MA/EM Concentration Purpose

The Master of Arts concentration in Educational Ministries (MA/EM) provides specialized study in the discipline of educational ministries broadly defined.  The MA/EM melds academic and professional interests, providing participants a rigorous theoretical background in educational thinking with intentional application to the ministry context.  It is designed for those with an undergraduate educational ministries program (or specialized EM program such as youth ministry, etc.) who wish to further their understanding of educational theory and its application; or for those without a significant educational background who recognize the necessity of helping persons grow in their Christian faith in the church and other Christian contexts.  Thus it provides a sure footing for those leading educational ministries or anticipating doctoral studies, including the PhD (Educational Studies) program at TEDS.  Persons anticipating ordained pastoral ministry in education should pursue the MDiv program, completing the concentration in educational ministries.

MA/EM course offerings are drawn from across the curriculum based on a participant’s needs and ministry context (rather than a plethora of specific topical departmental courses).  A foundational curricular core in Bible, theology, and educational ministries provide a structure for integrative educational thinking.  Course selections are developed in consultation with an educational faculty advisor in areas of student interest leading to the program Capstone.  The Capstone must demonstrate in-depth analysis and critique of educational practices for the local church, or other educational setting identified by the participant (parachurch, camps, Christian school, etc.)

Program participants are expected to participate fully in sharing their experience, critical thinking, and course preparation so as to contribute both in and outside the classroom to the community of learners in the MA/EM program. 

MA/EM Program Objectives and Student Learning Outcomes

The MA/EM Concentration will enable participants to:

  • Critique educational practices and experiences with renewed theoretical and educational understanding
  • Ground their educational thinking in a strong biblical and theoretical base
  • Integrate educational theory with Christian character and formation
  • Link their educational framework within a contextualized ministry practice
  • Identify and articulate a leadership philosophy and implementation strategy within an organizational system

While the primary mode of course delivery is classes on the Deerfield campus; short-term modular, weekend, extension, and conference wrap-a-rounds may be part of an individual student’s curricular package.

MA/EM Prerequisites

  1. an undergraduate major in educational ministries or its equivalent that includes a minimum of 30 hours in educational ministries, Bible/theology, and social science studies; or
  2. an undergraduate major or its equivalent with exposure to educational practice in the church, parachurch, other Christian organization, or in the public education arena
  3. and leadership experience in educational practice

MA/EM Curriculum

Required Foundation Core 118
Theology Core:6
ST 5101
ST 5102
Theology I: Intro to Theology
and Theology II: Christ, Man, Sin & Salvation
Bible Core:6
OT 5000Intro to the Old Testament,Introduction to the Old Testament4
or NT 5000 Intro to the New Testament
OT 5100English Bible:3
or NT 5100 English Bible:
EM Foundations Core: 26
EM 5000Foundations in Educational Ministry2
EM 5125Teaching and Learning2
EM 5210Christian Leadership and Administration2
EM Concentration11-14
Participants consult with EM faculty advisor to focus concentration courses around an educational area of personal interest.11-14
EM Portfolio and Capstone0-3
Select 0-3 hours of a Capstone experience0-3
Total Hours32

Core courses are listed below. Appropriate substitutions may be made in consultation with the EM faculty advisor.


Components of each of the following courses will contribute to the MA/EM Portfolio for degree students.

EM Concentration

Suggested courses are offered on a regular basis (though not every course is offered every semester or every year).  Consult EM advisor for current occasional special coursework that may be appropriate for your area of interest. Suggested courses from the EM Department include:

EM 5415Education Theory in Historical and Cultural Context2-3
EM 5510Christian Formation & Journey2
EM 5576Marriage & Family Enrichment2-3
EM 5540Foundations of Youth Ministry2
EM 5560Church Ministry with Adults2-3
EM 6000Current Topics in Educational Ministries1-3
EM 6260Small Group Process in Ministry2-3
EM 6265Building Ministry Teams2-3
EM 6270Building Community in the Church2-3
EM 6275Developing Healthy Spiritual Leaders2-3
ES 7524Education & Ministry Experiences for Children3
ES 7550Local Church as System1-2
ES 7560Program Planning Dynamics in the Local Church1-2
ES 8000Seminar: Current Issues in Educational Ministries1-3

See below for suggested interdepartmental courses.

EM Portfolio and Capstone

MA/EM program participants will participate throughout their program in field-based and community-based activities, which contribute to a robust EM Portfolio and will culminate in the MA/EM Capstone experience.  Details are available from the department. Participants consult with department faculty who will determine on basis of ministry goals and prior experience.

Suggested Interdepartmental Courses

The following courses in other departments may be applicable to the EM Concentration, depending on a participant’s interest area.  This is a partial list. MA/EM students should consult with their adviser to determine which are appropriate.

CC 5610Cultural Hermeneutics2
CH 5010History of Christianity4
CM 6572Pastoral Counseling for Marriage & Family3
CO 5210Counseling Skills Training3
CO 6530Child & Adolescent Counseling2-3
HM 5000Theology and Methodology of Biblical Preaching2-3
ID 5000Biblical Theology and Interpretation3
ID 6012Prayer and Life in the Spirit2
ME 5001Foundations of Evangelism2
ME 8215Teaching Across Cultures3
ME 8815Ethnicity: Modes of Inquiry and Analysis3
PT 5000Personal Assessment and Introduction to Ministry1
PT 6300Intro to Chaplain Ministries2
PT 7860Social & Cultural Exegesis2-3