Become a Student

Learn how you can become a student at MTS by requesting information from the Admissions Department.


The Master of Arts in Christian Ministry (MACM) degree program prepares persons to serve as lay leaders, deacons, or directors in specialized forms of ministry. The course of study is designed to integrate biblical and theological studies with practical training for a specialized ministry. The Master of Arts Christian Ministry curriculum reflects the mission of MTS by introducing students to theological scholarship, fostering spiritual growth, and preparing them for a specialized ministry in a variety of contexts for the just transformation of the church and the world. Students finish their studies with an Integrative Seminar/Project which demonstrates the integration of Scholarship, Piety, and Justice in a specialized ministry. The Master of Arts in Christian Ministry degree program at MTS requires a minimum of two years of study. Candidates for the order of deacon in the United Methodist Church can meet ordination requirements with this degree.

The Master of Arts in Christian Ministry curriculum intends to shape lives devoted to scholarship, piety and justice in these ways:


An understanding of specialized ministry grounded in religious heritage through the study and critical interpretation of Scripture, history, and Christian doctrine.

The ability to employ theological reflection and the exercise of skills for a specialized ministry in context for the just transformation of the church and the world.


Deepened self-awareness and accountability through personal and communal relationships.

Increased openness to diverse perspectives and expressions of love for God and neighbor.


New perspectives on justice through transformative encounters with personal and systemic injustice.

The integration of a specialized ministry with critical, creative, and compassionate responses to injustice guided by religious faith.

Religious Heritage
Provides instruction in Christian religious heritage, including Scripture, theology, and church history.

Introduction to Interpreting the New Testament (3)

Introduction to Interpreting the Old Testament (3)

History and Theology I (3)

History and Theology II (3)

One Additional Theology or One Additional Church History Course (3)


Cultural Context
Provides instructional settings and opportunities for students to gain understanding of the broader social context in which the specialized ministry is performed.

Two courses in the student’s area of specialization in Christian ministry, one of which will involve a practicum or be an immersion course. (6)

Christian Ministry Seminar and Project
Designed to be the “capstone” course students will integrate their theology and practice of a specialized Christian ministry in relation to a final project that involves the development of a theological vision for the practice of Christian ministry within a particular specialization.

The project requires an integrative paper supported by biblical, historical, and theological foundations in which the student demonstrates capacity for scholarship, knowledge of skills for the practice of specialized ministry, and the ability to articulate a vision of ministry.

The specializations for the Master of Arts in Christian Ministry (MACM) degree program have been designed in light of the mission of Memphis Theological Seminary and the strengths of the faculty. Students will be assigned a faculty advisor who will guide the student in course selections so that those reflect the specialized ministry in which the student chooses to focus.  In addition to the Christian Ministry Seminar and Project, students will have 21 hours of coursework in their area of specialization.

The Master of Arts in Christian Ministry offers specializations within different areas.  All specializations share the common core of required courses in Bible, theology, and church history, along with requirements in the areas of the social context for ministry and the practice of ministry.  The latter requirements are shaped with regard to the student’s specialization and include practicum and immersion components.  The program provides the basic educational requirements for ordination as a deacon in the United Methodist Church.


1. The Urban Ministry specialization is intended for those preparing to work in community ministries in urban and suburban settings.


2.  The Social Justice Ministry specialization is intended for those preparing for ministry with persons and organizations addressing systemic injustice.


3. The Christian Education specialization is intended for those preparing for ministry as directors and teachers of Christian Education within congregational and other settings.


4. The Addiction Counseling specialization is intended for those preparing to minister to those who struggle with the effects of addiction disorders.


5. A student may also pursue an area of specialization in in the MACM program if approved by the VPAA/Dean during the admissions process.


To propose a specialization for the MACM degree, a student must follow these steps:


1. Notify admissions of the desire to pursue an area of specialization in the MACM program.

2. Admissions will notify the VPAA/Dean that a student is interested in pursuing a specialization in the MACM other than the established tracks.

3. The VPAA/Dean will refer the student to a faculty member who teaches in that area of specialization.

4. In consultation with that faculty member, the student will:

a) identify the specialization and develop a rationale for this specialization with the MTS curriculum which includes stating specific learning outcomes under the headings of scholarship, piety, and justice.

b) identify six courses in the MTS curriculum that would constitute this specialization in relationship to those learning outcomes.

c) and submit the application to the VPAA/Dean for approval.

5. Upon approval of the VPAA/Dean, the student will be assigned to a faculty member in the area of specialization to serve as the academic advisor for the student’s program.


