MA/EM Concentration Purpose

The Master of Arts (Educational Ministries) purposes to equip persons in congregational leadership for collaborative ministry engagement and formational learning.

Focal Areas
Three focal areas ground the curriculum. Participants will focus on one or two in coursework and the Capstone Portfolio/Internship, but will substantively engage all three objectives throughout their program.

Congregational Life – a holistic systems approach to generational and intergenerational ministries that fosters congregational interconnectedness (children, youth, emerging adults, adults, aging adults, family)

Collaborative Ministry Engagement – enriches leadership capacity, and cultivates vocational stewardship, socio cultural analysis and engagement, and small groups/team development

Formational Learning – enhances congregational discipleship/spiritual formation, curriculum design and implementation, and facilitated teaching and learning.

The MA/EM is particularly well suited for practitioners and/or students who serve or will serve in roles that cultivate congregational ministries and strengthen pastoral leadership. The program equips leaders for collaborative ministry engagement based on biblical-theological foundations, whole-life discipleship, congregational best practices, and educational theory and practice. Ideal program applicants will possess three to five years of congregational life leadership experience, and seek additional understanding and skills to effectively serve as passionate reflective practitioners in their faith community. Persons anticipating ordained pastoral ministry should pursue the MDiv program.

MA/EM course offerings are drawn from across the curriculum based on a participant’s needs and ministry context (rather than a plethora of topic specific courses). A foundational curricular core in Bible, theology, and educational ministries provide a structure for integrative educational thinking.  EM Concentration courses in the focal areas enhance the educational foundation. All course selections are developed in consultation with an Educational Ministries Department faculty adviser 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 

MA/EM Concentration 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

MA/EM Residency and Course Delivery

MA/EM courses are available in several modes: on the Deerfield campus in semester long, short-term weekly modular, weekend, and summer formats; online where the entire program may be completed; at extension sites; some independent study work; and conference or on-site wrap-a-rounds. Program participants may “mix and match” modes of available course work in any fashion accessible to them in consultation with their faculty adviser. Not all courses are available in all modes or during all semesters.

While Deerfield-based course work provides the largest course selection, the MA/EM is available entirely online with courses rotating through a two to three-year cycle. All Bible and theology, and educational ministries Core courses are available online, as are an adequate number of EM Concentration courses in order to complete the MA/EM degree. Online participants are encouraged to join the Deerfield campus community for one or two short-term modular or weekend classes as their schedule allows and courses are of interest. 

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

Bible and Theology Core:9
ID 5000Biblical Theology and Interpretation3
ST 5201
ST 5202
Theology I: The God of the Gospel
and Theology II: The Gospel of God
EM Foundations Core: 17
EM 5100Educational Ministries and Leadership3
EM 5125Teaching and Learning2
EM 5210Christian Leadership and Administration2
EM Concentration14-16
Participants consult with EM faculty advisor to focus concentration courses around an educational area of personal interest.
EM Portfolio/Capstone
EM 7465(Educational Ministries) Capston Portfolio/Internship0-2
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 the nature of the Capstone experience.
Total Hours32

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

EM Concentration

MA/EM participants will pursue course work in congregational life, collaborative ministry engagement, and formational learning focusing on one or two of these areas of study toward their program Capstone Portfolio/Internship. The following suggested courses are offered on a regular basis (though not every course is offered every semester or every year or in every delivery mode).  Consult your EM adviser for current occasional special coursework also appropriate to your area of interest.

Recommended Congregational Life Focus
EM 5540Youth in Congregations2
EM 5560Adults in Congregations2-3
EM 5576Marriage & Family Enrichment2-3
EM 6100Intergenerational Ministry in the Church3
EM 6270Building Community in the Church2-3
ES 7524Children in Congregations3
ES 7550Local Church as System1-2
Other EM courses in consultation with the faculty adviser
Recommended Collaborative Ministry Engagement Focus
EM 5415Education Theory in Historical and Cultural Context2-3
EM 6100Intergenerational Ministry in the Church3
EM 6270Building Community in the Church2-3
EM 6275Developing Healthy Spiritual Leaders2-3
ES 7550Local Church as System1-2
Other EM courses in consultation with the faculty adviser
Recommended Formational Learning Focus
EM 5510Christian Formation & Journey2
EM 6260Small Group Processes in Ministry2-3
EM 6265Building Ministry Teams2-3
EM 6270Building Community in the Church2-3
EM 6275Developing Healthy Spiritual Leaders2-3
ES 7550Local Church as System1-2
ES 7560Program Planning Dynamics in the Local Church1-2
Other EM courses in consultation with the faculty adviser

Suggested Interdepartmental Courses

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

CC 5610Cultural Hermeneutics2
CH 5051History of Christianity I3
CH 5052History of Christianity II3
CM 6572Pastoral Counseling for Marriage & Family3
CO 5210Counseling Skills Training3
CO 6530Child & Adolescent Counseling2-3
HM 6200Theology and Methodology of Biblical Preaching2
ID 6012Prayer and Life in the Spirit2
ID 6500Understanding the Social and Cultural Contexts of Ministry2
ME 5001Foundations of Evangelism2
ME 8215Teaching Across Cultures3
ME 8815Ethnicity: Modes of Inquiry and Analysis3
PR 5600Christian Faith and Contemporary Challenges2
PT 6300Intro to Chaplain Ministries2
PT 5100Spiritual Formation for Ministry2
PT 6300Intro to Chaplain Ministries2
PT 7860Social & Cultural Exegesis2-3