Christian Ministry and Leadership, M.A.C.M.L.


The Master of Arts in Christian Ministry and Leadership with concentrations in Pastoral Care and Counseling, Preaching and Pastoral Ministry, and Sports Ministry is designed as a professional program for specialized ministry. It has been developed for those whose calling to Christian service is to positions of leadership for which the Master of Divinity or other professional degrees are not normally required.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Master of Arts in Christian Ministry and Leadership, students will be able to:

  1. Identify the basic contents of all books of the Old and New Testaments and the broad historical and cultural background information relevant to the study of the Old and New Testaments (ULO 1).
  2. Exegete and apply a biblical text properly through application of historical-grammatical hermeneutics (ULO 3).
  3. Explain the major doctrines of Christianity, including their biblical basis, historical development, and contemporary relevance, and assess non-evangelical doctrines from an evangelical perspective (ULO 1).
  4. Describe and explain (a) a basic knowledge of Spiritual Theology (the integrative study of Scripture and the ministry of the Indwelling Holy Spirit regarding the nature, process and directives of spiritual transformation in Christ) (b) their experience and understanding of the Double Knowledge of God and oneself in truth and (c) how these impact personal vocation and ministries in the local church (ULO 2).
  5. Employ empathetic listening skills in leadership and counseling contexts (ULO 1).
  6. Develop strategies and programs for pastoral ministry in church or parachurch environments (ULO 1).
  7. Employ ministry skills in leadership areas such as preaching, administration, teaching, counseling, and worship (ULO 3).
  8. Develop redemptive church ministries to their communities in society and culture, being relevant to current sociopolitical issues and ethical problems (ULO 3).
  9. Employ leadership capabilities to deal with the growing complexity and challenges that leaders face daily as they guide people toward shared goals (ULO 3).
  10. Describe how their own personal growth issues may hinder their ability to minister (ULO 2).

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.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must possess a Bachelor of Arts degree or its academic equivalent from an accredited college with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale).

All applicants must submit a written statement outlining their vocational objectives and how the degree might relate to those objectives.

Academic Probation

Students are placed on academic probation if their grade point average for any semester falls below 3.0 and will remain on probation as long as the single semester or cumulative grade point average 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 64–66 semester credits as outlined in the curriculum charts below.
  2. Submit an acceptable thesis, chosen in consultation with the major advisor, or at the option of the major advisor and in lieu of the thesis, complete 2 additional credits of electives. Students who write a thesis will have a total requirement of 64 credits and those who take 2 additional credits in lieu of a thesis will have a total requirement of 66 credits.
  3. At least 24 of the total credits required for the degree program must be completed in residency at Biola. Advanced Standing, Reduction and transfer credit are not considered residency credits.
  4. Obtain a 3.0 average with no grade below a "C-" in all courses to be credited toward graduation.
  5. Complete the entire program in no more than five years.
  6. 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 Admission, Enrollment and Graduation Requirements section).

Program Structure

The academic programs leading to the degree Master of Arts in Christian Ministry and Leadership with concentrations in Pastoral Care and Counseling, Preaching and Pastoral Ministry, and Sports Ministry are comprised of 64–66 credits structured in common to include:

  1. Biblical and theological foundations.
  2. Academic specialization in one of four disciplines requiring biblical language studies or general studies in which biblical languages are not required.
  3. Additional elective courses determined by the student in consultation with the advisor.

Core Requirements

TTBE 517Hermeneutics and Bible Study Methods3
TTBE 519Survey of Genesis–Malachi3
TTBE 520Survey of Matthew–Revelation3
TTHT 514Historical Theology Survey3
TTPT 707Foundations of Pastoral Care and Counseling2
TTSF 501Introduction to Spiritual Theology and Formation3
TTSF 503Personal Foundations for Spiritual Formation3
TTSF 504Spiritual Formation, Vocation, and the Disciplines0
TTSF 505Talbot Spiritual Direction I0
TTSF 506Talbot Spiritual Direction II0
TTSS 510Theological Research Methodologies1
TTTH 511Theology I - Introduction: Revelation and Nature of God3
TTTH 512Theology II - Works of God, Angels, Man and Sin3
TTTH 613Theology III - Christ, Salvation and the Spirit3
TTTH 614Theology IV - The Church and Last Things3
Total Credits33


Pastoral Care and Counseling

The Master of Arts Pastoral Care and Counseling Concentration is designed to provide local churches and para-church ministries with specialists in the field of pastoral care and counseling who have built their care ministries, counseling, administrative and teaching skills upon a solid biblical and theological base. The emphasis is on enrichment, equipping and renewing ministries. A major focus is on actual practice in Care Ministries in local churches. Students will be prepared for such professional positions as Pastor of Care Ministries and Pastoral Counseling.

