MA in Min Program Purpose

The Master of Arts in Ministry (MA in Min) is designed to equip persons for leadership in a specific specialization of church-related ministry. As a narrowly focused program, the MA in Min is not recommended for those anticipating ordained pastoral ministry. Areas of ministry specialization are specific to the participant’s ministry context in a local church, parachurch, or another church-related ministry. The MA in Min is not designed for those anticipating future doctoral work.

Ministry specializations of present students include spiritual formation in the local church, ministry to young adults, church administration, women’s ministry, and worship ministry.

Program Outcomes:

Students graduating with a Master of Arts degree in Ministry will be able to:​

  • understand the biblical and theological constructs that undergird their ministry specialization
  • think critically and constructively regarding content and processes in their area of ministry specialization
  • competently engage ministry situations in their context and culture
  • develop skills in the design, implementation, and assessment in their area of specialization
  • grow in personal and spiritual maturity

MA in Min Program Objectives

The MA in Min will enable participants to:

  • Understand the biblical and theological constructs that undergird the ministry specialization.
  • Think critically and constructively regarding the content and processes in the area of ministry specialization.
  • Engage competently ministry situations in their context and culture.
  • Develop skills in the design, implementation, and assessment in the area of specialization.
  • Grow in personal and spiritual maturity.

MA in Min Program Admission Requirements and Prerequisites

The admission requirements for the MA in Ministry are those described under the Admissions section of the catalog and the following requirements specific to the MA in Ministry program:

  • Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree from a recognized accredited institution, or an educational equivalent. In some cases, admission with deficiencies is possible with fulfillment of those deficiencies at Trinity.
  • The applicant’s undergraduate grade point average must be a minimum of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale; however, since GPA is not always an accurate indicator of an applicant’s abilities for graduate work, those with a lower GPA are encouraged to consult with an admissions counselor.
  • Scores from the Miller Analogies Test (MAT)  (preferred) or the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) are required for applicants whose undergraduate GPA is less than 2.5 and for others upon request from the Admissions Office.
  • A minimum of one semester-length undergraduate or graduate course each in Old Testament, New Testament, and theology (generally totaling at least 9 or 10 semester hours). Applicants may be admitted without this coursework but need to take it early in the program.
  • Applicants must include with their application a statement stating their ministry intent and anticipated area of ministry specialization. The statement should be approximately 1,000 words in length and include a description of present and future ministry intent, as well as involvement and recognition by the church in the area of ministry specialization. This statement should be refined by the participant during the first half of the program in anticipation of the mid-program assessment.
  • A letter of endorsement on letterhead from the applicant’s local church, parachurch, or church-related ministry that demonstrates the applicant’s church-connectedness and affirms the following:
    • the applicant’s interest and giftedness for church-related ministry;
    • the applicant’s evident Christian life and character; and
    • the support and prayers of the ministry organization for the applicant’s course of study.

As a church-related ministry degree program, this requirement is not optional.

  • A personal interview may also be required.

MA in Min Program Curricula and Ministry Specialization

The area of ministry specialization is individually contextualized to the participant’s ministry and reflected in the program coursework. (See program curriculum below for possible areas of specialization.) Whether participants are completing coursework on the Deerfield, urban Chicago, or Florida campuses , or at one of TEDS’s extension sites, they are expected to integrate learning experiences in classroom studies, ministry application courses, and the capstone integrative experience around an area of ministry specialization. In consultation with the program advisor, particular courses are selected for the program of study and filed in the Records Office accordingly.

Participants may choose an area of ministry specialization by selecting courses across the curriculum, including cross-listed Graduate School and College courses where relevant to church ministry and including course work available through the ACTS consortium. Specializations may include a selection of courses from within a department, an area of specialized interest that bridges departments, or a combination of relevant course work and experiences linked to the participant’s ministry base. Specializations must contribute to the program objectives and equip participants for competent leadership in an area of specialization for church ministry.

Participants are encouraged to design elective assignments in their Biblical, Theological, and Historical Studies area with their ministry specialization. Two courses (6 hours) minimally in the Ministry Practice and Context area must be in the selected area of ministry specialization. The capstone integrative project, which varies from 3 to 6 hours culminates and integrates the program’s insights into the participant’s area of ministry specialization. Thus, a student minimally must complete 9 hours in the ministry specialization, though depending on courses completed and the particular area of interest, most of the program may focus explicitly on the area of ministry specialization.

MA in Min Mid-program Assessment

At the time participants register for their 15th semester hour, they must meet with their program advisor to complete a projected plan for program completion. At this time, the participants should

  1. select their area of specialization and
  2. initiate planning for completion of the capstone integrative experience.

The projected plan of program completion must be filed with the Records Office before the participants register for the next semester.

MA in Min Residency Requirement and Program Duration

The residency requirement for the MA in Ministry degree is a minimum of 24 hours must be completed through Trinity coursework, with the final 8 hours taken through Trinity. The 24 hours may be completed with a combination of Deerfield and extension site courses; and through TEDS Online or independent study courses as arranged with the program advisor. A minimum of 16 semester hours must be completed in the program after admission to the program, which generally means transfers are not accepted into the program.

The MA in Ministry degree normally necessitates two years of full-time study and three semesters of coursework, followed by one semester of the capstone integrative experience. This period may be shortened if prerequisites are met and lengthened in the case of part-time study or a longer capstone integrative experience.

