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MACS and ThM Programs Updated to Improve Student Experience

July 05, 2024
We are delighted to introduce changes that make it easier for students to pursue a calling to theological study.

As part of its ongoing commitment to providing academic programs that meet the needs of our students, Regent is pleased to announce some recent and upcoming changes to two of our degree programs.

These changes reflect careful attention to the particular characteristics of both the programs themselves and the students who tend to enroll in them. In each case, we are delighted to introduce changes that reduce logistical barriers, improve flexibility, and make it easier for students to pursue a calling to theological study. These changes also represent a renewal of our commitment to giving students both the freedom to pursue their personal and vocational interests and a robust network of academic and community support.

Regent also recently updated its MDiv program, with changes coming into effect this fall. Click here to learn more.

Changes to the Master of Arts in Christian Studies (MACS) Program

Earlier this year, Regent’s faculty voted to revise the Master of Arts in Christian Studies curriculum in order to provide greater scheduling flexibility and make it easier for part-time students to complete the program in a timely way.

The MACS program continues to require 42 credit hours. The flexibility of the new curriculum has been achieved primarily by reducing the number of specifically required courses and instead requiring students to choose courses from within a variety of subject areas. In addition to giving students greater freedom to pick courses that fit their interests and scheduling needs, this change further accentuates the MACS program’s distinctive focus on introducing students to a wide range of theological ideas and disciplines.

The new MACS curriculum has only four required courses: Old Testament Foundations, New Testament Foundations, Biblical Exegesis, and Theology Overview. To meet the remaining course requirements, students must take three credit hours (equivalent to one regular-term course) in each of the following areas:

  • Applied Theology or Marketplace Theology
  • Arts or Interdisciplinary Studies
  • History of Christianity
  • Spiritual Theology
  • World Christianity

The program also includes 12 general elective credits, which students can use for whatever courses they choose.

The revised MACS offers students a variety of pathways to completing their program. For example, students living in Vancouver can complete the MACS in two years of full-time study or three years of part-time study. Non-locals can complete the program in three years by taking several one- and two-week Summer and J-term courses onsite and completing their remaining credits online.

Changes to the Master of Theology (ThM) Program

The Regent College Senate has approved several changes to the Master of Theology program, which will be implemented beginning in Fall 2024. These changes are designed to make it easier for ThM students to achieve and maintain full-time status, while also providing additional training and guidance in the craft of academic theological research and writing.

The most significant change being introduced to the ThM program is the launch of a new 3-credit course titled Advanced Research Methods and Writing. This course, which will be offered every Winter term, will guide students through the process of developing their primary ThM research projects (either a thesis proposal or a plan for a major paper). In doing so, it will enable students to develop their research plans with greater support from both faculty and peers, as well as providing course credit for activities that have previously fallen outside the bounds of formal coursework. It will also provide a more streamlined process for the review and approval of thesis proposals.

In addition to its other benefits, making the development of a thesis proposal or major paper part of the ThM coursework will make it easier for students to maintain full-time status (especially important for international students) while maintaining a reasonable workload. Although there remain various pathways to complete the ThM, the standard full-time pathway is now 12 credits of coursework in the first year, and 12 credits of combined course and thesis/major paper work in the second year.

The ThM will also see changes to its entrance requirements, suggested timeline for completion, and learning outcomes.

  • A background in biblical languages will no longer be required for ThM students across the board; rather, it will only be required where relevant to a student’s concentration. 
  • Regent has increased its estimated time to completion for the ThM from 12 to 20 months, a figure that more realistically reflects actual student experience.
  • The program’s new learning outcomes place increased emphasis on the role of academic theological study in contributing to the good of the church and the world. In addition to emphasizing the integration of academic study with students’ spiritual lives and vocations, they stress the importance of communicating one’s research with both academic and lay audiences in a variety of contexts.

To learn more about the MACS, ThM, or any of our other academic programs, please contact [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you!

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