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Courses | M.A. in Christian Ministry and Leadership (Christian Ministry and Leadership)

Below are some of the courses you’ll have an opportunity to take as a student in this program. Take a look at the list below to get an idea of the types of available courses. Also, be sure to review the official program requirements in the Biola University catalog.

Note: This list is intended to give you a quick glimpse into the program’s academic offerings, and should not be used as a guide for course selection or academic advising.

Prerequisite Courses

A broad survey of the Old Testament books, including selected introductory and critical issues, relevant background, major themes and divisions, and crucial problems. Notes: Required of M.Div. and M.A. students. Grade Mode: A.

A general overview of the New Testament books, including selected introductory and critical issues, relevant background, major themes and divisions, and crucial problems. Notes: Required of M.Div. and M.A. students. Grade Mode: A.


Curriculum Requirements

A study of principles or sound interpretation and application of the Bible, including analysis of presuppositions, general rules and specialized principles for the various biblical genre and phenomena and the development of an exegetical method. Notes: Required of M.Div. and M.A. students. Grade Mode: A.
Introductory study of the nature of spiritual theology and formation, which attempts to understand the nature of new life in Christ, the process of formation in the Spirit and the directives for cooperating with His work. Attention is given to the implications of Spiritual Theology for seminary training and classroom experience. Particular attention is given to understanding the implications of life in Christ regarding guilt, shame and legalism as well as the New Covenant ministry of the Spirit in transforming the heart in light of the dynamics of original sin, early relational development and the habits of sin developed over time. Attention is also given to developmental spirituality, how the Spirit transforms the heart over time and how this affects ministries of teaching, preaching and discipleship in the church. Notes: Required of all Talbot students not in a Spiritual Formation academic program. A retreat will be introduced and required. This course will include a cohort group of no more than 15 students who explore the course content as well as the student's own life and growth within community. Required in the students' first semester at Talbot. Only students in the Talbot M.Div. program with a specialization in Messianic Jewish Studies (Feinberg Extension) are eligible to take this course for 2 credits. Grade Mode: A, N.
A theological and experiential exploration into human relationships and issues related to gender, romance, marriage, family and parenting as they relate to spiritual growth. Course includes an investigation into the impact of personal and family history on theological outlook, emotional congruence, relational attractions and moral decisions. Personal assessments and a one-day retreat are an integral part of this course. Students will experience spiritual community and intercessory prayer as they begin individual spiritual direction with a spiritual director and continue relationships within a cohort group to explore deeply their relational capacity at the heart of how Christ is formed in them, thereby developing deeper levels of trust and vulnerability.Prerequisites: TTSF 501. Notes: Required of all Talbot students not in a Spiritual Formation academic program. Cohort groups will continue to meet from TTSF 501 and a one-day group spiritual retreat will be required. Only students in the Talbot M.Div. program with a specialization in Messianic Jewish Studies (Feinberg Extension) are eligible to take this course for 2 credits. Grade Mode: A, N.
A theological and experiential exploration of the believer's vocation and the various 'callings' in the Bible as it relates to the general call of loving God and neighbor, a training in righteousness and conformity to Christ's image. Explores the panoply of spiritual disciplines sanctioned by the Bible and developed throughout Church history in order to enter deeply into one's calling. This learning takes place in a cohort group and includes various modalities of learning. A retreat component is included with this course. The retreat focuses on various spiritual disciplines and one's relation to the various calls of God in one's life, particularly one's personal call to ministry. Notes: Required of all Talbot students not in a Spiritual Formation academic program. Grade Mode: C, N.
A personal experience is required in Spiritual Direction at the Center for Spiritual Renewal at ISF. This course provides students the opportunity to explore their life of prayer and growth with a trained spiritual director from the Institute for Spiritual Formation. Notes: Two semesters of spiritual direction must be completed for the Spiritual Formation Focus requirement (TTSF 506 after completion of TTSF 505). Students are required to meet with an approved spiritual director a minimum of four times per semester. Required of all Talbot students not enrolled in a Spiritual Formation academic program. Grade Mode: C.
A personal experience is required in Spiritual Direction at the Center for Spiritual Renewal at ISF. This course provides students the opportunity to explore their life of prayer and growth with a trained spiritual director from the Institute for Spiritual Formation. Notes: Two semesters of spiritual direction must be completed for the Spiritual Formation Focus requirement (TTSF 506 after completion of TTSF 505). Students are required to meet with an approved spiritual director a minimum of four times per semester. Required of all Talbot students not enrolled in a Spiritual Formation academic program. Grade Mode: C.
An introduction to theology and theological method. Scripture, including inspiration and inerrancy. God, including his attributes and triune nature. God's work of creation, including God's eternal plan, the angels, and providence. Notes: Required of M.Div. and M.A. students.Grade Mode: A.
Humanity in the image of God, including human nature, the family, and civil government. The fall and the effect of sin upon humanity. The person and work of Christ. The nature and application of salvation, including regeneration, justification, and sanctification. Notes: Required of M.Div. and M.A. students.Grade Mode: A.

