Students seeking to pursue graduate degrees in religion now have more options to choose from at Trevecca. This fall, the Millard Reed School of Theology and Christian Ministry will begin offering two new master’s programs: the Master of Arts in church and community and the Master of Arts in theology and biblical studies.
“The ever-changing dynamics of our world and ministry in it call for those who have the capacity to engage the complexity, beauty, and diversity of our time,” said Dr. Tim Gaines, program director for the master’s program in theology and biblical studies. “When we put these programs together, we spent time listening to what would be most helpful for those on the front lines of ministry. The result, we think, is a unique set of programs that not only draw on Trevecca’s academic strengths, but also offer a graduate-level experience meant to inspire, transform and equip servants and leaders for life and ministry in the real world.”
Both programs are offered entirely online and can be completed in as few as 18-24 months, depending on the student’s preference or situation. Students can choose to add optional face-to-face intensives, conferences, retreats, on-campus summer classes, and destination courses to international and domestic locations allow students to explore and learn in a variety of real-world contexts.
The Master of Arts in theology and biblical studies is a graduate-level exploration of theological and biblical studies in a contemporary context. Students will be challenged to consider emerging methods of theological and biblical study in light of the most critical current issues cultures and communities are facing.
“I think that theology is most alive when it’s allowing a community to see how God is working and to join in that work, even if it looks new or different,” Gaines said. “My hope is that this program challenges and equips a generation of theologians and biblical scholars to marvel at what God is doing among us today, even in the midst of hard and complex situations, and to call others into the beautiful work of God.”
The master’s program in church and community will prepare students to help congregations engage their neighborhoods and communities. They will learn how to study their neighborhoods, form community partnerships, engage in intercultural work and reconciliation in changing neighborhoods and lead a congregation in these practices.
It’s a very specific type of ministerial training that’s not readily found anywhere else, says Dr. Kathy Mowry, program director.
“The times we are in, I think, make it clear that the church needs to be able find what God is doing in a neighborhood and join that work,” Mowry said. “There are people in our neighborhoods who need hope that isn’t just preached inside our buildings on Sunday but is lived in the trenches. More than ever, we need to minister to and with all the people in our communities instead of the ones who prefer our worship style enough to attend.”
Unlike most ministerial preparation, this program is uniquely designed to equip students for practical day-to-day work of helping their communities flourish, Mowry says.
Classes start October 20, and the program directors plan to launch the new degree programs with an October seminar called “Lament and Hope in the Midst of Global Crisis.” Learn more at Trevecca.edu/churchandcommunity and Trevecca.edu/theologyandbiblicalstudies.