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Master of Arts in Theology - » Newbold College of Higher Education

Master of Arts in Theology

ABOUT THE PROGRAMME

The Master of Arts in Theology programme intends to prepare you for ministry within the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It aims to provide greater depth of knowledge and mastery of skills within your chosen area of specialisation.

The international character of the Adventist Church and its multicultural context requires great diversity in ministry, both on the educational and pastoral level.

This programme is designed to meet these challenges, and will offer you a wide variety of study areas that are relevant to contemporary issues in the Church, as well as Adventist and Christian history, including:

  • Biblical Theology and Praxis of Ministry and Mission
  • Evangelism and Community
  • Ethics in Pastoral Ministry
  • Greek and Hebrew Texts
  • Issues and Trends in Theology
  • Leading Motifs in Seventh-day Adventism
  • Old Testament and Spirituality
  • Studies in the Book of Hebrews
  • Theory and Practice of Pastoral Care

You may also take a version of this degree through Theologische Hochschule Friedensau (Friedensau Adventist University) in Germany.

 

DURATION
One and a half years (three semesters), full-time

STUDY MODES
Full-time, part-time, blended delivery

INTAKE
Autumn (September) Semester,
Spring (January) Semester

TOTAL PROGRAMME CREDITS
180 CATS/90 ECTS

PROGRAMME LEADER
Dr Jean-Claude Verrecchia

VALIDATED BY
University of Wales Trinity Saint David (United Kingdom)

WHY STUDY THE MASTER OF ARTS IN THEOLOGY AT NEWBOLD?

In addition to the high quality teaching and education our Department of Theological Studies provides, undertaking postgraduate studies in Theology at Newbold will give you the chance to:

  • Choose an area of specialisation and focus your studies in the area that interests you most.
  • Gain a global perspective from our culturally diverse staff and from your fellow students, who represent around 50 different nationalities.
  • Benefit from the experience of our staff, most of whom have real-world pastoral experience.
  • Tailor your studies to match your lifestyle by choosing a combination of part-time, study, on-campus intensive modules, and blended delivery of modules.
  • Utilise our academic facilities, from our well-stocked library with its efficient electronic resource service, to the Ellen G. White Research Centre, the first of its kind outside the United States.
  • Study a programme whose credits are transferable and recognised internationally, allowing you control over your future.
  • Travel to nearby sites associated with the English Reformation, the birthplace of evangelical Christianity.
  • Take advantage of the range of scholarships available such as those from the TED and BUC.
When I started studying theology, I felt like I had all the answers and I didn’t need “unlearn” anything. My lectures helped me to break down my unwillingness to explore and they inspired a real passion for learning! If someone from my congregation asked me if they should study at Newbold I would say “Go for it! Brace yourself for a new, bold and mind-opening experience.
Njabulo King Ndlovu

WHAT YOU WILL STUDY

To fulfil the requirements for the Master of Arts in Theology you will need to successfully complete 120 credits (six modules, 20 credits each) of taught modules, and a 60 credit 15,000-word research dissertation, to total 180 credits. Each of the modules in the Master of Arts in Theology is worth 20 credits.

As a full-time student you will complete three modules per semester for your first two semesters, and you will complete a dissertation in an area of your choosing in your final semester.

As a part-time student you will follow a similar pattern to full-time students, but you will complete six modules across four semesters, and you will spend two semesters completing your dissertation.

The Master of Arts in Theology offers you three pathways of specialisation, which you will move into as soon as you begin your studies:

  • Biblical Studies (in which students can choose to take the Old Testament route or the New Testament route)
  • Pastoral Studies
  • Systematic Theology

Plus

  • The Master’s Research Dissertation

By completing a specialisation you will be able to build a solid platform for your future employment or for further education.

You can find out more about the modules you will study below, or you can access our Programme Handbook.

The Biblical Studies pathway provides opportunities for you to develop and master skills in translation and exegesis at an advanced level. You will be engaged in rigorous and independent research of complex exegetical issues and in self-reflective examination of how the biblical text may be appropriated to complex and unpredictable situations in modern culture through application of contemporary hermeneutics.

