What will I learn with a Practical Theology degree?
The Master of Arts in Practical Theology (MAPT) offers a personalized interdisciplinary learning experience which prepares students for effective leadership and scholarship in both ministry and non-ministry contexts. The concentration draws its courses from the other concentrations offered in the MA program, allowing the student to tailor their degree to fit their professional needs and goals.
The increasingly complex world of the 21st-century requires well-rounded ministers and leaders with a wide range of skill-sets and expertise. Students in the Master of Arts in Practical Theology will shape a plan of study that matches their unique circumstances, giving them the expertise necessary to impact individuals, families, churches and communities for the glory of God.
Additional Benefits of the MA in Practical Theology:
- Complete program in only 2 years (4 semesters), a total of 42 credit hours!
- 100% online – so students can further their education wherever they go!*
- Affordably priced – with Graduate Leadership Scholarships available!
- Accredited – by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org), a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, and the Association for Biblical Higher Education.
*If students choose classes from the Spiritual Formation Concentration, these are a hybrid model requiring students to participate in weekly video conferences and a trip to campus once each semester.
Practical Theology Course Requirements
Master of Arts in Practical Theology (18 credit hours)
The student will craft a personalized plan of study and articulate a rationale which aligns the courses chosen with their personal and professional goals. Each concentration offers four classes that students can choose from to fill the electives requirement. Students can choose courses from the following offerings:
- MATL512: Introduction to Transformational Leadership Theory (3)
- MATL522: Theological Perspectives on Transformational Leadership (3)
- MATL532: Forging a Leadership Foundation: The Heart of a Leader (3)
- MATL542: Transformational Leadership and Organizational Health (3)
- MAPM512: The Personal Life of the Pastor (3)
- MAPM522: Preaching and Worship (3)
- MAPM532: Pastoral Care and Counseling (3)
- MAPM542: Church Leadership and Administration (3)
- MASF512: Spiritual Formation in Biblical Perspective (3)
- MASF522: Spiritual Formation and the Transformational Journey (3)
- MASF532: Christian Classics: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Work (3)
- MASF542: Soul Shepherding: The Role of the Christian Leader in the Development of Others’ Souls (3)
- MAQS512: Quaker History (3)
- MAQS522: Quaker Beliefs (3)
- MAQS532: Quaker Classics (3)
- MAQS542: Quaker Missions (3)
- MAFM512: Ministry of Self (3)
- MAFM522: Ministry of Marriage (3)
- MAFM532: Ministry of Family (3)
- MAFM542: Ministry of Community (3)
- MAMM512: Church Multiplication (3)
- MAMM522: Cross-Cultural Ministry in Local Perspective (3)
- MAMM532: Cross-Cultural Ministry in Global Perspective (3)
- MAMM542: Quaker Missions (3)
- MASO512: Theology of Competition and Sport (3)
- MASO522: 21st Century Models of Sports Outreach Ministry (3)
- MASO532: “Christmanship” (3)
- MAS0542: Evangelistic Disciple-making Through Sport, Recreation, and Fitness Ministry (3)
Master's Course Requirements
MAO501: Orientation (0) – This is a one-week course designed to introduce students to the graduate program at Barclay College, including: classmates, course instructors, the mechanics of the online portal and discussion forum, and the academic rigors of graduate studies.
Theology Core (15 credit hours)
MABI511: Old Testament Hermeneutics (3) – God’s revelation through the Old Testament illuminates His timely message and timeless story for His people, while also providing the context and foundation for the New Testament. In this class, students will investigate the richness of the Old Testament and its relevance for today, including the principles and procedures for its interpretation, application, and exposition.
MABI521: New Testament Hermeneutics (3) – The narrative of Christ and His Church, foreshadowed in the Old Testament and revealed in the New Testament, provides the framework for Christian faith and practice. This class in biblical interpretation and exegesis focuses on the life and teachings of Christ, the experience of believers, and the eternal hope of the Church as recorded in the gospels, epistles, and apocalyptic literature.
MATH531: Christian Theology (3) – This class investigates the essential teachings of the evangelical Christian faith, with special attention given to the person and work of Christ, sin and salvation, the role of the Holy Spirit, the life of the Church, and contemporary theological issues. Students will become better equipped to apply and articulate theological convictions in ministry settings.
MATH541: The History of Christianity (3) – This course addresses the major events, issues, personalities, and movements that shape and define the story of the Christian Church. Topics such as the birth and growth of the Early Church, the threat of persecution, the rise of monasticism, the Councils of Nicea and Chalcedon, the Reformation, the Great Awakenings, ecumenical efforts, and the globalization of the gospel provide a deeper understanding of the Church and a relevant perspective for ministry today.
MAMM513: The Missional Church (3) – We may not all be called to serve Christ as missionaries in a foreign land, but we are all called to be “on mission with God” wherever He may lead us. In this course, students are challenged to examine their purpose and calling in life, maximize their capacity to build bridges, and bear faithful witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ both at home and around the world.
Research and Application (9 credit hours)
MARA523: Research Methods (3) – This course is an introduction to the research methods that are applicable in a variety of academic and organizational settings, including both quantitative and qualitative strategies that are commonly used in a graduate Capstone project.
MARA533: Applied Research I: Field Experience (3) – In this research and application course, students will identify and begin to investigate a potential Capstone project that relates to their chosen concentration of graduate studies. Through practical examination, each student will focus on their field of study using a variety of potential methods, some of which may include: field experience, literature review, and other forms of data collection.
MARA543: Applied Research II: Church Health and Growth (Capstone Project) (3) – This course involves the completion of a written Capstone project that serves as the culmination of a student’s research and their graduate school experience. Students will integrate their research findings with their chosen area of concentration, making application to life, service, and leadership today. In addition, each student will demonstrate their acquisition of scholarship, critical thinking, creativity, and written communication skills.
Derek Brown, Ph.D.
Director of Practical Theology
Derek Brown, in addition to his directorships, serves as the Professor of Pastoral Ministry and the chair of the Pastoral Ministry department. In addition to his credentials in theology, biblical studies, and ecclesiology, Derek is also a scholar of organizational and leadership theory. While his main research focus is Quaker pastoral theology and ecclesiology, he also enjoys researching the broader interplay of theology and culture, as well as the growing field of leadership studies.