Normally three years is required for the completion of the course leading to this degree. A candidate must complete a total of 48 hours including a master’s thesis. The curriculum builds upon a foundational core in Bible and other theological disciplines. Then the M.A.R.E. program is divided into seven concentrations: Church Ministries, Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Leadership, Holistic Child Development, Language Teaching Ministries, Teaching Ministries, and a General track.
Students entering the M.A.R.E. program are required to have had at least one subject in Psychology and three subjects (9 units) in either education or Christian education. Students without these prerequisites will take the corresponding number of additional units in their graduate program.
While the foundational core provides an integrative whole for the student’s development, the M.A.R.E. concentrations are designed to allow a breadth of ministry options. The learners may customize the program according to their calling while at the same time developing a depth of understanding in their chosen concentration. The chosen concentration should prepare the student for his or her thesis research as well as future ministry. Students are encouraged to take an additional six hours of credit (two classes) above the minimum required 48 hours if they seek to completely master their concentration.
The Church Ministries concentration is appropriate for those called to Christian discipleship ministries in local congregations.
The Curriculum and Instruction concentration equips graduates to be curriculum specialists in Christian schools and Bible colleges as well as the local church. It is designed especially for those whose desire is to 1) supervise or 2) write and produce Christian curricular materials.
The Educational Leadership concentration prepares leaders to administer educational institutions at any level from preschools, Christian elementary and high schools, to Bible colleges or beyond.
The Language Teaching Ministry concentration validates the graduate’s preparation to teach language, frequently English, to speakers of other languages. This ministry to the perceived need brings mission opportunities that otherwise may not be available for local churches and in cross-cultural missions.
The Teaching Ministry concentration prepares graduates with educational expertise for a variety of options. It is intended for those who: 1. plan to teach in any level of church schools, 2. may teach in public schools, or 3. are considering college teaching in fields other than Christian Education (those students would take this concentration as electives or a second course beyond the Master of Divinity course).
The Holistic Child Development (HCD) concentration qualifies graduates to teach at the undergraduate level of instruction in HCD, to act as advocates, spokes-persons, leaders, managers, and facilitators ministering with and through children both inside and outside the church. It is intended for: 1) church leaders who believe in the importance of children and their contributions both in the local context and the global scheme, and 2) those who are advocates and practitioners on behalf of children at risk.
The General Course provides flexibility and customizability of the M.A.R.E. program for those students whose educational and research goals are not met by any of the concentrations listed above. In coordination with the M.A.R.E. program director, the student may design a program with four Christian education courses and a practicum that will prepare the graduate for his or her future ministry. Some potential design examples are given.