MASTER OF ARTS IN RELIGION (M.A.R.)
In accordance with the specific mission and core values of Redeemer Seminary, the Master of Arts (Religion) degree provides a basic understanding of theological disciplines for further graduate study or general educational purposes and is designed to train men and women preparing to serve Christ in occupations other than ordained ministry.
Requirements for the M.A.R. Degree
Beginning the Program
Students entering the program are strongly advised to begin their work with the summer term Greek or Hebrew course unless they previously have completed the equivalent of the work in one of these languages. Students not needing to take one of these languages should begin in the first semester in order to finish their program in the designated time. Students will be permitted to begin their program in winter term or in second semester; however, by starting mid-year, students will usually need to extend the length of time for completion of the degree requirements.
The following academic requirements apply to both Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Religion programs:
- Twelve credit hours during a semester, or three credit hours during the winter term, is the minimum program for a full-time student. No student may take more than 20 credit hours during a semester without the permission of the faculty. Not more than five credit hours may be taken during the winter term.
- Master of Arts in Religion students, and Master of Divinity students who have obtained credit for 24 hours of the curriculum or give evidence of possessing exceptional qualifications, may elect advanced level courses at another institution (Master of Theology and Doctor of Philosophy) for transfer to Redeemer. A student must apply for admission to such courses at another institution. These courses carry three hours of elective credit. Such students shall have maintained a general average of 3.20 or its equivalent for the preceding academic year, whether in this institution or elsewhere.
- No student will be granted a degree who lacks the equivalent of the courses in the original languages of Scripture, or whose cumulative academic average at the completion of the program is lower than 1.80. A student who has completed requirements by the end of the winter term of the year of graduation may receive the degree in absentia.
- Entering international students with a TOEFL score of between 570 and 640, and any students whom, during the course of studies, faculty members identify as having weak writing skills, are required to pass the course PT 031p or PT 033p English Writing Skills. See the course description for further requirements.
- International students must be full- time each semester; see the Director of Admissions for the number of semesters allowed to complete the degree program. International students should always allow three years to complete an M.A.R. and four years to complete an M.Div. due to Greek and Hebrew requirements.
- See academic requirements regarding Registration and Attendance, Withdrawal/ Reinstatement, and Academic Standing in the Academic Catalog.
- Students who already possess a M. A. R. degree may receive an M. Div. by completing the following:
- all of the course requirements for the M. Div. (many of which will have been met in the M. A. R. program);
- the M. Div. Mentored Ministry requirements;
- a total of at least 120 semester hours of academic work at the M.A.R./M.Div. level, not including Hebrew and Greek, or a total of at least 140 semester hours of academic work at the M.A.R./M.Div. level, including Hebrew and Greek.
Placement in Greek and Hebrew
Instruction in the Bible presupposes a knowledge of Greek and Hebrew, and students are strongly advised to acquire such knowledge during their college course. However, a student is not required to have previous training in Greek or Hebrew to begin the program. Those who have had Greek or Hebrew before entrance should contact the Registrar about taking the Greek or Hebrew placement exam. A total of at least 92 credit hours plus required Hebrew and Greek courses is required for the Master of Divinity degree.
Master of Arts (Religion) ( M.A.R.)
Master of Arts (Religion)
A student who holds a baccalaureate degree from an approved institution receives the degree of Master of Arts (Religion) (M.A.R.) on the completion of the prescribed program of study. The program requires at least two years of full-time study (16‑18 hours per semester plus winter term) for completion. Note that in order to complete the program in two years, the student must begin with the summer term Greek or Hebrew course and complete the courses in sequence as listed in the sample schedules shown on subsequent pages, and also complete the Summative Evaluation Experience. (Students who cannot carry a full course load as indicated, because of employment or other reasons, usually must extend the length of their seminary program.)
This program is designed for men and women who desire a theological background and training for various callings other than the gospel ministry or for advanced study in religion or other disciplines.
The M.A.R. is an academic program which may serve either as a terminal degree or as a degree leading to further academic work. In the former case, it is especially appropriate for Christian professionals (such as physicians, attorneys, teachers, administrators, writers, and other laypeople) who desire simply to provide for themselves a solid biblical foundation for the work in which they are or will be engaged.
When the M.A.R. is conceived of as a terminal degree, the choice of emphasis will depend upon the individual’s aptitudes, interests, and career direction. Individuals who desire thorough and extensive familiarity with the biblical materials themselves should choose the Biblical Studies emphasis. Those whose interests and concerns involve overall theological or historical perspectives would probably be better served with a Theological Studies emphasis. If future work seems likely to involve service in an inner-city context, the Urban Mission emphasis will be particularly appropriate. A General Studies emphasis allows a student to individualize the program even more and thereby make it directly relevant to his or her own situation.
All of those for whom the M.A.R. is a terminal degree receive thorough grounding in the Scriptures, Reformed theology, church history, and apologetics. All graduates of the program, therefore, possess tools with which to bring the Lordship of Christ to bear directly upon that part of God’s world in which they are called to serve. This satisfies one of the purposes of the program.
Another purpose of the M.A.R. is as a stepping stone for further academic work. An individual taking the M.A.R. in Biblical Studies is particularly well prepared for doctoral work in that field and the same would be true for an individual taking the M.A.R. in Theological Studies.
