The first 39 credits of both the Master of Arts and the Master of Divinity degrees are drawn from a core curriculum that serves as the basis of all graduate programs at Seattle Pacific Seminary. This curriculum consists of three intensive introductory courses on the intersection of Christian formation and discipleship; Christian formation and mission; and Christian formation in context and community (6 credits). In addition, students are required to take three courses in Bible, church history, and theology/ethics (27 credits), in conjunction with the Graduate Core Practicum (6 credits).
THEO 6001: "Christian Formation in Discipleship: Acts of Piety"
“Christian Formation in Discipleship: Acts of Piety” is the first course you will take for the Master of Arts (MA) and the Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree programs. It is a one-week intensive study that introduces you to the spiritual practices associated with what John Wesley calls “works of piety” or the “means of grace.”
The acts of piety include prayer, worship, celebration of the Lord’s Supper, the reading and hearing of Scripture, and mutual accountability and support in small groups. During this week, you live in community with other students, as well as faculty, and engage in both the academic study and the practice of these acts of piety.
The course is structured vertically to deepen your daily personal piety, and horizontally to deepen your life in community. The practices introduced in this course are then woven into the series of courses that compose the MA and MDiv degrees. Thus, this initial course provides you with insights and opportunities that are vital to the “Abbey” emphasis of the graduate program, and recognizes the essential role that acts of piety play in the ongoing life and ministry of the church.
This is a 2-credit course, held at SPU's Camp Casey Conference Center on Whidbey Island in the Puget Sound.
These vital areas of formation are further supported and continued by assigning you to a Class Meeting and Mentor — i.e., a Wesleyan an accountable discipleship group, and an optional mentor, who is an experienced pastor or Christian leader who can provide wisdom, and support in your process of vocational discernment, and discipleship.
THEO 6002: "Christian Formation in Mission: Acts of Mercy and Justice"
“Christian Formation in Mission: Acts of Mercy and Justice” is the second course you will take for the MA and the MDiv degree programs. It is an intensive study held over a series of weekends that introduces you to the practices associated with what John Wesley calls “works of mercy”: feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, welcoming the stranger, caring for the sick, visiting prisoners, sheltering the homeless, and peacemaking.
You will live in the urban context of Seattle and engage in both the academic study and the practice of these acts of mercy. Personal works of mercy are connected to the necessity of the ongoing communal work of social justice. Focusing on such practices helps define the “Apostolate” emphasis in the MA and MDiv degrees, and deepens your understanding of and engagement in practices vital to the graduate program and to the ongoing life and ministry of the church.
This course is structured vertically to deepen your daily personal piety, and horizontally to deepen your life in community. It is a 2-credit course.
THEO 6003: "Christian Formation: Social Holiness in Context"
"Christian Formation: Social Holiness in Context" is the third intensive course for MA and MDiv students. This course gives second-year seminary students the opportunity to practice the art of mutual soul care — to which they were introduced in their first year through participation in a Wesleyan class meeting — in the context of a small, intentionally diverse accountability group. These accountability groups are formed with the intent to foster spiritual transformation and intercultural social change, to expose students to the foundational principles of Christian reconciliation, and to introduce students to the knowledge base and practical skills needed to organize and implement such groups in various ministry settings. This is a 2-credit course.
THEO 6930: “Graduate Core Practicum”
The Graduate Core Practicum plays an essential role in helping first-year seminary students integrate the “Academy” aspect of their theological study with the “Abbey” and “Apostolate” distinctive of our Seminary program. In the Practicum, you will connect the academy study in your Core courses (i.e., “Christian Scripture,” “Global Christian Heritage,” and “Theology/Ethics”) with your spiritual formation as a disciple of Jesus Christ and minister of the Gospel.
You will develop an individualized learning contract in close collaboration with your faculty practicum advisor and then meet with that advisor to address areas vital to your theological, spiritual, and vocational formation.