Low Residency MA Theology: Christian Ministry

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About the program

The Master of Arts in Christian Ministry degree is designed for students who have a personal interest in theological study, are engaged in congregational or parachurch ministries, or are considering further advanced academic study in theology.  The Low-Residency version allows you to complete this malleable, self-designed program in a mostly online, distance-learning format.  This affords students the opportunity to pursue their vocational objective without disrupting their local obligations.

The curriculum

The Low-Residency Master of Arts (Christian Ministry) degree requires you to complete 60 credits of course work.  All but three 2-credit intensive courses in spiritual formation may be completed online.  

  • At least 27 credits are taken from the core curriculum upon which all graduate programs in the Seattle Pacific Seminary are based.
  • The core curriculum for the Christian Ministry concentration consists of three 2-credit intensive courses in spiritual formation and mission; three courses in Bible, at least one course in church history, and at least one core course in theology/ethics; and a year-long practicum that encourages reflection on the core curriculum in light of the student’s own spiritual life and ministry context.
  • The remaining 33 credits are in a variety of program-specific courses related to worship, preaching, the arts, an internship, and electives.  This includes a 6-credit Contextual Education Internship. 
  • All course requirements may be taken through distance learning, with the exception of THEO 6001, THEO 6002, and THEO 6003, which are intensive courses that take place primarily in person in late August through mid-September. 
  • International students may not pursue a low residency program. 

You may transfer easily from this degree program to any of the other MA degree programs, or to the Master of Divinity program, if your professional objectives change during your course of study.


admission requirements

To enroll in Seattle Pacific University's Master of Arts in Theology (MA) program, 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.

Transfer credits

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, you must provide official transcripts and, in some cases, course syllabi. You may transfer up to 20 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 School of Theology at SPU.
  • 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 15 MA credits must be taken at SPU.

Credit for prior coursework

You will have your transcripts evaluated during the admissions process for the following:

  • If you have been granted a master’s degree from another regionally accredited university
  • If you have taken graduate-level coursework in theology

Seattle Pacific Seminary graduate programs