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Master of Arts in Christian Ministry

Earn a master's degree in Christian ministry

Southwest Baptist University’s Master of Arts in Christian Ministry is an innovative degree that systematically integrates ministry and theology in a flexible program to help you achieve your goals. In contrast to other programs in which the curriculum is divided along the lines of theoretical and practical studies, the Master of Arts in Christian Ministry is a practical theology degree, combining theological studies and ministerial studies in every course.

Building on a liberal arts education, the program provides broad, formative training that will equip you to approach ministry in new and creative ways and prepare you to be a more effective leader. Your critical thinking skills will be sharpened and honed as you learn to engage the culture and address emerging problems and issues.

  • Choose a concentration to tailor the degree program to fit your personal interests and calling.
  • Program tracks allow undergraduate students to get a quick start through an early acceptance program, while also providing a traditional graduate student format.
  • This degree program is distance-learning friendly, allowing for flexibility, convenience, and connection.
  • Competitive tuition and financial aid opportunities help make this an affordable program for you to further your education and ministry training.

This is a program designed to help you realize your full potential for ministry, to equip you to serve and to be used by God in new ways to build up the church and to advance His Kingdom.



Nicki Harmon
Director of Graduate and Worldwide Admissions
SBU Graduate Admissions
(417) 307-0322


(SBU's Master of Arts in Christian Ministry is a non-thesis, 36 credit hour degree program.)

SBU students

The SBU Advantage

SBU's Master of Arts in Christian Ministry provides practical ministry training that is contextual, relational, and Biblical.

  • Contextual: No two churches or ministry look the same.
    • Core courses: Disciple-Making in Context and Local Church Leadership
  • Relational: We are broken people reaching broken people.
    • Core courses: Conflict and Crisis in Ministry and Local Church Counseling
  • Biblical: We're called to know truth and communicate it well.
    • Core courses: Preaching and Teaching the Bible and Theology and Practice of the Local Church.

Faith Integration

The Christian faith is at the heart of everything we do at Southwest Baptist University and permeates our teaching and instruction. The Master of Arts in Christian Ministry program is designed to be a formative experience that will deepen and enrich your own faith, even as you receive training to become more effective in ministering to others. All faculty are professing Christians committed to the integration of faith and academics.

Program Details


Choose a concentration to tailor the degree to your personal interests and God-given calling. Concentration options include:

Biblical and Theological Studies

9 Hours BIB and THE Courses
3 Hours CED, CHR, or ICS Course

Business Administration

12 Hours Chosen from the Following:
ACC 5113 Managerial Accounting
MKT 5023 Marketing Management
LDR 5063 Leadership Development
BUS 5043  Ethics and Critical Thinking in Business Administration
MGT 5043 Organizational Behavior and Servant Leadership


9 Hours GRE and HEB Courses
3 Hours CED, CHR, or ICS Course


9 Hours ICS Courses
3 Hours BIB or THE Course

Pastoral Ministry

9 Hours CHR and CED Courses
3 Hours BIB or THE Course

Family Ministry

9 Hours CED Courses
3 Hours BIB or THE Course

General Studies

6 Hours BIB or THE Courses
6 Hours CED, CHR, or ICS Courses


Complete 100 hours of practical field experience in local church ministry.

Program Length

SBU's Master of Arts in Christian Ministry is a non-thesis, 36 credit hour degree program. Full-time students can complete the degree in a 4+1 (for undergraduates) or standard 2-year graduate format. 4+1 students take 12 hours of graduate credit with no additional tuition* during undergraduate work.

*$25 per credit hour fee is charged.

"The MACM practicum was a great opportunity for me to apply many different concepts from my ministry and theology classes in a practical ministry setting. I got to try new things and discover some things that worked really well, as well as learn from things that didn't work quite as well. The combination of freedom and guidance from professors is a strong characteristic of the practicum."

James Friesen 

Master of Arts in Christian Ministry Courses

Traditional Track

First Year Graduate

Fall: 12 hours
"Concentration" Courses
Spring: 9 hours
MIN 5363 Leadership in the Local Church
MIN 5513 Local Church Counseling
MIN 5273 Conflict and Crisis in Ministry

Second Year Graduate

Fall: 9 hours
MIN 5113 Preaching and Teaching the Bible
MIN 5163 Theology and Practice of the Local Church
MIN 5173 Disciple-Making in Context

Distance-Learning Friendly

  • Courses are set up in a hybrid format that allows students to know and be known by their peers and faculty while also retaining the flexibility that is essential for busy professionals.
  • All courses can be taken in a seated format or via live distance learning through Zoom.
  • In consultation with professors, students may attend any class period in-person or via Zoom. This gives you the flexibility to choose between convenience and connection for each class period!

Admissions & Financial Aid


Apply for free online for the SBU Master of Arts in Christian Ministry! Traditional graduate students may apply for full acceptance into the program. Up to 15 students each year may apply for the 4+1 early acceptance program (EAP). Eligible students for the EAP will have completed no more than 59 hours of undergraduate credit. If accepted, the EAP student will be guaranteed a place in the master's program upon graduation (contingent upon maintaining GPA and other standards).

Apply online


Standard Tuition: $325 per credit hour

Full-time Flat Rate (at least 9 hours/semester): $275 per credit hour

Financial Aid

Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to receive any aid for which you may qualify, including the Federal Direct Grad PLUS Student Loan. SBU's recommended deadline for submitting the FAFSA is March 15. If you have questions, contact the SBU Office of Financial Aid at (417) 328-1822.  

Submit Your FAFSA

Scholarship Opportunity

The Frank and Maxine Meyers Pastoral Ministry Scholarship is established to support students preparing for the pastorate within the Southern Baptist denomination and within the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America. 

Application deadline is April 15. Applicants will be notified of the committee's decision by May 15.

Download Scholarship Application (PDF)