subjects and enriching education in the practice of ministry.

Students in the M.A.P.S. degree program will participate together in an evening Colloquium focused on theological reflection in the midst of ministry and will complete a capstone project of their own design. They will have access to evening, online, weekend, and intensive course formats for meeting all degree program requirements, making the M.A.P.S. Andover Newton’s first degree expressly designed for those who work during the day. Although the program is designed for completion in two years, all degree programs at Andover Newton are flexible enough for students with various competing commitments to engage their studies at their own pace. The M.A.P.S. program will be no exception. Specific details about the M.A.P.S. degree program will be available upon the publication of the Andover Newton 2014-2015 Catalogue in May, 2014. The Andover Newton Admissions team is accepting applications now.


Master of Arts (Theological Studies)

The Master of Arts (Theological Studies) (M.A.T.S.) provides a broad background in theological study while allowing a specific concentration in a discipline or field of one’s interest. Concentrations are decided by the student and one’s advisor, with a curriculum plan drawn up and put on file in the registrar’s office during one’s first year.

This degree offers particular opportunities for multidisciplinary studies, and may be crafted to suit the interests of individual students. Some of the possible concentrations are: Psychology and Pastoral Theology, Theology and the Arts, Bible, Ethics, and Congregational Leadership. The goals of this degree include:

  • Theological education to explore spiritual, vocational, or religious issues for personal or professional enrichment.
  • Preparation for ministries within or related to churches that do not require practical specialization or ordination.

Master of Arts (Theological Research)

The Master of Arts (Theological Research) (M.A.T.R.) provides intensive study in a theological discipline or in interdisciplinary programs begun elsewhere at the college or graduate level. It requires a broad familiarity with the various theological disciplines, a substantial degree of specialization, and the preparation and defense of a thesis of approximately one-hundred pages. To be admitted, students must be familiar with basic library research methods. Advanced skills for thesis preparation may be developed by directed study or in consultation with the librarians and faculty mentors.

This program’s goal is to provide education for focused study in a field of scholarly interest, and preparation for further graduate work beyond the M.A., such as a Ph.D.


Handbook for the Master of Arts Programs

Download a copy of the Master of Arts Programs Handbook.