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Master of Arts in Theological Studies

Gain vocational clarity as you learn to integrate faith into your everyday life and work, whether in the marketplace, academy, home, or church.

Special note

Until January 26, 2013, this program was known as the Master of Christian Studies (MCS). The MA in Theological Studies comes into effect in the 2013–2014 academic year. You can read more about the rationale behind the program change here

The Program Is

  • Foundational: Acquire a solid foundation in the Christian faith through core courses built on theological integration and personal formation.
  • Integrative: Learn to relate this foundational core to all areas of life and work.
  • Focused: Pursue focused study in an area of concentration that interests you.

Typical Students

  • are working/planning to work in the professions 
  • are preparing for certain types of church or parachurch work
  • are pursuing an academic career 

Graduates go on to a wide variety of pursuits, including resuming previous careers, following newly discovered interests, undertaking further education, or entering church or parachurch work—all with a new perspective and motivation for engaging in their vocation and ministry as mature people of God.

Credit Hours

60

Typical Completion Time

  • minimum 2–3 years full-time
  • up to 6 years part-time

Application Requirements

To apply to the program, you must EITHER:

  • have a bachelor’s degree OR
  • be at least 28 years of age and able to demonstrate that your life/vocational/ educational experience can be seen as equivalent to a university degree

The minimum grade point average normally considered in the admission selection process is 2.8 on a scale of 4.0 (or equivalent).

For required documents and to learn more about the application process, visit our Admission Requirements page.

Concentrations

One of the primary appeals of the MA in Theological Studies is that it allows you to focus your studies in one of these concentrations:

Scripture Christian History & Theology Christianity, Church & Culture
Biblical Languages History of Christianity Marketplace Theology
Old Testament Doctrinal Theology Interdisciplinary Studies
New Testament Spiritual Theology Christianity and the Arts
Biblical Studies   World Christianity
    Applied Theology 
   

Or you can choose the No Concentration option in Christian Studies.

Program Costs

The cost of tuition for the 2014–2015 academic year is $460 per credit hour.

The total tuition for the MA in Theological Studies program is $27,600 (60 credit hours at $460 per credit hour). 

For a breakdown of associated fees and costs of living, view our sample budget.

To help you offset the high costs of graduate education, we offer scholarships, financial aid, and work opportunities on campus.

Program Requirements

You will begin your studies with a foundational set of courses. You can then choose one area of concentration, or you can select the "no concentration" option. Towards the end of your program, you will complete a final project, which can take the form of a comprehensive exam, a thesis, or an integrative project, depending on your concentration. You will be awarded the MA in Theological Studies degree for the successful completion of 60 credit hours of study with a grade point average of 3.0 (= B) or better.

Foundational Core Courses Credit Hours
Old Testament Foundations BIBL 501 3
New Testament Foundations BIBL 502 3
Biblical Language course LANG 500 or LANG 510 or LANG 550 3
Biblical Exegesis and Interpretation BIBL 503 3
History of Christianity Foundations HIST 501 3
Christian Thought and Culture I INDS 501 3
Christian Thought and Culture II INDS 502 3
Theology Overview THEO 500 OR Theology I THEO 601 AND Theology II THEO 602*  3 or 6 
One of the following: 
     Soul of Ministry APPL 500 (3)**  
     Gospel and Culture (3)***   
     Community, Formation, and Leadership (3)   
Total  27 or 30 

*Theology I & II are required for the Doctrinal Theology and Spiritual Theology concentrations.
**Soul of Ministry is required for the Applied Theology concentration.
***Gospel and Culture is required for the Marketplace Theology and Interdisciplinary Studies concentrations.

CONCENTRATION COURSES

Scripture

Biblical Languages

Concentration Requirements Credit Hours
Biblical Hebrew  12
New Testament Greek 12
Advanced Hebrew or Greek Readings 3
Comprehensive Examination 3
General Electives 6
 
Note that the 3 credits of biblical languages listed in the Foundational Core Courses above are incorporated in this list also so that the total credits required for the program is still 60. 
 

Old Testament

Concentration Requirements Credit Hours
Biblical Hebrew 12
Biblical Hermeneutics and Criticism 3
Advanced Old Testament Exegesis 3
Old Testament Seminar
3
One of the following: 9 or 12
     Comprehensive Exam (3) + 600-level OT Electives (6)           
     Thesis (12)           
General Electives 3 or 6
 
Note that the 3 credits of biblical languages listed in the Foundational Core Courses above are incorporated in this list also so that the total credits required for the program is still 60.
 

