Online Graduate Degree in Specialized Ministries

The Southwestern College Professional Studies Master of Arts in Specialized Ministries program is designed for those who want to hone their skills in working with youths and young adults. This nondenominational online Master’s in Specialized Ministries program is ideal for working or aspiring youth ministers who are called to lead others through the doctrines of the Christian faith. Our online Master’s in Specialized Ministries course curriculum includes Studies of the Old and New Testament, Theology, Survey of Church History, and more. The program uses non-traditional formats that are well-adapted to the needs of contemporary learners.

If you’re interested in Christian colleges in Kansas, contact an admissions counselor at Southwestern College Professional Studies today for more information.

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Program Outcomes

Southwestern College Professional Studies’ Master of Arts in Specialized Ministries program is designed for those who want to enhance their understanding of and hone their skills in working with youth and young adults. This nondenominational program is ideal for working or aspiring youth ministers who are called to lead others through the doctrines of the Christian faith. The Master of Arts in Specialized Ministry uses non-traditional formats that are well adapted to the needs of contemporary learners. Specifically, our program prepares graduates to do the following:

  1. Understand, analyze, and apply biblical texts in light of their cultural and historical contexts.
  2. Explain how the fields of biblical and theological studies give shape to youth ministry.
  3. Evaluate pertinent legal and ethical concerns affecting youth leaders.
  4. Understand the importance of mentoring in faith formation in youth and young adults.
  5. Engage the practical dimensions of spiritual formation and apply them to a variety of social scenarios.
  6. Acquire a foundation in the methods used when leading project initiatives involving youth and young adults.
  7. Sharpen professional skills in diverse ministerial settings.

Required Courses

Major Courses

SMIN501 Introduction to Ministry
SMIN503 Studies of the Old Testament
SMIN505 Studies of the New Testament
SMIN507 Theology
SMIN509 Survey of Church History
SMIN596 Practicum in Specialized Ministry Part I
SMIN597 Practicum in Specialized Ministry Part II

Emphasis in Youth and Young Adult Ministry:

SMIN530 Theology of Youth Ministry
SMIN531 Ethical Issues in Youth Ministry
SMIN532 Faith and Formation in Developing Adults
SMIN533 Program Design and Development in the Local Church
LEAD570 Leadership for the Future

Course Descriptions

SMIN501 Introduction to Ministry

This course will explore several themes that are foundational to ministry including the notions of call, conversion, prayer, and leadership in the church. Learners should be prepared to engage the practical dimensions of spiritual formation and to apply them to a variety of social scenarios.

SMIN503 Studies of the Old Testament

This course provides an introduction to the literature and history of ancient Israel with special attention given to the thirty-six books of the Hebrew Bible. Ancient and Near-Eastern texts will be considered in light of the context that they provide for understanding early Judaism. Attention will be given to how to utilize Old Testament Scriptures in a variety of church and para-church ministries.

SMIN505 Studies of the New Testament

This course provides an introduction to the 27 books that constitute the New Testament. This course will take into account the Jewish and Greco-Roman milieu in which the New Testament developed. Attention will be given to how to utilize New Testament Scriptures in a variety of church and para-church ministries.

SMIN507 Theology

In this course, learners learn to link scriptural, historical, and theological sources in order to both create and understand theological constructs for youth ministry. Attention is given to how context (race, class, gender, other) shapes theological convictions.

SMIN509 Survey of Church History

This course provides a survey of the social, institutional, and intellectual history of Christianity. Topics will investigate how various church traditions give shape to ministry.

SMIN596 Practicum in Specialized Ministry Part I

The practicum involves real work experience in a ministerial setting. Established practicum settings include working at the United Methodist reporter and the campus ministries office on the main campus of Southwestern College. Practicum experiences can also take place in other ministry settings. Approval forms are submitted prior to the Practicum Part I course start date and includes the description of the work to be undertaken during the Part I and Part II schedule, evaluation criteria, and the off-campus supervisor, and the supervising teacher.

SMIN597 Practicum in Specialized Ministry Part II

This course is a continuation of the Practicum Part I and is required to be scheduled consecutively with SMIN596. The practicum involves real work experience in a ministerial setting. Prerequisite SMIN596

SMIN530 Theology of Youth Ministry

This course provides a survey of root convictions regarding the action of God in the lives of young people. The course will follow the standard systematic categories in theology and challenge students to consider how content in each category gives shape to youth ministry.

SMIN531 Ethical Issues in Youth Ministry

This course provides a survey of legal and ethical concerns affecting youth leaders: boundary awareness, sexual ethics, counseling referral, rights to privacy, crisis response and management. This course will take a case study approach.

SMIN532 Faith and Formation in Developing Adults

Learners study the relationship between psychological development and doctrines of the Christian life as they apply to youth and developing young adults. The course will cover topics such as entry into the Christian faith, the role of the church in spiritual formation, the role of theology in shaping discipleship and the importance of mentoring in faith formation in the years ranging from teen to young adult.

SMIN533 Program Design and Development in the Local Church

This course provides an introduction to, and practice in, designing and developing a youth ministry in the local church. Attention will be paid to context (i.e. urban, rural, suburban and geographic or regional characteristics), theology of youth ministry, and practical challenges such as fundraising, budgeting and accounting procedures.

LEAD570 Leadership for the Future

Participants will learn to identify trends, implement change initiatives, maximize resources, and develop a response to changing workforce dynamics. This course provides a thorough foundation in the methods used when leading project initiatives.

Admission Requirements

While you can apply for the MASM anytime throughout the year, you can only begin the program at one of two start times during the year – the beginning of the Fall semester or the beginning of the Spring semester. To be admitted into the MASM program, candidates must submit the following:

Southwestern College Professional Studies Graduate Program Application form – Application forms are accepted on an ongoing basis. No application admission fee is charged. Complete the online application.

Official transcripts of all prior college/university coursework – Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a grade point average of 2.5 or higher (on a 4.0 scale).

Print a copy of the transcript request form and mail the request to the institution which awarded your bachelor’s degree.

Two confidential letters of recommendation – using the Graduate Recommendation Form (at least one from a current or former employer).

A one page Admissions Essay – submit your written statement electronically to graduate@sckans.edu or via mail or fax to 316.688.5218.

Resume- Applicants should have at least three years of professional work experience.

All international learners must show evidence of their English language ability by providing the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) report. A score of 550 (paper test) or 213 (computer-based test) on the TOEFL is considered the minimum acceptable for admission to the MASM program.

Applicants who hold bachelor’s degrees from a U.S. institution or from an institution in another English-only speaking country will receive a waiver of the TOEFL. Applicants who are from native English speaking countries are not required to take the TOEFL.

Admission requirements may differ for international learners, or for learners whose undergraduate degrees were awarded outside of the United States. Please contact an admissions counselor for more details.

In addition to the above, it is recommended that candidates have a working knowledge of word processing and presentation software.

A candidate’s file must be complete before an admissions decision may be made. It is the responsibility of each candidate to provide all of the information requested above. Candidates will receive a letter of admission to the program.

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Southwestern College’s master of arts in specialized ministries (MASM) program is designed with an emphasis on youth and young adult ministry and is perfect for working or aspiring youth ministers called to lead others through the doctrines of Christian faith.