Graduate Catalog 2014-2015 
    Jun 22, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 2014-2015 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Theological Studies, M.A.T.S.

Mission Statement

Affiliated with the Evangelical Friends tradition, the Malone University Department of Theology is rooted firmly in the protestant evangelical heritage of the historic, ecumenical, and Trinitarian Christian faith. We affirm the authority of the Bible as God’s Word and are committed to the saving mission and ministry of Jesus Christ and his Church. Our distinctive mission is to provide theological education to women and men, enabling them to deepen and clarify their understanding of the Christian faith, cultivate and increase their love of God, and respond obediently to Christ’s call to faithfulness, discipleship, and ministry.

Program Purpose

The Master of Arts in Theological Studies (M.A.T.S.) is a 36-hour degree designed for non-ordained church staff, lay leadership and ordained clergy desiring a graduate degree. Its purpose is to enhance students’ biblical and theological understanding and to link that understanding with the practice of ministry. The MATS program is designed to lead students to appreciate importance of careful thinking and speaking about Christian theology and Christian scripture. It also is designed to enable students to link this thoughtful theology with real ministry in real churches and Christian organizations.

All M.A.T.S. classes are oriented around the theme of the Kingdom of God. The kingdom language derives in part from Malone’s motto, “Christ’s Kingdom First.” But the primary import of the kingdom language is that it is the dominant way that Jesus speaks about what his own mission. It is Jesus who makes life in this kingdom possible for his followers. His life offers them a picture of what kingdom living looks like. His death enables them to join in the kingdom project. His resurrection marks the defeat of the powers of sin and death and is the first fruits of the age to come. His promised return to complete his kingdom work is the hope of all Christians. In the meantime, Christ’s body, the church, carries on his kingdom-building task in the present age. Good church leadership means understanding what this task is and how to carry it out.

Concentrations in Organizational Leadership and Pastoral Counseling

In addition to the regular M.A.T.S. program, concentrations in Organizational Leadership and Pastoral Counseling* are available. Students enrolling in either of these concentrations will substitute four courses from the regular M.A.T.S. curriculum with prescribed courses from the concentration field, offered through the School of Business and Leadership and the School of Education and Human Development.
*The pastoral counseling concentration does not lead to licensure.

Goals, Objectives, and Learning Outcomes 

Goal: Students will demonstrate a basic knowledge of and ability to interpret and articulate the biblical story of God’s advancing Kingdom.
Objectives: Specifically, students will…

  • Know the “grand drama” of the biblical story including key persons, events, and themes
  • Know how to integrate grammatical/historical and theological (and specifically christological) principles of biblical interpretation
  • Acquire a rudimentary knowledge of Hebrew and Greek in order to enrich biblical study and interpretation
  • Understand and communicate moral vision of Jesus and his apostolic followers, who founded the early Church and produced the Christian Bible

Goal: Students will, through careful study of Christian history and theology, strengthen their ability to serve Christ’s Kingdom (whether by word or deed) from within the apostolic tradition.
Objectives: Specifically, students will…

  • Know the broad contours of our Christian theological heritage in order to engage it, consistently, as a resource that can guide biblical interpretation and the practice of ministry
  • Understand the theology and spirituality of human persons from within the context of creation, fall, and redemption in order to develop skills for competent and compassionate ministry
  • Become familiar with classic and current areas of theological disagreement in order to clarify their own convictions and learn to engage in constructive dialogue with people of differing convictions
  • Understand how theological clarity helpfully informs and enriches prayer, worship, and witness

Goal: Students will cultivate habits necessary for competent ministry in Christ’s Kingdom, such as: careful reading, critical thinking, research, writing, speaking, and leadership.
Objectives: Specifically, students will…

  • Cultivate a faith that intentionally seeks understanding
  • Learn to think, read, and write critically
  • Learn to evaluate texts and other scholarly sources for their quality
  • Learn to communicate clearly in written and spoken form in order to lead, faithfully, in various Christian ministries


The Graduate Program in Theological Studies employs a comprehensive assessment model that includes multiple methods. All students are expected to participate in the assessment process.

Admission Requirements

The MATS program is no longer accepting new students. The program will be discontinued after 2015. Students currently enrolled in the program may contact the Program Director with any questions.

Graduation Checklist

  1. Complete all required coursework and requirements for M.A.T.S.
  2. Complete the assessment process as prescribed by the Department of Theology.
  3. Complete the Application for Graduation. Return the completed form to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies by January 30 for candidates who plan to complete degree requirements by the end of a spring semester or a summer session, or September 30 for candidates who plan to complete degree requirements by the end of a fall semester. See Academic Policies  for the complete listing of graduation requirements.

Policy to Establish Proficiency

A student with a strong academic background in biblical or theological studies may petition to establish proficiency in the following: Old Testament, New Testament, and History of Christian Thought. After establishing proficiency, a student should consult with the Program Director to determine an appropriate schedule. Proficiency can be established with undergraduate transcripts of 9 hours of A or B in relevant courses or through examination.

Program of Study