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Master of Divinity
Master of Arts in
spacerChristian Ministries

Master of Arts in

sMaster of Arts in
spacerIntercultural Studies

sMaster of Arts in
spacerTheological Studies

Master of Theology
Continuing Education
Doctor of Ministry
Doctor of Applied
spacerIntercultural Studies
PhD in Intercultural
PhD in Biblical
spacerInterpretation and

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Master of Pastoral Leadership—
Continuing Education Program

The Master of Pastoral Leadership (MPL) is a 48-credit professional studies degree designed to provide advanced training for individuals desiring to enhance their ministry leadership skills. The MPL is an in-service degree, which does not require the program participants to leave their ministry contexts in order to complete their degree programs. As a professional degree, all of the learning experiences in the program focus on the practices of ministry in the program participants’ ministry settings. The MPL will be delivered in a cohort model to create a strong peer learning community and also to provide the mutual support to encourage program completion.

MPL Degree Components and Requirements

The Master of Pastoral Leadership is designed for students who are currently active in vocational ministry and who have at least five years of ministry experience. Candidates who have completed a strong undergraduate program in religion will be admitted with an Advanced Standing status that reduces up to twelve credits in the program. Those who qualify will need to complete the remaining 36 credits in the two-year program of study. Candidates who do not meet the full complement of Advanced Standing credits may take the remaining courses through distance learning. (See MPL Advanced Standing). The general requirements for graduation apply as well.

Bible and theology core (12 credits)1

BIB  532 Hermeneutics


BNT 530 New Testament Introduction
BOT 530 Old Testament Introduction
THE 511 Christian Theology


Leadership core (12 credits)

PTH 511 Leading the Congregation to Health and Growth
PTH 512 Caring for the Congregation
PTH 521 Being and Building a Spirit-Led Community
PTH 522 Identity and Calling of the Spiritual Leader


Communications core (9 credits)

PTH 513 Effective Preaching in the Old Testament
PTH 514 Effective Preaching in the New Testament
PTH 515 Effective Teaching and Communication


Missional Core (12 credits)

PTH 516 Contextualizing the Global and Local Mission of the Church
PTH 517 Engaging Ethical and Social Issues in the 21st Century
PTH 622 Communicating Christian Faith in a Pluralistic Society
PTH 650 Building a Disciple-Making Ministry


Summative Assessment Course (3 credits)2

PTH 556 Field Education Research Project


Total: 48

1 See MPL Advanced Standing guidelines.
2 See Field Education Research Manual.

MPL Advanced Standing

Students who have completed an undergraduate degree in religious studies from approved colleges and universities may be given advanced standing in the MPL degree program. (See registrar for further details.)

The following rules apply to MPL Advanced Standing:

  1. Advanced Standing cannot exceed twelve credits.
  2. Advanced Standing is considered for undergraduate courses with satisfactory parallel content, provided the equivalent collegiate courses are double the credit value of the seminary’s courses. A minimum grade of B is required, and the student must be able to demonstrate competency in subject matter by presentation of an Advanced Standing Portfolio for each course for which advanced standing is desired. A fee of $50 per course will be charged for each portfolio that is evaluated, regardless of whether or not the advanced standing is granted.
  3. In addition to the Advanced Standing Portfolio required above, the student must submit a Ministry Portfolio documenting the biblical and theological content of their preaching and teaching ministry.
  4. Advanced Standing should be requested prior to enrollment in the first course, but no later than the end of the student’s first semester of study at AGTS. Requests should be submitted to the Registrar’s Office.
  5. Partial course Advanced Standing will not be granted.
  6. If the student later takes a course where Advanced Standing has been granted, the Advanced Standing will be nullified.
  7. Advanced Standing may be granted for the four courses in the Bible and Theology core: BIB 532, BNT 530, BOT 530, and THE 550. 
  8. All AGTS master students must complete their degree programs within a 10-year time limit, which includes any undergraduate courses used for Advanced Standing and any graduate courses transferred in from other schools. See the AGTS Registrar’s Office for more information.

Updated: Saturday, October 15, 2016 4:42 PM

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