The M.A.in Pastoral Ministry has been specially designed for men and women called by God into pastoral ministry, primarily within the Church of the Nazarene and similar denominations. It assumes that the student enters with an undergraduate education in religion/ministry such as that offered by Olivet’s School of Theology and Christian Ministry. It aims to provide a comprehensive study of Bible, theology, and ministry, sufficient for the practice of ministry as understood by the Church of the Nazarene. By combining focused undergraduate prerequisites with graduate coursework, the M.A. in Pastoral Ministry is able to cover a traditional M.Div. program of study. By including a mentored ministry component in the second year of the program, this program both shortens the residential study requirement and strengthens the transition to ministry for the student. This lessens the personal and financial cost of more extended residential study while providing the student with an optimal ministry “launch.” District Superintendents in the Church of the Nazarene are open to and interested in placing these students in pastoral assignments as a part of this program.
Core Values Motivating the M.A. in Pastoral Ministry
1. Integration: To integrate what the student learns in the classroom with the experience and practice of ministry in concrete settings.
2. Intentionality: Not only to integrate theory and praxis, but to do so consciously, clearly, explicitly and intentionally. Not to let anyone -- faculty or student -- forget the need for and the practice of integration.
3. Theological reflection: The faculty members in the M.A. in Pastoral Ministry believe that there are right ways and wrong ways to speak about God. The goal is to encourage each student to grasp the theological foundations and implications of every aspect of ministry.
4. Multiple voices: Students in the Pastoral Ministry program should hear a variety of voices, including other students. And yet, perhaps somewhat paradoxically, students quite appropriately put a high value on quality interaction with the professor. To achieve these twin goals, we have structured our program with modules, half-semesters (called blocks), and semesters, enabling Olivet to bring in the complementary voices that the ministry community appreciates and the student deserves to hear.
5. Mentoring: Mentoring goes “way beyond” mere programming. The mentoring model in the M.A. in Pastoral Ministry can and should become a lifelong style for productive ministry. The student should learn a mode of human interaction that will sustain the student in later life and ministry, both as one who mentors and as one who is mentored.
6. Leadership: A key to success in ministry is understanding the characteristics of a leader. Developing the student to be a leader is a key component of the M.A. in Pastoral Ministry.
7. Lifelong learner: We seek to give the individual the tools and to reinforce the desire to become “global Christians” who seek to understand and who have the tools to understand the ever-changing climate of our global community.
More than most master's degree programs, the M.A. in Pastoral Ministry uses a wide assortment of course formats and teaching methods: intensive modules, half-semester courses, full-semester courses, lecturing, mentoring, internships, seminars, papers and projects.
A modular course meets for one week, normally Monday through Friday, normally on Olivet's campus. Students must do appropriate non-campus study before that week and additional off-campus study after that week. To complete the work done before and after the module, students must have Internet access. Students in the M.A. in Pastoral Ministry take a few modular courses during their first year, and they take all their courses as modules during their second year. This allows the second-year students to engage in their mentored pastoral ministry experience on a full-time basis and gives them the option to do that mentored experience at locations quite distant from Olivet's campus in Bourbonnais, Ill. The modular courses are offered in August, January and May. The program culminates in an integrated seminar during the final August of the second year, where the students present their projects and bring all the facets of their Olivet education in pastoral ministry into a coherent whole.
During the first year, the student takes 30 hours of course work. During the second year, the student takes only 18 hours, allowing the second year student to focus on the mentored experience in youth ministry. The total program is 48 hours.
For more information regarding ONU’s School of Theology & Christian Ministry graduate degrees, please visit www.epworthpulpit.com. If you have further questions about any aspect of the M.A. in Pastoral Ministry, including planning during your undergraduate years, please contact the graduate religion office by phone at 815-928-5670 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.