The Master of Arts in Christian Ministry is a degree specifically designed for persons who desire knowledge and skills in a particular area of ministry outside of congregational leadership.
To that end, the MACM has concentrations in the following three areas: Chaplaincy, Christian Education, and Social Justice. Each of these concentrations features courses specific to the ministry specialization, along with internships and practicums in which theological study is intertwined with experience in a ministry setting, including a capstone experience in the MACM Integrative Seminar taken in their last semester of studies. Students complete 48 credit hours for the degree, compared to the 84 hours required for the MDiv degree.
The Chaplaincy specialization features chaplaincy courses in partnership with the Center for Chaplaincy Studies which draws upon faculty from across the United States in a variety of chaplaincy settings. Chaplaincy students are guided through the chaplaincy specialization by Dr. Johnny Jeffords, the Director of the Center for Pastoral Wholeness and Chaplaincy Studies at MTS.
Dr. Jeffords says, “I like to think of the MACM with a specialization in Chaplaincy Studies as the introduction to the world of chaplaincy. It opens the door for students who may be discerning a call to be lived out as a chaplain. While grounded in MTS’s core curriculum, our partnership with the Center for Chaplaincy Studies is a game-changer. CCS’s course catalogue gives our students both broad and specialized exposure to the world of chaplaincy, from which they can determine if they desire to pursue a formalized process of being credentialed and endorsed as a chaplain.”
A unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is required for the Specialization in Chaplaincy Studies. Fulfilling this requirement is often a challenge with the scarcity of traditional CPE slots available. In response, MTS is due to enter into a partnership with Sankofa CPE, beginning in the fall of 2023. Sankofa CPE is an ACPE-accredited program allowing for students more freedom to select their clinical site with appropriate approvals, while satisfying the educational elements of the program online.
Dr. Jeffords says, “I see myself as a navigator to help students journey through the academic requirements while simultaneously guiding those students who have determined they want to be a chaplain through the requirements of their denomination. As more and more students are exploring chaplaincy as their primary expression of ministry, I take it as a challenge and an opportunity to help make the path clear by moving stumbling blocks along the way.”