Master of Arts in Theology

Broaden and deepen your theological knowledge.

The Master of Arts in theology offers rigorous academic training in theological research and scholarship. This degree will equip you with skills and knowledge to engage and deploy the resources of the Christian tradition in order to advance the practice of theology in the church, the academy and contemporary society.

You will develop as a reader, researcher, writer and thinker through critical and constructive engagement with the Christian tradition and contemporary scholarship.

Accordingly, the degree cultivates fair-minded, informed and well-prepared students for academic work and ministry.

Apply now or contact us for more information today.

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Student having a Bible study at Jacob's Dream sculpture

What outcomes can you expect?

Research Sources: Graduates will have critical facility with the most important primary sources and issues of scholarly discussion in biblical studies, theology, or church history

Research Methods: Graduates will have ability to use the best current methods of research in one of the following disciplines: biblical studies, theology, or church history

Original Research: Graduates will demonstrate ability to produce scholarly contributions in their field of study

Admission Requirements

  • A completed application and application fee;
  • An official transcript 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 purpose statement following these guidelines;
  • GST Writing Assessment (a brief evaluation of academic writing skills).
Students studying in the library

Program Advisor

Dr. Frederick Aquino
Professor of Theology
PhD, Southern Methodist University, 2000
fred.aquino@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


Required Hours

Credit hours: 48

2020/2021 tuition per credit hour: $703

Program length: 2 years


Example Coursework

Systematic Theology I

Contemporary Religious Thought

Research Problems in Theology

Theological Explorations


Department

Graduate School of Theology


Application Deadlines

Summer & Spring: Please contact the Office of Graduate Programs (gradinfo@acu.edu or 325-674-2656)

Fall: August 10