Master of Divinity (Missions)

The Master of Divinity Missions is the traditional breadth of the Master of Divinity degree but has an extra focus on culture and issues relating to the gospel. We have made it our mission to prepare students for effective ministry in the diverse and globalizing world.

This degree will prepare you for a wide range of career paths such as church planting, leadership in faith-based NGOs, chaplaincy, missions minister at a local church, and general mission work around the world. It also provides a solid foundation for further study in Ph.D., Th.D. and D.Min programs.

Our Master of Divinity also has a Ministry track.

Ready to be a part of a graduate community dedicated to helping you answer God’s calling for you? Apply now or contact us for more information today.

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Why Master of Divinity Missions at ACU?

  • Advising by and in-depth interaction with Dr. Chris Flanders who is experienced in missions and intercultural service. Flanders is able to teach missions courses through a practical lens due to his 11 years of missionary experience in South East Asia.
  • Weekly mentoring groups provide an informal setting for prayer and discussion among your peers and faculty mentors.
  • Through a sequence of contextual education courses, students are formed for ministry by practicing what they learn in specific ministry contexts. We believe ministry preparation cannot be classroom only learning nor can it be merely unguided “on the job” training.
  • ACU was named the Top Mission Minded Christian College of 2017 by Christian Universities Online. This title is largely due to the opportunities for our students through Halbert Center for Missions and Global Service here at ACU.  

What outcomes can you expect?

Contemporary Culture: Graduates will have ability to integrate theology in contemporary cultural contexts
  1. Critically interprets the role of historical and cultural contexts in the formation of theological perspectives
  2. Discovers and analyzes the key elements of a cultural context, including congregations and a culture other than one’s own
  3. Constructs specific theological proposals that are in accordance with the purposes of God’s Kingdom and appropriately suited to particular contexts
  4. Formulates and begins to practice a coherent Christian engagement with secular culture and with different religions
  5. Explains one’s core theological commitments and applies them effectively to address the spiritual, ecclesial, ethical, and social issues of one’s context
  6. Exercises effective pastoral leadership, based on a clear understanding of a congregation’s culture, in shaping the sacramental and symbolic life of the church in accordance with the contextualized practice of its mission
  7. Implements practical theological proposals according to the needs of particular contexts, including multicultural and cross-cultural contexts
  8. Effectively embodies the Gospel in ways that integrate theological insight with the competent interpretation of one’s context
  9. Facilitates a critical engagement between theological insights and other areas of knowledge and practice
History: Awareness of the historical and contemporary beliefs and practices of the worldwide church, and the Stone-Campbell heritage in particular
  1. Comprehends and evaluates the key figures, movements, and events of church history
  2. Comprehends and evaluates the key beliefs and practices of contemporary global Christianity
  3. Exhibits critical reflection on and mature respect for the historic and contemporary beliefs and practices of the Stone-Campbell heritage (or one’s own tradition)
  4. Critically analyzes one’s own theological and spiritual practices in relation to historic and contemporary Christianity, especially that of the Stone-Campbell heritage (or one’s own tradition)
  5. Critically analyzes contemporary situations in light of historical knowledge and appropriately applies that knowledge in ministerial practice
Leadership: Graduates will have ability to lead and equip the church for its various ministries
  1. Employs critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making sufficient for ministerial effectiveness
  2. Demonstrates the ability to lead the church in interpreting its context, discerning its mission, and evaluating its orientation to the purposes of God
  3. Demonstrates the ability to lead the church in shaping its corporate identity and implementing God’s vision in its context
  4. Demonstrates the ability to teach, equip, and lead individuals of different ages and various levels of faith development
  5. Exercises one’s ministerial role in a way that constructively engages the polity of one’s context
  6. Works collaboratively with others
  7. Skillfully manages conflict in a way that enables constructive transformation and peacemaking
  8. Manages ministerial boundaries with maturity and wisdom
Care of Souls: Graduates will have capacity to exercise care of souls in fitting and compassionate ways
  1. Treats others with respect and acts according to their best interests
  2. Exhibits sensitive, caring, and skillful attention to the needs of those in crisis
  3. Provides apt counsel, guidance, and practical instruction
  4. Integrates the practice of skillful caregiving techniques with disciplined theological reflection
Character: Graduates will demonstrate growth in Christian character essential for ministerial faithfulness and effectiveness
  1. Conducts oneself in the manner of a Christian exemplar
  2. Demonstrates healthy awareness of one’s personality, behavior patterns, level of interpersonal effectiveness, and patterns of response to anxiety and conflict
  3. Demonstrates commitment to conduct one’s life out of a confessed Christian faith and exhibits the practices of discipleship
  4. Demonstrates sustained participation in Christian community and constructive investment in its life
  5. Takes honest responsibility for one’s actions, habits, and growth, applying effective strategies and spiritual disciplines for achieving ongoing growth
  6. Acts in a principled fashion so as to increase one’s credibility and build trust—with integrity, humility, dependability, and compassion
  7. Discerningly receives criticism and takes initiative to change if necessary
  8. Demonstrates commitment to the well-being of one’s spouse and family
Male and female students studying in the library.

