Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies

(626) 815-6000, Ext. 5451

Mission Statement

The Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (MAPS) program prepares men and women for a specialized field of church ministry through a program of study comprising 48 units in biblical, theological, and ministerial studies. An important feature of the program is the intentional integration of academic and experiential components. For example, students must engage in some form of supervised ministry during their degree program. Students concentrate in one area of ministry: church leadership and development, urban studies, youth ministry, or general electives.

Exceptions to Admission Requirements

A limited number of applicants who do not have baccalaureate degrees but have extensive ministerial experience may be considered for admission. For a description of the standards governing this exception, contact the Azusa Pacific Seminary dean. Students admitted under this exception must obtain a B or better in their first 12 units of coursework.

Program Outcomes

The program helps the student who has a specific call to ministry develop a practical theology in church leadership. The program prepares graduates to:

  1. Model a holy life through spiritual disciplines reflecting a Wesleyan heritage of faith and love.
  2. Interpret Scripture with reverent criticism, theological insight, and constructive imagination, beginning with the inductive method of Bible study, for the edification of the Church.
  3. Think theologically through the Wesleyan quadrilateral (Scripture, Church tradition, reason, and experience) in a manner that is faithful to the past and responsive to the present.
  4. Develop competence in the pastoral responsibilities of teaching, leadership, and pastoral care.
  5. Analyze various cultural constructs and global issues in order to provide transformational leadership for the church.
  6. Develop competency in design, application, and evaluation of a specialized ministry.

Program of Studies

The Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies requires 48 units of coursework: 28 units of core courses, 12 units in a selected ministry concentration, 4 units of Mentored Ministry, and 4 units of a Capstone Project. A 12-unit concentration is required, to be selected from Church Leadership and Development, Urban Studies, Youth Ministry, or General Electives.

Requirements for the M.A. in Pastoral Studies, Church Leadership and Development Concentration

Today’s hurried, fragmented society calls for healthy, effective ministry leaders. This concentration provides students with education in practical ministry, with particular focus on leadership development and spiritual formation, equipping ministers for the broad, multifaceted needs of the contemporary Church. Concentration outcomes build on the Azusa Pacific Seminary core competencies and MAPS program outcomes.

Concentration Outcomes
  • Synthesize the vital role of healthy church management for the empowerment of the laity.
  • Develop vocational proficiency and leadership ability.
  • Apply ministry principles of Christ-like formation for lifelong ministry effectiveness and personal growth.
Biblical Studies Core8
Biblical Interpretation: Exploring Genesis
Select one of the following:
Torah and Prophets: Exodus-2 Kings
Paul the Pastor and Theologian
Theological Studies Core8
Christian Theology
Select one of the following:
Church History I
Church History II
Ministry Core8
Christian Formation and Discipleship
Ministry Life and Leadership
Integrated Core4
The Gospels and Christology
Mentored Ministry4
Community Retreat
Mentored Ministry 1
Church Leadership and Development Concentration12
Servant Leadership and Church Management
Contemporary Issues in Ministry
Select one of the following:
The Missional Church
Seminar in Ministry
Capstone/Portfolio4
Integrative Ministry Project
Total Units48
1

Repeat for a total of 3 units. 

Requirements for the M.A. in Pastoral Studies, Urban Studies Concentration 

The North American Church is becoming increasingly urbanized. To prepare students for ministry in the city, this concentration engages them with urban social structures, trends, and ministry strategies. Issues of contextualization, social analysis, and cross-cultural communication will be addressed.

Concentration Outcomes
  • Evaluate and apply ministry concepts, theories, and methodologies found in the urban setting.
  • Develop cultural awareness and sensitivity for ministry in the urban context.
  • Analyze the methods of evangelism and discipleship unique to the city.
Biblical Studies Core8
Biblical Interpretation: Exploring Genesis
Select one of the following:
Torah and Prophets: Exodus-2 Kings
Paul the Pastor and Theologian
Theological Studies Core8
Christian Theology
Select one of the following:
Church History I
Church History II
Ministry Core8
Christian Formation and Discipleship
Ministry Life and Leadership
Integrated Core4
The Gospels and Christology
Mentored Ministry4
Community Retreat
Mentored Ministry 1
Urban Studies Concentration12
Urban Sociology and Christian Ministry
Current Issues in Urban Ministry
Select one of the following:
City in Theological Perspective
Urban Cross-Cultural Ministry
Capstone/Portfolio4
Integrative Ministry Project
Total Units48
1

 Repeat for a total of 3 units.

Requirements for the M.A. in Pastoral Studies, Youth Ministry Concentration 

Youth ministry in the 21st century must be rooted in scriptural principles and able to address the challenges facing youth in today’s complex culture. This concentration is desirable for leaders in youth ministry not seeking ordination.

Concentration Outcomes
  • To think theologically and biblically about the nature of youth in relationship to church and family.
  • To comprehend youth issues that are impacting the home, church, and community.
  • To build healthy intergenerational relationships within the church.
Biblical Studies Core8
Biblical Interpretation: Exploring Genesis 1
Select one of the following
Torah and Prophets: Exodus-2 Kings
Paul the Pastor and Theologian
Theological Studies Core8
Christian Theology
Select one of the following
Church History I
Church History II
Ministry Core8
Ministry Life and Leadership
Christian Formation and Discipleship
Integrative Core4
The Gospels and Christology
Mentored Ministry4
Community Retreat
Mentored Ministry (repeat twice for a total of three units)
Youth Ministry Concentration12
Foundations of Youth Ministry
Leadership in Youth Ministry
Select one of the following
Multicultural Youth Ministry
Pastoral Counseling of Youth
Capstone/Portfolio4
Integrative Ministry Project
Total Units48
1

 GBBL 511 is a prerequisite for all Bible courses

Requirements for the M.A. in Pastoral Studies, General Electives Concentration

Biblical Studies Core Courses8
Biblical Interpretation: Exploring Genesis
Select one of the following:
Torah and Prophets: Exodus-2 Kings
Paul the Pastor and Theologian
Theology and Ethics Core8
Christian Theology
Select one of the following:
Church History I
Church History II
Ministry Core8
Christian Formation and Discipleship
Ministry Life and Leadership
Integrated Core4
The Gospels and Christology
Mentored Ministry4
Community Retreat
Mentored Ministry 1
General Electives Concentration12
Capstone/Portfolio4
Integrative Ministry Project
Total Units48
1

Repeat for a total of 3 units

Additional Degree Requirements

Supervised Ministry

All students should devote at least eight hours per week, for the duration of the program, to the practice of some form of supervised ministry in an approved church or parachurch field center. In order to graduate, students must maintain at least a 2.7 grade-point average.

Time Limit

The program must be completed within 10 years from the date of admission. APU coursework completed more than 10 years prior to completion of degree requirements is not acceptable toward the degree.