MA/ST Concentration Purpose

The Master of Arts concentration in Systematic Theology provides specialized study in Christian doctrine: its biblical grounding, historical development, logical coherence, and contemporary context. The MA/ST trains students to engage theological ideas in the world today through a strong biblical, evangelical foundation, mastery of our diverse theological heritage, and familiarity with contemporary (including global) developments in theology. The concentration seeks to equip students to become responsible interpreters of Scripture and faithful stewards of Christian thought. The MA/ST is academic rather than professional in focus, preparing participants in knowledge and practice for teaching or researching in Christian secondary schools, or as a preparatory step (among others) toward doctoral study in a related area.

MA/ST Concentration Objectives and Student Learning Objectives

  1. Students will learn to think from a biblical, evangelical foundation and responsibly interpret Scripture (e.g., by taking the “Use of Scripture in Theology” course).
  2. Students will obtain competence in the historic traditions of Christian theology (e.g., by taking courses in historical theology).
  3. Students will gain familiarity with contemporary, global developments in Christian theology (e.g., by taking Contemporary Theology).
  4. Students will develop skills in speaking, writing, and teaching towards professional/vocational goals (e.g., through papers, seminar presentations, and perhaps a thesis).

MA/ST Prerequisites

An undergraduate major in Bible and/or theology, or a minimum of 12 hours of undergraduate work in biblical and/or theological studies. Students entering with deficiencies are advised to satisfy up to 9 hours of those deficiencies by taking any or all of ST 5201, 5202, and ID 5000.

Biblical and Theology Core9
ID 5000Biblical Theology and Interpretation3
ST 5201
ST 5202
Theology I: The God of the Gospel
and Theology II: The Gospel of God
Students who have taken the equivalent of these courses with a grade of B or above are encouraged to take at least two advanced doctrinal courses such as the following:
Models of Sanctification
ST 8xxx
ST 8xxx
ST 8xxx
God in Biblical and Systematic Theology
Concentration Core 1,2
ID 6011The Church and its Mission2
ST 7505Use of Scripture and Theology3
Select one course in Biblical Theology such as:3
Old Testament Theology
New Testament Theology
Select two courses, in Historical Theology and/or Contemporary Theology such as:5-6
Jonathan Edwards
Survey of Contemporary Theology
Theology of Augustine
Karl Barth
Recent & Contemporary Theologians
ST electives (6-12 hours)
Elective Courses
Select 7-8 hours of elective courses 37-8
Symposium in ST (two times/semester)
Symposium in ST once each semester and one ST discussion each semester 40
Field Education
Select one of the following:0
Field Education (1 semester)
Formation Group (2 semesters)
MA/ST Capstone0-2
MA/ST Major Comprehensie Exam0
Select one of the following:
ST 7980MA Major Research Paper (Two)0-2
ST 7485MA Thesis 50-2
Total Hours32

Up to 2 hours of the Capstone Project may be applied to the Core


MA/ST students should work with faculty advisor to ensure coursework provides adequate background for the capstone comprehensive exam and writing projects.


After satisfying the above mentioned requirements, students who have not taken a total of 32 hours may take further elective course work in a secondary area related to the Concentration (e.g., Apologetics; Ethics; Philosophy of Religion; Bioethics).


Each MA/ST student is required to attend a Symposium in ST once each semester. In addition, each student is required to attend a discussion groups coordinated by the department in that same semester. Thus in two semesters of coursework, a student will attend two symposiums and two discussion groups. ST Symposia will be hosted by the ST Department.


The thesis option requires a research methods course as an elective (generally ID 7900)