Christian Education, M.A.C.E.


The mission of the M.A.C.E. program is to develop and equip experienced church and parachurch servant-leaders in mind, character, and ability to serve God and further His kingdom through biblically-based educational ministries, according to a particular area of specialization.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Master of Arts in Christian Education, students will be able to:

  1. Critically assess the biblical, philosophical, and theological foundation of ministries within churches and parachurch organizations (ULO 1).
  2. Identify and interpret the process of holistic spiritual development and learning for leadership, teaching, and interpersonal/intercultural relationships (ULO 1).
  3. Integrate biblical perspectives and values toward God and self into a values complex in order to articulate specific practices for a vital personal life (ULO 2).
  4. Demonstrate skills in leadership administration (ULO 3).
  5. Demonstrate skills in ministry functions (including: evangelism, discipleship, teaching, counseling and pastoral skills) (ULO 3).

Each Program Learning Outcome (PLO) listed above references at least one of the University Learning Outcomes (ULO 1, 2, 3), which may be found in the General Information section of this catalog.

Ministry Preparation

In light of increasing demands for persons trained in Christian education, the program is designed to prepare individuals to serve competently in a growing number of functional roles. Along with core classes, a variety of courses to meet students' individualized needs and goals are offered in five areas of concentration: Children's Ministry, Youth Ministry, Adult and Family Ministry, Executive Leadership and Cross-Cultural Educational Ministry.

Admission Requirements

All applicants must hold the Bachelor of Arts degree or its academic equivalent with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). Those accepted who do not meet this latter requirement will be placed on probation. Graduates from approved unaccredited colleges, if accepted, will be granted provisional acceptance, though exceptions may be made when the GPA is higher than 3.0. Both probation and provisional acceptance may be changed to full acceptance if the student earns a GPA of 3.0 or better on the first 8 credits at Talbot. Graduates from approved unaccredited colleges may be required to take certain additional liberal arts coursework (not applicable toward the graduate degree), if their undergraduate program did not include these courses.

Academic Probation

A student must have at least a 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) to graduate. Students are placed on academic probation if their GPA for any semester falls below 3.0, and will remain on probation as long as the single semester or cumulative GPA remains below 3.0. Probation students are granted one semester in which to bring their academic work up to the required level (3.0) for continuance in the seminary. A student cannot graduate while on probation.

Graduation Requirements

  1. Satisfactorily complete 48 semester credits. See (#5) below.
  2. Students without previous courses in Old Testament Survey and New Testament Survey must take TTBE 519 and TTBE 520, which are not for credit unless taken in place of general elective credits.

  3. Complete the online introduction to theological research and writing by the end of the second semester.

  4. Take the courses prescribed in the Master of Arts in Christian Education curriculum.
  5. Complete the program in no more than five years.
  6. Obtain a 3.0 average with no grade below a "C-" in all courses to be counted toward graduation.
  7. At least 24 of the total credits required for the degree program must be completed in residency at Biola. Advanced Standing and transfer credit are not considered residency credits.
  8. Meet with a Graduate Graduation Counselor in the Office of the Registrar one year prior to graduation to declare intent to graduate. (See Graduate Graduation Check description in the Admission, Enrollment and Graduation Requirements section).

Vocations or positions for which the M.A.C.E. program prepares students are:

  • Executive Pastor
  • Church Business Administrator
  • Pastor of Family Ministries
  • Pastor of Adult Ministries
  • Minister of Young Adults
  • Minister of Youth
  • Minister of Children
  • Parachurch Staff
  • Christian Camp Administration
  • Discipleship and Teaching Pastor

Program Requirements

The academic program leading to the Master of Arts degree in Christian Education is structured to include:

  1. Biblical and theological foundations
  2. Core curriculum consisting of foundational courses and practical skills
  3. Vocational specialization

The M.A.C.E. is designed for those with two or more years of full-time ministry experience. Those students admitted with less than this should plan on taking their practicum courses near the beginning of their program to provide them with some degree of ministry experience.

The Standard Program (48 Credits)

The program leading to the Master of Arts degree in Christian Education, with a ministry specialization in children's ministry, youth ministry, general Christian education, family and adult ministry, executive leadership, or cross-cultural education ministry, includes a minimum of 48 credits of study. The student who is able to enroll in 15 credits each semester can complete the degree in under two years. The student who enrolls for less than 15 credits may be able to access Interterm and Summer school courses and still complete the program in two years, if not, it could require additional time. The program must be completed within five calendar years from the first enrollment. Students should recognize that the course loads shown here for graduate level course work, as for all Talbot programs, may make a full or even part-time work schedule very difficult. Those who are working may plan on completing the program in three to four years.

Advanced Standing

Applicants who have taken undergraduate courses in biblical or theological studies may request advanced standing based on collegiate work. See Admissions Requirements for details.

