Fuller Seminary is pleased to announce a new curriculum for the MA in Theology (MAT) degree in the School of Mission and Theology. Prompted by the guiding values of Fuller’s strategic plan, FULLER NEXT, the MAT program has been rebuilt to maximize students’ training and formation as leaders for a new era in the church and in society.
David Taylor, associate professor of theology and culture, said, “This new MAT degree not only equips students to understand how Bible and theology, ethics and mission, art and culture, and the rest, are always ‘talking to each other,’ but also prepares students to thrive in a contemporary world that rewards the kind of creative thinking this integrative and interdisciplinary program prioritizes.”
The newly redesigned MAT degree equips thought leaders in their respective fields, whether in the academy, in the church, in mission, or in the marketplace, so that they might be faithful agents of the Evangel in a diverse and changing world. The degree centers the development of critical thinking and research skills by allowing students to focus more of their studies on a selected aspect of theological and missiological studies. The final project in the MAT is a thesis that demonstrates the student’s advanced thinking in their chosen area of research. As such, the MAT is the preferred preparatory degree for PhD or ThM degrees in theology and intercultural studies.
The new curriculum responds to students’ desire for a more structured sequence of courses throughout the program. Now the MAT, like Fuller’s other master’s level SMT degrees, is organized into three stages. The first stage provides a set of “Shared Foundations” courses that familiarize the student with the concepts they will build on throughout their degree from the five major disciplines across the seminary: biblical studies, theology and history, practical theology, missiology, and psychology. This first stage also focuses on the student’s spiritual formation and discerning of their calling.
As students progress through the next two stages of the MAT curriculum, the courses will cover increasingly in-depth information and application. Later stages allow for students to choose from a variety of courses to customize their training for their own particular calling and desired vocational outcome. To that end, several optional concentrations are currently offered: Biblical Studies, Ethics and Public Theology, Theology and the Arts, Theology and History, or World Christianity. Further, a carefully curated curriculum in the later stages of the MAT focuses on preparation for a specific range of 21st-century careers the world and the church most need today.
“In the refreshed MAT degree, theology is open to the contemporary world within the US and beyond,” said Kirsteen Kim, Paul E. Pierson Professor of World Christianity and associate dean for the Center for Missiological Research. “Specifically, I am excited that Fuller’s world Christianity expertise and global partnerships enable students to engage with distinctive thinking from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and other regions where churches are bearing witness in new ways.”
Finally, the redesigned MAT introduces the practice of “pace plans,” which students can choose at the beginning of their program to more reliably schedule their courses at a steady and consistent rate. These pace plans not only help students complete their degrees in their desired amount of time, but also foster an organic sense of community with other students starting at the same pace.
Learn more about Fuller’s newly redesigned MA in Theology.