About the Program
The Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (MAPS) program helps the student who has a specific call to ministry develop a practical theology in church leadership. The program prepares graduates to:
- Study Scripture historically and critically, emphasizing an inductive approach to its interpretation.
- Reflect theologically, integrating Scripture, Church tradition, reason, and experience, reflective of a Wesleyan heritage.
- Embody and model a holy life that is being formed in faith and love, reflective of a Wesleyan heritage.
- Practice Christian faith with global awareness and cultural sensitivity.
- Minister effectively in the Church throughout the world.
- Integrate personal and vocational development through disciplined reflection on ministerial, personal, and academic experiences.
- Develop vocational proficiency and leadership ability in a specialized field of ministry.
Students in this program:
- Develop a global awareness of the Church.
- Understand basic principles for interpretation of Scripture.
Azusa Pacific Seminary utilizes an experiential learning model. The MAPS program intentionally integrates biblical, theological, and ministerial studies with ministerial practice. Mentored Ministry, the central component of the program, 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.
Azusa Pacific Seminary conducts a year-round schedule, with programs adhering to 16-week terms.
Classroom experience is in concentrated sessions during two-week residency periods held each January and June. Students benefit from personal attention and opportunities to build meaningful relationships with professors and peers who have diversified ministerial experience.
Azusa Pacific Seminary offers many courses online. Maximum enrollment in each online course is 20 students; enrollment is granted on a first-come, first-served basis. No more than 50 percent of an Azusa Pacific Seminary degree may be taken in online courses.
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 seminary 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.
- MAPS students may petition for up to 10 units of Advanced Standing from upper-division undergraduate work in religion.
- The number of core courses that may be replaced by Advanced Standing is limited to two.
- 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), 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 40 units for the MAPS, 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 22 units for the MAPS must be completed at Azusa Pacific Seminary.
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 MA(TS) degree), and evaluation of each student’s personal growth and commitment to the mission and goals of Azusa Pacific Seminary.
Visiting Student Status
Azusa Pacific Seminary has visiting student agreements with Fuller Theological Seminary and Claremont School of Theology. Students may contact Azusa Pacific Seminary for additional information at (626) 815-6000, Ext. 5654.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many units do I take each term?
While there are no minimum or maximum unit requirements, 8 units is considered a full-time schedule.
How many evenings per week do I attend classes?
Classes usually meet once a week, but some are offered twice a week.
How many hours does each class session require?
Once-a-week classes last for 4 hours and 15 minutes, and twice-a-week classes run for 2 hours each.
How many students will there be in my classes?
Most classes average 15-18 students.
Note: This information is current for the 2023-24 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.