Program Overview

This degree option offers multiple areas of concentration and provides depth of study in a particular theological discipline.  It can serve to prepare persons who plan to pursue future Ph.D. studies. In most cases, a total of 15 units in an area must be completed to receive the concentration.

Each concentration has specific requirements plus electives that are clustered in the student’s specific theological discipline and related fields, as approved by his or her advisor.

Biblical Studies Track

Students who concentrate in Biblical Studies are required to complete at least two semesters in the primary biblical language (Greek or Hebrew, 6 units) and one semester in the secondary biblical language (Greek or Hebrew, 3 units).

THB3007 The Hebrew Bible in Context: An Introduction3 units
TNT3003 The New Testament in Context: An Introduction3 units
THC3007 History of World Christianities3 units
TTH3036 Systematic Theology 3 units
TEC3001 Introduction to Christian Ethics 3 units
TIR3001 Interreligious Dialogue and Leadership 3 units
Elective in Interreligious Studies3 units
THBxxxx/TNTxxxx Primary Biblical Language6 units
THBxxxx/TNTxxxx Secondary Biblical Language3 units
Courses in discipline, as approved by advisor12 units
Courses outside the discipline3 units
TIS3061 Integrative Seminar I – Spring semester first year1 unit
TIS3062 Integrative Seminar II – Fall semester second year1 unit

OR

TIS3075 MA Research Colloquium I – Spring semester first year1 unit
TIS3076 MA Research Colloquium II – Fall semester second year 1 unit
The summative exercise, such as a master’s thesis, major research paper, or project, as approved by one’s advisor, must be completed within the final 2 semesters of enrollment.

TOTAL – 48 units

Ethics Track

The Ethics track allows students to focus in ethical theory as well as engaged ethics. Theories of normative ethics and metaethics as well as the issues of globalization, poverty, immigration, war, postcolonialism, public policy, and urban studies can be explored.

THC3007 History of World Christianities3 units
TEC3001 Introduction to Christian Ethics3 units
THB3007 The Hebrew Bible in Context: An Introduction3 units
TNT3003 The New Testament in Context: An Introduction3 units
TTH3036 Systematic Theology3 units
Course in History of a particular Religion3 units
Course in Ethics3 units
Course in Theology or Philosophy 3 units
Course in Scripture/Sacred Texts3 units
Course in History, Ethics, Theology/Philosophy or Scripture/Sacred Texts3 units
TIR3001 Interreligious Dialogue and Leadership3 units
Elective in Interreligious Studies or a Course in a Religious Tradition other than one’s own3 units
Courses in discipline, as approved by advisor
Courses chosen by the student in conjunction with his or her advisor.
TIS3075A Research Colloquium I (Spring semester. 1st year)1 unit
TIS3075B Research Colloquium II (Fall semester, 2nd year)1 unit
The summative exercise, such as a Master’s thesis, major research paper, or project, as approved by the student’s advisor, must be completed within the final two semesters of enrollment.

TOTAL – 48 units

Interreligious Studies Track

The Interreligious Studies track offers a graduate-level education in working within and between multiple religious traditions. The goals of the degree are not limited to “religious literacy”—knowledge of the beliefs and practices of a variety of separate traditions. Instead, the field of Interreligious Studies stresses the understanding of interconnections and relationships, even in the context of important differences. Knowledge of facts alone is therefore not sufficient; advanced abilities in dialogue, awareness of lived contexts, perceptions of history, interpersonal and affective skills, and experience in communities are also important.

Graduates will have completed course work in two or more different religious traditions as well as in interreligious dialogue and leadership. In their elective work and in their culminating project, students will focus on a particular issue or set of issues that connects at least two religious traditions.

Study of religious traditions will be approached in a way that understands religions as distinct forms of life, lived out through interacting communities. Deep convictions, core values, organic practices, and cultural contexts – these will all be considered.

In addition, students will experience and develop skills for working across religious traditions. This begins in the one required course, Interreligious Dialogue and Leadership, where students begin working on skills such as dialogical competencies, participant observation, interpersonal and affective learning, values assessment, the ability to see similarities and differences across broad traditions of belief and practice, and the ability to lead multi-religious projects in multi-religious contexts.

In order to strengthen dialogical skills, students will be expected to work in an interreligious situation sometime during their program. This can be accomplished by a practicum or internship experience, counted as elective credit. The summative exercise can be an interreligious project.

Students are encouraged to choose ethics classes and electives that emphasize engagement and action, strengthening skills for understanding and communicating across differences. Advisors will help students select issues that bridge across two or more religious communities.

The Integrative Seminar is taken for two semesters, with one unit of credit being awarded each semester, and one unit awarded during the final semester as the summative exercise is finalized and orally defended. Full time students begin the Integrative Seminar course in the second semester. The course is designed to help them design their summative exercise.

As appropriate to a student’s vocational goals and with his or her advisor’s consent, a student may choose to write an academic thesis as a summative exercise. In that case, the student will take the MA Research Colloquium class as a substitute for the Integrative Seminar. The requirement for interreligious engagement would then be met by an internship or other project, again with the advisor’s consent.

Students select courses from Claremont School of Theology, the Academy for Jewish Religion, California, Bayan Claremont, the University of the West, and Claremont Graduate University to customize their degree programs to their interests and contexts.

Students take courses that go in-depth in two or more religious traditions.
TIR3001 Interreligious Dialogue and Leadership3 units
Elective in Interreligious Studies3 units
Electives in Interreligious Education, Interreligious Studies, Buddhist studies, Christian studies, Islamic studies, Jewish Studies9 units
Courses chosen by the student in conjunction with his or her advisor.
TIS3061 Integrative Seminar I (Spring semester 1st year)1 unit
TIS3062 Integrative Seminar II (Fall semester 2nd year)1 unit

OR

TIS3075 MA Research Colloquium I (Spring semester 1st year)1 unit
TIS3076 MA Research Colloquium II (Fall semester 2nd year)1 unit
The summative exercise, such as a master’s thesis, major research paper, or project, as approved by one’s advisor, must be completed within the final 2 semesters of enrollment.

TOTAL – 48 units

Religion, Society and Social Change Track

The Religion, Society and Social Change track is designed to appeal to people who are interested in working across religious traditions to contribute toward the healing of the world.

The purpose of this degree is to prepare people to work for social change in concrete settings of leadership and activism. The program aims to strengthen students’ personal ethical grounding, increase their capacity to work with people from different religious traditions and secular standpoints, and equip them with the knowledge and skills for leading change at the local level and beyond.

The program is appropriate for those interested in working in secular, religious, or interreligious contexts, including advocacy, service, and justice organizations.

TIR3001 Interreligious Dialogue and Leadership3 units
Elective in Interreligious Studies3 units
Electives in Interreligious Education, Interreligious Studies, Buddhist studies, Christian studies, Islamic studies, Jewish Studies9 units
Students take five courses in Religious Traditions in at least three of the following areas: History, Theology/Philosophy, Sacred Scriptures, and/or Ethics. Students may choose to take courses related to their own religious tradition or those of other religions.
Elective in Interreligious Studies or a course in a religious tradition.
(And courses with TCE, TES, TIR, TPP, TSF, TUS prefixes, and/or other approved courses)
An internship placement where students will work on applying their area of expertise to some set of real-world problems.
Courses chosen by the student in conjunction with his or her advisor.
TIS3061 Integrative Seminar I (Spring semester 1st year)1 unit
TIS3062 Integrative Seminar II (Fall semester 2nd year)1 unit

OR

TIS3075 MA Research Colloquium I (Spring semester 1st year)1 unit
TIS3076 MA Research Colloquium II (Fall semester 2nd year)1 unit
The summative exercise, such as a master’s thesis, major research paper, or project, as approved by one’s advisor, must be completed within the final 2 semesters of enrollment.

TOTAL – 48 units

Religious Education Track

The M.A. concentration in Religious Education provides students in the theoretical and applied aspects of religious education in faith communities and other non-profit organizations. Students have the opportunity to focus on courses offered in religious education, spiritual formation, and interreligious education to shape a program focused on their educational goals and related to the broader field of theological studies.

The program is designed to be responsive to the educational needs of local religious, social and cultural contexts, as well as the vocational goals of the student. The program can be configured to meet the requirement for Deacon’s Orders in the United Methodist Church. This concentration adequately prepares students for future Ph.D. studies.

THC3007 History of World Christianities3 units
TEC3001 Introduction to Christian Ethics3 units
THB3007 The Hebrew Bible in Context: An Introduction3 units
TNT3003 The New Testament in Context: An Introduction3 units
TTH3036 Systematic Theology3 units
Course in History of a particular Religion3 units
Course in Ethics3 units
Course in Theology or Philosophy3 units
Course in Scripture/Sacred Texts3 units
Course in History, Ethics, Theology/Philosophy or Scripture/Sacred Texts3 units
Electives in the discipline (can include courses in Religious Education, Interreligious Education, or Spiritual Formation).
Courses chosen by the student in conjunction with his or her advisor.
TIS3061 Integrative Seminar I (Spring semester 1st year)1 unit
TIS3062 Integrative Seminar II (Fall semester 2nd year)1 unit

OR

TIS3075 MA Research Colloquium I (Spring semester 1st year)1 unit
TIS3076 MA Research Colloquium II (Fall semester 2nd year)1 unit
The summative exercise, such as a Master’s thesis, major research paper, or project, as approved by the student’s advisor, must be completed within the final two semesters of enrollment.

TOTAL – 48 units

** Field Education is recommended for students with no previous educational experience.

Islamic Education Track

The Islamic Education track provides a holistic approach to developing the educational environment in Muslim schools and organizations, designing curriculum, and attending to the needs of students according to research-based models. Coursework for specializations in Islamic Educational Leadership and Islamic Curriculum and Instruction includes grounding in Islamic Studies and professional development in the effective use of education technology.

The program is designed to be responsive to the educational needs of local religious, social and cultural contexts, as well as the vocational goals of the student. This concentration adequately prepares students for future Ph.D. studies.

BES3010 Islamic Ethics3 units
BTS3000 The Qur’an: Composition, Collection and Teachings3 units
BTH3025 Islamic Theology and Philosophy3 units
BES3021 Islamic Law and Legal Theory3 units
BHS3013 History of Islam3 units
Students must take two of the following courses:

TIR3001 Interreligious Dialogue and Leadership3 units
BMU3019/3119 Sunni-Shia Relations and Intra-faith Issues3 units
BIR3100 Abrahamic Faiths in Conversation3 units
Elective course in Interreligious or intra-faith studies3 units
Proposed courses, pending approval:
Foundations of Islamic Education3 units
Introduction to the Islamic Cultural Heritage3 units
Education Technology and Resources3 units

And Either

School Leadership, Board Management, and Change Agency3 units
Cultivating the Campus Environment & Professional Learning Communities3 units

Or

Critical Pedagogy and Foundations in Learning Theories3 units
Curriculum Design, Development, and Integration3 units
Students can select courses from Bayan Claremont, Claremont School of Theology, the Academy for Jewish Religion, California, University of the West, and Claremont Graduate University to customize their degree programs to their interests and contexts.
BIS3161 Integrative Seminar I – Spring semester first year1 unit
BIS3162 Integrative Seminar II – Fall semester second year1 unit

OR

TIS3075 MA Colloquium I – Spring semester first year1 unit
TIS3076 MA Colloquium II – Fall semester second year1 unit
The summative exercise, such as a master’s thesis, major research paper, or project, as approved by one’s advisor, must be completed within the final 2 semesters of enrollment.

Total 48 units

Spiritual Formation Track

The Spiritual Formation Track offers students an opportunity to focus on theoretical and applied aspects of the formation of a life of engaged compassion that views Christianity as a spiritual path consisting of three integrated dimensions: the contemplative dimension, the dimension of relational and personal restoration and vitality, and the dimension of social healing and transformation.

Courses within the concentration explore the deepening of personal experiences of ultimate/sacred compassion, the cultivation of active compassion toward oneself and others, and expressions of transformative, compassionate activity in and for the world (social systems and structures, cultures, and the ecological sphere) — all grounded in contemplative practice.

Students are prepared for further academic work in areas related to spiritual formation, spirituality studies, social healing and reconciliation, and for spiritual leadership in society and communities of faith.

THC3007 History of World Christianities3 units
TEC3001 Introduction to Christian Ethics3 units
THB3007 The Hebrew Bible in Context: An Introduction3 units
TNT3003 The New Testament in Context: An Introduction3 units
TTH3036 Systematic Theology3 units
Course in History of a particular Religion3 units
Course in Ethics3 units
Course in Theology or Philosophy3 units
Course in Scripture/Sacred Texts3 units
Course in History, Ethics, Theology/Philosophy or Scripture/Sacred Texts3 units
TIR3001 Interreligious Dialogue and Leadership3 units
Elective in Interreligious Studies or a Course in a Religious Tradition other than one’s own3 units
Students must take at least 2 ‘SF’ courses from each of the 2 members of the core Spiritual Formation faculty. Appropriate substitutions may be made for Courses in the Discipline if approved by Spiritual Formation area faculty.
Courses chosen by the student in conjunction with his or her advisor.
TIS3061 Integrative Seminar I – Spring semester first year1 unit
TIS3062 Integrative Seminar II – Fall semester second year1 unit

OR

TIS3075 MA Research Colloquium I – Spring semester first year1 unit
TIS3076 MA Research Colloquium II – Fall semester second year1 unit
The summative exercise, such as a master’s thesis, major research paper, or project, as approved by one’s advisor, must be completed within the final 2 semesters of enrollment.
As approved by area faculty.

TOTAL – 48 units

Spiritually Integrative Counseling Track

This track prepares students to provide spiritually-informed counseling and psycho-educational services in congregations, agencies, and other settings. The concentration offers students preparation to offer counseling informed by spirituality, theology and religion.

Students concentrating in Spiritually Integrative Counseling take their clinical education at The Clinebell Institute for Pastoral Counseling and Psychotherapy, located on the CST campus.

