School of Theology & Christian Ministry

Online Master of Arts in Christian Ministry

The Master of Arts in Christian Ministry (MACM), a professional degree preparing students for pastoral ministry, is offered 100% online. Approved by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), the MACM is delivered by the same faculty members who teach our residential classes. The goals for online courses are no different from those who participate in our residential programs: to deliver the highest quality, fully accredited courses in bible, theology, church history, and pastoral ministry to students preparing for or already engaged in ministry.

The purpose of the Online Master of Arts in Christian Ministry degree is to provide a basic understanding of theological disciplines for those currently involved in professional ministry within the life of the church or faith community.

This 48-hour program is offered 100% online. Students do most of their coursework on their own schedule. The Anderson University School of Theology and Christian Ministry has scheduled courses in such a way that students can complete this degree in three years. Students may take one to three courses each semester.

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 “The learning that took place across the internet was top rate, delivered by quality faculty who are actively involved in local church ministry settings. This degree widened my perspective and introduced me to other students from across the country in a variety of ministries.

The Rev. Gene Worline ’10

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Online Specializations Philosophy
The Anderson University School of Theology and Christian Ministry is committed to the biblical and theological education of those already serving in ministry.

Therefore, the faculty developed specializations for its online Master of Arts in Christian Ministry to assist those currently in vocational ministry — and laypeople who wish to take a seminary degree. Each specialization has a specific philosophy that guides its structure and course content.

Pastoral Ministry is meant for the senior pastor/preaching pastor/solo pastor who might have years of experience in ministry but is feeling the need for the biblical and theological foundations and specific help in preaching and relationship building in a congregation. An example of classes in the specialization include:

  •     Clinical Pastoral Education
  •     Homiletics

Student Ministry is intended for a paid or volunteer minister of youth and/or children who may or may not have years of experience. This specialization includes biblical and theological foundations plus specific content directed at ministry with youth and children. An example of classes in the specialization include:

  •     Leading, Teaching, and Disciplining Children
  •     Clinical Pastoral Education
  •     Leading, Teaching, and Disciplining Youth

Preaching has been an important part of the church and particularly within the history of the Church of God reformation movement. This specialization is designed to assist the student to understand the methods and delivery of the preached word for more effective communication within the congregational setting.

  •      Finding Your Preaching Voice
  •      Homiletics
  •      Pastoral Preaching
  •      Expository Preaching
Requirements and Degree Core Structure
The Online Master of Arts in Christian Ministry has the following admissions requirements:

  • You must possess a baccalaureate degree from an accredited undergraduate college or university.
  • You must demonstrate that you possess graduate-level writing skills. Because most of the academic work in the proposed degree will be done through the computer, you will need to be able to write clearly, accurately, and at a graduate school level.
  • You must demonstrate that you possess minimal computer skills, including the ability to (a) produce documents with Microsoft Word, (b) access the internet, (c) send and receive an email with attached files, and (d) receive streaming media. If you do not possess all of these abilities, you will not be admitted to this program.

The Online Master of Arts in Christian Ministry has the following degree requirements:

  • Complete 48 hours of courses.
  • For each course, recruit a small group of adults in your local context and teach them for five hours using information learned in that course.
  • Achieve a grade of C- or above in all required courses.
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5.

The MACM has a core structure of courses:

  • Orientation to Online Graduate Theological Studies
  • Literature and History of the Old Testament I and II
  • Literature and History of the New Testament I and II
  • Constructive Theology I and II
  • Church of God Reformation Movement (or your denominational history)
  • History of the Christian Church
  • Ethics for the Vocation of Ministry
  • Biblical Foundations of Mission
  • The Ministry of Reconciliation

For detailed information on these courses, sequence, and the program structure, see the current Anderson University School of Theology and Christian Ministry catalog.

Frequently Asked Questions
How does an online class work?

To the extent possible, our online classes are exactly the same as our residential classes; the major difference is the delivery method. Most online classes are taught by the same faculty members who teach our residential classes, they use the same text books, give the same assignments, and use the same examinations. All online classes follow the same academic calendar as the residential classes. Online classes have the same start and end dates as residential classes. You need high-speed internet access. On the first day of the semester, you will receive an email from the director of distance education with your login instructions. You will log in to your class, where you will find the syllabus and a list of assignments to be completed. Online classes are organized just like residential classes, with weekly assignments. There are weekly reading assignments, weekly lectures, and weekly online forums with other students. You do not have to log in at a specific time. You log in at whatever time is convenient for you and allows you to complete the professor’s assignments by the day and hour the professor requires them to be completed.

It is important to understand that online learning is not for everyone. Online classes are generally more demanding than residential classes, because you must be self-motivated to complete your assignments and post them on time each week. While you do have a community of learning, it is a virtual community. You will read your classmates’ forum postings, and respond appropriately, but this is not the same as being in the same room at the same time with the whole class.

How many courses may I take during a semester?

A full-time student in the online degree takes three courses per semester (nine semester hours).

How long will it take to complete this online degree?

A student taking nine hours per semester may complete this degree in two and one-half years.

Is there financial assistance for the program?

Yes, a student may receive direct scholarships from the seminary and apply for federal financial. To be considered for scholarship assistance, the student must send their request form with their application by the deadline noted. The amount of scholarship assistance is determined annually based on available funds.

How do I pay for the program?

Payment must be made in full at the time of registration. A student may enroll in Tuition Management System (TMS) and make monthly payments. Arrangements for payment must be made before registration is valid, i.e. payment in full or enrolled in TMS. Information on TMS is available online or by calling (888) 713-7234.

Are there other opportunities for financial assistance?

