As you prepare your application for the ACU Graduate School of Theology, you may have questions very similar to those of other applicants. Below are answers to a list of commonly asked questions.
What is the difference between the MA, the MACM, and the MDiv?
Our Master of Divinity (M.Div.) is our all encompassing professional degree, while our Master of Arts (M.A.) tracks are more specific and academically minded. We recommend the M.Div. for anyone who is serious about being in ministry, no matter the form. It prepares you for full time ministry in a wide variety of contexts or doctoral work. If you’re looking to do professional ministry in nearly any context or move forward to the Doctor of Ministry program, the M.Div. is for you.
The M.A. in Christian Ministry is a ministry focused degree designed to provide flexibility and focus for ministry training. It maintains many of the core elements of the M.Div. program but focuses on youth, family, children’s, and education ministry. It is also designed to deepen theological understanding for those who are pursuing work in fields outside of congregational ministry, such as social work or non-profit work. This represents one of our most flexible programs and allows for customization of the degree for specific ministry fields.
Our academic M.A. tracks will equip students who are passionate about exploring deep theological issues and biblical languages. They are also ideal for those pursuing academic and PhD work. Our M.A.s require a thesis in which students will work closely with one of our professors. Due to the nature of our core curriculum, you can add an M.A. onto an M.Div. for just 18 extra credits.
What is the average GST class size?
Our residential class sizes range from 1-25 but our average class has approximately 8-10 students. We intentionally keep our class sizes small to ensure our students can have a meaningful dialogue with professors and classmates. We also want to maintain a close-knit community where everyone knows each other and knows who to contact when they are in need.
Do I need to have a theological undergraduate degree to apply?
No, you do not need a theological undergraduate degree to be a part of the GST! Many of our students come into the degree without prior theological study. As long as you have a bachelor's degree, you are welcome to apply!
Does the GST have any dual master’s degree programs?
Yes! We currently work alongside both ACU’s School of Social Work and ACU’s School of Marriage and Family Therapy. You could potentially complete both the MSSW or MMFT and a MA in Christian Ministry in approximately 3 years. We’d love to talk to you about the possibilities of pursuing a theological master’s degree alongside one of these two degrees.
Can I afford a theological education at ACU?
Recognizing that graduate studies can be an intimidating expense, we are dedicated to helping you pursue a degree without a heavy financial burden. We recently reduced our tuition costs to make the financial investment in a ministry degree at ACU comparable to similar programs at other schools.
On average, over 75% of our students receive scholarships to help cover the cost of tuition. We award scholarships based on prior academic achievement and financial need. We also offer a number of graduate assistantships for our residential students. Graduate assistants receive a stipend and work alongside our professors helping with various tasks including conducting research, grading, and helping teach undergraduate courses.
Our hope is that through a combination of generous scholarships, potentially working as a graduate assistant, and the low cost of living in Abilene, Texas, you will graduate without the stress of unmanageable debt. Also, the flexibility of our online options can allow students to stay where they are and keep their current job.
How do I apply to the ACU Graduate School of Theology?
Please click here to begin the application process. Within the application portal you can send recommendation requests, upload documents, and check your admission status.
What types of recommendation letters is the department looking for?
We require two recommendation letters and we would like to see at least one recommendation from a previous professor.
When will I be notified of my admission decision?
With a rolling-admissions process, you will be notified of your admission decision usually within two weeks of submitting your completed application materials.
Can I attend an open house or schedule a campus visit?
Yes! Please contact Erik Masci, the Graduate School of Theology recruiter (firstname.lastname@example.org or 325-674-3735) to learn more about upcoming Open Houses and/or to schedule a campus visit.
What is Abilene like? Please click here to learn more about Abilene, TX!