M.A. Christian Formation

The Master of Arts in Christian Formation is designed to develop basic competencies essential to the study of the Bible and related theological literature, while also nurturing knowledge and skill development in the enactment of educational ministry leadership.

Program Details

The 65-credit program consists of:

  • 15 Bible credits
  • 17 Theology credits
  • 24 Christian Formation credits, which includes:
  • Nine credits of a chosen specialization (see options below)
  • Eight credits of ministry residency OR complete a thesis for future doctoral studies.
The tuition for the MA Christian Formation degree program is approximately $11,515 per year. Learn more about Costs and Aid.


Course Plan 

Our program checklist breaks this program into modules and lists the courses required for each module. Depending on how many classes you want to take each semester, the typical student completes the program in 2-4 years. The average full-time student takes 12 credits per semester; the average part-time student takes six credits per semester.

The following document is a sample of  how you might arrange courses for the Master of Arts in Christian Formation degree program. We encourage you to arrange your course plan in a way that will fit your own desired course loads, interests and available dates and times.

Degree Outcomes

  • Pastoral Ministry
  • Youth Pastor
  • Associate Pastor
  • Para-church Ministry
  • Christian Education
 Houf quote on Christian Formation

Student Learning Objectives

Students who complete the Master of Arts in Christian Formation curriculum will be able to:

Core Curriculum

  1. Conduct basic biblical interpretation and application with reference to the English Bible texts.
  2. State a basic understanding of the primary elements of Christian theology.
  3. Demonstrate basic knowledge, values and competencies associated with spiritual, worldview and leadership formation.

Christian Formation Specialization

  1. Synthesize the historic biblical and theological perspectives that inform the Church’s task for educational ministries.
  2. Evaluate teaching and learning theories for the purpose of crafting a distinctly Christian philosophy of educating God’s people.
  3. Identify and demonstrate the skills necessary for the effective communication of biblical truth so that Christian character may be formed.
  4. Demonstrate an awareness of the developmental tasks in life cycles in order to contextualize appropriate strategies for addressing human needs.
  5. Analyze current societal realities and in turn conceive effective educational ministries for today’s world.
  6. Demonstrate proficiency in directing people and the programs necessary for effective educational ministries.