At a Glance
Average completion time
Cost per unit
About the Program
The Master of Arts (Theological Studies) program provides a general foundation in the biblical and theological disciplines as well as an opportunity for specialized training in either Biblical Studies or Theology and Ethics. Specifically, the outcomes of the program are to prepare graduates who:
- Analyze biblical texts through a close reading that employs an inductive approach and determines various aspects of their structure.
- Identify and differentiate the historical and cultural setting of biblical texts.
- Compare and contrast critically different interpretations of biblical texts.
- Demonstrate skill in at least one biblical language.
- Analyze theological and ethical issues through theological methodology.
- Identify and outline the historical development of Christian doctrine and ethics.
- Identify and differentiate the central doctrines of Christian theology and the foundations of Christian ethics.
- Demonstrate mastery of the craft of scholarly research and writing.
Master of Divinity (M.Div.) students are required to obtain competence in at least one biblical language for use as an exegetical tool in the study of the Bible. This requirement may be met by the course GBBL 500 (Elements of Greek Exegesis); by transcript evidence of one year of biblical Greek or Hebrew at the undergraduate level; or by GBBL 510, GBBL 520 or GBBL 530, GBBL 540.
It is strongly recommended, however, that students who anticipate further graduate study in theology complete a full-year course in biblical Greek and/or Hebrew. To obtain full benefit from courses in biblical studies, students should enroll in the biblical language course, as well as in GBBL 511 (Seminar in Biblical Interpretation), as early as possible in their academic program.
- M.Div. students may petition for up to 15 units of advanced standing from upper-division undergraduate work in religion.
- The number of core courses in any department that may be replaced by advanced standing is limited to two.
- MAPS students may petition for up to 10 units of advanced standing from upper-division undergraduate work in religion.
- MA(TS) students may petition for up to 10 units of advanced standing on the basis of undergraduate biblical language study or upper-division undergraduate coursework in religion.
- MAYM students may petition for up to eight units of advanced standing from undergraduate coursework in religion.
- Prior to formal admission, the Request for Advanced Standing Petition form should be completed.
- All advanced standing examinations are administered in a proctored setting.
- Students must pass examinations for advanced standing within 12 months of their admission date. The cost for the exam is $50 per unit. If the student passes the exam(s), then he/she will not be required to pay full tuition for those units.
- A student may repeat advanced standing examinations one time without further charge.
- Courses in which a grade of B- or lower was earned may not be used for advanced standing.
- Students admitted under the exceptional category may not petition for advanced standing units.
- Undergraduate work must be from an accredited college or university.
A student may petition to transfer in up to 60 units for the M.Div., less any Advanced Standing units (e.g., 38 units transfer and 22 units Advanced Standing, or any other combination totaling 60 units), up to 40 units for the MAPS and MA(TS), and up to 32 units for the MAYM, less any Advanced Standing units, from other regionally or ATS-accredited graduate degree programs. Units transferred are limited to one half of an earned master’s degree. A minimum of 30 units for the M.Div., 22 units for the MAPS and MA(TS), and 16 units for the MAYM must be completed at Azusa Pacific Seminary.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many units do I take each quarter/semester?
While there are no minimum or maximum unit requirements, 9 units is considered a full-time schedule.
How long is a semester?
Semesters generally run for 15 weeks.
How many hours does each class session require?
Both once a week classes, which last for 4 hours and 15 minutes, and twice a week classes, which run for 2 hours each, are available.
How many students will there be in my classes?
Most classes will average 15–18 students.
How many evenings per week do I attend classes?
Classes usually meet once a week, but some are offered twice a week.
The faculty of Azusa Pacific Seminary believe that the growth of the student’s spiritual life is foundational to effective ministry. Accordingly, the development of spiritual life is integral to every course. In addition, there are opportunities for the graduate school community to pray together and share experiences in Jesus Christ. Students and faculty are encouraged to attend the university chapels as well as special services and lectures.
Azusa Pacific Seminary utilizes an experiential learning model. The Master of Divinity (M.Div.), Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (MAPS), Master of Arts in Youth Ministry (MAYM), and the Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) programs intentionally integrate biblical, theological, and ministerial studies with ministerial practice. Field education, the central component in the M.Div., MAPS, and MAYM degree programs, facilitates the integration of academic learning and experience in ministry. Students are required to devote at least eight hours per week to some form of supervised ministry for the duration of their master’s degree program.
For more information about field education, visit apu.edu/seminary/fieldeducation/.
Class Schedule and Size
Azusa Pacific Seminary at Azusa Pacific University conducts a year-round schedule. The majority of the programs adhere to 15-week semesters. The D.Min., however, runs on a 26-week semester.
Classroom experience is in concentrated sessions during two-week residency periods held each January and July.
Students benefit from personal attention and opportunities to build meaningful relationships with professors and peers with diversified ministerial experience.
Advancement to Candidacy
In order for students to progress beyond the initial courses of the master’s degree program, they must be granted candidacy. Candidacy is granted by faculty approval upon the satisfactory completion of 16 units of coursework with a minimum 2.7 grade-point average (3.0 is required for the MATS degree), and evaluation of each student’s personal growth and commitment to the mission and goals of Azusa Pacific Seminary.