Additionally, the Biblical Studies route will enable you to investigate the meaning of specific texts within the larger biblical and theological context, as well as in the tradition of the Adventist Church.

To fulfil the requirements of the Biblical Studies pathway you will complete:

  • Three general Biblical Studies modules, plus
  • Two modules from either Old or New Testament, plus
  • One elective module from the Systematic Theology Pathway in the Spring Semester.

General Biblical Studies Modules

Autumn Semester (September)

Biblical Hermeneutics (NCTR7001) – 20 credits

Any reading of the Bible is an act of interpretation. This module will enable you to analyse various approaches to biblical interpretation, ancient and modern, in terms of their underlying hermeneutical theories. The module starts with the hermeneutical process within the Bible itself, i.e. inner-biblical exegesis. It continues with the Sola Scriptura principle of the Reformation and the critical approaches of the Enlightenment. Finally, the module looks at the contribution of Romantic hermeneutics, such as the work of Schleiermacher, the rise of Fundamentalism and some of the most recent postmodern approaches, such as Semiotics or Reader Response theories. This module will help you to understand the significance of these approaches in relation to your own use of the Bible, both specifically in exegesis and in ministry in general.

Teaching method: Intensive, mandatory attendance on campus (11–21 September 2017)

Second Temple Judaism (NCTR7005) – 20 credits

The period between the Old and the New Testaments is not a time of silence but, to the contrary, a period of intense literary activity, an echo of the political, sociological and religious turmoil which impacted Palestine. The purpose of this module is to analyse some of the most significant works produced in this period and to see how they reinterpreted the Old Testament and informed the New Testament authors in some important areas, such as holy places, the role of sacrifices, purity rules, angelology and demonology.

Teaching method: Weekly sessions, mandatory attendance on campus

Spring Semester (January)

The Reception of the Bible in Contemporary Culture (NCTR7011) – 20 credits

Contemporary culture conceives, references and interprets the Bible in a myriad of ways. This module explores how these contemporary, generally secular interpretations on the Bible intersect with faith-based readings. It explores how biblical Christian ministry can responsibly interact with the way contemporary culture conceives of and utilises the Bible, and how this interaction can benefit mission.

Teaching method: Intensive, mandatory attendance on campus (19–22 March 2018) and weekly sessions, where regular online attendance is possible.

Old Testament Modules

Autumn Semester (September)

Old Testament Exegesis: Studies in Prophetic Texts (NCTR7002) – 20 credits

This module will provide you with an in-depth understanding of the method of exegesis, as well as a critical awareness of contemporary scholarship on prophecy in the Old Testament, both classical and apocalyptic. The class aims to consolidate your skills in translating Old Testament Hebrew text by considering advanced elements of grammar, syntax, and style, particularly in poetic texts.

Teaching method: Weekly sessions, mandatory attendance on campus

Spring Semester (January)

Old Testament Thematic: Old Testament and Spirituality (NCTR7010) – 20 credits

This module will enable you to engage with Hebrew poetry, both in terms of its peculiar translation problems and as a mode of expression, with emphasis on Psalms, Job and Jeremiah’s Confessions. The module will also introduce you to spirituality, both as an academic discipline, and in terms of its manifestations in the Hebrew Scriptures and relevance to your own experience.

Teaching method: Weekly sessions, mandatory attendance on campus

New Testament Modules

Autumn Semester (September)

New Testament Exegesis: Studies in the New Testament Letters (NCTR7004) – 20 credits

This module will help you develop an in-depth understanding of the method of exegesis, particularly in relation to the interpretation of the New Testament letters, with an emphasis on translation skills. It will also teach you a critical awareness of contemporary scholarship on the letter genre in the New Testament in general, and the set passages in particular.

