For those who want to pursue theological and religious questions in a broad and systematic way, would like to add theological depth to their existing professional work, or wish to prepare for doctoral study in theology and religion. The Master of Arts is adaptable to a broad array of interests and purposes through its concentrations.
A graduate of the United Master of Arts program will be able to:
- Interpret the sacred texts of his or her tradition with proficiency
- Summarize the theological, cultural and historical expressions of his or her faith
- Compose a thesis on a specific theological topic
The M.A. requires 48 credit hours of study. The degree can be completed on a full- or part-time basis. All work for the degree must be completed with in five years. The specific requirements are:
1. Pass a writing sample within the first year of study.
2. Completion of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) in the first semester of enrollment after matriculation.
3. Satisfactory completion of 48 semester hours of credit (cr) as follows (A-I):
A. One of the following: Introduction to Theology TR110 or What is Religion? TR771 (3 cr)
B. One of the following: Orientation to the Older Testament CH161 or one scripture elective (3 cr)
C. One of the following: Introduction to the New Testament CH261 or one scripture elective (3 cr)
D. One of the following: Introduction to Historical Theology CH461 or two TR (Theological & Religious Interpretation) electives (3 cr – if ‘Two TR electives’ is chosen, one course replaces CH461 and one course replaces one elective)
E. Constructive Theology TR105 (3 cr)
F. Hermeneutics TR175 (3 cr)
G. One of the following: Christian Ethics EL300 or Comparative Religious Ethics EL302 or Global Christianities TR750 or Religion in America CH462 or one global justice elective (3 cr)
H. Thesis (3 – 6 cr)
I. Free electives (18-27 cr)
4. Recommendation by the faculty.
5. Completion of all degree requirements within five years of matriculation.
Degree concentrations make it possible for students to meet a variety of educational goals and interests, including personal or professional enrichment and preparation for doctoral studies. Each concentration has specific educational goals.
- Narrative Theology
- Public and Missional Theology
- Religion and Theology
- Social Justice and Reconciliation
- Social Transformation
- Theology and the Arts
- Bachelor’s degree from accredited institution
- Grade point average of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale
- Strong analytical and reflective thinking and writing skills
- Vocational and academic goals compatible with vision and mission of United
- Applicants whose first language is not English must submit scores on the TOEFL (Test Of English as a Foreign Language). A score of 80 on the iBT (internet-based TOEFL) with a minimum score of 20 on Reading and Writing is required for admission.
How to Apply
- Submit Application. You will need:
- A list of all post-secondary schools, universities and seminaries you have attended
- A list of any committees, positions of leadership or offices held in your congregation or denomination
- An up-to-date resume with your employment background, including part-time work, as well as community, volunteer and/or family experience, indicating positions of leadership, offices held, and awards or recognition received
- A one- or two-page vocational statement describing the vocational direction or goals that led you to apply at United
- Three references (see #3)
- Submit Immunization Record
- Supply three reference letters:
- one pastor or spiritual mentor reference, attesting to your call and/or spiritual discernment
- one employer or professional reference, attesting to your work ethic
- one personal reference (non-relative)
- REFERENCE FORM
- Provide official academic transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended Download a Transcript Request Form (one per institution)
- Contact the admissions office, 651.633.4311, to complete a writing sample
Application deadline: The recommended application due date is August 15. However, United will accept applications up until the second Friday of the start of the term. Keep in mind that financial aid application due dates fall much earlier.