Master of Arts (Religion)

The Master of Arts (Religion) degree program at Louisville Seminary is a two-year, advanced humanities program designed to meet the needs of people who do not plan to enter ordained ministry, yet who desire to bring a spiritual dimension to their lives, educational background, and work. Louisville Seminary's Master of Arts (Religion) degree can help the student address society's needs as well as his or her own needs to offer spiritual direction in a secular setting.

The Master of Arts (Religion) degree program at Louisville Seminary offers two concentrations: Bible or Religious Thought.

Throughout the course work in either of these concentrations, the student will discover a deeper understanding of theology and the Bible. Louisville Seminary's Master of Arts (Religion) graduates are well-versed in many theological disciplines. They are equipped to serve their churches as knowledgeable lay people and to bring a considerable spiritual dimension to their professions.

Master of Arts (Religion) students work closely with faculty advisors to relate their studies to their future plans as well as in designing individual curricula. Most classes are held during fall and spring semesters. Select courses are offered during a January term and during a summer term. The Master of Arts (Religion) Degree requires 54 semester hours. Some students elect to apply for admission to the Master of Divinity degree program following the Master of Arts (Religion) program.

Learning Objectives

Louisville Seminary intends that students in the MAR program to achieve deeper theological and biblical understanding through a broad foundational course of study in the areas of Bible, History, Theology, Ethics, and Religion. This means that students will:

SLO1: be able to interpret Scripture critically and imaginatively
SLO2: demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of the global history of the Church
SLO3: demonstrate an understanding of multiple theological perspectives, historical and contemporary
SLO4: demonstrate the ability to think theologically, strategically, imaginatively, and contextually about ethical issues
SLO5: Students will be able to conduct independent critical research and write clearly and convincingly on a topic of biblical, theological, historical, or ethical concern.

The Seminary also intends that students in this program:
  1. develop advanced biblical and theological understanding through elective credits for a concentration in the Bible or Religious Thought
  2. Are better prepared for graduate study by becoming competent in conducting independent research through the completion of a culminating project, usually a thesis, and, in certain extraordinary cases, a comprehensive examination
  3. Acquire basic skills and knowledge to grow spiritually and explore vocationally the uses of their degree for their life and work in the church and in the world

MAR, Bible

(54 hours, 2-year plan)
  • 3 hours in Transforming Seminary Education (TSE)
  • 12 hours in Hebrew and Greek language and corresponding exegesis
  • 7 hours in Scripture I and II
  • 12 hours of other courses in biblical study (with approval of advisor)
    • NOTE: 3 hours of advanced exegesis are required.
  • 12 hours in theological areas
    • 3 hours in Introduction to Theology and Ethics
    • 3 hours in History of Christian Experience I
    • 3 hours in History of Christian Experience II
    • 3 hours of Advanced Electives
  • 2 hours of General Electives
  • 6 hours for thesis work, approximately 100 pages in length, or two additional 3-hour electives in biblical study, along with a comprehensive exam if approved by advisor.
NOTE: There is an option to write a thesis of 50 pages for 3 credit hours.
** Students must complete one course designated as a Black Church Studies course.

MAR, Religious Thought

(54 hours, 2-year plan)
  • 3 hours in Transforming Seminary Education (TSE)
  • 9 hours in theological foundations
    • 3 hours in Introduction to Theology and Ethics
    • 3 hours in History of Christian Experience I
    • 3 hours in History of Christian Experience II
  • 19 hours in advanced work in Area B
  • 13 hours in Bible
    • 7 hours in Scripture I and II
    • 6 hours other work in biblical study
  • 4 hours of General Electives
  • 6 hours for thesis work, approximately 100 pages in length, or two additional 3-hour electives in Area B, along with a comprehensive exam if approved by advisor
NOTE: There is an option to write a thesis of 50 pages for 3 credit hours.
** Students must complete one course designated as a Black Church Studies course.