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    Apr 24, 2024  
Lee University Catalog 2022-2023 
Lee University Catalog 2022-2023 [Archived Catalog]

Master of Arts, Ministry Studies (MINST.MA)

Purpose and Philosophy

The primary purpose of the M.A. in Ministry Studies is to provide training for those seeking to be effective in vocational ministry. The program utilizes a modular format that allows working adults to complete the program with little interruption in their vocational duties. The degree prepares students in the foundational theory and praxis of ministry as well as in the social and psychological contexts of the people to whom they will minister. Interdisciplinary in nature, this program presents the foundations and skills of ministry for pastoral staff (e.g. family pastors, youth pastors, lead pastors, worship pastors) and parachurch staff (e.g. non-profit organizations, discipleship associations, social service providers).

The program offers a core of 18 hours of general ministry courses and four emphases for specialization: Leadership Studies, Practical Theological Studies, Worship Studies and Youth and Family Ministry Studies. Each emphasis is described below.

Leadership Studies presents key elements in leading organizations. It intends to inform students with models for equipping and training others, including motivation, communication and conflict management strategies and skills. Embedded throughout the emphasis is a focus on the minister’s value systems, morals and ethics as they relate to leadership.

Practical Theological Studies presents foundations in biblical and theological knowledge specifically for use in ministry contexts. The intent of the emphasis is to provide knowledge and methodology to enhance the practices of ministry, with a particular emphasis on practices within the Christian church context.

Worship Studies focuses on exploring the theological and historical foundations of worship in the Christian church in conversation with contemporary practices of worship. It should be understood that the emphasis is not intended to provide musical skills to the novice worship leader. Rather, the aim is to enhance the worship leader’s pre-existing musical ability with a theologically sound understanding of worship, as well as skills for theological reflection and cultural analysis that are vital for ministry in the 21st century.

Youth and Family Studies equips men and women to minister effectively to children, youth and families in contemporary culture. This is accomplished through exploration of the biblical and theological foundations of ministry, the essential theories and practices of ministry, and the social and psychological contexts of those ministered to.


The overall goal of the program is to provide advanced understanding of ministry issues in order to prepare men and women seeking to fulfill their calling to vocational ministry in both church and parachurch settings.

 Student Outcome Goals

 Students completing the M.A. in Ministry Studies will be able to:

  1. Articulate a basic theological and biblical framework to address issues related to ministry in contemporary contexts.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of theories, methods and models from various disciplinary perspectives, (e.g. social sciences, worship arts) for application in ministry settings.
  3. Implement practical skills for ministry within contemporary and social contexts.
  4. Exhibit the characteristics and practices of a spiritually mature and ethical minister.

Program Requirements

Orientation and Research Seminar- Required: 0 Credit Hours

  • MMST 500 - Research Seminar  

Ministry Studies Core- Total Hours: 18

  • MMST 530 - Christian Spirituality and Ministry  
  • MMST 532 - Perspectives on Leadership  
  • MMST 534 - Practical Theology  
  • MMST 536 - Methods of Bible Study  
  • MMST 538 - Homiletics  
  • MMST 539 - Christian Faith and Culture  
  • MMST 591 Final Project Extension  

Leadership Studies- Total Hours:15

  • MLDR 540 - Church Leadership and Management  
  • MLDR 542 - Leadership Development  
  • MLDR 544 - Spirituality, Ethics and Leadership  
  • MLDR 546 - Strategic Leadership  
  • MLDR 590 - Leadership Studies Final Project  


  • MLDR 593 - Leadership Studies Internship  

Practical Theological Studies- Total Hours: 18

  • MPTS 570 - A Theology of Ministry  
  • MPTS 572 - Biblical Themes for Ministry  
  • MPTS 574 - Discipleship in the New Testament  
  • MPTS 576 - Biblical Languages for Ministry  
  • MPTS 578 - Biblical and Theological Foundations for Worship  
  • MPTS 590 - Practical Theological Studies Final Project  


