MA Pastoral Ministries

The Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministries (MAPM) combines the study of theology and the Bible with proven principles and best practices for effectiveness in pastoral ministry.

What will I learn?

The Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministries (MAPM) combines the study of theology and the Bible with proven principles and best practices for effectiveness in pastoral ministry. This concentration is especially designed to meet the needs of those who feel called to serve as a lead pastor or in another pastoral ministry position in a local church setting. Church leaders and elders who serve in a variety of leadership roles will also find benefit in this program and become better prepared to equip others for ministry.

One of the crying needs in our country today is for healthy and growing local churches that equip believers to love God and others by living missionally, thinking globally, and worshiping wholeheartedly. A healthy local church is a blessing to any community and to the individuals and families who live in it. Students in the MAPM program will learn how to lead a congregation to greater health and growth, helping them to foster positive change, shepherd God’s flock while equipping others for ministry, build bridges effectively to the community and world, and serve others faithfully while maintaining their own personal spiritual vitality.

Course Requirements

Pastoral Ministries Course Requirements

Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministries (12 credit hours)

MAPM512: The Personal Life of the Pastor (3) – A study in the care of the personal life of the pastor, recognizing the need for personal spiritual health and Christ-like formation for effectiveness in ministry. Topics such as spiritual disciplines, character development, time management, marriage and family, and finances will be addressed.

MAPM522: Preaching and Worship (3) – A study of the craft of sermon preparation and the delivery of biblical and relevant messages within the context of a corporate gathering for worship. Other aspects of effective worship services will also be explored.

MAPM532: Pastoral Care and Counseling (3) – This course will prepare men and women for effective shepherding, pastoral care, and counseling within the context of a local church body. Topics to be covered will include: family, marital, individual, pre-marital, crisis, and grief counseling; life-stage care (weddings and funerals); baptism and communion; hospital and shut-in visitation; and support group models for healing and corporate health.

MAPM542: Church Leadership and Administration (3) – Churches need effective leadership to experience vitality and growth. This study equips men and women for effective leadership and administrative roles in a local church setting, covering important topics every pastor needs to know, such as: working with a team, conflict management, recruiting and equipping others for ministry, creating and casting a compelling vision, leading through change, church finances and fund-raising, and church governance.

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 (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 – 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.

David Marine Mabry, DMin

Director of Pastoral Ministries

David Marine Mabry serves as the Director of the MA in Pastoral Ministries and as the Dean for the School of Graduate Studies. Before coming to Barclay College, he had been involved with pastoral and para-church leadership since 1990. He has served as a youth pastor, sports and recreation pastor, senior pastor, and an Area Director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He is the founder and executive director of One Another Relationships, INC which seeks to help marriages, families, and organizations build better relationships for greater impact through coaching, consulting, and content creation. He and his wife, Theresa, live in Columbus, Ohio.

Interested in Pastoral Ministries?

We’d love to share more information, including academic majors and graduate program financial opportunities.

Benefits of graduate studies at Barclay College

Complete program in only 2 years (4 semesters), a total of 36 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 and
the Association for Biblical
Higher Education

Tuition & Financial Assistance

The costs at Barclay College are much less than similar private Christian colleges. We also offer scholarships and other types of financial aid. Our outstanding quality and reasonable costs add up to a great education value.


Estimated cost per year for the 2023-2024 year

How to Apply

Barclay College admits students based on academic record and abilities, Christian commitment, and agreement with the established purposes of the college. See the requirements for the application to the School of Graduate Studies.

View the Application Requirements below. If you have questions, contact

Graduate School Calendar

Application Deadline December 8
Orientation December 11 January 5
Enrollment Deadline December 22
Classes January 8 May 12
FALL 2024
Application Deadline July 22
Orientation July 8 August 9
Enrollment Deadline August 2
Classes August 12 December 16
Application Deadline December 16
Orientation December 22 January 3
Enrollment Deadline December 23
Classes January 6 May 18

Graduate School Schedule of Courses F23-S24

What can I expect in an online Graduate class?

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