The person and work of the Holy Spirit. The inception and nature of the church, both as a living organism and an organization, its function, ordinances, and mission. The broad kingdom purpose of God, including Christ's second coming, the millennial reign of Christ, the resurrection of the dead, judgment, and the eternal state. Notes: Required of M.Div. and M.A. students. Grade Mode: A.


Specialization Courses

The biblical principles and practice of evangelism and discipleship. The class will seek to develop the skills of personal evangelism, determine strategies for a discipleship ministry. Notes: Required of M.Div. and M.A. (Biblical and Theological Studies) students and M.A.C.M.L. (Preaching and Pastoral Ministry) students. Grade Mode: A.
A study of a pastor's call, purpose, and role in ministry. Special attention will be given to providing leadership in worship, music, ordinances, weddings, funerals, and hospital and home visitation. Notes: Required of M.Div. (Pastoral and General Ministries, Christian Education, Evangelism and Discipleship, Spiritual Formation) students, and M.A.C.M.L. (Preaching and Pastoral Ministry) students. Grade Mode: A.
A study of biblical ethics and the role the local church plays in the community. Special attention will be given to major social problems such as sanctity of life, chemical abuse, domestic violence, social ills, and the political process. Notes: Required of M.A.C.M.L. (Pastoral Care and Counseling, Sports Ministries; Preaching and Pastoral Ministry may take TTPH 602 instead), M.A. Diversified, and M.Div. (except Missions and Intercultural Studies) students. Grade Mode: A.
The biblical basis for organizational management and leadership. Examination of the process of planning, organizing, leading and supporting from a biblical basis and made applicable to Christian service and ministry. Notes: Required of M.Div. (Pastoral and General Ministries) students and M.A.C.M.L. (Preaching and Pastoral Ministry) students. Grade Mode: A.

Leadership and Management

Select two courses from the following.

The objective of this course is to provide students with an opportunity to understand the complex accounting and financial data they will receive as operating managers. In particular, students will learn how to use the data as an effective management tool for coordinating managerial and organizational activities. Financial accounting, managerial accounting, and financial management are covered with consideration of international, economic, and legal issues. Students also consider the nature of numerical analysis as a description of reality, giving rise to ethical and other Biblical issues of interpretation. Grade Mode: A.

Within the context of Scripture, philosophical and ethical principles are identified, discussed, and applied to business problems and situations including the organization's obligation to the individual and to society, and the individual's responsibility to the organization. Grade Mode: A.

This course is designed to teach students how to create and manage change for productivity, through individual and group leadership. Students will study traditional and cutting-edge methods for initiating and supporting innovation in new and existing organizations, as well as pitfalls to avoid. The crucial role of leadership in the change process will be examined, and opportunities for experience in innovation and change will be made part of class time and assignments. Students will also study significant variables that influence organizations and individual effectiveness necessary for developing effective leadership in the contemporary workforce while examining the role of change from a Biblical perspective. Grade Mode: A.

The study of the management principles, concepts, and practices in nonprofit organizations. Topics include the development of mission statements, success measures, organization structure, stakeholder management, promotion, fundraising, and strategic decision-making. Grade Mode: A.

The course focuses on how to develop specific strategic ministries in a local church, including, but not limited to, life-span discipling, intergenerational ministries, growing new believers, transformational Bible teaching, equipping laity for ministry, and developing innovative ministry resources. Note(s): Option within the Master of Divinity (Spiritual Formation) for two of five course selections; option within the Master of Divinity (Pastoral and General Ministries) for two of four course selections; option within the Master of Divinity (Evangelism and Discipleship) for one of four course selections. Grade Mode: A.

