PGDip and MA in Theology, Ministry and Mission
About the course
The St Augustine’s MA in Theology, Ministry and Mission is a specially‑tailored programme of theological learning and research that allows lay and ordained ministers, as well as church members, to deepen their theological knowledge by building on previous theological learning, engaging with daily life and ongoing experience of the Body of Christ.
Accredited and awarded by Durham University, the degree includes both taught modules and guided research in a theological discipline of your choice. It offers opportunities to develop advanced skills as part of your continuing ministerial development e.g. in pastoral supervision, leadership, mission, spirituality.
The degree can be taken part‑time or full‑time. Much of the teaching is delivered alongside candidates for church ministry, but the programme is suitable for all, irrespective of any ministerial involvement.
Since the MA aims for a more critical mode of engagement with theology and ministry, the teaching sessions and much of the contact time will take the form of seminars, during which you will discuss texts with your teachers and fellow students and present your own work.
Who is it for?
The course is designed for lay and ordained ministers, or church members, who wish to deepen their theological knowledge by building on previous theological learning. To undertake the MA, you must have completed either a degree in theology or ministry or a degree in another subject combined with an additional qualification in theology or ministry.
The programme provides opportunities to relate academic learning to contemporary church life, but you need not have any particular role or experience within the church.
- Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in Theology, Ministry and Mission
- MA in Theology, Ministry and Mission
For the Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) you will follow the MA programme but will not undertake a dissertation.
How long will it take?
MA students study for three years (part-time) or two years (full-time).
If studying part-time, your first year consists of three taught modules in Biblical Studies, Christian Doctrine (or Church History, or Christian Ethics, depending on availability), and Christian Spirituality.
The second year includes a compulsory module called ‘Research and Reflection: Resources and Methods’ and two other modules chosen from the following: Biblical Studies; Theology and Science; Theology and the Arts; Mission (incl. apologetics or ecclesiology; Practical Theology; Pastoral Supervision; Independent Learning Project (in any subject area).
In the final year, you complete your dissertation, working with a personal supervisor on a subject of your choice.
Full-time students take the first and second year modules during their first year and undertake their dissertation in the second year.
Where can I study?
The MA taught module seminars are held every other Friday (teaching days) at Malling Abbey, West Malling (Kent).
What will I study?
The programme is organised in six discipline areas and, within these areas, you will have a degree of flexibility to design your own curriculum.
Exploration of specific biblical texts and themes from a range of hermeneutical perspectives, and the application of biblical texts to contemporary contexts.
Doctrine, Ethics and Church History
Critical study of an area of doctrine and the opportunity to integrate your doctrinal thinking into your own spiritual formation; critical appraisal of modes of ethical enquiry in a Christian theological context; and study of a significant area of church history to assess its relevance for contemporary church life.
An in-depth exploration of major historical and contemporary strands of Christian spirituality, including critical appraisal of relationships with non-Christian spiritualties, that will enable you to develop your own spiritual practice and to resource others in theirs.
Advanced studies in Pastoral theology and practice, reflecting on the practice of faith in contemporary church and social contexts. A particular focus on pastoral supervision may be possible.
Development of reflective practice in relation to ‘fresh expressions’and the ‘mixed economy’ church through detailed study of recent developments in missiology and contemporary ecclesiology.
The following overview reflects the part-time programme. Full-time students take what are referred to below as ‘year one’ and ‘year two’ in the first year, and ‘year three’ (dissertation) in their second year. If you choose not to do a dissertation you will complete a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) instead of the MA.
Three taught modules in the following subjects:
- Biblical Studies
- Christian Doctrine (or Church History, or Christian Ethics, depending on availability)
- Christian Spirituality
One compulsory module:
- Research and Reflection: Resources and Methods (this module will offer important preparation for the dissertation)
In addition, you will choose two further modules in the following subject areas:
- Biblical Studies
- Theology and Science
- Theology and the Arts
- Mission (incl. apologetics or ecclesiology) (CMD)
- Practical Theology (CMD)
- Pastoral Supervision (CMD)
- Independent Learning Project (in any subject area)
NB: to choose modules marked as ‘CMD’ you will need to be involved in ministerial activity.
You’ll be assigned a personal supervisor and will complete a dissertation, in a subject area of your choice.
What is involved?
Most MA students study on a part-time basis, taking one module per term in the above subject areas (and attending fortnightly teaching days). Those taking the initial 2/3 of the programme on a full-time basis, however, will take two modules per term in their first year, as a full-time student you will taking two modules each term (attending a teaching day every week in term time).
A module typically involves two written assignments. Full-time study requires at least twenty hours of study per week, outside class time. Part-time study requires at least ten hours of study per week, outside class time.