Beginning in the Fall of 2017, CST will no longer be offering the Master of Arts in Ministry, Leadership and Service (MAMLS) degree for new students. Students currently enrolled in the program will be part of a teach-out process.

Pending approval from external accrediting bodies the ethos of the MAMLS degree will be continued as a Ministry concentration within a new Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MTS) degree. More information on the MTS will be forthcoming over the next year.

Program Overview

The M.A. in Ministry, Leadership and Service is a 48-unit professional degree that prepares students for leadership in a variety of ministry contexts.

This degree is designed for those persons seeking ordination in a Christian denomination that does not require the Master of Divinity degree, or for laity who seek to serve their community in a variety of ways.

This degree is offered in both on-campus and hybrid/online modes.

The on-campus mode allows students to pursue their degree in regular classroom settings, except for 5 classes that must be taken in the intensive or hybrid mode:

  • Spiritual Practices (Hybrid)
  • Cultural Competencies (Hybrid)
  • Field Education I (Hybrid)
  • Interreligious Dialogue and Leadership (Intensive)
  • Vocational Praxis (Intensive)
The hybrid/online mode includes fully-online classes, one week intensive classes offered on campus (without online components), and hybrid courses that include a week on campus with online sessions for the remainder of the semester.

The degree has one required course each semester that helps students articulate and integrate the intersections between one’s personal spiritual journey, theological education, and the various contexts in which ministry takes place.  Students will then choose amongst distribution electives to best custom-design their program for their future ministry goals.

Hybrid and Intensive Courses

Hybrid courses include a week of on-­campus sessions plus online work throughout a semester. Hybrid courses often have required pre­class reading and writing assignments. Intensive courses meet for one week on-campus and often have required reading before class, plus assignments due after the last class session.

On­-campus sessions of hybrid courses are generally scheduled the last full week of August and the second full week of January. Intensive courses are scheduled the first full week of January.

Calendar for Hybrid and Intensive Courses

To complete the degree in two academic years, students should plan to be on campus these times:

First year – 1 week in August, 2 weeks in January

Second year – 1 week in August, 1 week in January

Summers – possible one- or two-week intensive classes on campus

If possible bring a laptop computer for these class weeks.

Degree Requirements

TSF3008Formation: Spiritual Practices (hybrid)
TCS3000Cultural Competencies (hybrid)
TCE3080Formation: Field Education I (hybrid)
TIR3001Interreligious Dialogue and Leadership (intensive)
TRE3040Vocational Praxis (intensive)
4 courses in at least two of the following areas: Hebrew Bible, New Testament, Theology, Church History, Ethics. Introductory classes are highly recommended.
4 courses in any of the following areas: Denominational Studies, Leadership and Administration, Preaching, Religion and the Arts, Religious Education, Spiritual Care and Counseling, Spiritual Formation, Urban Ministry, Worship.
United Methodist students seeking ordination have five required denominational studies courses: History, Polity, Doctrine, Mission, and Evangelism, 12 units total (3 of the classes are 2 units each). Some of these courses may be offered online only or as intensives in the summer.

Ordination as a deacon also requires coursework in Hebrew Bible, New Testament, Church History, Theology, Ethics, and Worship.

These requirements are counted as electives, in the categories listed above.

Students in other denominations also may have required courses – check with your denomination.

Time to Complete

The Master of Arts is usually considered a 2-year degree program. Students can complete the program in two academic years by taking 4 courses (12 units) most semesters, plus the two January intensives. It is also possible to complete more quickly by taking summer courses. Some students also choose to spread the course work over a longer period of time.