Teaching method: Weekly sessions, mandatory attendance on campus

Spring Semester (January)

New Testament Thematic: New Testament and Cultic Reconstruction (NCTR7012) – 20 credits

Disregarded by great names such as Luther and Spurgeon, the Letter to the Hebrews is a difficult text, far from the modern and postmodern mindset. Written in the best Greek of the New Testament, it provides remarkable statements on Jesus Christ, and particularly a new interpretation of his death. This module specifically pays attention to the oral character of Hebrews (a homily) and will endeavour to provide an analysis of the sermon to the Hebrews and its deconstruction of the Hebrew cult. The class also considers its parallels in both testaments and in the Intertestamental literature.

Teaching method: Weekly sessions, mandatory attendance on campus

The Pastoral Studies pathway will provide opportunities for you to respond to the complex and often perplexing issues that challenge Christian faith and ministry in today’s rapidly changing world. You will learn to respond creatively to various complex tasks relating to ministry in the current global context and contemporary European culture. Furthermore, the Pastoral Studies route is designed to enable you to master the professional skills essential for successful participation in Christian ministry, scholarship and leadership, both within the diverse and changing context of the Adventist Church and the wider community.

To fulfil the requirements of the Pastoral Studies pathway you will complete the following six modules.

Autumn Semester (September)

Theological Methods for Pastoral Studies (NCTR7006) – 20 credits

This module examines research methods appropriate for pastoral field study. It provides a comprehensive understanding of the research strategies and data collection methods appropriate for pastoral studies, and addresses the principles and procedures that define and regulate research investigations. The primary focus of the subject is on the nature of the research process, and on the qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods traditions that underlie social research inquiry.

Teaching method: Intensive, mandatory attendance on campus (11–21 September 2017)

Exegesis of Key Texts in Adventism: Marriage Texts (NCTR7007) – 20 credits

This class aims to develop an in-depth exegetical understanding of the key texts on marriage in both Old and New Testament, with a specific emphasis on their different cultural contexts. Additionally the module develops an understanding of marriage as an institution in biblical as well as modern times, and in the contemporary Adventist Church in particular.

Teaching method: Intensive, mandatory attendance on campus (2–12 October 2017)

Biblical Theology and Praxis of Ministry and Mission (NCTR7013) – 20 credits

This module provides a biblical-theological context for the ministry and mission of the church. It develops an in-depth understanding of the most significant concepts, methods and perspectives that form a biblical-theological context for the ministry and mission of the church. The module will enable you to articulate a well-developed ecclesiology and theology of ministry and mission by using the canonical narrative as the foundational interpretative framework.

Teaching method: Intensive, mandatory attendance on campus (30 October—9 November 2017)

Spring Semester (January)

The Reception of the Bible in Contemporary Culture (NCTR7011) – 20 credits

Contemporary culture conceives, references and interprets the Bible in a myriad of ways. This module explores how these contemporary, generally secular interpretations on the Bible intersect with faith-based readings. It explores how biblical Christian ministry can responsibly interact with the way contemporary culture conceives of and utilises the Bible, and how this interaction can benefit mission.

Teaching method: Intensive, mandatory attendance on campus (19–22 March 2018) and weekly sessions, where regular online attendance is possible

Evangelism and Community (NCTR7015) – 20 credits

The module develops an understanding of the historical development of missions and evangelism through to the 21st century and then contextualises and applies missional theories to the postmodern world and a local community.

Teaching method: Intensive, mandatory attendance on campus (29 January—8 February 2017)

Pastoral Ethics (NCTR7017) – 20 credits

This module gives particular prominence to virtue theory as a way of addressing ethical problems which may confront those responsible for the oversight of the community of faith. The study of virtue in its ancient and contemporary expressions precedes an attempt to apply the theory to case studies, which may include some from the students’ own experiences.

Teaching method: Intensive, mandatory attendance on campus (26 February—8 March 2017)

The Systematic Theology pathway provides opportunities for you to master the ability to think theologically and to practise theology in a critical, reflective and creative manner. You will be engaged in a rigorous application of the methods and principles unique to the disciplines of biblical and systematic theology, and will examine complex historical theological systems and learn to constructively respond to them. The Systematic Theology pathway is designed to encourage in-depth research of the leading motifs of Adventist Christianity within the context of the wider Christian and philosophical traditions.

