Master of Arts in Christian Ministry
The Master of Arts in Christian Ministry is a 48 hour, professional credential that can be taken in residence or online,* designed to prepare women and men for competent leadership in specialized ministries in their faith communities. The degree seeks to develop the general theological understanding required as a basis for local church ministries and nurture the practical abilities and skills needed in that setting. The M.A.C.M. is ideal for bi-vocational and part-time ministers, ministers with undergraduate ministerial education, lay leaders, and professionals from other disciplines seeking to broaden their competencies. The M.A.C.M. does not prepare students to enter a Ph.D., Th.D., or D.Min. progam. If you are pursuing ordination, check with your denomination for degree requirements.
*The Online M.A.C.M. is a cohort based distance learning program currently enrolling for Fall 2016. This fully online program requires students to secure a ministry context where they can complete their field hours. Admission is highly competitive and limited to working professionals who are unable to complete a theological studies program in residence.
McAfee M.A.C.M. Student Learning Outcomes
FROM ATS: B.2.2 Religious Heritage: The program shall provide instruction in the religious heritage, including Scripture, theology, and history of the tradition.
Outcome: Graduates will possess foundational skills in the study of content, context, and interpretation of scripture and the Christian tradition.
FROM ATS: B.2.3 Cultural Context: The program shall provide instructional settings and opportunities for students to gain understanding of the context of the specialization in the broader range of ministerial practice and the purposes of the church and to develop appropriate understandings of the broader social context in which the specialized ministry is performed, including diverse cultural, religious, and linguistic contexts of ministry.
Outcome: Graduates will interpret and construct appropriate responses to the cultural norms and the impact of cultural change on ministerial contexts.
FROM ATS: B.2.4 Personal and Spiritual Formation: The program shall provide opportunities through which the student may grow in personal faith, emotional maturity, moral integrity, and public witness.
Outcome: Graduates will demonstrate the ability to make connections between their personal spiritual formation and their actions in the world.
FROM ATS: B.2.5 Specialization (Congregational Ministry): The program shall provide structured opportunities for students to gain understanding and skill in practice related to the areas of specialization, to acquire the capacity to design and maintain effective practices and programs in the areas of the specialty, and to develop skill in assessing the efforts and contributions of the specialized ministry.
Outcome: Graduates will be proficient in ecclesial practices relating to their area of specialization, such as leadership, worship, homiletics, pastoral care, and/or human development.
Course Name Course # Credits
Religious Heritage: 12 hours
1. Foundations in Old Testament or *Advanced elective in OT THOT 500 or ______ 3
2. Foundations in New Testament or *Advanced elective in NT THNT 500 or ______ 3
3. Foundations in Church History or *Advanced elective in CH THCH 500 or ______ 3
4. Foundations in Theology or *Advanced elective in TP THTP 500 or ______ 3
Cultural Context: 9 hours
5. Intro to Theological Thinking & Writing THEO 501 3
6. Missional Theology THGU 500 3
7. Course focusing on class, race, ethnicity, gender, __________ 3
and/or religious diversity
Personal and Spiritual Formation: 9 hours
8. Spiritual Formation THSP 501 3
9. Ethics or *Advanced elective in ET THET 500 or _____ 3
10. Course focusing on personal faith, emotional maturity, moral integrity, _____ 3
and/or public witness (see Handbook)
Specialization (including supervised experience): 9 hours
11. Contextual Ministry or Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)** THLD 501 or THPC 601** 3
12. CPE continued** or course focusing on the practice of ministry __________ 3
(Preaching, Worship, Pastoral Care, Faith Development, or Community Engaged Ministry)
13. Course focusing on the practice of ministry __________ 3
(Preaching, Worship, Pastoral Care, Faith Development, or Community Engaged Ministry)
Electives: 9 hours
Total Hours for M.A.C.M: 48
*Requires prior approval through submission of Advanced Placement Form.
**CPE is a six-hour course.
***The M.A.C.M. degree program is designed as a two-year program with a maximum of twelve (12) credit hours per semester (Fall/Spring). The online degree option is designed as a three-year program, with a maximum of six (6) credit hours per term, Fall/Spring/Summer.
