The M.A.R.L. degree is designed for various lay roles in professional religious leadership or ordained roles where the M.Div. is not an ordination requirement. The degree provides a broad foundation in Bible, history, theology, ethics and the arts of ministry, as well as focused study in areas specific to a chosen career path.
Students are prepared for one or more of the classic functions of ministry: leading worship, preaching, giving care, educating and forming people in the faith, and leading a congregation or religious organization. In the context of a changing church and society, M.A.R.L. students gain the capacity to analyze new situations and respond as innovative leaders.
- Black Church Leadership*
- Intercultural and Immigrant Ministries
- Interfaith Chaplaincy*
- Methodist Studies*
- Narrative Theology*
- Pastoral Care and Counseling
- Presbyterian Studies*
- Public and Missional Theology
- Social Justice and Reconciliation
The M.A.R.L. requires 48 credit hours of study. It can be completed on a full-time basis in two years or part time within five years. The specific requirements are:
1. Pass a writing sample within the first year of study.
2. Satisfactory completion of 48 semester hours of credit (cr) as follows (A-M):
A. Spiritual Journey Program EL100 (2-5 cr; 1 credit each year student is in the program)
B. Introduction to Theology TR110 or One non-Christian religions elective (choose one, 3 cr)
C. Orientation to the Older Testament CH161 or One scripture elective (choose one, 3 cr)
D. Introduction to the New Testament CH261 or One scripture elective (choose one, 3 cr)
E. Introduction to Historical Theology CH461 or Two TR (theological & religious interpretation) electives (choose one, 3 cr each – if ‘Two TR electives’ is chosen, one course replaces CH461, one course replaces one elective)
F. Constructive Theology TR105 (3 cr)
G. Hermeneutics TR175 (3 cr)
J. Religious Leadership CL203 (3 cr)
K. One of the following (3 cr):
- Congregational Internship CL205 (Students who choose this option must also take Church Administration and Finance CL204 as an elective).
- Ministry Practicum CS253
- CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) Ministry Practicum CS254
L. Religious Education CL440 or Introduction to Pastoral Care and Pastoral Theology CL670 or Preaching CL336 or Worship of the Church CL330 (choose one, 3 cr)
M. Capstone Seminar CL301 (3 cr)
N. Free electives (4-12 cr)
3. Satisfactory completion of Unit I of vocational testing and consultation. Consultations are provided by North Central Ministry Development Center, adjacent to the seminary campus. To be completed during the first half of the student’s program.
4. Completion of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) in the first semester of enrollment after matriculation.
5. Recommendation by the faculty, which takes into account academic, personal and professional readiness for ministry.
- 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
Mature adults with significant life and vocational experience who have earned at least half of the credits toward a bachelor’s degree may be considered for the M.A.R.L., particularly if strong exposure to the liberal arts and social sciences can be demonstrated.
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 for study 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 September 1. 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.