To fulfil the requirements of the Systematic Theology pathway you will complete the following six modules.

Autumn Semester (September)

Principles and Methods of Theology (NCTR7008) – 20 credits

The module analyses in detail the nature of theological thinking on its epistemological, methodological and theological levels and provides a constructive synthesis of theological thinking based on such analysis. The module first clarifies the role of the meta-theological questions of epistemology – sources of knowledge, first principles of thinking, and the operation of human thinking. Secondly, it provides an in-depth review of the major historical-theological systems including their methodological rationales. Lastly, it offers a constructive proposal for theological thinking based on coherent application of Revelation epistemology as expressed in its Protestant slogan of Sola Scriptura.

Teaching method: Intensive, mandatory attendance on campus (18–28 September 2017)

Leading Motifs in Adventist Theology (NCTR7009) – 20 credits

This module focuses on the specific and distinctive Adventist teachings forming its theological paradigm, with specific attention to the methodological theological rationale for the rethinking of the classical Christian formulations of the redemptive eschatological goals of the Biblical story. This includes detailed attention to the historic tensions and interactions with the Wesleyan Holiness and Reformed Protestant paradigms regarding personal piety, destiny and salvation.

Teaching method: Intensive, mandatory attendance on campus (30 October—9 November 2017)

Exegesis of Key Texts in Adventism: Marriage Texts (NCTR7007) – 20 credits

This class aims to develop an in-depth exegetical understanding of the key texts on marriage in both Old and New Testament, with a specific emphasis on their different cultural contexts. Additionally the module develops an understanding of marriage as an institution in biblical as well as modern times, and in the contemporary Adventist Church in particular.

Teaching method: Intensive, mandatory attendance on campus (2–12 October 2017)

Spring Semester (January)

The Reception of the Bible in Contemporary Culture (NCTR7011) – 20 credits

Contemporary culture conceives, references and interprets the Bible in a myriad of ways. This module explores how these contemporary, generally secular interpretations on the Bible intersect with faith-based readings. It explores how biblical Christian ministry can responsibly interact with the way contemporary culture conceives of and utilises the Bible, and how this interaction can benefit mission.

Teaching method: Intensive, mandatory attendance on campus (19–22 March 2018) and weekly sessions, where regular online attendance is possible

Emerging Perspectives in Soteriology (NCTR7020) – 20 credits

The aim of the module is to provide a fresh investigation of the Adventist soteriological paradigm by constructively engaging primarily with the Pauline’s New Testament theme of redemption as portrayed in the epistles of Romans and Galatians. The module first discusses the basic threefold framework for the past, present and future redemptive work of Christ which is then further biblically and theologically investigated through Pauline themes of judgment and justification finally leading to a biblical-systematic formulation of Adventist theology of redemption.

Teaching method: Weekly sessions, mandatory attendance on campus

Emerging Perspectives in Ecclesiology (NCTR7021) – 20 credits

The module explores the propositions, opportunities and tensions in the current ecclesiological discourse within the Seventh-day Adventist church. This module aims to equip the students with intellectual tools for engaging competently and constructively in the ongoing theological conversation surrounding the issues of church’s ministry, mission, structure, ordinances, ordination, and reform. Upon finishing this module, students will have a clearer idea of what it means to be a church in the present-day world. This will provide a theological framework for their future ministry within the church setting.

Teaching method: Intensive, mandatory attendance on campus (9–12 April 2018) and weekly sessions, where regular online attendance is possible

The Master of Arts in Theology culminates in a dissertation, for which you will write a research paper of 15,000 words based on independent research. You will research a topic of your own choosing from within your specialisation (selected in consultation with the lecturers) under the guidance of a designated supervisor.

The following module is offered in both the Autumn (September) and Spring (January) semesters.

