Have you ever wanted to significantly improve your understanding of God’s Word so that you can more effectively fulfill God’s call upon your life as a minister?
The Apostle Paul stressed the importance of “rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” The leadership at Truett McConnell University launched Truett McConnell’s Master of Arts in Theology in the fall of 2014, by offering graduate courses at the main campus in Cleveland.
Jason Graffagnino, Division Chair of World Missions and Christian Studies at TMU, explained, “We began offering MA in Theology courses at Alpharetta First Baptist Church in the fall of 2015, through the graciousness of that congregation and the leadership of Pastor Thomas Hammond. We are awaiting SACS accreditation approval for Alpharetta to become a second instructional site for our MA in Theology program.
“We are extremely excited about the potential that the Alpharetta location will afford us as Truett McConnell University strives to reach and equip servant leaders to do the Great Commission. Our first MA in Theology graduate walked across the stage with his degree on May 14 of this year. These are exciting times at Truett McConnell University!”
However, this fall TMU is expanding its program of higher education even further by launching an MA in Theology Online program. This is a strategic component of Truett McConnell’s plan to develop an academic option that would assist ministers in becoming more effective servants of Christ.
Brad Reynolds, vice president of Academic Services, explained, “In 2012 Truett McConnell requested 30 pastors to help us develop an online degree for ministers. Our Master of Arts (MA) in Theology is the result of that meeting. It is truly a degree for ministers by ministers.
“This degree combines the excellence of the academy one would find in the best seminaries with the practical advice of pastors for everyday ministry. I am ecstatic that TMU is now offering this degree online. This uniquely designed and practical degree is available to students all over the world.”
Graffagnino remarked, “These online courses will provide training in applied ministry courses, such as local church internship, preaching lab, and a cross-cultural ministries practicum that will assist the student in learning how to apply effectively what he or she has learned in a real-world setting.”
The Truett McConnell University Master of Arts in Theology is designed to prepare students for vocational ministry in the local church. This degree provides a foundation of knowledge and skills in areas of classical theological studies and applied ministry. Students in this program will receive training in classical theological studies such as biblical exegesis, systematic theology, Baptist history, and apologetics.
TMU President Emir Caner explained, “With our Master of Arts in Theology now fully online, we can now serve all of Georgia and beyond by equipping pastors and staff who faithfully shepherd flocks of all sizes.”
To strengthen churches
Caner added, “Our hope is to strengthen the ministries of these local churches though a distinctively biblical education that is balanced with an emphasis in practical ministry. Like the Anabaptists of the 16th century, our prayer is that we will join forces with local churches in raising up a generation who seeks revival and shares Christ with the lost.”
The Anabaptist vision at Truett McConnell University is a unique one. TMU has four Anabaptist scholars who are well equipped to underscore the history and theology of our Anabaptist heritage (Caner, Whitlock, Disseau, and Graffagnino), which is more than all of the six Southern Baptist seminaries combined. Dr. Emir Caner (life and writings, Ph.D., Univ. of Texas-Arlington), Dr. Michael Whitlock (justification by faith, Ph.D., SWBTS) and Dr. Jason Graffagnino (early catechetical literature, Ph.D., SWBTS) all wrote doctoral dissertations centered on Hubmaier, the Anabaptist theologian.
Dr. Maël Disseau (Ph.D., Georgia Tech, Ph.D., SWBTS) penned his dissertation on Italian Anabaptism. All four of these scholars have published works on Anabaptism in books and journal articles and remain engaged in the academy regarding the influence of Anabaptism upon modern Baptist life.
Graffagnino continued, “The MA in Theology Degree Program at Truett McConnell University is offered in two tracks (MA in Theology & MA in Theology-Advanced Track). The program is a 60-credit hour graduate program that is designed to allow the student to complete the degree in 2-3 years, depending on the student’s choice of course load per semester.
“Students that have completed an undergraduate degree in Christian Studies or Missions at a like-minded institution are eligible to earn exemption credits of up to 12-credit hours (MA in Theology-Advanced Track program), thus resulting in 48-credit hours of coursework beyond the undergraduate degree.”
For those who are interested, the online MA in Theology program is affordable, convenient, and features a quality faculty with degrees from some of the most prestigious universities and seminaries in the world.
“We live and breathe to equip Christians to know Christ (Phil. 3:10) and live for His namesake (Phil 1:21),” declared Caner. “Due to innovation and technology, our dream of effectively preparing God’s people for ministry can now literally span the globe.”
According to Caner any person, at any time, anywhere in the world can gain access to these online courses that blend biblically grounded theology with real life principles.