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Master of Arts (M.A.) in
Theology & Culture

EARN A MASTER OF ARTS DEGREE WITH AN EMPHASIS ON THEOLOGY AND CULTURE THROUGH AN ANCIENT-FUTURE PARADIGM THAT ADDRESSES THE MOST RELEVANT CULTURAL ISSUES TODAY.

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PROGRAMS  /  THEOLOGY & CULTURE

Meeting at the intersection of theology and culture.

At St. Stephen's University, we recognize the critical need for the intersection of theology and culture, where education becomes the meeting place of research and practice. In our small, interactive cohorts, students and professors engage in pressing questions and real-life issues in a caring way, inviting students to become the message they hope to convey.

 

We dip into many fountains, both ancient and contemporary, from Christianity and beyond, to prepare healthy and authentic leaders for the future. We have designed our M.A. in Theology & Culture to prepare for further study and professional development.

 

Semester and Course Sequencing

The successful completion of the M.A. in Theology & Culture requires a total of 45 credit hours. The default course sequencing and requirements of the program are provided below.

 

Semesters are 11-credit hours and include courses in church history & theology, biblical studies, Christian counselling & spiritual formation, and philosophy & culture. The three semesters rotate between the fall and spring during the academic year. The fall semester is offered through a hybrid-distance delivery method, wherein courses run online throughout the semester (Sept. – Dec.), with a short 7-day in-person residency and retreat on-site at SSU to give students the opportunity for face-to-face interactions with their fellow students and professors. The spring semester is offered as online courses that don't require any travel and run from January to April. The study abroad trip takes place in Scotland and N.Ireland and focuses on the intersection of public theology and peace and justice, including many of its attendant cultural questions and expressions. The Guided Thesis Research course and thesis write-up are completed by distance.

 

Students may start with any semester and may choose to complete the courses of each semester at a slower pace and in any order. Click on the tabs below to view all components of the program.

 

11 CREDIT HOURS

BIB 5120

CUL 5172

SF 5150

HIST 5141

CUL 5170

Advanced Hermeneutics (3 c/h)

DR. BRADLEY JERSAK

Justice for All: Race and Gender Issues Today (2 c/h)

DR. DAVID MOORE & DR. L.A. HENRY

Contemplative Spiritual Formation I (1 c/h)

RACHAEL BARHAM

Ancient Insights for Today I (4 c/h)

DR. PETER FITCH

Beyond Spectrum Ideology and the Culture Wars (1 c/h)

LAURENS VAN ESCH

THE MATC AT A GLANCE

DURATION — 2 YEARS (FULL TIME)

 

CREDIT HOURS — 45

 

DELIVERY MODEONLINE COURSES, SHORT 7-DAY RESIDENCY, 2-WEEK STUDY ABROAD TRIP, ONLINE RESEARCH METHODS COURSE, THESIS

 

EMPHASES — THEOLOGY & CULTURE, SPIRITUAL FORMATION, COUNSELLING, HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY, MINISTRY PREPARATION

While the tabs above show the default course sequencing and requirements of the program, students have the option of replacing one semester with any combination of directed studies, Open Table online courses, Abbotsford Cohort courses, or Jim Forest Institute online courses with the permission of the Director of the School of Theology & Culture, but these must total at least 11 c/h.

UPCOMING ROTATION OF SEMESTERS

FALL 2023

Semester 1

SPRING 2024

Semester 2

FALL 2024

Semester 3

SPRING 2025

Semester 1

FALL 2025

Semester 2

SPRING 2026

Semester 3

FALL 2026

Semester 1

SPRING 2027

Semester 2

FALL 2027

Semester 3

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Semester Course Descriptions

ADVANCED HERMENEUTICS  |  DR. BRADLEY JERSAK  |  3 CREDIT HOURS

SEMESTER 1

Searching for wise methodologies that confer dignity without demanding an oppressive sense of literalism.

 

Peace Studies Track

M.A. in Theology & Culture students have the opportunity to complete a Peace Studies Track as part of their degree program by replacing one Theology & Culture semester with four of the online courses that form part of the Certificate in Religion, Peace and Justice. More info below.

How does it work?

If you are enrolled in the Master of Arts in Theology & Culture degree program at SSU, you may replace one Theology & Culture semester (11 credit hours) with four online courses from the Certificate in Religion, Peace & Justice (course code PJST) offered through SSU's Jim Forest Institute to receive the Peace Studies Track as part of your degree.

 

While replacing one Theology & Culture semester is the most straightforward way to complete the Peace Studies Track, we allow for flexibility so that students can replace single courses in different semesters as they progress through their program as long as these Theology & Culture courses add up to no more than 12 credit hours.

 

Students may also take fewer than four PJST courses as part of their M.A. in Theology & Culture if they wish, but once the number of these courses reaches four (12 credit hours), the student will automatically receive the Peace Studies Track.

Online Peace Studies Track Courses

To receive the Peace Studies Track, students can take any four of the online courses listed below and replace a maximum of 12 credit hours of the courses in the M.A. in Theology & Culture.

FALL SEMESTER (SEPT. – DEC.)

PJST/SF 5482: THE INNER TRANSFORMATION OF A PEACEMAKER

3 credit hours

Professor: Dr. Andrew Phillip Klager

PJST/THEO 5380: THEOLOGY OF PEACE & JUSTICE

3 credit hours

Professor: Dr. Andrew Phillip Klager

PJST/BIB 5180: PEACE & VIOLENCE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

3 credit hours

Professor: Dr. Bradley Jersak

SPRING SEMESTER (JAN. – APR.)

PJST 5583: PRACTICAL NONVIOLENCE AND PEACEBUILDING

3 credit hours

Professor: Dr. Andrew Phillip Klager

PJST/THEO 5882: RELIGION, PEACE AND CONFLICT

3 credit hours

Professor: Dr. Andrew Phillip Klager

PJST/BIB 5182: PEACE & VIOLENCE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

3 credit hours

Professor: Dr. Bradley Jersak

Peace Studies Track

Multifaith Chaplaincy & Spiritual Care Course

St. Stephen's University offers a course that prepares students for multi-faith pastoral and spiritual care in a variety of chaplaincy settings. This course can be completed as an add-on to a master's degree at SSU (i.e., not included in the total credit hours of a student's degree program) or as a stand-alone credential without a program.

 

This course is a stand-alone credential in interfaith hospitality for chaplaincy care that's offered in conjunction with our regular graduate studies programs through our university charter from the Province of New Brunswick. We offer a certificate of completion for the course that can be applied to a student's resume as an academic credential for ministry rather than a CPE/CPU clinical credential.

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COURSE DESCRIPTION

Inclusive Spirituality & Interreligious Hospitality

Through (1) online recorded lectures and live Zoom conferences, (2) reading and written reflection, along with (3) engagement with their teachers and cohort, students will gain understanding and skills for multifaith chaplaincy and the art of inclusive spiritual care across traditions. The goal is to prepare spiritual care givers who are sensitive to and welcoming of the Other.

 

Represented faiths include Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Wicca, First Nations spirituality and the “Nones and Dones” (Unaffiliated/Agnostic/Atheist).

How does it work?

If you are already a student at SSU, you may enrol in the Multifaith Chaplaincy & Spiritual Care course in addition to your current courses and credit hours. This course therefore does not replace a course in your program but is instead an additional credential that prepares students for a chaplaincy vocation in a multifaith setting. It can also be taken as a stand-alone course.

At A Glance:

  • COURSE TITLE – MULTIFAITH CHAPLAINCY & SPIRITUAL CARE

  • 3 CREDIT HOURS

  • PROFESSORS – DR. BRADLEY JERSAK AND DR. PETER FITCH

  • LENGTH – 14 WEEKS

  • COST – $1,185 CAD + STUDENT FEES

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will be better equipped as chaplains with a growing multifaith perspective, faithful to their own tradition and skilled in the spiritual care of clients with whom they differ. They will have engaged the following questions, including exposure to points of view they may not share (which is the point):

  • What is “multifaith chaplaincy” and how do we practice spiritual care across faith (or no-faith) spiritual traditions?

  • How can we build trust, “hold difference” with respect, and develop skills in typically polarizing situations?

  • What are the primary emotional challenges and spiritual needs a chaplain might encounter or need to address?

  • What are some best practices and healthy approaches a chaplain needs to learn and keep in mind when meeting new clients of other worldviews and cultures?

  • What are the pitfalls chaplains need to avoid in multifaith contexts? What are the most helpful questions chaplains might ask when initiating spiritual care?

  • What are some central tenets, core values, and practices of faith-cultures such as First Nations spirituality, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Wicca, Sikhism, Judaism, and the “Nones and Dones” (Unaffiliated/Agnostic/Atheist).

  • How to allow positive creativity to flow rather than using negative judgement, the power of unknowing, humility that waits for the creative voice.

When applying, select the 'Multifaith Chaplaincy & Spiritual Care' course from among the options.

Chaplaincy Course

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CONTACT US

Do you have questions, need more information, or want to register your interest? Let us know by filling out the contact form below!

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