Academic Catalog 2019-2020

Religion, Master of Divinity/Master of Arts

(108 Hours)

The MDiv/MA in Religion is designed to provide divinity students with advanced research skills by permitting them to earn a second degree, the MA in Religion. This degree provides students with options for a broadened and deepened study of the biblical languages or other concentrations in consultation with the student’s advisor. Students have opportunities for either a thesis writing track or teaching Internship track.

The MDiv/MA in Religion is housed in the School of Divinity. The MDiv/MA in Religion requires completion of the 60-hour MDiv core, six hours of biblical studies electives, three hours of historical and theological studies electives, three hours of practical ministry electives of the MDiv degree, and the 36-hour MA in Religion for a total of 108 hours.

Dual-degree students must apply to the Gayle Bolt Price School of Graduate Studies as well as to the School of Divinity, following the admission requirements of the respective programs, and be accepted to each in order to pursue both degrees. Also, when academic policies and standards differ between the two schools (e.g., grades required for maintaining good academic standing and for graduation), the policies and standards of the appropriate school apply to the respective portion of the dual-degree. Students must also meet all requirements established by the departments/schools involved for taking courses outside of the Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy.

Student Learning Outcomes

A student completing the dual-degree Master of Divinity/Master of Arts in Religion will demonstrate:

  1. Research and writing skills essential for scholars in the field of religious studies;
  2. An understanding of the classical and modern theories, and current research in the field of religious studies; and
  3. Proficiency in expressing scholarly ideas through a written thesis.

Admission Requirements

Application for admission to the Master of Arts in Religion program is made through the Gardner-Webb University Office of Graduate Admissions. The following criteria will be used for consideration acceptance:

  1. Minimum GPA of 2.7;
  2. GRE or MAT Scores;
  3. Research Writing Sample;
  4. Official Transcripts;
  5. Three Professional References; and
  6. Admission Interview.

Applicants for admission to the Master of Arts in Religion Program with a concentration in Biblical Studies/Languages will be required to demonstrate proficiency in Greek and Hebrew.

Purpose

The purpose of the program is the academic (rather than parish ministry) study of religion in order to prepare students for one or more of the following possibilities:

  1. Meeting PhD entrance requirements;
  2. College teaching on the freshman and sophomore levels; and
  3. Teaching in private schools.

Course Requirements

A. Common Core (18 Credit Hours)

RELI 600Research Seminar

3

RELI 605Biblical Studies Seminar

3

RELI 640Theological Studies Seminar

3

RELI 660World Religions Seminar

3

RELI 685Religious Instruction Seminar

3

One of the following

RELI 630Historical Studies Seminar

3

RELI 650Philosophy of Religion Seminar

3

RELI 670Psychology of Religion Seminar

3

RELI 680Literature and Religion Seminar

3

B. Concentrations (12 hours)

Religious Studies Concentration

Students will construct a concentration consisting of four courses in consultation with their advisor, selecting from courses offered by the Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy or the School of Divinity.

or

Biblical Studies/Languages within the Department

RELI 610Advanced Hebrew Exegesis Seminar

3

RELI 620Advanced Greek Exegesis Seminar

3

RELI 615Old Testament Seminar

3

RELI 625New Testament Seminar

3

or

Out-of-Department Concentration

Students will construct a concentration consisting of four courses in consultation with their advisor, selecting from courses outside of the Department. Possibilities include (but are not limited to) the English Department and the School of Psychology.

C. Research (6 Hours)

RELI 695Thesis

3

RELI 695Thesis

3

RELI 695: first semester

RELI 695: second semester

Exit Criteria

In order to graduate, all students in the program must pass comprehensive written examinations on their MA coursework. Students must also pass a successful oral defense of their thesis.