New Testament

Concentration Requirements Credit Hours
New Testament Greek 12
Biblical Hermeneutics and Criticism 3
Advanced New Testament Exegesis   3
New Testament Seminar  3
One of the following: 9 or 12
     Comprehensive Exam (3) + 600-level NT Electives (6)           
     Thesis (12)   
General Electives 3 or 6
 
Note that the 3 credits of biblical languages listed in the Foundational Core Courses above are incorporated in this list also so that the total credits required for the program is still 60.
 

Biblical Studies

Concentration Requirements Credit Hours
Biblical Hebrew  6
New Testament Greek 6
Biblical Hermeneutics & Criticism BIBL 600 3
Advanced Old Testament Exegesis BIBL 701 3
Advanced New Testament Exegesis BIBL 702
3
Old Testament Seminar 
3
New Testament Seminar
3
Old Testament Comprehensive Exam 3
New Testament Comprehensive Exam 3
General Electives 3
 
Note that the 3 credits of biblical languages listed in the Foundational Core Courses above are incorporated in this list also so that the total credits required for the program is still 60.
 

Christian History and Theology

History of Christianity

Concentration Requirements Credit Hours
History of Christianity: Reformation to Modern         3
600-level History of Christianity Elective  3
History Seminar 3
One of the following: 9 or 15
     Comprehensive Exam (3) + History Electives (6)           
     Thesis (12) + History Elective (3)  
General Electives (Exam versus thesis track) 15 or 9
   

Doctrinal Theology

Concentration Requirements Credit Hours
Languages  9
     Perspectives on Biblical Languages LANG 500 (3) +
          Biblical Language (6)* 
 
     Hebrew (6) + Greek (3)  
     Greek (6) + Hebrew (3)           
History of Doctrine  3
Theology Seminar  3
One of the following: 3 or 12
     Comprehensive Exam (3)            
     Thesis (12)   
General Electives 6 or 15
 
Note that the 3 credits of biblical languages listed in the Foundational Core Courses above are incorporated in this list also so that the total credits required for the program is still 60.
 

Note also: The Doctrinal Theology concentration requires Theology I & II from the core courses.

*With the approval of the Doctrinal Theology coordinator, you may satisfy the language requirement by taking Perspectives on Biblical Languages LANG 500 and by passing a reading knowledge exam in Latin, French, or German. If you have taken such courses elsewhere, you may be eligible to have these credits transferred into your program. See the Academic Advisor for more information.

Spiritual Theology

Concentration Requirements Credit Hours
History of Christianity: Reformation to Modern         3
The Christian Spirit SPIR 500 3
Classics of Christian Spirituality SPIR 670  3 
Spiritual Theology Seminar   3
One of the following: 9 or 12
     Comprehensive Exam (3) + Spiritual Theology Electives (6)           
     Thesis (12)  
General Electives 6 or 9
   

Note: The Spiritual Theology concentration requires Theology I & II from the core courses.

Christianity, Church, and Culture

Marketplace Theology

Concentration Requirements Credit Hours
Mission and Vocation  3
Field Immersion APPL 692*   3
Marketplace Theology Electives   3 
Marketplace Theology Seminar   3 
One of the following: 6 or 12
     Comprehensive Exam (3) + Marketplace Theology Elective (3)           
     Integrative Project (6)           
     Thesis (12)  
General Electives 9 or 15
   

*APPL 692 is an eight-month field education experience, normally running from September to April. You will need to arrange with the Marketplace Theology concentration coordinator as to how you will fulfill the field immersion and seminar requirements.

Note: The Marketplace Theology concentration requires Gospel and Culture from the core courses.

Interdisciplinary Studies

Concentration Requirements Credit Hours
Mission and Vocation         3
Christian Faith and Practice in a (Post)Modern World INDS 581
Interdisciplinary Studies Seminar  
One of the Following: 9 or 12
     Comprehensive Exam (3) + Interdisciplinary Studies Electives (6)  
     Integrative Project (6) + Interdisciplinary Studies Electives (3)  
     Thesis (12)  
General Electives 12 or 15
   

Note: The Interdisciplinary Studies concentration requires Gospel and Culture from the core courses.

