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Program Overview

Program Overview

Study and practice the pastoral arts in the unique environment of the Tennessee Prison for Women. The MACM (LIFE) degree combines ‘outside’ and ‘inside’ students into one learning community. This is a chance to pursue theological training in a cohort setting with both women and men, over a four year period. Within our supportive environment, you’ll learn the skills to restore others and yourself.

Our experienced faculty will guide you through theology, psychology, conflict management, spiritual direction and coaching. We'll help you think critically about complex ministry issues.  As a result, you'll learn to lead others in their faith development and increase your effectiveness as a minister.

Admissions Requirements

Admissions Requirements

Our next cohort opens in summer 2022. The application process will begin in fall 2021.

The standard for admissions into our programs is a baccalaureate degree from an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation with a cumulative grade point average during the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate work of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale.

An applicant holding an unaccredited degree and/or a low undergraduate GPA (2.00-2.74), or one who is within one semester of completing a bachelor's degree, may be considered for conditional admission.  Students with an undergraduate GPA below 2.00 cannot be admitted to the graduate program as either a graduate student or a conditionally admitted student.

To be considered for admission to the Hazelip School of Theology, applicants must submit all of the above items at least three full weeks prior to the first day of class and submit the pieces listed below.


Online Admission Application

Self-evaluation essay This is a 750-1000 word essay concerning your religious heritage, career goals, and how the degree program will contribute to the achievement of those goals.  This is uploaded as part of the online application.

Three reference forms Request one from each of the following through the online application site. If any help is needed on recommendation forms, please contact

  • University professor or administrator
  • Church minister or leader
  • Employer or professional

Official transcript(s) They must be from each undergraduate institution where you earned credit (one must show degree conferral) as well as prior graduate institutions.  If you need a transcript from Lipscomb University, go to the Office of the Registrar's site in order to request one. They can send your transcript through campus mail, but we cannot request it for you.


Once all application materials are received and reviewed, an interview with the Hazelip director will be scheduled prior to acceptance.

International Students

Applicants outside the United States will need to secure appropriate visas if they intend to attend classes on campus. For more information on visa requirements, please contact Sylvia Braden, coordinator of international student services, at or 615.966.6151.

Additionally, applicants whose academic records are from colleges, universities and institutes located outside the United States must order a course-by-course report from an approved evaluation service. Application for admission will not be considered without having this detailed review on file.  All applicants are required to order a course-by-course report.

The services that Lipscomb University uses are:

Lisano International
Foreign International Credential Evaluation
P.O. Box 407
Auburn, AL 36831-0407 U.S.A.
Fax: 334.745.0425


World Education Services (WES)
P.O. Box 01-5060
Miami, FL 3310104
Tel: 305.358.6688




Required Courses:

  • GB 5A93 - Seminar in Bible: Interpreting Scripture
  • GB 5483 - Introduction to Theology
  • GB 5543 - Ministry, Personhood, and Discipleship
  • GB 5553 - Spiritual Formation and Guidance
  • GB 5653 - Pastoral Care and Counseling
  • GB 5A83 - Seminar in Bible: Suffering and the Psalms
  • GB 5H03 - Seminar in Counseling: Apology, Forgiveness, and Reconciliation
  • GB 5393 - The Gospels
  • GB 6043 - Religious and Cross-Cultural Engagement
  • GB 5G93 - Seminar in Ministry: Community Leadership
  • GB 6033 - Facilitating Care Groups
  • GB 580V - Practicum
Tuition & Aid

Tuition & Aid

  • Program tuition is currently $525 per credit hour.

  • Tuition is offered at a discounted rate.


in 2007

One class per semester

Our pacing allows your schedule to remain flexible since you'll only take one class a semester. Your class meets on a weekly basis, ensuring a slow pace where you can dive into your studies and truly get to know those around you.

Only seminary in a women's prison

Classes meet in the Tennessee Prison for Women, making us the only seminary in America in a women's prison. The Lipscomb Initiative for Education (LIFE) program will provide you with one of the most special and unique learning experiences offered. Our traditional students have the opportunity to study and learn alongside residents of the TPW. Through this experience, both groups of students will have the chance to develop the self-confidence, character, knowledge and compassion to pursue their next in life, while serving with others.

Cohort Model

Our cohort model emphasizes communal learning and extended field experiences. You’ll have the opportunity to form professional and personal relationships with like-minded peers that will extend far beyond the duration of the program.


of state prisons offer college courses

Our Faculty

Meet our key faculty.

  • John York

    John York


    In addition to his responsibilities with the D.Min. program, John teaches graduate New Testament text and ministry courses. He received his training from Abilene Christian University (B.A. M.A., M.Div.),...

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  • Frank Guertin

    Frank Guertin

    Assistant Dean

    Frank Guertin is Assistant Dean for the Hazelip School of Theology at Lipscomb University and Assistant Professor of Theology. Guertin completed his bachelor's degree at Ohio Valley University and his...

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  • Steve Bonner

    Steve Bonner

    Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Bible

    Steven Bonner serves as the Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Bible and Associate Professor of Christian ministry. He attended Lipscomb University where he received his B.A., M.A., and M.Div. He received...

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  • Lisa Durr headshot

    Lisa Durr

    As a Spiritual Director Lisa Durr has been called a Soul Midwife. Nurturing, naming and protecting God's ongoing, reforming work in the cradle of the soul is the work of a...

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  • Scott Owings

    Adjunct Faculty

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  • John Mark Hicks

    John Mark Hicks


    John Mark teaches theology and history courses. He received his B.A. in Bible from Freed-Hardeman University (1977), his M.A.R. in Theological Studies from Westminster Theological Seminary (1980), his M.A. in...

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  • Terry Briley

    Terry Briley


    Terry teaches Old Testament and Hebrew courses. He is also one of the pulpit ministers for the Natchez Trace Church of Christ and is involved with mission work in Brazil....

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  • Lauren White

    Lauren White

    Assistant Professor of Theology

    Lauren graduated with a Ph.D. in Theological Studies from Vanderbilt University in May, 2018. She also holds an MTS from Vanderbilt University (2010), an M.A. in English from Abilene Christian University...

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Employment increase to residents who took courses

Career Paths


Serve others in their seasons of need as a chaplain in a variety of settings, including the military, hospitals, Hospice, and universities.

Nonprofit work

Lead organizations in their faith-centered mission as they do good in culture and work to improve the lives of others in your community.


Provide pastoral leadership in various aspects of congregational ministry.