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Master of Arts in Religion


The Master of Arts in Religion (MAR) is a two-year 57-credit hour academic degree designed for students who wish to pursue further study in a professional field outside of traditional ministries and desire a theological background before entering a graduate or professional program. If you want to pursue further academic work, you will need to have the background and training that provides a deep well of resources for you to draw on. Look no further than the MAR at Emmanuel Christian Seminary.

You may choose to focus your studies in Christian Theology, Church History, Historical Theology, New Testament, or Old Testament.

Concentrations

New Testament

The MAR with a concentration in New Testament is traditionally pursued by those planning further graduate studies in the field of New Testament. The curriculum emphasizes the New Testament area by redistributing electives from other areas. One elective is taken from each of the other five areas of study to give the student 15 additional hours of study in this field.

The New Testament area offers advanced study of the writings of the New Testament, their language, social-historical background, literary features, and theology. Courses in this area give attention to the Judaic and Graeco-Roman matrix of these writings, their religious teachings within their original contexts, and their theological unity and variety.

Exegesis of the text provides a foundation for the larger task of theological interpretation of the New Testament as sacred scripture. Courses emphasize the importance of both understanding and appreciating the use of these documents throughout the history of the church and reading them afresh as Spirit-filled writings that continue to shape the Christian life corporately and individually.

Christian Theology

The MAR with a concentration in Christian Theology is traditionally pursued by those planning further graduate studies in the field of Christian theology. The curriculum emphasizes the Christian Theology area by redistributing electives from other areas. One elective is taken from each of the other five areas of study to give the student 15 additional hours of study in this field.

The Area of Christian Theology is most concerned with contemporary Christian theology as a discipline that attends to all aspects of Christian life under the triune God. The area draws upon the rich theological resources of the Christian tradition across cultures to respond to life’s persistent questions and spiritual conditions in ways that aspire to salvation, hope, and justice in the world. All disciplines of human understanding may be brought to bear on its questions.

Historical Theology

The MDiv with a concentration in Historical Theology is traditionally pursued by those planning further graduate studies in historical theology. The curriculum emphasizes breadth across the Christian Theology and Church History areas by redistributing electives from other areas. One elective is taken from each of the other five areas of study to give the student 15 additional hours of study in this field. Electives for this concentration can be courses in either Christian Theology or Church History.

The Area of Christian Theology and the Area of Church history are dedicated to the study of theology as central to Christian tradition while deeply engaging its historical and cultural contexts and implications for contemporary Christian life.

Church history is the study of the formation of Christian identity and ecclesial life in the light of the apostolic witness of the New Testament and the shaping influences of twenty centuries of history. It embraces both the story of the Christian faith as it has taken root in diverse historical and cultural settings and the actual development of the corporate life of the Church in both its particular and global manifestations. Thus church history is by nature a contextual and ecumenical theological discipline, with the constructive task of evaluating critically the Church’s ongoing quest to embody Jesus Christ in the world through its community, its ministry, its theology, its worship and sacraments, and its spirituality and ethics.

Christian theology is a discipline that attends to all aspects of Christian life under the triune God. The area draws upon the rich theological resources of the Christian tradition across cultures to respond to life’s persistent questions and spiritual conditions in ways that aspire to salvation, hope, and justice in the world. All disciplines of human understanding may be brought to bear on its questions.

Old Testament

The MAR with a concentration in Old Testament is traditionally pursued by those planning further graduate studies in the field of Old Testament. The curriculum emphasizes the Old Testament area by redistributing electives from other areas. One elective is taken from each of the other five areas of study to give the student 15 additional hours of study in this field.

The Old Testament area offers advanced study of the books of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, including their text and language, social-historical background, literary character, and theology. The Deuterocanonical/Apocryphal books, Dead Sea Scrolls, and other important Jewish writings of the Second Temple period are also studied. Courses give attention to the ancient Near Eastern and later Hellenistic settings of the biblical books, their religious ideas and teachings within their original contexts, and their theological significance for Christian faith.

Exegesis is emphasized as the foundation for the larger task of theological interpretation of the Hebrew Bible as Christian sacred scripture. Accordingly, courses in Hebrew language and in exegesis are central, and courses in Aramaic, Ugaritic, and Akkadian are offered on a cyclical basis to complement the Old Testament area’s curriculum.

Church History

The MAR with a concentration in Church History is traditionally pursued by those planning further graduate studies in the field of church history. The curriculum emphasizes the Church History area by redistributing electives from other areas. One elective is taken from each of the other five areas of study to give the student 15 additional hours of study in this field.

Church history is the study of the formation of Christian identity and ecclesial life in the light of the apostolic witness of the New Testament and the shaping influences of twenty centuries of history. It embraces both the story of the Christian faith as it has taken root in diverse historical and cultural settings and the actual development of the corporate life of the Church in both its particular and global manifestations. Thus church history is by nature a contextual and ecumenical theological discipline, with the constructive task of evaluating critically the Church’s ongoing quest to embody Jesus Christ in the world through its community, its ministry, its theology, its worship and sacraments, and its spirituality and ethics.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

View all details and course requirements for this program in the Milligan College Catalog (link below). The Milligan College academic catalog is the official, authoritative source for all academic requirements and policies. Any discrepancies in curricular requirements from other sources will default to the Catalog.

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