Description of Degree: MAR

Master of Arts in Religion Degree: Specializations and Expected Outcomes

The Master of Arts (Religion) is oriented toward general and theological studies. The MAR allows a variety of concentrations and specializations taken from a research perspective that encourages students to integrate general biblical, theological, and historical studies into a study concentration.

The MAR degree is a 54-hour degree that should take at least two years to complete. Students with extensive undergraduate work in theology or ministry programs may be eligible to shorten the duration of their 54 hour MAR degree by as many as 18 hours, thereby allowing degree completion with as few as 36 total credit hours.

The MAR degree should not be seen as preparatory for professional ministry. It allows practitioners to research and deepen their understanding of specific concentration areas, or allows students to prepare for advanced (usually doctoral) studies in their field of concentration.

The following concentrations are available within the MAR degree:

  • Biblical Studies
  • Theological Studies
  • Church History
  • Leadership Studies (specializations in Pastoral Leadership, Pastoral Care and Counseling, Educational and Family Ministries, Church Growth/Church Planting, Urban and Intercultural Studies)

Expected Outcomes for all MAR degrees

  • Possess skills to study the Scriptures effectively.
  • Be able to articulate a theology that is Biblical and historically orthodox.
  • Have an understanding of the history of the church.
  • Be knowledgeable of the principles of the Restoration Movement.
  • Be able to communicate effectively.
  • Have met the objectives outlined in the chosen area of concentrated study.

Expected Outcomes for Biblical Studies

  • Translate and exegete selected Greek or Hebrew biblical texts.

  • Describe and assess various perspectives on issues of Biblical criticism and interpretation, both historical and contemporary.

  • Describe and assess how the Biblical text both reflects and transcends its cultural setting.

  • Articulate the central thrust of each book of the Old or New Testament.

  • Demonstrate special expertise in selected sections of the Old or New Testament.

  • Complete graduate level research and writing in the field of Biblical Studies.

  • Explain the role that Biblical exegesis plays in personal Christian growth, the development of competent leadership within the church, and the church’s ability to address the issues of the modern world.

Expected Outcomes for Theological Studies

  • 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.

Expected Outcomes for Church History 

  • Communicate a knowledge and understanding of the history of the church.

  • Demonstrate an awareness of the major influences that have shaped Christianity in the present.

  • Develop the ability to think critically about the perspectives of various historians and their presuppositions.

  • Complete graduate level research and writing in the field of church history.

Expected Outcomes for Leadership Studies

  • 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.
  • Evaluate 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.
  • Exhibit the ability to orally communicate Biblical, theological or motivational concepts for presentation in the context of the local church or para-church setting.
  • Achieve competence in area of specialization