2016 Fall Final Application Deadline is July 1, 2016.
2017 Spring Admissions & Scholarship Deadline is October 1, 2016.
2017 Spring Final Application Deadline is November 15, 2016.
2017 Fall Priority Admissions & Scholarship Deadline is January 15, 2017.*
*The priority deadline for 2016 scholarship consideration and admissions has already passed. While admission is rolling, scholarships are limited. However, there may be remaining funding after the priority deadline some years. In this event, eligible applicants who submit their full application after the priority deadline are offered scholarships on a first come basis.
Masters applicants for admission to the McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University are required to have a regionally accredited bachelor's degree with a liberal arts core or proof of an equivalent degree from a foreign university. Doctoral applicants are required to have a regionally accredited M.Div. or equivalent. Admission will be based on your total application (GPA, personal information you supply including resume, essays, letters of recommendation, interview, test scores, and background check). Ultimate approval of admission is given by the Dean.
For individuals who do not currently possess a bachelor's degree, but who want to obtain a graduate theological education, Mercer offers pre-theology education through the College of Liberal Arts in Macon and through Penfield College in Atlanta. For more information about these programs, contact Mercer's Office of Undergraduate Admission.
We are glad you are interested in applying to McAfee. Below are the requirements for applying. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
- Biographical Information
- Resume - (Including Church Positions and Service, Secular Occupations, Community Involvement, Academic Honors, and Research, Civic, or Leadership Awards)
- Official Transcripts from all higher educational institutions previously attended
- Background check* - Background check to be filed online at Castle Branch, or call 1-888-666-7788 for more information. Please allow up to 2 weeks for us to receive the report. The package cost is $33.50, which must be ordered and purchased directly online by the applicant. The admissions office will supply the appropriate step-by-step directions on how to complete the background check. Please download instructions to order your background check and have it sent to the McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University.
- $50.00 application fee
- Four Typed Essays - (Questions are in the application)
- Three Letters of Recommendation (one from each of the following:)
- Letter of Support from local ministry (for Online M.A. applicants only)*
- Career Assessment & Declaration of Specialization (for D.Min. applicants only)
- Official MAT (preferred) or GRE Scores within the last 5 years (for D.Min. applicants only)
- Admissions Interviews - the interviews are the most important part of the application process. Application, essays, and background check must be submitted prior to the interview. We will be in touch with you about setting up a time and place.
*The Online M.A.C.M. is a cohort based distance learning program that requires students to secure a ministry context where they can complete their field hours. Admission is competitive and limited to working professionals who are unable to complete a theological studies program in residence.
*In order to fulfill contracts with our seminary partners, McAfee School of Theology now requires that all McAfee applications undergo a criminal background check. Admission into McAfee is pending receipt of a background check report from www.certifiedbackground.com. Applicants are responsible for ordering and purchasing their own background check directly online.
- Each applicant must authorize McAfee School of Theology to obtain a background check in order to satisfy the admission requirements.
- The only exclusion to the background check will be special exceptions made for International Students who are in the process of obtaining, or have obtained the F-1 visa. This exception is monitored by the Admissions Office, which has the right to administer the exemption as necessary.
- Failure to undergo the background check will result in exclusion from admission consideration. If criminal behavior is detected in the background check, the student may not be admitted to McAfee School of Theology. Students may appeal the decision and will have he opportunity to present information to dispute the background check.
Mercer University is committed to providing equal educational programs or activities, and equal employment opportunities to all qualified students, employees, and applicants without discrimination on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, disability, veteran status, sex, sexual orientation, age, or religion, as a matter of University policy and as required by applicable state and federal laws, including Title IX. Inquiries concerning this policy may be directed to the Equal Opportunity/ Affirmative Action Officer/Title IX Coordinator, Human Resources Office, 1501 Mercer University Drive, Macon, Georgia 31207, phone 478-301-2788 or contact Mashburn_M@mercer.edu, or in cases of Title IX concerns, these concerns may be referred to the Office of Civil Rights.
Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Christian Ministry
What does it cost to attend McAfee?
Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology is a private school with very affordable tuition. Students pay between $390 and $410 per credit hour and this rate is reduced from $910 per credit hour due to generous contributions from supporting churches and organizations. Many students receive additional tuition discounts from their state and national denominations.
What kind of financial aid is available for divinity students?
All of our students receive financial assistance. This ranges from the tuition grant described above to full-tuition scholarships plus living expenses. McAfee hosts two scholarship events in the Fall and Spring. We also assist students in applying for private organization scholarships, grants, and federal programs.
What kinds of things do students go on to do after graduation?
McAfee has an excellent academic reputation. Our graduates are working in churches, colleges, seminaries, non-profit organizations, and missions. They serve in every church position imaginable. We have students working on Ph.D.s in top tier programs around the world and serving as chaplains in hospice, hospitals, and the U.S. armed forces. We have dedicated staff helping students transition from seminary life to their professional ministerial career.
Does McAfee have a denominational affiliation?
Yes, we are a Baptist seminary and a graduate program of the oldest Baptist university in Georgia. We also hold associations with many different Baptist organizations and churches. Our accreditation is under the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship denominational title. You can also read more about our mission and founding principles. About seventy-five percent of our students are affiliated with 15 different Baptist denominations. We also have students representing twenty-one additional denominations such as Disciples of Christ, Presbyterian, AME, CME, Anglican, Nazarene, Church of God, COGIC, and Episcopalian.
Where do people live while attending seminary?
We have on-campus housing and many students also live off campus. There are apartments within walking distance and several within just a mile or two. During spring and summer our admissions office will assist you in connecting with other students as roommates.
What if I don’t have a religion or Christianity undergraduate degree?
As long as you have a bachelor’s degree with a “liberal arts core” from a regionally accredited college or university you will be fine.
What if I have a religion or Christianity undergraduate degree?
Students with previous academic training in religion may seek advanced placement standing.
What is advanced placement?
Our desire is to create a curriculum that enhances and deepens the knowledge-base you've established in undergrad. Our curriculum is set-up with Foundation Courses - Prescribed Electives and Free Electives. If you have a B or better in at least two undergraduate courses that fit with any of our Foundation courses, the Associate Dean will review your transcript and will allow you to attempt to place out of a foundational course. In some cases (Biblical languages), you have to actually take a test. In others, (OT, NT, etc.) you may submit a syllabus for that class.
- You do not receive seminary credit for these courses, but you get to replace a Foundations course with an additional prescribed elective.
- Each person that approaches advanced placement is unique. We will work specifically with you and examine your transcripts and allow you to test out of as many classes as makes sense to you and your educational hopes.
How long does it take to complete the program?
The Master of Divinity is a 90 hour degree. Most students complete it in three years. The Master of Arts in Christian Ministry is 48 hours and can be completed in two years. Students have up to 8 years to complete the M.Div. and 6 years to complete the M.A.C.M.
What's the difference between the 90 hour degree and the 48 hour master's programs?
The M.Div. is the classic gold standard for practicing ordained ministers, the M.A.C.M. is ideal for bi-vocational and part-time ministers, ministers with undergraduate ministerial education, lay leaders, and professionals from other disciplines seeking to broaden their competencies. The M.A.C.M. does not prepare students to enter the Ph.D., Th.D., or D.Min. Also, most denominations require an M.Div. for ordination. Because the M.A.C.M. consists of fewer hours, it is less expensive, overall. Students enrolled in the M.A.C.M. can transfer credits to the M.Div. if they decide before graduating they would like to earn the M.Div. degree.
What kinds of jobs are available for students while at McAfee?
One of the advantages of being in Atlanta is the number of places to work. Students work in area churches, on campus, coffee houses, restaurants, etc. We assist in placing students in church related jobs.
Are you located in downtown Atlanta?
No, we are about nine miles northeast of downtown. Our campus is just inside interstate 285 where it crosses Interstate 85. Surrounded on three sides by protected woodlands, the Mercer Atlanta campus is a quiet place to study and live.
Does McAfee offer online or correspondence courses?
Our D.Min. program is mainly an independent or distance learning program which only requires 2-3 weeks in residence per year during the summer. Our Masters programs offer some classes online and we do offer our Master of Arts in Christian Ministry in a fully online format.
What about taking classes at other schools?
We may consider transfer credit (only B’s or better, within the time limits, and up to 21 hours for the M.Div. and 9 hours for the M.A.C.M.) from other seminaries that are both regionally and (for the theological core) ATS accredited. After admission, the Associate Dean reviews your official transcripts to determine which classes transfer. While at McAfee, you may cross-register and take elective classes at our consortium member schools: Columbia Theological Seminary, Candler School of Theology, and the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC).
What is the difference between a “Seminary” and a “School of Theology?"
Generally speaking they are the same thing. We usually refer to a stand alone school as a “seminary” and a school associated with a university as a “divinity school" or "school of theology." In both cases, students are considered “seminary” students.
What are the other student like at McAfee?
Our student body is evenly divided between males and females. In addition to our denominational diversity, we are an ethnically diverse learning community with African American, Hispanic, Asian, and international students making up over fifty percent of the student body. Students come from evangelical and mainline protestant backgrounds and embody a heightened sense of social justice and a holistic view of evangelism and mission.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us:
Office of Admissions
McAfee School of Theology
3001 Mercer University Drive
Atlanta, GA 30341-4115
Fax: (678) 547-6478
When is the deadline for applying?
Applications materials may be submitted at any time throughout the academic year. Applications must be received by December 1 each year to begin classes in January of the Spring semester. Applications must be received by May 1 to begin classes in the Summer semester, and by July 1 for beginning the Fall semester.
How much will it cost?
Tuition for the D.Min. program at McAfee will vary by small amounts from year to year. The 2015-2016 tuition for the entire 33 hour program is set at $11,550 ($390 per credit hour). An application fee of $50.00 (non-refundable) is required, and a thesis binding fee of a minimum of $120 will be required at the end of the program. Transportation, housing, meals, books, and materials are all additional expenses paid for by the candidates.
How long is the program?
The Doctor of Ministry Degree Program is a 33 hour program. Ministers considering the D.Min. program at McAfee should be prepared to spend a minimum of three and one half years in pursuit of the degree. Completion of the program is normally in four years, unless a leave of absence for specified reasons is granted.
When may I begin the program?
Students may begin the program with the first unit of experiential learning (Ministry Coaching, Preaching Consultation, or Spiritual Practice), offered in the Fall, Spring, and Summer. Seminars are offered in June/July each year, with the possibility of January offerings, depending on enrollment.
How often will I need to be on campus?
Residency required on the McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University Atlanta campus is limited to the three seminars (Monday through Friday for 2 weeks on campus) and a two week final project thesis workshop. Candidates are welcome to spend whatever additional time they wish for such purposes as library research, faculty consultation, preparation of workshop or final project thesis materials, and independent study. A final oral examination over your completed Project Thesis will require a trip to the campus.
How do I apply?
You may download the application here. Please address your application materials to:
Office of Admissions
McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University
3001 Mercer University Drive
Atlanta, Georgia 30341-4115
What are the eligibility requirements?
The Doctor of Ministry Committee of the faculty grants admission to the Doctor of Ministry degree program. Decisions are based on the total profile of the applicant, including an analysis of the applicant’s writing ability, as seen in the admission essays; quality of recommendations; grade point averages of academic work; standardized test scores; and the nature and extent of the applicant’s ministry experience. No single area of deficiency will disqualify an applicant from admission.
What if I have a theology degree that is not a Master of Divinity degree?
All applicants must have the equivalency of the Master of Divinity from a a school fully accredited by a regional accrediting agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (or a recognized international accrediting organization). Applicants with a two-year master's degree in theology or a related area may complete additional hours to achieve equivalency and may be admitted to the D.Min. with the condition that the equivalency be met before beginning enrollment in the D.Min. program. Read the M.Div. Equivalency statement.
Where can I take the MAT?
When you receive an application to the D.Min. program you will notice that the Miller Analogies Test is required of all applicants. Several major universities and testing sites around the Southeast offer this test.Visit the Pearson MAT Homepage and select "Find a MAT Testing Center"
When you take the Miller Analogies Test, please make sure that you instruct the testing center to mail all test results to Mercer University's Atlanta Campus, McAfee School of Theology, Doctor of Ministry Degree Program.
Can I transfer credit from another D.Min. program?
The McAfee School of Theology Doctor of Ministry Program will consider transfer credit on a case-by-case basis, up to a maximum of 10 hours.
I have my M.Div. from McAfee School of Theology. Why should I also complete a D.Min. from McAfee?
There are many options available for D.Min. study. The quality of the program you desire and your specific goals in ministry should determine where you might study. Consider that many of the networks for future ministry are developed in a D.Min. program. We believe the McAfee program is of the highest quality and will enhance your calling for ministry wherever you may serve.
Our admissions staff understands the importance of being servant leaders and seek to help guide students through the sometimes challenging admissions process. So if you have questions, concerns, thoughts, ideas, or just need to talk about vocational options, know we are here to help. We would love the opportunity to get to know you, answer your questions, and invite you to visit our beautiful campus located just 10 minutes north of downtown Atlanta. To speak with one of them directly, follow the links below: