About the program
Seattle Pacific Seminary offers six different Master of Arts (MA) degrees. Two, Christian Studies and Christian Scripture, are academically oriented degrees to prepare you for teaching and research in one of the theological disciplines, and are ideal for you if you are preparing for doctoral study. The other four — Asian American Ministry, Business and Applied Theology, Christian Leadership, and Reconciliation and Intercultural Studies — are professionally oriented degrees, which prepare you for specialized ministry in various contexts.
All six of these MA degrees in theology support SPU’s vision to engage the culture and change the world with the transforming gospel of Jesus Christ. They are built on an integrated core curriculum consisting of courses in Scripture, church history, theology and ethics, spiritual formation, mission, and ministry. The learning obtained from these fields of study is applied to the pressing needs of the contemporary church and the postmodern world.
Each degree has its own suite of advanced courses. These include additional courses in Bible, theology, ethics, and practical ministry, as well as suitable “interdisciplinary” courses offered by other SPU graduate programs, including business and economics, education, industrial/organizational psychology and/or marriage and family therapy.
Like the other five MA degree programs, the Master of Arts (Christian Leadership) consists of 78 quarter credits (i.e., 52 semester credits) of coursework — 39 credits of core courses, and 39 credits of program-specific courses. You may transfer easily from this degree program to any of the others or to the MDiv program, if your professional objectives change during your course of study.
University and program requirements for admission into any of the MA in theology programs include:
- A minimum of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. Applicants must have had a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 in the last 45 quarter credits (30 semester credits) of course work completed before applying for admission or in all undergraduate work, whichever is higher.
- Successful submission of all other materials and documents required for admission, as detailed below.
To enroll in any of Seattle Pacific Seminary's Master of Arts theology programs, you must submit:
- A graduate online application for admission.
- A $50 processing fee.
- Official transcripts from all undergraduate institutions.
- Two letters of recommendation: (1) one from a clergyperson, church staff person, or parachurch professional who will attest to the your emotional, spiritual, and academic readiness for graduate theological study; and (2) one academic reference from a former professor who knows your academic work well.
- A typed personal statement. Statements should be three to four pages in length. The statement should address your career objectives, a narrative of your personal Christian experience, rationale for seeking the degree and choosing to attend SPU, and other insights you deem appropriate.
- Applicants who are not citizens or permanent U.S. residents must provide an official confidential affidavit of
financial support covering the first year of intended enrollment. Without this document, SPU cannot issue an I-20 immigration form.
- Students holding undergraduate or graduate degrees from colleges, universities and/or seminaries located outside the U.S. are expected to have their transcripts evaluated by a professional credential agency. Such an evaluation is required before an application for admission to SPS can be granted and before any graduate credits taken elsewhere can be applied to an SPS degree.
- English language proficiency: If you do not speak English as your first language, you
must also submit scores on the Test
of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A minimum score of 600 on
the TOFEL paper or 250 on the TOFEL-CBT, or 100 on the TOFEL-IBT is required.
ACE scores will not be accepted.
Acceptance into the program
The Seattle Pacific Seminary Admissions Committee will evaluate you application based on a combination of your previous coursework, academic achievement, professional experience, emotional and spiritual preparedness, and personal goals.
Admission to the program will be made by the Seattle Pacific Seminary Admissions Committee and communicated to you in conjunction with Graduate Admissions.
If you wish to apply graduate-level coursework completed at a regionally accredited university or an ATS-accredited divinity school or seminary toward your MA in theology program, you must provide official transcript(s) and, in some cases, course syllabi. You may transfer up to 27 quarter credits from other graduate programs.
To receive transfer credit:
- Each course must be at least 3 graduate-quarter credits and be equivalent to courses taught in the Seattle Pacific Seminary.
- Each course will be considered on a case-by-case basis as to the fulfillment of specific curricular requirements.
- A minimum grade of B will be needed for transferred work.
- All courses applied toward the graduate degree must be taken within seven years of admission.
- In all cases, the final 27 MA in Theology credits must be taken at SPU.
Credit for prior coursework
If you (1) have been granted a master’s degree from another regionally accredited university or (2) have taken graduate level coursework in theology or a field related to the cross-disciplinary courses offered in the student ministry and culture or business and applied theology tracks, you will have your transcripts evaluated during the admissions process.
Applications are due May 15, although it is recommended that you complete application materials before April 1 to be eligible for financial aid.