- Faculty & Staff
Master of Arts in Religion Degree (MAR)
The Master of Arts in Religion degree is intended for students seeking a basic understanding of theological disciplines for further graduate study or general educational purposes. The MAR serves in the ELCA as a basic degree for recognition as diaconal minister, associate in ministry, or deaconess.
Duration of this program for a full-time student is normally two years. Models of part-time study vary considerably. The degree is to be completed within ten years from the onset of the first course at LTSP that is applied to the degree program, although the Faculty at its discretion may grant program extensions upon written request by the student.
- A bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from a regionally accredited college or university.
- Satisfactory completion of 20 course units. One unit is equivalent to three semester hours. These 20 course units are to include
- A minimum of 4.0 units in the Bible, including Old and New Testament 1 and 2
- A minimum of 2.0 units in Church history, including at least 1.0 unit in the history and polity of the student’s own tradition
- A minimum of 2.0 units in systematic theology, including the foundational course and one course in Christology
- A minimum of 1.5 units in integrative theology, including a half unit of contextual education and one from among the following: Christian Assembly 1 and 2, Christian Education, Pastoral Care, and Church Administration
- A minimum of 3.0 units in interdisciplinary/integrative courses, including the Prologue, spiritual/leadership formation, one course that is global, ecumenical, or interfaith in focus, and a senior seminar on public theology
- A minimum of 5.0 units constituting a specialization in line with the student’s particular interests and goals. Courses fulfilling other degree requirements may be used toward the specialization. For requirements of specific specializations, see the Declaration of MAR Specialization Form.
- [THESIS OPTION: Students may with permission elect to write a senior thesis, completing 2.0 units of thesis preparation over the two final semesters that may be substituted for 0.5 units of contextual education and 0.5 units of spiritual/leadership formation. 1.0 unit of thesis preparation may be counted toward the 5.0 required for a specialization. Download the MAR Thesis Guidelines for details of this option.]
With the exception of CPE and internship, the same academic/ecclesiastical interrelationships and functions apply in the case of commissioning or consecration as are described for ordination.
- Satisfactory completion of the following non-credit requirements:
- Completion of required institutional assessment processes
- Participation in the anti-racism/multicultural awareness workshop offered annually at the seminary
- Eight hours of training in the areas of sexual ethics, boundaries, and wellness. Students may participate in seminary-provided programs, offered annually, or submit proof of having completed equivalent training through a qualified institution or agency within three years of entering seminary
- A cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or above.
- Minimum residence at LTSP of one year. Residence of less than two academic years in the MAR program is permitted only when candidates are admitted to advanced standing by transfer from other recognized seminaries. Residence is defined as the satisfactory completion at this seminary of at least ten units of required and elective courses. Courses for which credit is earned through test-out do not count toward the residency requirement.
The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Learn more here.