Concentration-Specific Requirements
ISCL 555Introduction to World Missions3
TTPT 604Pastoral Care and Chaplaincy3
TTPT 628Marital Counseling3
TTPT 693Pastoral Care and Counseling Internship I1
TTPT 694Pastoral Care and Counseling Internship II1
TTPT 695Pastoral Care and Counseling Internship III 11-2
TTPT 703The Church and Society3
TTPT 708Advanced Pastoral Counseling3
TTPT 716Addressing Common Pastoral Counseling Concerns3
TTPT 725Counseling Troubled Families3
TTPT 740Issues and Ethics in Ministry2
Elective Requirements
Select one of the following:7
Select 7 credits of electives if not completing a thesis
Select 5 credits of electives if choosing to complete a thesis. Thesis students will enroll in: 2
Thesis First Draft: M.A.
Thesis Final Draft: M.A.
Below are suggested elective options: 3
Women and Men in Christian Ministry
Teaching Ministry
Counseling Adolescents and Their Parents
Family Ministry in the Local Church
Ethical Issues I
Group Counseling Leadership
Premarital Preparation and Counseling
Directed Study
Theology of Human Nature
Total Credits33

 TTPT 695 may be taken for 1 or 2 credits. If taken for 2 credits, the second credit may count toward required elective credits.


 Consult the Talbot student handbook for preliminary steps that must be completed prior to enrolling in the thesis course.


Up to 6 graduate elective credits may be taken in other schools in Biola University with advisor's approval.

Preaching and Pastoral Ministry

The Preaching and Pastoral Ministry concentration is designed to equip students for leadership and preaching in church or parachurch settings. It aims to produce students who:

  • model spiritual, emotional and relational health.
  • prepare and present sermons demonstrating biblical accuracy, oral clarity and contemporary relevance.
  • integrate biblical/theological knowledge and skill in Christian ministry.
  • lead Christian communities in the tasks of the church: making and growing disciples, worshiping, praying, and impacting the broader community.
Greek Requirement

The courses listed below are required beyond beginning Greek. A qualifying examination is available to all interested students. Those who pass the examination may enroll directly in TTNT 503. Taking TTNT 503 early in the degree is recommended, since it is a prerequisite for TTPT 609.

TTNT 503Introduction to Exegesis3
TTNT 604Exegesis in the Gospels3
Beginning Greek Requirement

Students who do not take or do not pass the qualifying examination must take the courses listed below (for 2 credits each) as prerequisites to TTNT 503.

TTNT 501Beginning Greek I2
TTNT 502Beginning Greek II2
Combined B.A. + M.A. Track

Students in Biola University's Bachelor of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies with a concentration in Preaching and Pastoral Ministry may take graduate courses in their senior year, allowing the completion of a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in an accelerated format. See the Bachelor of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies for the undergraduate portion of the accelerated B.A. + M.A. program.

Concentration-Specific Requirements
TTNT 503Introduction to Exegesis3
TTNT 604Exegesis in the Gospels3
or TTNT 605 Exegesis in the Epistles
TTPT 510Evangelism and Follow-Up3
TTPT 591Introduction to Field Education1
TTPT 592Field Education II0
TTPT 602Pastoral Ministry3
TTPT 609Expository Preaching3
TTPT 610Contemporary Biblical Preaching3
TTPT 691Field Education III0
TTPT 703The Church and Society3
or TTPH 602 Apologetics
TTPT 730Biblical Leadership and Management3
TTPT 741Preaching Narrative Literature3
TTPT 742Preaching the Wisdom and Poetic Literature of the Old Testament3
TTPT 791Field Internship0
or TTPT 792 Field Internship
Elective Requirements
Select 2 credits of electives2
Total Credits33

Sports Ministry

The Sports Ministry concentration is designed to equip students at a biblical, theological and practical level for ministries of evangelism and discipleship through sports. Along with strengths in preaching, counseling, and pastoral leadership, students will be prepared to develop and lead effective outreach and equipping ministries within local churches and parachurch organizations, both nationally and internationally.

Concentration-Specific Requirements
TTPT 609Expository Preaching3
TTPT 642Administration and Organization of Sports Ministry3
TTPT 643Cross-Cultural Sports Ministry3
TTPT 644Twenty-First Century Models for Sports Ministry3
TTPT 645Church and Sports Outreach Ministry Through History3
TTPT 646Theology of Competition and Sport3
TTPT 647Evangelism and Discipleship in Sports Ministry3
TTPT 700Sports Ministry Internship 13
Elective Requirements
Select 9 credits of electives9
Total Credits33

 Must be taken for a total of 3 credits, must be taken 1 credit at a time.