Students who enroll in the Masters of Arts in Religion degree track pick a specific path of specialization.
The specialization in Pastoral Leadership allows students to integrate general biblical, theological, and historical studies with focused research and writing in leadership.
Students who complete the Pastoral Leadership specialization will:
- Develop and articulate a philosophy of leadership that exhibits an understanding and integration of biblical and secular principles and theories that influence pastoral leadership.
- Apply principles and theories of leadership and organizational behavior to congregational life.
- Understand and contribute to the creation of models of pastoral leadership.
- Demonstrate the integration of pastoral leadership and congregational development.
- Develop and demonstrate a mature love for God and commitment to personal Christian discipleship as a foundation for personal effectiveness in leadership.
- Exhibit competent graduate level research and writing in Pastoral Leadership, and demonstrate the ability to integrate general biblical, theological, and historical studies into that research and writing.
- Participate adequately in academic community opportunities required and offered by CBS, in order to develop networks of resources for enhanced leadership.
- Demonstrate a researched understanding of varied strategies for assimilation, discipling, and spiritual development which students utilize to evaluate their presence and effectiveness in varied congregational and ministry settings.
PASTORAL CARE AND COUNSELING
The purpose of the specialization in Pastoral Care and Counseling is to prepare graduates to deepen their understanding and use of counseling theories and techniques to enhance their work as ministers, pastoral counselors, chaplains, lay-counselors, or Christian counselors in churches or para-church organizations.
Students who satisfactorily complete the requirements with a concentration in Pastoral Care and Counseling will:
- Exhibit understanding and use of Scripture and theology as a foundation for the practice of counseling.
- Demonstrate healthy self-awareness, personal faith, and moral principles that provide a foundation for effectively working with others.
- Exhibit knowledge and understanding of the foundational principles of the counseling process as well as legal and ethical issues for counseling ministry.
- Demonstrate the ability to apply counseling principles, techniques, and clinical skills in church and para-church settings.
- Complete graduate level research and writing in the field of Pastoral Care and Counseling.
EDUCATIONAL AND FAMILY MINISTRIES
The Educational and Family Ministries Specialization endeavors to explore both age-focused discipleship ministries and the contexts of faith formation such as family, church, and community. This Specialization takes into account the place, issues, and responsibilities of families that influence and are affected by the teaching ministries of the church. The Educational and Family Ministries Specialization is flexible enough to offer opportunity to choose electives that offer options to emphasize children’s, student, adult, or family ministry.
Students who satisfactorily complete the requirements for the specialization in Educational and Family Ministries should be able to:
- Develop ministry practices that facilitate discipleship and faith formation in individuals and families.
- Articulate an understanding of human and family development that informs ministry practices.
- Evaluate and use resources to facilitate both age-appropriate and intergenerational ministry.
- Apply strategies for assisting families to grow in spiritual and relational health.
- Demonstrate an understanding of ministry that respects and engages diversity in age, gender, ethnicity, culture, and other contexts of persons.
- Complete graduate level research and writing in the field of Educational and Family Ministries.
CHURCH GROWTH/CHURCH PLANTING
The Church growth and church planting movement is a phenomenon that deserves serious study and reflection. The strategies developed by this movement contain both theological and sociological dimensions. The purpose of the Church Growth/Church Planting specialization is to better equip students to evaluate the theories and principles of the church growth and church planting movement.
Students who satisfactorily complete the requirements with a specialization in Church Growth/Church Planting will:
- Understand the history of the church growth/church planting movement.
- Identify various church growth models and strategies.
- Articulate a philosophy of ministry that integrates church growth principles with Biblical and theological truth.
- Develop evangelistic programs that fulfill the Great Commission with theological integrity.
- Complete graduate level research and writing in the field of church growth/church planting.
- Diagnose the resources and needs of a community to develop effective means for reaching the unchurched with the Gospel.
URBAN AND INTERCULTURAL STUDIES
The Urban and Intercultural Studies program is designed to help students prepare for cross0cultural ministry either in the urban centers of North America or in other regions of the world.
Students who satisfactorily complete the requirements with a specialization in Urban and Intercultural Studies will:
- Articulate theology of the mission of God.
- Recognize the importance of participation in the world Christian mission.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the dynamics of cross-cultural communication and be able to develop a plan to become bilingual.
- Analyze the social, cultural, and economic dynamics of modern societies and cities.
- Describe national, cultural, and ethnic barriers to ministry in urban and/or intercultural contexts.
- Conduct graduate level research and writing in urban and intercultural ministry and leadership.
Students who satisfactorily complete the requirements for the concentration in Church History will be able to:
Students who satisfactorily complete the requirements for the concentration in Theological Studies will:
- Express clearly the foundational idea of Scripture’s divine inspiration and authority as well as the need to establish all beliefs and practices upon Biblical teaching.
- View Biblical teaching from a broad perspective that seeks out the inherent harmony and consistency between all Bible doctrines.
- Determine what the Biblical teaching is on a given subject, drawing upon the foundational work of Biblical exegesis and interpretation of specific passages.
- Critique a wide variety of theological and philosophical views and discern which ideas do not have solid Biblical support.
- Make a practical application of the theological teaching of Scripture to the life of the individual Christian and to the church.
- Complete graduate level research and writing in the field of theology