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


The Master of Arts in Christian Ministry and Leadership with specializations in Pastoral Care and Counseling, Preaching and Pastoral Ministries, and Women's Ministries 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.

Graduation Requirements

  1. Satisfactorily complete 49 semester credits (58 credits for the Preaching and Pastoral Ministry specialization) as outlined in the curriculum charts 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. 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.
  5. Obtain a 3.0 average with no grade below a "C-" in all courses to be credited toward graduation.
  6. Complete the entire program in no more than five years.
  7. 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).

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 Women's Ministries are comprised of 49 credits (58 credits for the Preaching and Pastoral Ministry specialization) structured in common to include:

  1. Biblical and theological foundations.
  2. Spiritual Formation Focus (SFF).
  3. Ministry skills.
  4. Additional elective courses determined by the student in consultation with the advisor.

Curriculum Requirements

Prerequisite Courses 1
Old Testament Survey
New Testament Survey
Program Courses
TTBE 517Hermeneutics and Bible Study Methods3
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
Specialization Courses
Select a Specialization detailed below (39 credits for Preaching and Pastoral Ministry) 230
Total Credits49

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. 


 If the Preaching and Pastoral Ministry Specialization is chosen, the total credits are 58.


Pastoral Care and Counseling

The Pastoral Care and Counseling specialization 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
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
TTPT 707Foundations of Pastoral Care and Counseling2
TTPT 702Intermediate Pastoral Counseling3
TTPT 708Advanced Pastoral Counseling3
TTPT 716Addressing Common Pastoral Counseling Concerns3
TTPT 725Counseling Troubled Families3
TTPT 760Seminar1
Elective Courses
General elective courses 26
Total Credits30

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


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

Preaching and Pastoral Ministry

The Preaching and Pastoral Ministry specialization 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.
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
Language/Exegesis Courses
Select one of the following options:12
New Testament:
Beginning Greek I
Beginning Greek II
Introduction to Exegesis
Exegesis in the Gospels
Exegesis in the Epistles
Old Testament:
Elements of Hebrew I
Elements of Hebrew II
Introduction to Hebrew Exegesis
Advanced Hebrew Reading
Program Courses
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
TTPT 707Foundations of Pastoral Care and Counseling2
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
TTPT 510Evangelism and Follow-Up3
or TTPH 602 Apologetics
Total Credits39

Women's Ministries

This specialization is in a teach out phase, no new students will be admitted at this time.

The Women’s Ministries specialization is designed to equip students for a specific ministry to women, whether in a local church, a parachurch organization, or a community agency. The program aims to develop strengths in biblical content, cultural analysis and practical skills.

Specialization Courses
TTPT 609Expository Preaching3
TTPT 634Foundations of Women's Ministries3
TTPT 635Toward a Philosophy of Ministry to Women3
TTPT 636Evangelizing and Ministering to Women in the Present Culture3
TTPT 637Family Issues in Women's Ministry3
TTPT 638Survey of Biblical and Historical Women in Ministry3
TTPT 639Developing Leadership Teams3
TTPT 699Women's Ministries Internship 13
TTPT 707Foundations of Pastoral Care and Counseling2
TTPT 708Advanced Pastoral Counseling3
Elective Course
General elective course1
Total Credits30

Must be taken three times, for 1 credit each time.