The Master of Arts Program is designed for students who wish to engage seriously in theological studies at the graduate level. 

The M.A. program allows students to focus on a particular area of emphasis. For example, former students have focused their degree on biblical archaeology, theology and ethics, church history, missiology, biblical studies, and theology and media, to name a few.

Within the M.A. program two paths exist. Students enrolled in the program to deepen their general theological competency select the integrative essay option. Students hoping to pursue further academic work may petition to complete a thesis option. Normally, two years of full-time academic work are needed to complete the program.

M.A. Program Requirements

  • 72 credit hours; 42 hours distributed as follows:
    • Bible - Twelve hours (OT01, OT02, NT01, and NT02)
    • Historical studies - Nine hours (CH01, CH02, CH03)
    • Theology and Ethics  - Twelve hours (TH01, TH02, TH03, and ET01)
    • Church and Ministry - Six hours (MI02-Missiology, CS01-Church and Society)
    • Spiritual Formation - Three hours
    • Integrative Essay or Thesis Option - Three hours

The integrative essay is a concluding exercise that allows for summative evaluation. This requirement can be fulfilled by writing a 5,000-word essay on a topic that integrates the areas of study listed above. Alternatively, a student may elect the thesis option, which will normally be between 80-100 pages, and will provide a deep exploration of one or more of the areas of study listed above. Students may register for up to nine hours of credit, six hours of which would be done as research for this project under the direction of an adviser. Theses research hours count as elective credit.

Careers for M.A. Grads

After earning their M.A. degree, Pittsburgh grads have gone on to becoming church educators, writers, and doctoral sudents. Those pursuing ministry have worked in the areas of women's ministry, youth ministry, and pastoral ministry in certain denominations.

Master of Arts for International Scholars

A special track leading to the M.A. degree is available for international students who have completed their first theological degree (e.g. B.D or M.Div.). This degree normally requires two years of class work but advanced standing for up to one full year of class work may be granted to qualified candidates.

M.A. for International Scholars Requirements

  • 72 credit hours; possible 36 hours advanced standing
    • Bible - Twelve hours
    • Historical studies - Nine hours
    • Theology and Ethics - Twelve hours
    • Church and Ministry - Sixhours
    • Spiritual Formation - Three hours
    • Integrative Essay - Three hours

“My education prepared me for life beyond the walls of the Seminary, and even the walls of the church. With a distinct call to social justice ministry, my master of arts equipped me with the theological skills to add substance to passion. Moreover, a faculty who practices what they preach and teach paved the way for students like me to enter into urban ministry.” - Antoinette Eyth '10

Pittsburgh Seminary Blog

Did We Really Do Things Better Back Then?

November 17, 2017

On the Field I got to the soccer field five minutes before the end of practice, in time to hear the closing strains of a plaid-skirted mother’s rant to her friend about the way they teach math these days: “So I said, why are you beginning with centimeters? How hard is it to carry the ones?” (I’m just reporting what I heard, folks, not trying to make sense of it.) At first annoyed—get over it—I then dropped my stone and let it roll away, for I’ll admit it: I do the same thing. They did everything better when we were young. In the Classroom Take teaching a kid to play the [...]

The post Did We Really Do Things Better Back Then? appeared first on Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

The Master of Divinity Will Challenge You

September 22, 2017

Getting my Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary is a lot like the video for Talking Heads’ “Once in a Lifetime”. No, really, stay with me here. If you’ve not seen the video, it features Talking Heads’ lead singer, David Byrne, wearing an ill-fitting suit with a bowtie and a pair of horn-rimmed glasses that would make George McFly jealous. He is visibly uncomfortable, sweating, seemingly out of breath, engaging in what could charitably be called dancing against a wavy turquoise background. Byrne spasms arrhythmically, epileptically, twitching and lurching like a marionette trying to avoid enemy fire, all the while talk-singing in a cadence reminiscent of a [...]

The post The Master of Divinity Will Challenge You appeared first on Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.