Note: within the area of specialization no more than three courses may transfer in from another accredited seminary.


Additional Graduation RequirementsMACM students are required to earn 6 Theological Colloquia credits and earn a minimum 2.00 cumulative grade point average.


Specialization Requirements
Christian Ministry Integrative Seminar and Project (3)


The Practice of Ministry
Provides the opportunity for theological reflection on and knowledge of the practice of ministry in relation to the student’s area of specialization. Two courses which address the student’s area of specialization, one of which must include a practicum (6)


Personal and Spiritual Formation
Provides an opportunity for students to grow in personal faith, emotional maturity, moral integrity, and public witness.


Formation for Ministry (3)


Three Elective Courses
Electives are to be selected consistent with a particular ministry specialization (9)

(United Methodist Deacon Track The specializations for the Students will be required to take six hours in United Methodist History, Doctrine, & Polity)  



Specialization in Addiction Counseling

The Master of Arts in Christian Ministry is designed for students who want to develop a competence in a specialized area of ministry. The current Certificate in Addiction Counseling consists of six classes that prepare students to offer competent counseling services to persons who struggle with the effects of Substance Abuse Disorders. The program offers the number of hours (270) that the Tennessee State Board of Alcohol and Other Drugs of Abuse Counselors requires for licensure as an Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor. Completion of this course of study does not guarantee licensure as that requires an additional 6,000 clinically supervised counseling experience contact hours.


In addition to the regular requirements of the MACM degree, the specialization in Addiction Counseling requires six classes designated as Addiction Counseling. Three of those courses count as electives within the degree requirements, and one counts as a Cultural Context Required Elective (with practicum or immersion). The two remaining Addiction Counseling courses constitute additional coursework (6 credit hours) for this degree. 48 credit hours are thus required for the MACM with a specialization in Addiction Counseling. [See Degree Sheet for MACM with specialization in Addiction Counseling]


Students are encouraged to take Cultural Context and Pastoral Ministry courses that will further their preparation for ministry in the area of Addiction Counseling. Such courses could include the following in Cultural Context: The Church’s Call to Radical Hospitality, Church Ministry in the City, Jesus Jails and Justice, Religion and Contemporary American Society. In Pastoral Ministry, such courses could include: Introduction to the Theology and Practice of Pastoral Care, Pastoral Care and Addictions, Pastoral Care in Times of Crisis, Pastoral Care in Institutional Settings, and Pastoral Care of Families. Additional courses that might be of interest include: Soul Notes; Cardiognosis: A knowing of the Heart, God and the Other, Prophetic Imagination, and The Beloved Community.


Fall Semester Spring Semester
Application Deadline Application Deadline
·      Early Deadline May 31 ·      Early Deadline November 30
·      Deadline August 10 ·      Deadline January 10


Memphis Theological Seminary now offers a Night Track for our Master’s degree programs. The program makes it possible for a working adult to obtain their MDiv, MACM, or MAR while still maintaining their full- time job. Classes are offered Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings from 6-9 pm. A full time student may complete the MDiv in 4 years and the MACM and MAR may be completed in 3 years. Learn how you can become a student.



We appreciate your interest in Memphis Theological Seminary.  The MTS admissions staff is committed to supporting you in your theological journey.  We are here to help you while you are discerning your call, considering degree and certificate options, and supporting you as you do ministry in the real world.  At MTS we are committed to educating and sustaining men and women for ordained and lay ministry in the church and the world through shaping and inspiring lives devoted to scholarship, piety, and justice. Please don’t hesitate to ask how we can assist you along in your journey.

Rev. Felecia LaVant

Rev. Felecia LaVant

Admissions Associate

Felecia completed her undergraduate degree in Sociology at Fisk University in 1982, and MDiv at Memphis Theological Seminary in 2014. She serves as an Associate Minister and the Director of Christian Education at Central Baptist Church, Inc. Felecia also volunteers with Manna House, a place of hospitality in the Catholic Worker Tradition. She is the proud mother of two adult daughters, Andraea and Alexandria.

Contact Felecia:

Rev. Byron Forester

Rev. Byron Forester

Admissions Associate

Byron is a graduate of Bethel University (1974) and of Memphis Theological Seminary (2007). He serves as pastor of Hopewell Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Benton Co. MS and as Coordinator of Ministries for West Tennessee Presbytery. He participates and serves in several ministries to people who are unsheltered. Byron and his wife, Michelle Brown have three daughters. They live five blocks from MTS.

Contact Byron: