Follow Christ, Lead the Way

Ohio Christian University has developed its Master of Arts with a major in Ministry to enhance the ministry skills of pastors and lay leaders in the local church. The major will prepare students to serve even more effectively in the church and society, whether they are in paid or lay ministry. All courses contribute to the ability to enhance students’ ministry skills. All graduates of this major must be grounded in the Bible, theology, and historical thought and context of the church.

Application:

In addition to the regular application process, students applying to the MA in Ministry must submit a personal history essay, a statement of faith, and a ministry reference. Information about these is available from an admissions counselor.

Objectives

On completion of the major a student should be able to:
  • Demonstrate a deep love for God by continually practicing spiritual disciplines.
  • Analyze Christian theological thinking through the centuries and its effects on the church and culture and the effects of culture and church on Christian theological thinking.
  • Conduct independent research and evaluation of biblical and theological literature and apply knowledge to enhance ministry practices.
  • Analyze situations and choose the proper interventions to help others cope with crises. (Pastoral Care and Counseling)
  • Demonstrate skills in church administration, preaching/ teaching, handling sacraments and rituals, and care giving in the local church. (Practical Theology)
  • Conduct research that leads to enhanced ministry practices.
This degree program is available in the following format:

100% Online courses in a 5-week as-you-go flexible format for busy adults featuring forum discussions and weekly assignment deadlines.

MAJOR36

  • Note: This course is the prerequisite for the remainder of the program. This course is an introductory course that will assist the learner in developing the basic skills necessary for success in graduate study. The orientation course is an overview of biblical studies and theology, while building awareness of calling, personal strengths, and graduate writing skills.
  • Formation for pastoral care givers who focus on the value of persons and their relationships, and who know the history of pastoral care, the major therapeutic models, and the application of biblical principles to pastoral care and counseling, so they can identify basic human problems and respond appropriately through pastoral care and counseling.
  • A study of modern research on the New Testament, including the origin and nature of the New Testament canon, with special attention relationships among the synoptic Gospels, the purpose and integrity of Acts, and the authorship and dates of the epistles.
  • Modern research and literary approaches to the Old Testament, with a primary focus on the Pentateuch, Isaiah, Daniel, and the Psalms.
  • The development of the Church's doctrines from the close of the Apostolic Age through the modern period with emphasis on the development of the ecumenical creeds and the distinctive doctrines of the Reformation.
  • The Wesleyan theological heritage, with emphasis on its spiritual and ideological construction at the inception of Methodism, a critical explanation and evaluation of the origins and development of Methodism's richest resources, and encouragement toward its adequate communication in preaching, teaching, scholarship, and holy living
  • This course equips students for mission to non-Christian people in contemporary Western society. The course draws on insights from Scripture and the social sciences. Emphasis will be given to understanding the social and cultural influences, attitudes, beliefs, values, and worldviews of people in post-modern and post-Christian America.
  • This course will be the culmination of the program incorporating all learning elements. Students will integrate learning as a scholar/practitioner in ministry in the creation of their Personal Credo, their Philosophy of Ministry, and development of a project addressing a real-world problem.
    Prerequisite: Completion of major or concentration courses.
  • Concentration12

Concentrations:

PASTORAL CARE AND COUNSELING 12

The Pastoral Care and Counseling Concentration is designed for those ministers who are called to a counseling ministry. The concentration is not designed to qualify the graduate to work as a licensed counselor. Completion of the Pastoral Care and Counseling Concentration verifies successful completion of the courses required to earn the concentration and does not constitute a certificate or license that is required under Ohio law of any other state law to engage in the practice of professional counseling.

  • Integration of theory and application through practical counseling methodologies with emphasis on the counseling process of relational, assessment, goal setting, intervention, and termination stages.
  • Ethical codes and standards for persons in counseling professions and landmark court cases.
  • Integration of a Christian worldview, Scripture, and theological reflection into the pastoral counseling process with emphasis on thinking critically about the counselor's and counselee's belief systems in light of the Gospel, and its contribution to wholeness and healthy functioning.
  • The dynamics of crisis intervention with models of appropriate pastoral intervention, including application of biblical truth to spiritual challenges during a time of crisis, pastoral care skills appropriate to various situations, and ministry to those experiencing crisis.

PRACTICAL THEOLOGY 12

The Practical Theology Concentration is designed for those who are employed as pastors in their churches. It is expected that most of these will be ministers who have ordination credentials. Consequently, the concentration is planned to enhance those ministry skills and increase their effectiveness in their careers. A second category of persons who may be interested in this program are those who have limited experience in ministry but feel called to dedicate their lives to the work of ministry and may be employed full-time or part-time by a church in a ministry role. The program is planned to continue the development of their ministry skills in practical theology.

  • This course is an exploration of corporate Christian worship: the acts and expressions flowing from a biblical Christian understanding of who God is, and how he has chosen to relate with people, especially those he has redeemed. It is supplemented by a review of worship's historical development and incorporates application of these principles to planning for corporate expression of worship.
  • This course is intended to concentrate on the dual tasks of biblical exegesis and sermon delivery. Students will be expected to preach at least twice in class using various literary genres taken from both testaments. The course will give particular attention to expository preaching.
  • This course is designed to explore pastoral leadership by focusing upon the implications of the biblical servanthood model as it pertains to the pastor/leader in the practice of ministry. This course seeks to guide the student into a better understanding not only of what the pastor as leader does but also of who the pastor as leader is within the context of Christian ministry as well as to develop a more unified model of a Servanthood Theology of Ministry model.
  • This course is a study of the spiritual disciplines as they relate to the spiritual well-being and development of the minister. Students will experiment with a variety of spiritual disciplines to foster spiritual formation in the journey of faith.

SPORT, RECREATION, AND FITNESS MINISTRIES 12

The Sport, Recreation, and Fitness (SR&F) Ministries Concentration is designed for those who are called to an SR&F focused ministry. The concentration provides the theological, philosophical, and methodological foundations for this specialized area. The concentration emphasizes the ministry leadership skills necessary for SR&F evangelism and discipleship in a local church or para-ministry context.

  • A study of the Biblical and Theological basis for competition and sport. This course will provide the Theological foundation and Christ-centered rationale for competition, sport, and Christian involvement in athletics.
  • A study of the general historical overview of Sports Ministry during the 19th – 21st centuries with a brief review of 1st-century interaction between the sporting world and the emerging Christian Church. Special emphasis will be placed on the understanding of all SR&F ministry from a theological foundation that builds a philosophy of ministry, which in turn drives relevant methodological models.
  • A study of the concepts, principles, and methods needed to organize sport, recreation, and fitness ministries of a local church and para-ministry. Special emphasis will be given to understanding and being able to apply the practices necessary to construct a strategic plan for a sports ministry.
  • A study of a personal and corporate evangelistic discipleship through the medium of sport and athletics. This course will offer the rationale for theologically grounded and strategically effective methods for regeneration and sanctification using SR&F ministries.