About the Program
The Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies Program helps the student who has a specific call to ministry to develop a practical theology in church leadership. The program prepares graduates to:
- Study and exegete Scripture historically and critically, emphasizing an inductive approach to its interpretation.
- Embody and model a holy life that is being formed in faith and love, reflective of a Wesleyan heritage.
- Reflect theologically, integrating Scripture, Church tradition, reason, and experience reflective of a Wesleyan heritage.
- Practice Christian faith with global awareness and cultural sensitivity.
- Minister effectively in the Church throughout the world.
- Develop vocational proficiency and leadership ability.
- Integrate personal and vocational development through disciplined reflection on ministerial, personal, and academic experiences.
Students in this program:
- Develop a global awareness of the Church.
- Understand basic principles for interpretation of Scripture.
The faculty of the Graduate School of Theology believes 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.
Graduate School of Theology 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/theology/graduate/fieldeducation/.
Class Schedule and Size
Azusa Pacific University’s Graduate School of Theology 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 the Graduate School of Theology.