- Faculty & Staff
MAR students are required to choose a specialization within their program that will equip them for a specialized area of ministry. Possible areas of specialization include Pastoral Care, the Black Church, Interfaith Studies, Latino Ministry, ELCA Diaconal Ministry, and the Episcopal Diaconate. However, students may also do specializations in Bible, theology, integrative theology, Christian education, liturgy and music, or other specializations tailored to their vocational goals and interests. Details of these specializations appear below.
MAR students are to select a specialization as soon as possible upon admission but no later than the completion of five course units. Application forms specific to the Black Church, Interfaith, and Latino specializations are available per below. For other specializations, submit a Specialization Declaration form to the Registrar.
The pastoral care specialization is intended to equip persons for specialized ministry in pastoral care, including parish-based pastoral care specialists; Diaconal Ministers/Deacons, Associates in Ministry, and Deaconesses with a particular vocation in pastoral care; and persons wishing to gain a strong foundation for professional training in chaplaincy or pastoral counseling. The Director is the Professor of Pastoral Theology. Completion of the MAR degree with this specialization, together with 3 years of subsequent professional ministry experience, may be used to support an application for membership as a Pastoral Care Specialist in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. Students may choose to develop a further focus within the specialization (e.g., ministry to older persons, addictions, domestic violence), based upon relevant coursework and contextual education.
- Application filed with the registrar no later than January Term of the first year
- Minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.4
- Interview with the Professor of Pastoral Theology
- Two units of CPE, preferably including at least one parish- or community-based site with a pastoral care focus. (Equivalency may be granted for an appropriate non-CPE site for the second unit.)
- At least two quarters of contextual education must include supervised pastoral care experience
- IPC100, Introduction to Pastoral Care (must be taken at LTSP)
- IPC301, Death, Dying, and Bereavement
- IPC302, Relationships, Marriage, and Family
- Two additional courses in pastoral theology (IPC___). With approval of the Professor of Pastoral Theology, another integrative course (ICA, ICE, ICS, or IPP) or another course relevant to the student's particular pastoral care focus may be substituted.
At least five courses by contract with the Director, which may include the following:
- One Bible course designated for the concentration (suffixed "B")
- African American Church - HCH232B
- African American Theology - HTH335B
- Worship in the Black Church - ICA150B (also fulfills integrative option requirement for students in concentration)
- Preaching in Black Church Contexts - ICA320B
A specialization within the MAR degree program to enhance the student's skills to engage as a public leader in multi-faith contexts leads to a Certificate of Interfaith Studies at graduation for those completing the requirements. The specialization utilizes the resources of the multi-faith milieu of the Philadelphia metropolitan area.
Interested students should apply for admission to the specialization no later than January Term of the first year for full-time students or upon completion of 4.0 course units by part-time students. Submit the application to Dr. J Paul Rajashekar, Director of the Institute for Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue. For more information, contact Dr. Rajashekar.
Requirements of the Specialization
Two to four quarters of supervised field work with an affiliated interfaith organization.
Five course units from among the following:
- HCH311, New Religious Movements in America
- HCH326, Lutherans and Jews
- HTH360, World Religions
- HTH362, Christian Encounters with Other Faiths
- HTH363, Issues in Interreligious Dialogue
- HTH364, Scriptures of the World
- HTH367, Theology of Religions
- HTH371, Jewish-Christian Relations
- HTH373, Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations
- HTH374, Jesus in the Islamic Tradition
- HTH378, Christian Engagement with Asian Religions
- ICS512, The Church and the Holocaust
- SGN152, Global Travel Seminar with a significant interfaith component
- One course at either Reconstructionist Rabbinical College or Temple University Religious Studies Department
- Other courses as designated by the Director
- Application as required for the MDiv degree.
- Proficiency in Spanish, as determined by the director
- Two quarters of field education in a Latino context - IFE__
- Two core courses from among the following: U.S. Latino/a Theology and Ministry - HTH328, Latin American Theology - HTH315L, or Readings in Christology (Latino) - HTH209L
- Three electives from among the following: other course offerings suffixed "L", an independent study proposed in consultation with the director, or offerings of the Metropolitan/Urban Concentration (ICS250C, ICS251C, or ICS252C). Other courses may be substituted with the director's permission.
The ELCA's Diaconal Ministry Formation event serves as one of the courses of the specialization; it is received as a transfer credit. Students may petition to apply up to two units of post-baccalaureate coursework by transfer from non-theological curricula when those courses relate to the field in which the student expects to engage the world on behalf of the church (e.g., business, psychology, education). The specific specialization will be appropriate to the ministry goals of the candidate.
The Diocese of Pennsylvania of the Episcopal Church has designated a set of 14 courses, completion of which will serve as the credential for ordination as permanent deacon. Course requirements include:
- Bible: BOT110, BOT111, BNT110, BNT111, and one other Bible elective
- History: HCH100, HCH202
- Systematic Theology: HTH100 or HTH253 or HTH310 or HTH311
- Integrative Theology: IFE160, IFE161, ICA101, IPC100, and SGN110/111
- Liturgics: ICA102 and HTH322
- Public Theology: SGN100 or ICS100 or a senior seminar in public theology
Students in this program are encouraged to continue on toward a Master
of Arts in Religion degree, in which case special foci within this
specialization can reflect the ministerial goals of the individual
student (e.g., pastoral care, education).
Examples of other possible specializations and specific requirements for them
- Greek - BBG100
- Hebrew - BBH100
- Old Testament 1 and 2 - BOT100 and BOT101
- New Testament 1 and 2 - BNT100 and BNT101
- Bible electives - B______
- Thinking about God - HTH100
- Christology Option - HTH20_ or as announced
- Ethics Option - HTH25_ or as announced
- Theology Electives - HTH___ (2 units)
- Introduction to Liturgy - ICA102
- Introduction to Music in the Church - ILM100
- Liturgical Ensemble - ILM110-113
- Liturgical Music Leadership - ILM120-123
- Ministry Action/Reflection for Musicians - IFE170 and IFE270
- Christian Education - ICE100
- Christian Education electives ICE___ (4 credits)
- At least three units from among the following-ICA100 or ICA102, ICA101 or ICA103, ICE100, IPC100, IPP201, IPP202, IPP203-plus two other integrative theology electives
Other specializations in consultation with the student's advisor and upon the approval of the Faculty