Admission Requirements

  • A completed application and application fee; 
  • An official transcript(s) in English (or translated to English) of all previous colleges attended. The transcript must indicate an earned bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university or equivalent; 
  • A cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale;
  • Two letters of recommendation (may be submitted through the online application); 
  • A writing sample following these guidelines;
  • GST Writing Assessment (a brief evaluation of academic writing skills).

Program Advisor

Dr. Christopher Flanders
Associate Professor of Missions
PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary, 2005
chris.flanders@acu.edu

Learn More

Download the program brochure for more information about the program format, degree plan, accreditation and distinctives that set ACU’s program apart.

Ways to Pay for a GST Education

The ACU Graduate School of Theology (GST) has a number of ways to help you pay for your education. Listed below are various forms of financial aid that can be awarded and applied for when attending the GST.

As always, we are glad to help answer your questions. Feel free to contact us at gst@acu.edu with any questions or concerns.

Scholarships

The GST offers scholarship assistance to residential master's students based on prior academic record, financial need and potential for ministry and further academic research. Scholarships are awarded on an annual basis and are re-evaluated at the end of each school year. Scholarship awards are made as applications are completed, and the amounts are determined based on the strength of each application. To apply, complete and submit the GST
Scholarship Application form found on the Graduate Financial Aid web page.

For Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) students, merit- and need-based scholarships are available. To apply, complete the D.Min. scholarship application.

Student Loans

  • Federal Direct Loans
    • The Federal Direct Loan program consists of unsubsidized loans and is awarded regardless of demonstrated need.
  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan (GRAD PLUS)
    • This loan can be used to supplement other financial aid, such as the Federal Direct Loan. Repayment of this loan begins within 60 days after the entire loan has been disbursed. The GRAD PLUS Loan is subject to in-school deferment but it is not automatic. Deferment can be granted by the lender after providing proof of at least half-time enrollment.

Note: To qualify for federal aid, students must be enrolled at least half-time in the semester for which they are seeking aid. For master's programs, full-time enrollment is defined as 9 credit hours per semester and half-time as 6 credit hours. For the D.Min. program, full-time is defined as 6 credit hours per semester and half-time as 3 credit hours.

Graduate Assistantships

A number of Graduate Assistantships are offered at Abilene Christian University on a competitive basis.
Graduate Assistants (GA's) fall into three categories according to major responsibilities: academic support, including clerical work; research; and teaching.

Upon employment, GA's are given a letter clearly stating responsibilities, remuneration and the expectations of the department and of the professor to whom they are assigned. In the GST, GA's are required to work 7.5 hours a week and are paid an hourly wage.

ACU Employee Tuition Benefit Program

This benefit program applies to all full-time and half time employees at ACU and is designed to help employees, and their immediate family, obtain additional education. ACU employees, their spouses, and children are eligible to receive a discount on their tuition.

Church Match Scholarship

Church congregations may send up to a $500 scholarship per academic year for a full-time master's student (9 hours for graduate students) to ACU, and the funds will be matched. The congregation must send the scholarship check with the completed Church Match Scholarship form (inquire at the GST for this form). This scholarship is available for Fall and Spring semesters only, and forms should be sent with the scholarship check from the congregation between June 1 and September 1 for the Fall semester, or between December 1 and February 1 for the Spring semester.

The Fund for Theological Education

The Fund for Theological Education offers fellowships for first and second year seminary students, which you can find through the FTE Fund Finder. For more information, and links to the applications, visit the FTE website.

Loretta and V.W. Kelly Scholarship

Students who graduate from ACU with their undergraduate degree and stay at ACU to receive their graduate degree may be nominated by an ACU Faculty or Staff member for the ACU Alumni Association’s Loretta & V.W. Kelly Scholarship. 

The Crutcher and Vickie Scott Foundation Scholarship

Students who are currently a minister at an Abilene area church can apply for this scholarship. Applicants must submit an application and two recommendation forms in order to be considered for this scholarship.

Lynn and Carolyn Anderson Endowed Scholarship

This endowed scholarship provides additional funds to D.Min. students as a way of supporting ministers in the ongoing practice of ministry. Dr. Lynn Anderson was a member of ACU's inaugural D.Min. cohort in 1987. His and Carolyn's remarkable ministry to congregations and to ministers is honored by gifts from the Anderson family and many others. Awards are based on character, academic ability, and financial need, and are used to encourage and promote diversity in the program when applicable.

Degree Details


Tracks

Missions

Ministry


Required Hours

Credit hours: 72

2020/2021 tuition per credit hour: $703

Program length: 3 - 4 years


Example Coursework

Supervised Research in Missions

Theology of Missions

Witness in Global Contexts

Leadership in Intercultural Contexts


Department

Graduate School of Theology


Application Deadlines

Fall 2018: August 10, 2018