The Master of Arts Ethics, Theology, and Culture is a Seminary program providing specialized academic training that prepares men and women to impact the culture for Christ through prophetic moral witness, training in cultural engagement, and service in a variety of settings.
Some students choose this program to enhance qualifications for further academic study. Most, however, choose this program to add focus to preparation for ministry in the local church, on the mission field, in denominational service, or to prepare for para-church ministry and general Christian witness in the public square.
The M.A. Ethics, Theology, and Culture can be completed in two years alone, or completed as a supplement to the M.Div. with one additional year of study. This is because the M.A. Ethics, Theology, and Culture program allows students to use up to 30 hours of overlapping courses toward both an M.Div. and the M.A. Ethics, Theology, and Culture degree. Note: outside of the 30 shareable hours, at least 18 hours must be completed through courses unique to the M.A. (i.e., courses not shared with the M.Div.) to complete this 49 hour degree.
Students with undergraduate training in theology, Bible, or religion are encouraged to investigate the possibility of testing out of some of the non-ethics foundational studies courses through the Southeastern Collegiate Partnership program (see the Graduate Admissions Policies ).
Application for admission should be made at least 60 days prior to matriculation. Admission to this degree program is based on the following application elements:
- A set of completed standard application forms and an M.A. (Ethics, Theology, and Culture) application form.
- Minimum 3.0 GPA in an accredited baccalaureate degree program. Applicants with degrees from colleges or universities outside the United States will be considered on an individual basis.
- Five references (non-family): 1 pastor; 2 personal character; 2 academic.
- A graded research paper from a graduate or undergraduate course, or the GRE Writing Assessment.
- Applicants for whom English is a second language must achieve a minimum TOEFL score of 600 (100 on the internet-based TOEFL). Please note that TOEFL scores must be less than 24 months old to be considered valid by the Seminary.
The Master of Arts Ethics, Theology, and Culture is awarded based on satisfactory fulfillment of the following requirements.
Foundational Studies: Students must complete 31 semester hours of Master of Arts foundational studies courses. Included in these hours is the seminary’s foundational Christian Ethics course, ETH 5100 Introduction to Christian Ethics. All M.A. Ethics, Theology, and Culture students, including those transferring to Southeastern from other institutions, must take this course regardless of prior courses or experience in the field.
Field Studies: Students must complete 15 semester hours of Christian ethics field studies courses (in addition to ETH 5100 , which is part of the M.A. Core). Christian ethics field courses are identified in the catalog as graduate level courses with an ETH**** designation. Students who have taken an offered ETH**** course while earning another degree at Southeastern may substitute a course in a cognate field if no other ETH**** courses are offered during their time of study and if they get approval from the Registrar and their major professor.
Research Project: For 3 semester hours students must complete the course ETH 7990 M.A. Christian Ethics Research Project. This course consists of producing a formal research project that demonstrates a student’s ability to think and to write critically, as well as to conduct independent research. Research projects must be at least 40-60 pages in length (double-spaced), and are read and approved by the student’s major professor and at least one other faculty member competent in the field of Christian ethics.
During the course of studies in the M.A. Ethics, Theology, and Culture program, and before the final year of study, students should identify a major professor from the Christian Ethics faculty under whose supervision they would like to work on the research project. Students should discuss the research project with their potential major professor, notify the program director of their choice, and will enroll in ETH 7990 M.A. Christian Ethics Research Project under their agreed upon major professor.