Christian practice grad program combines theological training, professional goals

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Lipscomb University’s College of Bible and Ministry is offering an innovative new graduate program that combines theological training with studies in other academic areas. The new Master of Arts degree in Christian practice will begin in August.

Bible_pic“This program is an interdisciplinary offering that addresses the changing needs in ministry training,” said Steve Joiner, interim dean of the College of Bible and Ministry. “Ministry today takes on more forms than ever before, and we believe this kind of flexible training experience will positively impact a lot of ministry-minded professionals. Our goal is to nurture creativity for a lifetime of purposeful service.”

The program is designed for ministers, church leaders, nonprofit managers, teachers and administrators in private Christian schools, adult learners who want to deepen their faith through theological studies, caregivers seeking to improve their skills with knowledge from the counseling and aging services fields, and undergraduate theology majors wanting to advance their learning outside of a traditional seminary education.

“When it comes to formal ministry training, things have been pretty static,” said Mark Black, director of Lipscomb’s Hazelip School of Theology, “The way theological education has been taught hasn’t changed much in the past century. As our society changes, the time seems right for rethinking our engagement with culture and the ministry training we offer. This program brings new ideas into the way we equip students for ministry.”

The 30-hour master’s program includes 15 hours of core theology courses. This core has three emphases including engagement with Scripture, giving students a deeper understanding of Scripture and tools to explore and analyze the Bible; personal formation, focusing on the student’s personal faith and how it interacts with broader ministry efforts; and missional expression, challenging students to creatively engage their ministry contexts with the needs with which they come in contact.

Students will also complete 15 hours of course work tailored to a selected field of interest. Options include conflict management, aging services, student ministry and counseling psychology, with more focus areas in development. Certificates are also available in those concentrations.

The program is designed to be completed in two years. Tuition for the program is $500 per credit hour.

Applications are now being accepted. For more information contact Frank Guertin at or 615.966.5352.