United Theological Seminary

Master of Arts Degree

prepare for an academic career and more

Are you interested in religion and theology primarily from an academic perspective? Want to pursue a PhD and/or a teaching role in a religious or academic institution? Explore what United’s MA degree has to offer you.

How many credits is this program, and how long will it take?

This 36-credit program can be completed in two years if you maintain a full-time course load (24 credits per year) and complete your thesis in approximately one trimester.

Tell me more about the thesis.

Usually, MA students complete eleven courses at 3 credits each, followed by a 3-credit thesis. Alternatively, you may choose to complete ten courses followed by a longer 6-credit thesis.

Once completed, your thesis is read and evaluated by a thesis committee comprised of your thesis advisor and other qualified evaluators (usually other professors). You then will be required to “defend” the thesis in an oral examination with your committee.

can i complete the ma via distance learning?

All MA concentrations can be completed via distance learning.

What can I expect from an MA degree?

United’s Master of Arts degree program will prepare you to:

  • Interpret the founding religious texts of your tradition with proficiency
  • Summarize various theological, cultural, and historical expressions of your tradition and meaningfully dialogue with other traditions
  • Articulate the theological bases of ethical praxis (practice) and demonstrate commitment to justice and public stewardship
  • Acquire a significant degree of familiarity with and appreciation for a specified area of study (your concentration) within the academic disciplines of religion and theology
  • Meaningfully engage with your concentration through the performance of skills necessary for rigorous academic research and writing

What concentrations are available?

United’s MA degree offers five concentration options:

The “Directed Study” concentration is open-ended, allowing you to design your own experience in conversation with your advisor and the Director of Academic Programs.

Want to learn more about our MA degree? Fill out the form below and someone from our Admissions team will be in touch soon.