NCTR7031 – MA Dissertation – 60 credits

The Dissertation research module will provide students with an opportunity to undertake a sustained, rigorous and independent investigation of a specialised topic in a chosen specialisation.

TEACHING STAFF

The following members of the Department of Theological Studies teach into the Master of Arts in Theology:

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

You may need to meet different entry requirements depending on where you are from and what your academic background is.

Generally, to be eligible for entry to the Master of Arts in Theology, you will need to have completed:  

 

If English is not your native language you will also need to demonstrate that you have a sufficient standard of English to study at this level, or to have taken one of the following English proficiency tests:

  • IELTS (mandatory for visa students)
  • Cambridge Exam (either the Certificate of Proficiency in English or Certificate in Advanced English)

The Master of Arts in Theology is available through both the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UK) and Friedensau Adventist University (Germany). If you choose to study through Friedensau you will need to have completed both Greek and Hebrew during your undergraduate studies.

FEES

Newbold’s fee structure is competitive, especially compared with universities in the United Kingdom and with Adventist higher education providers in the United States.

Find out more about our tuition fees and use our cost calculator to estimate what your study plan might cost.

NEWBOLD MINISTERIAL SOCIETY

As a Theology student you will become an automatic member of the Newbold Ministerial Society. The Society provides a range of events and activities for its members, such as seminars, social activities, and mission and evangelism trips.

Find out more about the Newbold Ministerial Society

FUTURE PROSPECTS

As a graduate you will be eligible to entry into pastoral ministry within the Trans-European Division (TED) of the Adventist Church. Through this programme you will develop a deep knowledge of Scripture; an understanding of the Church’s theology, history and mission; and competence in pastoral skills which are relevant to the needs of the contemporary world.

There is no formal placement requirement in the Master of Arts in Theology, however students are strongly encouraged to gain as much relevant experience as possible in the church they attend.

Newbold’s Department of Theological Studies also hosts a Sabbath School class each every Saturday, and postgraduate students are invited to and encouraged to take active roles in leading and teaching this class.

The Master of Arts in Theology (or an equivalent qualification) is a requirement for employment in pastoral ministry within both the TED as well as many other regions of the Adventist Church. Many of our graduates from this programme go on to become pastors both within Europe and further afield.

Because the programme allows you to become specialised in particular areas of theological study, the Master of Arts in Theology enables a wider range of employment opportunities than other similar degrees.

By specialising in one of our pathways you will well prepared for entering into teaching ministry (particularly at primary or secondary level) or academia, particularly in theological writing, research or publishing.

If you are interested in a career in counselling, then our Pastoral Studies pathway will prepare you well for this.

Given its rigorous analytical and specialised nature, this degree also serves as an excellent foundation for further education in the UK or elsewhere in the world. Degrees from UK higher education providers are highly valued by both other educational institutions as well as denominational and other employers.

There are several exit points available from the Master of Arts in Theology for those who decide they would no longer like to continue their studies. Each of these exit points are formal postgraduate qualifications and will be of value to your education and experience portfolio in your pursuit of Church or other employment.

Postgraduate Certificate in Theology

If you successfully complete any 60 credits (one full-time semester) from the Master of Arts in Theology you may choose to exit with a Postgraduate Certificate in Theology.

Postgraduate Certificate in Ministry and Mission

By successfully completing 60 credits (one full-time semester) and satisfying the programme requirements for the mission and ministry-focused [Postgraduate Certificate in Ministry and Mission], you may exit with this qualification.

Postgraduate Diploma in Theology

If you successfully complete 120 credits (two full-time semesters), but do not complete a dissertation, you may exit with a Postgraduate Diploma in Theology.

ACCREDITATION AND AFFILIATIONS

Newbold is a member of the Accrediting Association of Seventh-day Adventist Schools, Colleges and Universities, is accredited within the UK university sector by the British Accreditation Council, and receives educational oversight from the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.

The Master of Arts in Theology is validated by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UK).

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