MAR Research Options

Students in the MAR program must complete a research component in their degree. This can be fulfilled in one of three ways (requirements differ in the various concentrations):

  • Master’s Thesis
  • Field Research Project (FRP)
  • Course Embedded Research Project (CERP).

Thesis
Students who intend to fulfill degree requirements by writing a thesis should obtain the guidelines from the Graduate receptionist and work closely with the advisor in following the guidelines.

Students may register for a thesis only after the thesis committee has approved the written proposal. Any student who registers for thesis hours accepts all academic and financial obligations resulting from that registration. Refunds will not be granted and tuition may not be applied to subsequent course enrollments. Failure to complete a registered thesis will result in a grade of “NC.”

Students who, for the purpose of maintaining financial aid eligibility or full-time status, desire to register for thesis hours prior to the proposal approval, may do so only with the approval of the Academic Dean. These students accept all academic and financial obligations resulting from that registration. Refunds will not be granted and tuition may not be applied to subsequent course enrollments. Failure to complete a registered thesis will result in a grade of “NC.”

Students must complete the thesis within one year of the end of the semester that the proposal is accepted. Students who need longer than the one year allowed must petition the thesis committee for an extension of time. The petition should be made prior to the end of the allotted time and should include a proposed timeframe for completing the thesis project.

For each semester a student extends the thesis beyond the one year allowed, a Thesis Continuation Fee equal to the cost of one credit hour will be charged. Institutional scholarship money may not be used to cover this fee.

Failure to appeal for an extension prior to the one-year deadline or failure to pay the extension fee will result in a grade of “NC” and revoking the thesis proposal approval. In this instance, a student desiring to complete the thesis must re-submit the thesis proposal for approval to the thesis committee and re-enroll for the thesis.

For more details consult the Thesis Procedures Form available from the Graduate receptionist.

Field Research Project (FRP)
A Field Research Project in the concentration area is one of the options which fulfills a 3-hour research requirement for the Pastoral Leadership concentration of the Master of Arts (Religion) degree. The project is to be conceived from theoretical bases in response to an actual need found in one’s own ministry.

The project is not necessarily expected to make an original contribution to the general field of ministry, but it is expected to make a significant contribution to the student’s professional growth in ministry. The project may become a model for one’s approach to purposeful ministry. The student’s skill in meeting a specific need in the local church, through a well-planned project, may enhance his/her competence to design and execute future church programs.

Since the project incorporates material learned in the classroom, it should be started after having taken 15 hours of coursework and well within the final year before graduation. The final paper should be submitted to the project committee no later than March 1 of the year of graduation.
For more details consult the Field Research Project Guidelines available from the Graduate receptionist.

Course Embedded Research Project (CERP)
As a third option for the research component, students may choose the Course Embedded Research Project to complete the requirements for the MAR degree. This option involves choosing a three-hour class in the area of concentration in which a substantial research paper is written as part of the class. The research project must produce 25 pages of writing above the regular requirements of the class. This may mean that the page requirement for the paper already assigned for the class will be increased by 25 pages. If there is no research paper required for the class, the student would write an additional 25-page research paper. The topic should be determined in consultation with the instructor of the class and will be graded by the Graduate rubric system. For more details, consult the CERP Guidelines Form from the Graduate receptionist.