MAR Specializations

MAR students are required to choose a specialization within their program that will equip them for a specialized area of ministry.  Specializations for students in the Professional Ministry Track are to include at least 5 courses, plus a senior project.  Specializations for students in the Theological Studies Track are to include at least 7 courses, plus a senior thesis or comprehensive examination. Among possible areas of specialization are Pastoral Care, the Black Church, Interfaith Studies, Latino Ministry, Metropolitan/Urban Ministry, Multicultural Ministry and Mission, Public LeadershipELCA Diaconal Ministry, and the Episcopal Diaconate. Students may also do specializations in Bible, Church historytheology, integrative theology, Christian education, liturgy and music, or other specializations tailored to their vocational goals and interests.  Outlines of these specializations appear below.

MAR students are to select their track and 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 appropriate to your track to the Registrar.

Pastoral Care Specialization

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.

Admission Requirements

  • 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

Specialization Requirements

  • 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, Pastoral Theology: Formation and Practice (must be taken at LTSP)
  • IPC401, Death, Dying, and Bereavement
  • IPC402, 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.

The Black Church (UTI) Specialization

Admission Requirements

Specialization Requirements

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 History - HCH250B
  • African American Theology - HTH250B
  • 21st Century Worship in the African American Tradition - IWR150B (also fulfills integrative option requirement for students in concentration)
  • 21st Century Preaching in the African American Tradition - IHM150B
  • Other courses as designated (suffixed "B") or as approved by the Director

The Interfaith Studies Specialization

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.

At least five course units from among the following:

  • HCH336, Christian-Muslim Engagement in North America
  • HCH364, Jesus and the Bible in Islam
  • HTH470, Intro to Religions of the World
  • HTH330P, Scriptures of the World
  • HTH371, Christian Encounters with Other Faiths
  • HTH372, Issues in Interreligious Dialogue
  • HTH367, Theology of Religions
  • HTH373, Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations
  • ICS512, The Church and the Holocaust
  • SGN452, Global Travel Seminar with a significant interfaith component\
  • Course through Graduate Consortium for Interreligious Dialogue (Temple University, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College or Villanova University)
  • Other courses as designated by the Director

The Latino Specialization

Admission Requirements

Specialization Requirements

At least five course units from among the following:

  • Two quarters of field education in a Latino context - IFE__
  • HTH428L  U.S. Latino/a Theology and Ministry
  • HTH109L  Latin American Theology
  • 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 (ICS450C, ICS451C, or ICS452C). Other courses may be substituted with the director's permission.

The Metropolitan/Urban Ministry Specialization

Admission Requirements

Specialization Requirements

At least five course units from among the following:

  • Two quarters of field education in a metropolitan/urban context - IFE__
  • ICS450C  The Church in the City
  • ICS451C  Understanding the City
  • ICS452C  Models of Urban Ministry
  • ICS520C  Issues in Urban Ministry (senior year)
  • HTH109L  Latin American Theology
  • Other course offerings suffixed "L", an independent study proposed in consultation with the director, or offerings of the Black Church Concentration (suffixed "B"). Other courses may be substituted with the director's permission.

The Multicultural Ministry and Mission Specialization

Admission Requirements

Specialization Requirements

At least five course units from among the following:

  • Two semesters of field education in a multicultural context
  • Courses in World Christianity or Mission and Cultures
  • Courses in Black, African American, Asian or Latino Theology
  • An independent study proposed in consultation with the director, or other courses with the director's permission.

The Public Leadership Specialization

Admission Requirements

Specialization Requirements

At least five course units from among the following:

  • HCH310P Religious History and Public Leadership
  • HTH301P God-Talk and Public Leadership
  • HTH330P Scriptures of the World
  • ICS401P Ethics and Public Leadership
  • IFE190P Case-Based Field Work 1
  • IFE290P Case-Based Field Work 2
  • Course(s) taken at Temple University School of Social Work or Fox School of Business
  • An independent study proposed in consultation with the director, or other courses with the director's permission.

ELCA Diaconal Ministry

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 Episcopal Diaconate

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, BOT120, BNT110, BNT120, and one other Bible elective
  • History: One Heritage of the Faith option (HCH1xx) and SGN402 Essentials of Anglicanism
  • Systematic Theology: Faith in Ministry option (HTH1xx) or Anglican Social Ethics or Modern Anglican Theology (or Poets, Mystics and Theologians)
  • Integrative Theology: IHM100, IPC100, and SIS100
  • Liturgics: IWR100 and Book of Common Prayer
  • Public Theology: SGN100 or ICS100 or a senior seminar in public theology
  • Two semesters of field education

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

Bible

  • Greek - BBL120 or BBL121
  • Hebrew - BBL110 or BBL111
  • Genesis-Esther - BOT110
  • Job-Malachi - BOT120
  • Gospels and Acts - BNT110
  • Epistles and Revelation - BNT120
  • Two Bible electives - B______

Church History

  • Heritage of the Faith option- HCH1xx
  • Christian Tradition option - HCH2xx
  • Interreligious Contexts option - HCH3xx
  • Church History Electives - HCH___ (2 units)

Systematic Theology

  • Faith in Ministry option - HTH1xx
  • Renewing the Church option - HTH2xx
  • Engaging the World option - HTH3xx
  • Theology Electives - HTH___ (2 units)

Liturgy and Music

  • Work of the People- IWR100
  • Introduction to Music in the Church - ILM400
  • Liturgical Ensemble (2 years)
  • Liturgical Music Leadership (2 years)
  • Practicum in Music Ministry (2 years)

Christian Education

  • Christian Education - ICE100
  • Christian Education electives ICE___ (4 credits)

Integrative Theology

  • At least three units from among the following: ICE100, ICS100, IHM100 or IHM150B, IPC100, IPP100 or IPP200, ISP100, IWR100 or IWR150B
  • Two other integrative theology electives

Other specializations in consultation with the student's advisor and upon the approval of the Faculty