Master of Arts in Theology & Culture: The Arts

Weave together faith and artistic practice

2 years to complete

39 credit hours of coursework

4 residency gatherings

The Arts specialization is for artists who are called to explore and articulate the crucial problems in their communities through artistic expression and imagination. This specialization integrates arts practices and biblical pursuit of social justice so that makers, visual artists, musicians, performance artists, and those with creative energy, voice, and spirit may use their gifts to build communities of vision and hope.

The goal of this specialization is for artists to weave together faith and artistic practice so that they may be people who are attuned to the workings of God’s Spirit in the world. Artists in this program will learn to be attentive to issues around societal justice, revealing and giving voice to that which is too often ignored or unseen. Students will also find new language and artistic tools to nurture resilience and sustain hope in the midst of sorrow and the experience of trauma.

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Curate a Prophetic Voice

Upon successful completion of the Master of Arts in Theology & Culture: The Arts program, you will be able to:

  • Articulate insight into one’s formative stories in the context of identities, cultures, places, and people, in order to embody a way of being and vocation as an expression of their understanding of God, self, and neighbor.
  • Develop, cultivate, and apply approaches to scripture and theology that attend to a diversity of possible perspectives and that lead to courage, imagination, and action.
  • Listen deeply, appreciatively, and with cultural responsiveness to the natural and human communities they seek to serve, to discern the ongoing movement of God in those contexts.
  • Understand and evaluate art as revelatory of God’s presence in the midst of human suffering and also enable personal and communal responses that cultivate joy, goodness, peace, hope, love, and justice.
  • Cultivate improvisation by embodying an adaptive capacity for several modes of integration of faith and artistic or creative practice in response to various contexts.

“The vocation of the artist, poet, composer, creative, dreamer, etc. is a flickering yet steady hope as the artist's heart is burst open on behalf of others. This is a call to live into the wildness of God’s new creation and is a fierce antidote to the silence and dehumanization of our world.”

Chelle Stearns, PhD
Associate Professor of Theology
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Common Curriculum

A significant distinctive of the graduate degrees at The Seattle School is that they share one Common Curriculum.

Studying in community with future counselors, pastors, artists, and activists allows you to engage your learning from a range of perspectives. Our formation is expanded by these conversations. The Common Curriculum also asks you to become a better listener and a more self-aware, curious, and compassionate member of your particular community.

This series of seven interdisciplinary courses is completed in your first year of study, integrating the study of theology, biblical studies, psychology, anthropology, and culture in order to provide you a foundation for integrative learning through the remainder of your program. Visit the Common Curriculum webpage to learn more.

MATC Core Curriculum

The Arts specialization is academically rigorous, interculturally engaged, and globally aware.

Building on the foundation of the Common Curriculum, the MATC core curriculum includes courses in the biblical text, critical and contextual reading, Christian history, constructive theology, spiritual formation, mission, and transformational leadership. Our MATC core courses are taught in deeply contextual ways, by paying attention to the local and attending to the ways that meaning and context shape one another.

This curriculum is designed to prepare students to engage their particular vocational context with robust theological thinking skills, contextual understandings of the scriptures and the world, and a hopeful imagination for serving God and neighbor through transforming relationships. Using an integrative approach, you will engage the MATC core coursework alongside colleagues across the three specializations but with specific assignments that allow you to deepen your knowledge and apply learning in your chosen field and vocational pathway. Our students and classrooms go beyond traditional learning. Students at The Seattle School not only have permission, but are encouraged to rethink, challenge, create, and recreate in their goals to reimagine ministry vocations and communities.

Specialized Coursework

The Arts specialization includes three courses particular to the specialization, offering studio time, seminar, and special topics in social engagement in the arts. This specialization provides the unique opportunity to integrate theological thinking and artistic practice within the curriculum of the degree program.

The program also includes:

  • Opportunities to explore and integrate theological thinking and artistic practice through assignments in the MATC core courses
  • Apprenticeship and Integrative Project experiences that are embedded within The Arts specialization courses
  • Exploration of what it means to be an artist and a Christian, and consideration of how the arts can inspire and transform humanity’s relationship to God, community, and scripture
  • Contextual and experiential introduction to the ways in which the arts have been a source of Christian theology have helped us image, imagine, and participate in the mystery of faith

“I felt like [the Common Curriculum] was a good way to learn about each other, practice active listening, and dive deep into our cultural contexts.”

MATC Student Explore MATC Voices

Ready for the next step?

Connect with us! Request more information or apply today, and we’ll send you everything you need to know in order to begin your journey.