  • MPTS 593 - Practical Theological Studies Internship  

Worship Studies- Total Hours: 15

  • MWST 560 - Biblical and Theological Foundations of Worship  
  • MWST 562 - History of Christian Worship  
  • MWST 564 - Worship Leadership for the Contemporary Church  
  • MWST 566 - Media and Technology in Worship  
  • MWST 590 - Worship Studies Final Project  


  • MWST 593 - Worship Studies Internship  

Youth and Family Ministry Studies- Total Hours: 15

  • MYFM 550 - Foundations of Youth and Family Ministry  
  • MYFM 552 - Discipleship in Contemporary Culture  
  • MYFM 554 - Theological Issues in Youth and Family Ministry  
  • MYFM 557 - Human Development and Transformation  
  • MYFM 590 - Youth and Family Studies Final Project  


  • MYFM 593 - Youth and Family Studies Internship  

Ministry Studies Electives- Total Hours: 3

Choice of course in a different track or a special topics seminar.

Total Hours in Program: 36


  1. Applicants must submit a completed Lee University Application to Graduate Studies form (
  2. Applications are welcome from students who hold a bachelor’s degree from any accredited university, college, or Bible college. Accreditation must be from a regional accrediting association or from ABHE (The Association for Biblical Higher Education). If the applicant’s education is from outside the United States, the applicant’s transcripts and status of the school will be evaluated by the admissions committee and the Director of Graduate Programs in Christian Ministries.
  3. Applicants whose bachelor’s degree is not in religion, theology, Bible or practical ministry may apply for acceptance but will be required to take up to 12 hours of leveling courses in biblical and theological studies. These undergraduate leveling courses will be taken in addition to the 36 hours required of the M.A. in Ministry Studies. The purpose of the leveling courses is to prepare the applicant for success in the M.A. in Ministry Studies. Upon evaluation of the applicant’s undergraduate transcripts, the admissions committee and/or the Director of Graduate Programs in Christian Ministries will determine what, if any, specific courses are required to bring the student to a sufficient level of knowledge. Typical leveling courses would be introductory theology and Bible courses. All leveling courses are available through Lee Online. Applicants who believe they can demonstrate equivalency for religious work or study should petition the Director of Graduate Programs in Christian Ministries for consideration. 
  4. Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts of credit earned at all institutions of higher education.
  5. A preferred GPA of 2.75 in undergraduate studies.
  6. An essay of approximately 1,000 words which will provide the Director of Graduate Programs in Christian Ministries and the Admissions Committee with a description of the candidate’s future goals. Included in the essay should be a discussion of the following components:
    1. a description of one’s calling
    2. a summary of one’s past and current involvement in the life of the local church
    3. future ministry goals with the use of this degree.
  7. An interview, either by phone or in person, with the Director of Graduate Programs in Christian Ministries or a designated faculty member of the program. In addition to two letters of reference from professors familiar with the applicant’s work, a letter of reference from a pastor or ministry supervisor is required.
  8. MMR Immunization Verification (if born after January 1, 1957). The Certificate of Immunication form ( must be completed and signed by a licensed health care provider and returned to the Lee University Health Clinic prior to registration.

  9. Proof of Chicken Pox Immunity (Required for all full-time students born after 1979).

International Students

The university is authorized under federal law to enroll non-immigrant alien students on an F-1 visa. International applicants are expected to apply well in advance of their projected beginning date. All academic records and other credentials must be accompanied by an official English translation. If transfer credit from an institution outside the United States is desired, an evaluation from World Education Services (WES) must be submitted (refer to the “Transfer Credit” section under Graduate Academic Policies for additional information).

In addition to general admissions requirements, international students must supply the following:

  1. TOEFL Scores: All applicants who are not native speakers of English and who will be attending the university on a student visa, and who are not graduates of an American college or university, are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Information on this test can be attained by writing to TOEFL Educational Testing Service; Princeton, New Jersey, 08540, U.S.A. (or go to All test scores should be sent directly from the testing agency to Lee University (Lee University Code: 1401). To be admitted to Lee University graduate studies without English remediation, a minimum TOEFL score of 61(iBT) is required. Remediation requirements are determined by the individual graduate programs.
  2. Financial Statement: An applicant on an F-1 student visa must supply, on the form provided by the university, sufficient evidence of financial support for the applicant and all members of his/her family who will accompany the applicant to Lee. This requires that the applicant certify that his/her intent is to attend full time and that no employment will be required.

