In the fall of 2019, Talbot will offer a Master of Arts with a focus on Classical Theology. The MACT is a 36-credit, residential, great-books program integrated around the interpretation of Holy Scripture. Modeled after Biola University’s Torrey Honors Institute, a prestigious great-books honors program, this degree program will be taught by Torrey faculty (including professor Fred Sanders) and by Talbot faculty.
What distinguishes the MACT from Talbot’s other master’s programs — which also focus on the interpretation of Scripture — is that it draws deeply on the theological riches of the entire Christian tradition. Classic expositions of Scripture, from many cultures and from across the patristic, medieval, Reformation and modern eras, will serve as “textbooks.”
Following the classic Christianity embodied in these texts, every MACT class seeks to integrate theology, history and exegesis together with personal spirituality for the sake of the church. The MACT also employs a Socratic pedagogy. That is, class time is largely devoted to faculty-led discussion of classic Christian texts. Each student will also be assigned a faculty mentor to help guide their studies and to apprentice them in the discipline of Christian theology.
Coursework focuses on three areas: Common Places (Christian doctrines), Master Practitioners (major theologians) and Sacred Page (books of the Bible). Introductory courses guide students in the spiritual and intellectual disciplines of Christian theology. An exegetical thesis draws program elements together into a single, integrative project. Coursework could be completed in 12 months and may look like the following:
- Introduction: Catechetical Institution, Aretaic Institution
- Common Places (3 courses): The Triune God, Christology,
- Master Practitioners (2 courses): Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards
- Sacred Page (3 courses): Genesis, Psalms, John, Romans, Hebrews, General Epistles