Note: It is not the design or the intent of the MA in Min program to be completed solely in an independent or distant mode. Participants should anticipate spending the majority of their coursework in the classroom at a TEDS site. Numerous delivery options are available, including summer, modular, weekend, evening, and other class formats.

MA in Min Statute of Limitation

All MA in Ministry program requirements must be completed within eight years of matriculation into the program. Extension of the statute of limitation for up to two years may be granted by petition when a student has demonstrated consistent program progress toward the degree.

MA in Min Graduation Requirements

  1. Complete the General Graduation Requirements for all master’s programs.
  2. Complete a minimum of 32 semester hours with a cumulative GPA for program course work of at least 2.0, with no course work graded below a “C-” applicable to the degree.
  3. Complete ID 7465 MA in Ministry Capstone Experience.

Program Curricula

Biblical, Theological, and Historical Studies12-15
Select a minimum of one course (2 hours) each in Old Testament, New Testament, Theology, and History
The following courses are recommended:
Intro to the Old Testament
Intro to the New Testament
Theology I: The God of the Gospel
Theology II: The Gospel of God
History of Christianity I
History of Christianity II
Ministry Practice and Context 112-15
Select a minimum of four courses in ministry application, two of which (6 hours total) must be in a particular area of ministry specialization that provides a foundation for the capstone integrative experience.
PT 5100Spiritual Formation for Ministry2
Min Capstone Experience
ID 7465MA in Ministry Capstone Experience 23-6
Total Hours32

The Areas of Ministry Specialization listed below are four potential tracks for the MA in Ministry programs. These areas of ministry specialization and the courses listed in each area are suggested and may vary according to the needs of the student and availability of courses. While these four areas of specialization cater to the current strengths of the curriculum at Trinity, it is also possible for a student to identify and pursue other areas of ministry specialization in the MA in Ministry. While 6 hours in a Specialization are required, 6-9 additional hours plus the Capstone Experience enable a student to complete as many as 14 or more semester hours in the Specialization. Coursework is also available through cross-registration into other seminaries in the Association of Chicago Theological Schools (ACTS) consortium. Consult advisor for course recommendations.  


A ministry-based experience that integrates the biblical/theological/historical with the ministry practice and context components of the program and provides the capacity for further specialized service in the church (ID 7465). This intensive experience may be a practicum or a project and (for 3 semester hours) will reflect a minimum of 168 hours (12 hr/wk for 14 wks) of experiential learning and be accompanied by a 7,500-to-10,000-word (25-30 page) critical analysis paper demonstrating integration of program components with the area of ministry specialization.


Students with backgrounds or interests in organizational leadership can pursue a leadership focus. Recommended courses include the following:

CM 6000Issues in Counseling Ministries1-3
EM 5100Educational Ministries and Leadership3
EM 5210Christian Leadership and Administration2-3
EM 6265Building Ministry Teams2-3
EM 6270Building Community in the Church2-3
ME 5001Foundations of Evangelism2
ME 6963Principles of Discipleship3
OT 6000Current Studies in Old Testament1-3
PT 7220Pastoral Leadership2-3
PT 7225The Essence of Biblical Leadership2
PT 7250Christian Worship and Pastoral Practices3
PT 7410Denominational History & Polity1
PT 8000Current Issues (topic: Essence of Biblical Leadership)2-3
ST 7200Theological Ethics3

Cultural Engagement

Student committed to cultural engagement, multi-ethnic ministry, and/or engaging a diverse world for the sake of the gospel can pursue a cultural engagement focus. Recommended courses include the following:

CC 5610Cultural Hermeneutics2
CC 5615Cultural Engagement3
HM 8000Seminar: Current Issues (topic: Preaching and Culture)1-3
ID 6500Understanding the Social and Cultural Contexts of Ministry2
ME 7710Contextualization3-4
ME 8210Intercultural Communications3-4
ME 8215Teaching Across Cultures3
PT 7842Understanding the Urban World2
ST 6011Global Theologies2

Spiritual Formation and Pastoral Care

Students interested in pursuing spiritual formation, equipping others in spiritual formation, and providing pastoral care can pursue a spiritual formation and pastoral care focus. Recommended courses include the following:

CM 5000Intro to Counseling Ministries2
CM 6572Pastoral Counseling for Marriage & Family3
DE 5740Spiritual Formation3
EM 5100Educational Ministries and Leadership3
EM 5510Christian Formation & Journey2
EM 6275Developing Healthy Spiritual Leaders2-3
EM 6000Current Topics in Educational Ministries (suggested topics: Adolescent Spirituality OR Marriage Enrichment)1-3

Preaching and Teaching

Students desiring to cultivate their preaching and teaching gifts in the context of the local church can pursue a preaching and teaching focus. Recommended courses include the following:

EM 5125Teaching and Learning2-3
HM 6200Theology and Methodology of Biblical Preaching2
HM 6610Preaching Narrative1
HM 6620Preaching Poetry and Prophecy1
HM 7000Preaching from the Old Testament1
HM 7210Expository Preaching of a Biblical Book2
HM 7400Seminar: History of Preaching2
HM 8000Seminar: Current Issues1-3
ME 8215Teaching Across Cultures3
NT 5253Exegesis for Preaching2

Trinity provides the opportunity for students to earn multiple masters degrees without substantially lengthening their stay.  Multiple Masters options include: