Skip Navigation

Religion Division

Master of Science in Ministry

The Master of Science in Ministry prepares students for various ministries in the churches. The curriculum designates specific courses, yet is broad enough to provide the basic insights necessary for participation in both the thought and life of the church. The M.S. is suitable for those who have a limited time for graduate study, or for persons who wish basic training for ministry.

Admission Requirements

Students entering the degree program must apply and be admitted according to the admission procedures set forth in conjunction with the M.A. in Religion. Since the M.S. is a professional degree, persons entering the program need not have majored in religion as an undergraduate. While work in the biblical languages is admirable, it will not be a deciding factor for admission to this program.

Transfer of Credits

For degree purposes, upon approval of the Religion Division Chairperson, a maximum of two courses totaling no more than eights units of graduate work may be transferred towards the M.S. in Ministry. All transfer work must be from regionally accredited colleges and universities, completed at a graduate level and no work with a grade lower than B will be accepted.

Apply Now

Course Requirements

 Each candidate for the M.S. in Ministry will be required to take 12 units in each of the three categories listed below for a total of 36 units. These requirements assure a well-rounded program in ministerial preparation.

(A) Biblical Studies: 12 units, including REL 502 Introduction to Biblical Interpretation and one course in both Old Testament and New Testament.

(B) Ministry: 12 units, including REL 646 Theology of Ministry and two additional ministry courses.

(C) Christian Thought and Church History: 12 units, including

1) REL 503 Old Testament Theology (4)

2) one course in Church History, choose from the following:
  • REL 531 Christian History and Theology I: Ancient and Medieval (4)
  • REL 532  Christian History and Theology II: Reformation and Modern (4)
  • REL 537 History of the Reformation (4)
  • REL 538 History and Religion in America (4)
  • REL 539 History of the Restoration Movement (4)
  • REL 635 American Moral Traditions (4)
3) one course in Christian Thought, choose from the following:
  • REL 520 The Christian Faith (4)
  • REL 521 Modern Christian Thought (4)
  • REL 522 Contemporary Christian Thought (4)
  • REL 524 Christian Ethics (4)

          (D) Comprehensive Examinations: At the conclusion of all required course
          work, students must pass comprehensive examinations consisting of one day of
          written examinations and one hour of oral examinations.

M.S. in Ministry with Certification in Dispute Resolution

A program offered jointly by the Religion Division and the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at the Pepperdine School of Law enables students to earn both degrees with only four additional units beyond what is required to complete the two degrees independently.  Students must apply and gain admission to each school independently. Admission into one school does not guarantee admission to the other. Requirements for the joint program are the same as those for the independent Master of Science in Ministry degree except as follows-- In place of two courses (8 units) required in the ministry category, students will take 12 units in the School of Law as follows:
  • Negotiation and Settlement Advocacy (2)
  • Mediation Seminar (2)
  • Interviewing, Counseling, and Planning (2)
  • One Arbitration course (2)
  • Two additional courses in dispute resolution (4)                                        (Mediation Clinic and Dispute Resolution in Religion are recommended)

M.S. in Ministry: Program Learning Outcomes

Each student earning a M.S. in Ministry should be able to:
  • apply and evaluate current methods for incorporating the teachings of a faith – especially the Christian faith – into the lives of individuals in a faith community, beginning with oneself.
  • interpret biblical texts critically and competently, explaining the meaning of a given text within applicable contexts.
  • explore interactions between significant historical developments in Christianity and discussions concerning the major and distinctive teachings of the Christian faith, discerning various factors that have shaped them.
  • communicate coherently in professionally competent written form (following a standard style guide) and in effective oral form on matters of religion, illuminating historical, theological, and pastoral implications for contemporary societies.