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

Origami as a Spiritual Practice

April 5, 2018

For more than 30 years, I have enjoyed the Japanese art of origami. For most of that time, creating objects by folding a single sheet of paper was a hobby. Scrap paper is literally everywhere, so finding material has never been a problem. A brightly colored ad from a magazine would become a flower. A discarded memo would end up as a crane, or a dragon. A sticky note was easily turned into a fish or a butterfly. Early on, folding paper became a way of losing myself in the creative process. Origami, like many arts, is a way of making something special out of the mundane. It is a [...]

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Easter Dawns in Pittsburgh’s Riverview Park

March 29, 2018

“Easter Sunrise Service in the park. It sounded good to our family. But the only one we knew about in Pittsburgh was held in Schenley Park, way on the other side of the city. It would mean at least an hour’s street car ride to get there, so, of course, we didn’t go. That was in 1932.” So recalled Northside resident Helen Nichols in 2008. She went on: “Then one day we heard that a group of people in our area were starting a sunrise service to be held in Riverview Park. That was in our backyard! So of course, we attended.” And thus began what has become a nearly [...]

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