About the Program

Program Outcomes

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:

  1. Analyze biblical texts through a close reading that employs an inductive approach and determines various aspects of their structure.
  2. Identify and differentiate the historical and cultural setting of biblical texts.
  3. Compare and contrast critically different interpretations of biblical texts.
  4. Demonstrate skill in at least one biblical language.
  5. Analyze theological and ethical issues through theological methodology.
  6. Identify and outline the historical development of Christian doctrine and ethics.
  7. Identify and differentiate the central doctrines of Christian theology and the foundations of Christian ethics.
  8. Demonstrate mastery of the craft of scholarly research and writing.

Biblical Languages

Students concentrating in theology and ethics take one biblical language. Students concentrating in biblical studies take two biblical languages, one of which must be taken in their first year in order to continue in the program, unless they have received Advanced Standing for previous study in a biblical language. Students who demonstrate transcript evidence of a year of undergraduate Hebrew and/or Greek may apply for Advanced Standing of up to 10 units of credit. Students concentrating in biblical studies who have had a year of both undergraduate Hebrew and Greek will take courses of advanced language study for the additional 6 units beyond Advanced Standing credit.

Advanced Standing

  • 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.

Transfer Units

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, 8 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?
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 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.

Spiritual Life

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.

Experiential Learning

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 Mentored Ministry, visit apu.edu/seminary/resources/mentoredministry/.

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.

Note: This information is current for the 2015-16 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.