Students normally gain sufficient clinical and supervisory hours to apply for certified member status in the American Association for Pastoral Counselors; some employment settings and organizations require additional coursework, clinical experience, and/or state licensure.

First Year Requirements:

TSC3004 Theories and Practices of Spiritual Care3 units
Clinical Education (see specific requirements below) 6 units
TIR3001 Interreligious Dialogue and Leadership3 units

Second Year Requirements:

Clinical Education (see specific requirements below)6 units
Elective in Interreligious Studies3 units
THC3007 History of World Christianities3 units
TEC3001 Introduction to Christian Ethics3 units
THB3007 The Hebrew Bible in Context: An Introduction3 units
TNT3003 The New Testament in Context: An Introduction3 units
LTH3036 Systematic Theology3 units
Course in History of a particular Religion3 units
Course in Ethics3 units
Course in Theology or Philosophy3 units
Course in Scripture/Sacred Texts3 units
Course in History, Ethics, Theology/Philosophy or Scripture/Sacred Texts3 units
Courses in discipline, as approved by advisor.
Students in this concentration normally complete a clinical case study to fulfill the summative exercise.
Clinical Pastoral Education Prerequisite

Successful completion of one unit of CPE in a program accredited by the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education, with an evaluation acceptable to the faculty in the field of spiritual care is required before students may begin their clinical training. Students who do not have this prerequisite will not be able to complete the degree in two years.

Clinical Training through The Clinebell Institute for Pastoral Counseling and Psychotherapy (TCI)

Students concentrating in Spiritually Integrative Counseling serve as interns at The Clinebell Institute for Pastoral Counseling and Psychotherapy (TCI). No other placements are allowed, except those arranged by TCI. Clinical training begins in late August (the week prior to the School’s Fall orientation of new students) with a required three-day staff meeting and orientation.

The clinical training program at TCI does not follow the academic calendar; due to the intensive nature of the training and the needs of clients, students are on a year-round schedule and continue to serve their clients during school breaks, though vacation times are arranged through TCI. If students’ training must be interrupted due to unforeseen life circumstances, students must make up the time missed within 1 year from the time of interruption. In addition to the weekly meeting time, students schedule clinical work, research and study in preparation for clinical service, individual and group supervision, and other training meetings as required.

Additional Costs

Supervision Fees

Due to the high cost of supervision and other training expenses, additional fees are charged for SC3041, SC3042, SC3044, and SC3045. The amount of these fees is indicated in the registration materials for each semester. These fees are normally not covered by scholarship, but can be included in the overall financial aid package. The fee for the 2014-2015 academic year is $1,300 per semester.

Required Training Psychotherapy

 The effective and ethical practice of spiritually integrative counseling depends upon the caregiver’s continual cultivation of emotional and spiritual resources, self-knowledge, and ability to use herself or himself for the care of others. Therefore, students concentrating in Spiritually Integrative Counseling are required to be in psychotherapy during their clinical education. Students indicate that they have begun this requirement by requesting that a letter be sent by their therapist to The Clinebell Institute Training Director indicating that the psychotherapy has begun.

A total of 12 credits are required and students register for the course Spiritually Integrative Counseling Internship, as follows:

LSC3041 (Fall, 1st year) (CPE prerequisite)3 units
LSC3042 (Spring, 1st year)3 units
LSC3043 (Summer, 1st year)0 units
LSC3044 (Fall, 2nd year)3 units
LSC3045 (Spring, 2nd year)3 units
LSC3046 (Summer, 2nd year, unless graduating)0 units

Theology Track

Students in the Theology track take courses in a range of theological and philosophical perspectives: Process Theology, Liberation Theologies, Feminist Theologies as well as options for engaging in theological studies in non-Christian traditions.

THC3007 History of World Christianities3 units
TEC3001 Introduction to Christian Ethics3 units
THB3007 The Hebrew Bible in Context: An Introduction3 units
TNT3003 The New Testament in Context: An Introduction3 units
TTH3036 Systematic Theology3 units
Course in History of a particular Religion3 units
Course in Ethics3 units
Course in Theology or Philosophy3 units
Course in Scripture/Sacred Texts3 units
Course in History, Ethics, Theology/Philosophy or Scripture/Sacred Texts3 units
TIR3001 Interreligious Dialogue and Leadership3 units
Elective in Interreligious Studies or a Course in a Religious Tradition other than one’s own3 units
Courses in discipline, as approved by advisor15 units
Courses chosen by the student in conjunction with his or her advisor.
TIS3075A Research Colloquium I (Spring semester, 1st year)1 unit
TIS3075B Research Colloquium II (Fall semester, 2nd year)1 unit
The summative exercise, such as a master’s thesis, major research paper, or project, as approved by one’s advisor, must be completed within the final 2 semesters of enrollment.

TOTAL – 48 units