All of the above credentials must be received and approved before a SEVIS Form I-20 can be issued to the applicant.  More information can be found in the Graduate International Student Booklet.

Completion Requirements

  1. 36 graduate level credit hours.
  2. Final Project or Internship
  3. A minimum 3.0 GPA throughout the program.
  4. The degree must be completed within 6 years of its inception. Exceptions to this will be evaluated by the M.A. Committee for the Department of Christian Ministries.
  5. Upon approval of the Director of Graduate Programs in Christian Ministries, students will enroll in either the emphasis-specific internship course or the emphasis-specific final project course.

                    A.            Internships should be completed in one semester. Failure to do so will result in a grade of “F” for the internship course (MLDR593, MPTS593, MWST593, MYFM593) and the student will be required to repeat the internship course. NOTE: A grade of “I” (Incomplete) will only be assigned if the student encounters some personal difficulty such as a severe illness or an extreme family emergency. A grade of “I” will not be given in order to allow the student additional time to complete the internship.

                    B.            The final project should be completed in one semester. If a student is unable to complete the final project during the semester in which they are enrolled in the final project course (MLDR590, MPTS590, MWST590, MYFM590), there are two options for completion. Regardless of the option chosen, the student will receive an “F” grade in the final project course. NOTE: A grade of “I” (Incomplete) will only be assigned if the student encounters some personal difficulty such as a severe illness or an extreme family emergency. A grade of “I” will not be given in order to allow the student additional time to complete the final project.

                    Completion Option 1

    The student will enroll in MMST591 Final Project Extension. This is a one credit-hour course and will be ineligible for financial aid. MMST591 will be assessed with a P/F grade. A grade of “P” will only be assigned upon indication of regular and substantive interaction with the final project reader. Successful completion of the final project will result in the changing of the “F” on the final project course (MLDR590, MPTS590, MWST590, MYFM590) to the appropriate passing grade. Failure to complete the final project after 3 3nrollments in MMST591 will require the student to reenroll in the emphasis-specific final project course.

    Completion Option 2

    The student may elect to retake the final project course (MLDR590, MPTS590, MWST590, MYFM590). The retaking of the final project course will be billed to the student at the rate of three credit-hours. The retaking of the final project course may be eligible for financial aid, if the student is otherwise deemed eligible. Successful completion of the final project will be reflected on the final project course. If the student is once again unable to successfully complete the final project course the student may either retake the course or move to Option 1.

Non-degree Seeking and Special Students

Students may register for non-degree or special status without being formally admitted into candidacy in the M.A. in Ministry Studies Program. Such students may take a total of 9 credit hours from courses offered in the program.

Exchange Credits Between On-Campus and Online Programs

Students enrolled in the on-campus or online M.A. in Ministry Studies degree program must take the majority of coursework in the specific program in which they are enrolled (either on-campus MINST.MA or online MINOL.MA). Students may, however, elect to take up to 9 credit hours of coursework in the other program’s delivery format. Specifically, on-campus MINST.MA students may take 9 credit hours in online format and online MINOL.MA students may take 9 credit hours in the on-campus format. No special form or permission is required for the 9 credit hours, but the student should speak to her/his advisor prior to scheduling the course.

Transfer Credit

A student may transfer up to 6 credit hours from an approved graduate institution or seminary. The courses must have been in areas related to the curriculum of the program and must be approved by the Director of Graduate Programs in Christian Ministries. To remain in compliance with university graduate program standards, any grades considered for transfer must be a “B” or better. In addition, transfer students need to be interviewed by the director before admittance into the program.

The M.A. Committee for the Graduate Program in Ministry Studies

Under the supervision of the Department of Christian Ministries and the Dean of the School of Religion, the M.A. Committee for the Graduate Program in Ministry Studies forms the Admissions Committee for this program. It also oversees the program and its development, offering changes to the Department of Christian Ministries and the Graduate Council of the university.

For More Information Contact:

Office: School of Religion 150-F

Call: 423.303.5104