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The Master of Arts (Religion) (MAR) at Memphis Theological Seminary is designed for persons who want to prepare for further graduate study or acquire a general theological education not oriented toward ministry.

The Master of Arts (Religion) degree curriculum objectives:

1) Students will be able to understand, appreciate, and use a critical approach to biblical studies.

2) Students will be able to understand the historical development of Christian doctrine and to incorporate its ongoing significance for the life of faith.

3) Students will gain insight into the way religion and cultural context shape one another.

4) Students will complete a thesis that demonstrates the development of a methodology, bibliography, and the use of critical research skills.

5) Students will complete a thesis that explores in depth a theological topic.


Core Courses

Introduction to Old Testament 3
Introduction to New Testament 3
Christian Heritage I 3
Christian Heritage II 3
Introduction to Christian Ethics 3
Total Core Credits: 12


Students must take 15 credit hours of electives, 9 of which must be in the area of which they seek to focus their thesis. 15
Integrative Seminar and Thesis
Students must complete an integrative seminar during the second semester of coursework that will prepare them for completing their thesis. The Integrative Seminar will assist students in developing a methodology, bibliography, and theoretical foundation for their thesis. Students shall receive 3 credit hours for completing the Integrative Seminar and an additional 3 credit hours upon completion of the thesis.

Total Credit Hours: 36

Master of Arts (Religion) students are required to earn 6 Theological Colloquia credits. 



The Thesis shall be between 50 and 75 pages, plus bibliography, and written in compliance with the current version of the MLA Handbook. If the thesis is in an area of biblical study, the student must take 6 hours in the appropriate biblical language. In developing a thesis topic, students must take 9 hours of courses in the area in which they are writing the thesis.


The VPAA/Dean will assign thesis advisors based on recommendations of the Integrative Seminar professor and in consultation with the student and faculty. Readers will be approved by the VPAA/Dean in consultation with the student and faculty members.


The final draft of the thesis will be submitted to the reader no later than 45 days prior to the end of the semester. Upon receipt of the final draft, the date of the oral defense will be scheduled. Two corrected copies of the thesis will be submitted to the MTS library for binding no later than one week prior to graduation.

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