Master of Arts in Theology & Culture
|MA in Theology & Culture
||Features and Objectives
MA in Theology & Culture Program Description
The M.A. in Theology & Culture program offers students improved skills in interpersonal relationships and an enhancement of the biblical and theological categories that undergird the framework of relationships. An MATC degree offers general training for ministry within the church, though it is not as extensive as the Masters in Divinity (MDiv) degree, and is not viewed as the standard degree for ordination. We invite students who seek to experience God through an approach that involves an encounter with the traditions of faith, the risk of trust and becoming faithful people to the passion God has written into our life.
Understanding the pedagogical roots of The Seattle School Master of Divinity Program
Trinitarian and Missional Foundations
Beginning with an understanding that the presence of our Triune God is made manifest in our daily lives through relationship, our programs are structured in a way that reflects God’s communal way of being. The Seattle School classroom takes a dialogical approach, where conversation and discourse steer the learning process. We embody a relational teaching model in our classrooms, reading groups, and practicums, and embrace relationship as an opportunity to see the face of Christ reflected in each other.
Beyond simply teaching theology for the sake of knowledge, students study theology – the work of asking “who is God?” – in order to partner alongside God’s redemptive action in the world.
The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology seeks to form ministry leaders who see the heart of the church as missional – whether it’s through preaching on Sunday or brewing coffee on Monday. Our call is to seek relationship with our neighbors in order to experience the Kingdom of God as reality. As students embark on their theological journey at The Seattle School and beyond, they begin to understand the significance and impetus for relationship and community.
Cohort Structure: Journey with Peers
Community is a significant aspect of The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology experience, providing students a cohort to journey with as they intentionally learn what it means to be with others.
Traditionally, students begin the fall term taking a series of courses together with other new students from all three programs. During this first term, a spirit of community and group collaboration is built through a dialogical classroom atmosphere and neighborhood reading groups that provide the space to dig deeper into course content and materials.
Diversity in Christian Faith Backgrounds
The Seattle School is a school of inter-denominational orientation. From Episcopalian to Baptist to Vineyard to Methodist, students at The Seattle School come from many different faith backgrounds. This variety provides students with the opportunity to learn from each other’s faith traditions, as well as see the blessings that the various Christian orientations o¤er the Church.
Our faculty come from a variety of church traditions but share a common vision for training students to listen and care for one another in order to serve the Body of Christ.
Integration of Theology and Psychology
The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology is an institution that believes that God is a God of relationship. From creation to covenant to the incarnation, the grace and presence of God is revealed through God’s interaction within humanity.
The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology MATC and MDiv programs, grounded in a Relational Psychology and Trinitarian Theology, challenge the student to enter into the sacredness of the human relationship, knowing that through this endeavor, the Holy is present and active.
The psychological integration extends beyond a therapeutic setting and serves to shape the pedagogy and community life as a whole. The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology is unprecedented in crafting degree programs that embody this relational mission in every aspect of its coursework and practical experience.
Believing that learning is fostered by felt experience over information gathering, The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology curriculum has been intentionally constructed to provide students with hands-on, practical experience.
Throughout the program, MATC students participate in practicum courses that facilitate their growth as practitioners through small group interaction, supervised practice counseling opportunities, faculty and facilitator feedback. An emphasis on praxis – found in practicums, classroom training, and internship ﬁeld experience – provides students with a holistic learning environment that fosters the pastoral and cultural skills necessary for spiritual conversations and personal transformation to happen.
Because of our emphasis on learning through doing, alumni are able to step into the work of pastoring with both a deep sense of their personal impact as well as the tools and experience gained through their education.
Personal Transformation Through Story
Who we are is at the root of what we do. At The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology, we honor the story that has brought each of us to where we are.
Whether in a church setting or in a classroom, The Seattle School holds to the belief that every person has a story that is unique, significant and deserving to be heard and known. Embedded within the curriculum and the culture at The Seattle School is a spirit of exploration and a desire to know one’s own story – for the sake of redemption in these stories and transformation in the stories of others. The Seattle School invites students, both in group practicum contexts and in reflective coursework, to embrace the philosophy that you can only take another as far as you have gone yourself.
In addition to the graduate schools goals, the M.A. in Theology & Culture program has been designed to achieve the following specific goals:
- Equip persons to understand and develop a global perspective with consideration of divergent and opposing theologies, philosophies and lifestyles.
- Promote personal spiritual growth demonstrated through more effective interpersonal relationships.
- Integrate an opportunity for personal reflection, preparing students to work with people in a broad range of settings.
- Develop a paradigm of relating that is dialogical in its intent.
The Master of Arts in Theology & Culture degree is conferred upon the attainment of academic and personal requirements. In addition to the graduate school requirements, degree candidates must give evidence of a level of personal maturity and stability that is consistent with ministry vocations; and complete all courses in the prescribed MATC curriculum with a minimum GPA of 2.7.