Requirements for the Degree
A total of at least 55 credit hours, including the Summative Evaluation Experience, plus required Hebrew (OT 011-2-3) and Greek (NT 010-1-3) courses is required for the M.A.R. degree. Courses are to be selected as indicated in the M.A.R. General Studies outline below.
Master of Arts (Religion) ( M.A.R.) General Studies Emphasis
55 semester hours, plus Hebrew (9 hrs) and Greek (10 hrs) [Prerequisites are listed]
A. Core Required: (24 hours)
- AP 101 Intro to Apologetics (3hrs)
- CH 321 Modern Church (4hrs
- NT101 Text of the NT [Greek III completed or in progress] (1hr)
- NT 111 New Testament Intro (2hrs)
- NT 123 Hermeneutics [completed or in Heb III, Greek III, NT111] (4hrs)
- OT 211 OT History and Theology I [NT123] (3hrs)
- ST 101 Intro to Systematic Theology (2hrs)
- ST 313 Doctrine of Salvation II [Hebrew III, Greek III] (4hrs)
B. Dept Courses: Pick at least one from each of the following groups (10-14 hrs)
- CH 211 Ancient Church (2hrs)
- CH 223 Medieval Church (2hrs)
- CH 311 Reformation (3hrs)
- NT 211 Gospels [NT123] (4hrs)
- NT 223 Acts and Paul [NT123] (4hrs)
- OT 113 Old Testament Intro [Heb I] (3hrs)
- OT 223 OT History and Theology II [NT123] (3hrs)
- OT 311 Prophetical Books [NT123] (3hrs)
- OT 323 Poetry and Wisdom [NT123] (2hrs)
- AP 213 Principles of Apol [AP101, completed or in Greek III] (3hrs)
- PT 211 Doctrine of Church (2hrs)
- ST 113 Doctrine of God (2hrs)
- ST 211 Doctrine of Man [Heb I in progress, Greek III] (2hrs)
- ST 223 Doctrine of Salvation I [Heb II, Greek III] (3hrs)
- ST 323 Christian Ethics [Heb III, Greek III] (4hrs)
C. Elective Courses: (17-21 hrs electives chosen from any other M.Div./M.A.R offerings)
Total Required: 55 hours M.Div./M.A.R. courses, plus Hebrew (9 hrs) and Greek (10 hrs)
Required Other: English Bible Exam (may be taken up to three times to pass)
Major Courses, Electives, or Other Requirements
M.A.R. students take the remainder of their required hours in major courses or electives, and fulfill additional requirements, as follows:
- 1. A student choosing the Biblical Studies emphasis needs all M.Div. OT and NT courses as listed in the sample schedule for the M.Div.
- 2. A student choosing the Theological Studies emphasis needs all M.Div. CH, ST, and AP courses as listed in the sample schedule for the M.Div.
- 3. A student choosing the General Studies emphasis may complete the remaining hours of the program by choosing any courses offered in the M.A.R. or M.Div. programs, except where limitations are noted in the course descriptions. Under an arrangement with the Jerusalem University College (JUC), students choosing the General Studies emphasis may complete some of their program requirements at JUC.
The M.A.R. Summative Evaluation Experience
To provide students in the various M.A.R. programs with an opportunity to review and draw into a comprehensive unity the material of the different courses in the curriculum, there will be a concluding examination that allows for a summative evaluation of the students’ total program. For all programs, this will involve an “open book” take-home examination to be completed within 24 hours in the spring semester of a student’s final year. Students finishing their course work by the end of December or January, prior to May graduation, will take the exam in the fall semester.
The examination will involve three questions. For the M.A.R. – Biblical Studies student, there will be one in Old Testament, one in New Testament, and one in hermeneutics. For the M.A.R.-Theological Studies student, there will be one in systematic theology, one in apologetics, and one in church history. For the M.A.R. -General Studies student, there will be a choice of any three from the six topics above. For the M.A.R. -Urban Mission student, there will be one from gospel communication, one from contextualization and urban anthropology, and one from mission to the city. The examination must be typed (double-spaced) and each question answered separately in two to four pages. The examinations will be distributed on the Thursday of the sixth full week of the spring semester and are to be returned by the end of the next day (4:30 p.m. on Friday of the sixth full week of classes).
This summative examination will count for one semester hour of credit (taking the place of one hour of elective credit in the current curriculum). It will be graded on a Pass/Fail basis. If a student should fail, a petition for a retake examination within a three-week period may be considered. The questions of the summative examination aim at giving students the opportunity to demonstrate that they can apply the knowledge acquired in the M.A.R. programs. Research will not be necessary for answering these questions. Rather, the questions will be designed to allow the student to draw upon the course work here. Given that it is an “open book” examination, students may make use of any research materials that they see fit. The examination is administered through the Academic Affairs Office. A student may also request to have a suitable alternative project substitute for the summative examination, subject to review by the faculty.
The M.A.R. degree is designed as a two-year program. This is the minimum time (without transfer credit) that it will take to complete the degree. Frequently, students take three years to complete the degree in order that they may take Greek and Hebrew in different years.
Students who are taking courses on a part-time basis should adjust their course work plans and time limits according to their individual needs.
Due to the large number of elective credit choices available to the
M.A.R. – General Studies student, no sample schedule is provided. Students may consult the sample schedule for the M.Div. program for timing regarding taking core courses.