Christianity and the Arts

Concentration Requirements Credit Hours
The Christian Imagination INDS 560 3
One of the following: 18
     Arts-related Seminar (3) + Comprehensive Exam (3)
          + Christianity & the Arts Electives (12)
          
     Vocation of the Artist Seminar INDS 785 (3) + Integrative Project (6)
          + Christianity & the Arts Electives (9)
          
     Vocation of the Artist Seminar INDS 785 (3) + Integrative Project (12)
          + Christianity & the Arts Electives (3)
 
General Electives 12
   

World Christianity

Concentration Requirements Credit Hours
Introduction to World Christianity APPL 533        3
History of Christianity: Reformation to Modern HIST 502 3
Missional Church 3
Field Education APPL 691 / Field Immersion APPL 690*   3 
World Christianity Elective   3 
World Christianity Seminar    3 
One of the following: 3, 6, or 12
     Comprehensive Exam (3)   
     Integrative Project (6)  
     Thesis (12)  
General Electives 3, 9, or 12
   

*APPL 690 is an eight-month field education experience, normally running from September to April. You will need to arrange with the World Christianity concentration coordinator as to how you will fulfill the field immersion and seminar requirements.

Applied Theology

Concentration Requirements Credit Hours
Missional Church   3
Field Education APPL 691
3
Applied Theology Seminar  3
One of the following: 9 or 12
     Comprehensive Exam (3) + Applied Theology Electives (6)           
     Integrative Project (6) + Applied Theology Electives (3)   
     Thesis (12)  
General Electives 12 or 15
   

Note: The Applied Theology concentration requires Soul of Ministry from the core courses.

No concentration

Christian Studies

Concentration Requirements Credit Hours
Biblical Book Study          3
Any Seminar
3
Integrative Examination 3
General Electives 24
   

NOTES ON THE REQUIREMENTS

Core courses

The 27 or 30 credit hours of core courses are required by all MA in Theological Studies tracks and by the MDiv program. Since these courses provide a foundation for both programs, we recommend that you complete most of these courses within your first year or within your first 30 credit hours. (Note: Students taking Gospel and Culture or Community, Formation, and Leadership may delay taking these courses until later in their program.)

Biblical language requirement

We recommend that you begin your biblical language requirement in your first year. You can fulfil this requirement by taking the regular Hebrew and/or Greek language courses (depending on your concentration). If you are pursuing a concentration outside of the Scripture area, you may wish to take Perspectives on Biblical Languages LANG 500 to fulfil your language requirement (Doctrinal Theology students will normally take this course plus 6 credits of Hebrew or Greek). LANG 500 provides an overview of both Hebrew and Greek, and prepares you for Biblical Exegesis BIBL 503. Note that if you are taking the regular Hebrew or Greek courses, there is an opportunity to audit half of LANG 500 in order to get an orientation to the other biblical language.

Final projects

Towards the end of your program, you will complete a final project which can take the form of (i) a comprehensive exam, (ii) a thesis, or, in some concentrations (iii) an integrative project, or (iv) and integrative exam. With the approval of your supervisor, the comprehensive exam may take the form of a major paper. We offer a non-credit orientation seminar in both Fall and Winter terms for the thesis (GENR 301) and the integrative project for students in the Christianity and the Arts concentration (GENR 313). Visit the Final Projects page for more information.

Choosing a concentration

We advise you to choose a concentration early in your studies so that you can plan your courses wisely. Our Academic Advising page has helpful information on how to choose your concentration and select courses in your first year. The Program Requirements page has worksheets for each concentration.

Concentration requirements are revised from time to time. You have the option to complete the concentration according to the requirements as published when you were admitted, or according to the current requirements.

Pursuing doctoral studies

If you intend to go on to complete a PhD, we advise that you acquire reading knowledge of at least one more relevant language during your master's work: normally Latin, French, or German. You can take courses through UBC or private language institutes in Vancouver such as the Alliance Française or Goethe Institut.


Distance Education Component

When completing the MA in Theological Studies degree, you can take up to 20 credits of courses through Distance Education, although no more than 6 credits of the Foundational Core courses listed above.

Next Steps

Not sure which program is right for you? Visit the Choose Your Program page.

Have questions? Connect with an Admissions Counsellor now:

Questions?

Ready to apply? Start your application today.

Apply now

Eight core courses will equip you with biblical, historical, and theological tools; introduce you to critical cultural issues; and lead you in your own spiritual formation and vocation.

One of the primary appeals of the MA in Theological Studies is that it allows you to focus your studies in one of these concentrations:

Scripture

  • Biblical Languages
  • Old Testament
  • New Testament
  • Biblical Studies

Christian History & Theology

  • History of Christianity
  • Doctrinal Theology
  • Spiritual Theology

Christianity, Church, & Culture

  • Marketplace Theology
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Christianity and the Arts
  • World Christianity
  • Applied Theology

You must have a bachelor’s degree 

or 

be at least 28 years of age and able to demonstrate how your life / vocational / educational experience can be seen as equivalent to a university degree.

You can take up to 20 credits through Distance Education.