Master of Arts (M.A.)

Calvin Theological Seminary recognizes the growing need for trained staff in specialized ministry and offers six areas of focus in the Master of Arts (M.A.) program. These are:

Evangelism & Missions
Educational Ministries
Pastoral Care
Youth & Family Ministries
Bible & Theology

These specializations provide training for leadership in a congregation or other ministry setting.

Admission Requirements

To apply to the MA program you need to have a B.A. degree or its equivalent from an accredited college with a grade-point average of 2.67 (B-) or higher. The chart below lists the requirements for each specialization of the MA program.

Requirement for MA Educational  Ministries Worship
Evangelism & Missions Pastoral Care Youth & Family Ministries Bible & Theology
English Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Literature Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
History I Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
History II Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Philosophy I Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Social Science I Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Social Science II No No No No No Yes
Natural Science I Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cultural Anthropology No No Yes No No No
Music/Art I No Yes No No No No
Psychology No No No Yes No No
Psychology/Education Yes No No No Yes No
Final Transcript Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes


M.A. Program Curriculum

The M.A. program has two elements: an M.A. core program that provides solid training in biblical and theological foundations for ministry; and specialization courses that provide grounding in an area of ministry and enhance ministry skills. Although each specialization includes a list of electives, occasionally other electives may be offered that would satisfy a requirement. The courses link to the course descriptions on our full course listing.

M.A. (Bible and Theology) Program

◊ M.A. Core Program (all but M.A. in Bible and Theology):

*courses with possibility for advanced standing

Requirements for M.A. Specializations (all but in Bible and Theology)

The M.A. in Evangelism and Missions prepares people to give evangelistic, church planting and cross-cultural leadership in a church, denominational, or para-church setting in North America or abroad.

Electives (8 credits)
  • 8 credits of Evangelism and Missions Electives

The M.A. in Pastoral Care program prepares people to provide leadership in a church, denominational or para-church setting through pastoral care and equipping others in facilitating small group and discipleship ministries.

The M.A. in Youth and Family Ministries program prepares people to provide leadership in a church, denominational or para-church setting in working with young people and their families as well as equipping others to minister effectively to them.


Advanced Standing

Students may receive up to six semester hours of credit through advanced standing exams for prior study, knowledge or experience in Bible and Theology. Advanced standing means demonstrating competence equivalent to one or more of the courses listed below.

The following courses are available for advanced standing. Study Guides and more information may be found here.

            • Bible Survey
            • Christian Theology in Reformed Confessions
            • Christian Engagement with World Religions
            • Church History I
            • Church History II

Student competence is demonstrated by way of a written exam and evaluated by faculty. If granted, advanced standing reduces the number of CTS credit hours needed to complete one’s degree and can open doors to an additional internship or more courses in your specialization. In order to achieve advanced standing, you must demonstrate competence on a written qualifying exam. This exam must be taken at least 1 week but not more than 3 months prior to the first semester of your program. If an exam is not taken on campus, you must find a pastor or a college professor who can serve as a proctor.

Additionally, a student may choose to demonstrate competence in a specialized ministry course through the submission of a portfolio that demonstrates graduate level learning. A maximum of two credits can be earned through portfolio assessment.