A student seeking government direct loans needs to contact the Office of Student Financial Services. You will need to identify yourself as a School of Theology student and an online MACM student. You must be enrolled for six (6) hours each semester in order to apply for government loans. You must also submit a FAFSA for this process.

May I receive a refund if I do not attend classes?

Registration constitutes a contractual agreement between the seminary and the student. If enrollees withdraw from all classes after classes have begun, or reduce the number of hours carried, they might be entitled to a reduction in charges for tuition. The following scale is used if withdrawal or schedule revision occurs:

  • First Week of Classes: 90% Reduction
  • Second Week of Classes: 80% Reduction
  • Third Week of Classes: 60% Reduction
  • Fourth Week of Classes: 40% Reduction
  • Fifth Week of Classes: 20% Reduction
  • Sixth Week of Classes: No Reduction

What if I am not able to complete a course by the end of a semester?

Students are discouraged from seeking final grades of “incomplete.” However, if you must seek an incomplete, you must pay a fee of $150 per course and complete, along with your instructor, a Request for Final Grade of “I” Form. You must complete this form and have it signed by the instructor prior to the end of the semester. Failure to submit this form will result in the registrar assigning a failing grade for the course. This form is sent to the Office of the Registrar with copies going to you and the instructor. You will not be permitted to take any other courses until the incomplete course is finished. You will be required to complete the course the next time it is offered, without payment of further tuition or fee beyond the $150.

How are materials delivered to me?

All course materials and most communication will be delivered via the internet. You will purchase your textbooks via an internet provider of your choice.

I’m an international student. How do I apply?

International students must follow the same procedure as all other online students. International students must follow the steps detailed on the admissions page. An international student must have original transcripts sent to the Anderson University School of Theology and Christian Ministry. The seminary admissions office will review all documents and determine if the student is educationally qualified to enter the seminary’s graduate program. The seminary will review educational transcripts, essays, and references for applicants. There may be a fee charged if the transcripts require verification.

All courses are taught in English. English proficiency is required when a student’s home language is non-English; TOEFL scores of 550 (paper-based), TOEFL scores of 213 (computer-based) or above, or Michigan test of English scores are accepted as such documentation of proficiency. All international students must have reliable internet and broadband service to engage in this program.

I’m an international student. How do I pay for courses?

International students must pay their fees and tuition in U.S. dollars. Anderson University suggests that international students use peerTransfer for this exchange. peerTransfer offers excellent foreign exchange rates, allowing you to pay in your home currency (in most cases) and save a significant amount of money compared to traditional banks. You will be able to track the progress of your payment throughout the transfer process via a student dashboard, and you will also be notified via email when your payment is received by Anderson University. peerTransfer also offers a live chat feature to ask any questions you might have about the payment process. For information and a link to peerTransfer, visit the Office of Student Accounts.

Ministry Preparation

Ministry preparation within Anderson University’s School of Theology and Christian Ministry is rooted in some important values. First of all, we value Scripture. Faculty take the Bible seriously and encourage students to read it, take seriously its claims, become familiar with its stories, and work with critical questions about how it came to be and how it is used.

We value good theology. Theology is as much a practice as a system of belief, and good ministry involves sound thinking about important issues. It doesn’t mean doing so alone, however, nor does it mean carrying around a set of stale answers. Good theology is a living, breathing activity done with others in light of particular challenges.

We value people and the many places where they can be found. We don’t assume that reviewing someone’s status updates, knowing whether they are a “Boomer” or “Gen X,” or classifying them as “red” or “blue” is the same as knowing that person. There is more to every human being created in God’s image than the labels that person might be given, and we encourage students to become familiar not only with categories but with people in particular ministry contexts.

We value the church. We affirm that ministry is a characteristic of authentic Christian community. We see ministry as being open so that God’s good news works through each person’s giftedness to affect individuals for good at the point of their real needs. It is no one’s private property. We affirm the ministry of congregations and encourage students to have a meaningful connection with a particular setting for ministry — to observe, to offer their contribution, to learn, to critique when necessary, and to grow.

We value ministry. We recognize that callings differ. At the same time, we do not encourage the kind of specialization that would keep us apart or make us competitors. There should be a connection and a coherence about Christian ministry, which is why we don’t have a separate major for every one of its forms. In the same way, we work on building character more than crafting charisma, and we value the cultivation of wisdom more than the collection of techniques.

We value education. We help students draw on deep wells that will sustain their work rather than encouraging the strategy of scrambling for resources to “plug in” to their program. We embrace and explore critical questions, and we encourage students to question certainties that are reached prematurely.

We value you. At graduation, we would much rather shake the hands of people who have been changed by important questions from various fields of knowledge rather than to wave goodbye to tourists who had a nice time and are leaving with a few items they picked up along the way. We consider a student’s whole academic career — and their other educational experiences — to be part of their preparation for ministry. We encourage them to view life itself as a learning opportunity.

Seminary Admissions Checklist

We strive to offer a smooth process for applying for Seminary study. Here are the steps to the next part of your journey and calling!

1.   Fill out the Online Application for Graduate Programs in our School of Theology and Christian Ministry

2.   Ask (3) references to fill out our Online Reference Form

  • (1) Pastor/Church Leader
  • (1) Professor/Employer
  • (1) Personal

3.   Order Official College Transcripts from ALL COLLEGES WHERE YOU'VE EARNED A BACHELOR'S/MASTER'S DEGREE.

Email your transcript(s) to: AU.DocumentAGS@anderson.edu 

Mail your transcript(s) to:

Anderson University
Attention: AGS Processing
1100 E. 5th Street
Anderson, IN 46012

4.   Submit School of Theology Essays

5.  Submit your Application Fee

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