Master of Arts (MA) Program Purpose

The purpose of the Master of Arts degree program is to provide a basic understanding of theological disciplines for further graduate study or for general educational purposes. The concentration nomenclature articulates the specific discipline under study. Achieving specified student learning outcomes in the concentration meet the MA degree program goals. This MA program is oriented toward general theological studies rather than ministerial leadership, and is academic rather than professional in focus.

Persons desiring an interdisciplinary basic understanding of Christianity should enroll in the Master of Arts Concentration in Theological Studies, which draws courses from across the curriculum.  Other Master of Arts concentrations focus coursework within a particular departmental discipline as noted in the descriptions that follow.

MA Admission Requirements

Applicants to the MA program must meet the following requirements:

  1. Possess an earned bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university (generally at least 120 hours), which normally includes a minimum of 60 hours of liberal arts coursework, with a minimum grade point average (GPA) or 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  2. Submit official transcripts, in a sealed envelope directly from the institution, from all schools attended since high school. Students should request that institutions send transcripts directly to Trinity via postal mail.
  3. Submit recommendation forms online from each of the following:
    • Applicant’s pastor or church leader
    • Applicant’s employer or a business acquaintance
    • A faculty member or school administrator at an institution previously attended (contact the Admissions Office for alternative suggestions)
  4. Submit a written three-part statement with your
    1. personal testimony
    2. present spiritual life and Christian service and
    3. ministry goals as described in the application.
  5. Submit test scores from either the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) if the undergraduate GPA is lower than 3.0 or if the undergraduate degree is from an institution without regional accreditation.
  6. All applicants for whom English was not their primary language of instruction must submit the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) (see Admission section of Catalog for details.)
  7. A personal interview may be required.
  8. Additional specific program concentration requirements noted below must also be met.

MA Prerequisite Hours

The general prerequisites for the Master of Arts program at TEDS follow. Note the particulars under each program concentration

  1. 6 semester hours of Bible including Old and New Testament surveys; or TEDS OT 5000 and NT 5000
  2. an undergraduate major or its equivalent in an area appropriate to the concentration
  3. languages appropriate to the concentration (TEDS testing for placement)

See below for specific concentration requirements for (2) and/or (3).

Note: Outstanding prerequisites must be completed early in the program and before candidacy.

MA Residency and Program Duration

  • 24 hours must be completed through Trinity coursework, with the final 8 program hours completed through Trinity.
  • Residency is understood as in-person interaction of instructors and students in locations approved for offering of a full degree. As such, all MA concentrations (with the exception of Theological Studies) are approved for the Deerfield site, and the concentration core curriculum is available only in Deerfield; however, some general coursework may be taken at TEDS extension sites or in TEDS Online Distance Education mode if offered. The MA (Theological Studies) is available in full at extension sites. In all cases, the number of online distance courses that can be taken in a program is limited by course availability and the requirement that students must complete the prescribed Residency Requirement.
  • Duration: Generally two to three semesters of full-time coursework are followed by one to two semesters of Capstone work including comprehensive exams, field work, and thesis as required in the concentration.
  • All MA program requirements must be completed within five years of matriculation into the program (statute of limitations).

MA Candidacy Requirements

Continuation in the MA program after matriculation is contingent upon obtaining program candidacy in the program. Candidacy is granted when:

  • All outstanding prerequisites and entrance deficiencies and conditions are removed.
  • A minimum of 12 hours in the program is completed with a minimum GPA of 2.5 after program admission.  (Note: These hours must be completed after admission to the program concentration, not after matriculation into TEDS.)
  • The participant is making continued progress toward meeting all graduation requirements; and in the assessment of the department will be able to complete the degree program in timely fashion within the statute of limitations.
  • The faculty has taken formal action to grant candidacy for the degree.

Candidacy must be obtained before students can register for their MA Capstone event (including project, thesis, etc.)

MA Graduation Requirements

In addition to the General Graduation Requirements for all master’s programs, the following requirements must be met:

  • Completion of all program concentration requirements with a minimum cumulative grade point average for program coursework of 2.5, and with no coursework graded below a “C-” applicable to the degree.
  • Successfully complete all required Capstones in the concentration.

Master of Arts Available Concentrations

  • Theological Studies – an interdisciplinary concentration providing a basic understanding of Christianity for general educational purposes
  • Biblical and Near Eastern Archaeology and Languages
  • Church History
  • Educational Ministries
  • Intercultural Studies
  • New Testament
  • Old Testament and Semitic Languages
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Systematic Theology
  • Specialized Concentration -- by special application; may include concentrations within a department or draw from across the curriculum