The course will explore the place of work within God's kingdom program for history. The contours and major movements in God's program to rule the creation will provide the context for identifying the biblical understanding of the purpose and nature of work in the present age. These major movements include the pattern of work in the initial created order, patterns of work within the theocratic society of Israel, and finally work redeemed in the truth of Jesus Christ for the present age. Special attention will be given to the place of work in the believer's spiritual formation as the source for being a leader for Christ in the workplace. Grade Mode: A.


Evangelism, Missions, and Inter-cultural Ministry

Select two courses from the following.

The nature of Christian outreach; a study of principles, history, and methodology of worldwide missions. Notes: Required of M.Div. students. Grade Mode: A.
Explores cross-cultural issues in evangelism and church planting through the use of case studies, simulation exercises, readings and lectures. The class considers evangelistic strategies that build on a firm foundation for the gospel and assimilate new believers effectively. Grade Mode: A.
This course examines theories and issues related to intercultural communication, including principles and processes of communicating from one culture to another, and it identifies strategies for effective interaction among members of different cultures. Grade Mode: A.
A basic understanding of church growth concepts as related both to the local congregations and to the task of worldwide evangelization, with due emphasis on the church growth school of thought. Grade Mode: A.
Cross-cultural study of leadership including diverse patterns of authority, legitimacy, public support, leadership recruitment, and training as they affect communication, church growth and development worldwide. Grade Mode: A.
An examination of the Christian worldview and the various Christian apologetic responses in relation to the areas of history, science, and philosophy. Notes: Required for M.Div. and M.A. (Theology) students. Elective for M.A. (Philosophy) students. Grade Mode: A.
A study of the biblical principles and practices for church growth and church planting in the North American context. Special emphasis placed on defining current trends and contemporary models of ministry. Notes: Required of M.Div. (Evangelism and Discipleship) students. Grade Mode: A.
A study of various factors that impact the effectiveness of a second generation English ministry with a first generation Asian church. These factors include how immigration history and family structure shape leadership style and church structure. Since these structures contribute to on-going conflict with American societal values, biblical principles are explored to personally and corporately address conflict resolution. Notes: Elective. Grade Mode: A.

Ministry Skills

Select two courses from the following.

Teaches how to prepare and execute a lesson from Scripture in contexts such as weekly Bible studies or adult Sunday school classes. Students will learn and practice a method of moving from their exegetical conclusions to a focused, interesting, and life-changing exposition and application of the passage. Notes: Required of M.A. Bible Exposition students. Grade Mode: A.

Explores recruiting, screening and equipping volunteer leaders within children's ministries. Addresses policies and procedures, administrative processes, and current leadership issues within the context of a staff ministry position. Intentional focus on supervising volunteers and multiple staff, leading through conflict and criticism, navigating ministry transition, and sustaining leadership through seasons of ministry. Note(s): Offered Fall semester only. Grade Mode: A.

Evaluation of cultural trends and mores in relation to the Christian formation of adolescents and their families. Analysis of student life on the junior and senior high school campus and the world at large, leading to the discovery of principles for effective ministry to students from diverse familial, cultural, and educational backgrounds. Note(s): Offered in Spring semester only. Grade Mode: A.

The process of preparation that results in sermons that are biblically accurate, easy to follow, interesting to listen to and relevant to contemporary needs. Notes: Required of M.Div., M.A.C.M.L. (Preaching and Pastoral Ministry and Women's Ministry), and B.A. (Preaching and Pastoral Ministry) students. Grade Mode: A.

Examines the organization and administration of adult and family ministries in the local church. Includes an analysis of current trends. Note(s): Offered Fall semester only. Grade Mode: A.

Explores the foundations of marriage and marital conflict from scriptural and psychological perspectives. Reviews approaches to counseling and explores change and growth procedures and skills. Notes: Required of M.Div. and M.A.C.M.L. (Pastoral Care and Counseling) students. Grade Mode: A.
Explores ministry to people who request counseling in church and para-church contexts. Starting with relationship building skills, students will discover their limits in help-giving, and learn appropriate referral process. Much of the course focus will then be an exploration of building small communities within a church ministry. Notes: Required of M.Div. (except Spiritual Formation), M.A.C.M.L., and M.A.C.E. students. Grade Mode: A.
An examination of the role of small groups in the local church for developing biblical community. Emphasis is placed on understanding interpersonal relationships, character development and skills for organizing and leading a small group ministry. Notes: Required of M.Div. (Evangelism and Discipleship) students. Grade Mode: A.

Selected topics in the field of pastoral counseling. Notes: may be taken a maximum of 2 times for credit with different content. Grade Mode: A.