Curriculum Requirements

Prerequisite Courses 1
Old Testament Survey
New Testament Survey
Program Courses 2
TTBE 517Hermeneutics and Bible Study Methods3
TTCE 508Organizational Leadership3
TTCE 523Teaching Ministry3
TTCE 556Christian Formation and Discipleship3
TTCE 558Interpersonal Development3
TTCE 608Philosophy of Ministry3
TTCE 649Instructional Technology2
TTCE 655Strategic Ministry Leadership3
TTSF 501Introduction to Spiritual Theology and Formation3
TTSF 503Personal Foundations for Spiritual Formation3
TTSF 504Spiritual Formation, Vocation, and the Disciplines1
TTSF 505Talbot Spiritual Direction I0
TTSF 506Talbot Spiritual Direction II0
TTTH 521Theology I: God, Scripture, Creation3
TTTH 522Theology II: Christ, Humanity, Sin, Salvation3
TTTH 623Theology III: Spirit, Church, Last Things3
Elective Courses
General elective course3
CE Specialization
Select a CE Specialization detailed below6
Total Credits48

TTBE 519 Old Testament Survey and TTBE 520 New Testament Survey are prerequisites for this degree. To meet the prerequisite, students must have received a "C" or higher in approved undergraduate or graduate survey courses from a regionally accredited institution. Students who enroll without the prerequisite courses must take TTBE 519 and TTBE 520 before graduating. Credits from these courses may count as general elective courses, or may add to the length of the program if general elective courses are not available.


Students not having qualified ministry experience will have to complete two additional credits of ministry practicum: 

TTCE 690 Practicum in Ministry

TTCE 790 Educational Practicum

CE Specializations

The following specializations require two courses (6 credits) of required electives in a given area: Executive Leadership, Adult and Family Ministry, Youth Ministry, and Children's Ministry.

Requirements for the Cross-Cultural Education Ministry Specialization are detailed below. Since this specialization is taken in conjunction with Biola University’s Cook School of Intercultural Studies, it requires the completion of additional academic credits (see below).

Executive Leadership

TTCE 519Leadership Coaching and Teambuilding3
TTPT 730Biblical Leadership and Management3
Total Credits6

Adult and Family Ministry

TTCE 677Family Ministry in the Local Church3
TTCE 679Adult Development and Discipleship3
Total Credits6

Youth Ministry

TTCE 664Youth Ministry Leadership and Programming3
TTCE 668Youth Ministry in Contemporary Culture3
Total Credits6

Children's Ministry

TTCE 625Staffing and Leadership in Children's Ministries3
TTCE 652Models and Trends in Children's Ministries3
Total Credits6

Cross-Cultural Education Ministry

The Cross-Cultural Education Ministry specialization is taken in conjunction with the Cook School of Intercultural Studies. It requires the completion of 6 additional credits, bringing the total required for degree completion to 54 credits (42 credits of Theology, Formation, and Christian Education core in addition to 12 Cross-Cultural credits taken from the Cook School of Intercultural Studies).

ISCL 520Interpersonal and Intercultural Adjustment3
ISCL 575Multicultural Education3
Select two courses from the following:6
Applied Anthropology
Peoples of Ethnic America
World Religions
Intercultural Communication
Cross-Cultural Leadership
Total Credits12

The Accelerated Program (39 Credits)

This specialization is in a teach out phase; no new students will be admitted at this time. Students in the program must have the following:

  1. An undergraduate degree in Christian Education with a 3.0 GPA in courses taken in the major.
  2. A total of at least 30 hours in Bible/theology.
  3. An overall GPA of 2.6. Those with a GPA of 2.6–2.9 will be placed on probation. See earlier section on admission qualifications.
  4. In addition to the above, demonstration of competency in the content of any waived or substituted courses will be assessed at the time of admission.
  5. At least two years of vocational experience in educational ministry after completion of undergraduate degree.

For students who qualify for this program, graduation requirements may be satisfied in 39 semester credits.

Program Courses
TTBE 517Hermeneutics and Bible Study Methods3
TTCE 519Leadership Coaching and Teambuilding3
TTCE 556Christian Formation and Discipleship3
TTCE 639Applied Ministry Research3
TTPT 707Foundations of Pastoral Care and Counseling 12
TTSF 501Introduction to Spiritual Theology and Formation 23
TTSF 503Personal Foundations for Spiritual Formation 23
TTSF 504Spiritual Formation, Vocation, and the Disciplines 21
TTSF 505Talbot Spiritual Direction I 20
TTSF 506Talbot Spiritual Direction II 20
Select one of the following:3
Interpersonal and Intercultural Adjustment 3
The Local Church and World Missions
The Church and Society
Elective Courses
Select a CE Specialization detailed above6
TTCE elective course3
General elective courses in consultation with advisor6
Total Credits39

Students selecting the Youth Ministry specialization will take TTCE 543 in place of TTPT 707.


Students wishing to complete the accelerated program within one calendar year must take TTSF 501, TTSF 503 and TTSF 505 during the first semester and TTSF 504 and TTSF 506 during the second semester.


Students selecting the Cross-Cultural Specialization take ISCL 520 to complete this requirement.