Areas of Emphasis

At Fuller, an emphasis consists of a minimum of five courses grouped around a particular area of interest. By choosing an emphasis, students will be guided to courses in the three schools taught by faculty doing research on topics relevant to the emphasis area. Some emphases have certain specific requirements, along with a variety of choices; others offer even more flexibility.

The following areas of emphasis are available for most master's degrees in the School of Theology and School of Intercultural Studies. Certain emphases are only available in connection with specific degree programs.

  • Ancient Context of the Old Testament 
  • Ancient Near Eastern Studies(MA in Theology only) 
  • Anglican Communion Studies 
  • Biblical and Theological Studies (MA in Theology only) 
  • Children at Risk
  • Christian Ethics
  • Church in Contemporary Culture
  • De Pree Emphasis in Leadership
  • International Development and Urban Studies
  • Islamic Studies
  • Leadership in Multicultural Latino Community
  • Recovery Ministry
  • Theology and the Arts
  • U.S. Military Chaplaincy (MDiv and MA in Theology and Ministry only) 
  • Worship and Music Ministry
  • Worship, Theology, and the Arts
  • Youth, Family, and Culture


Ancient Context of the Old Testament

The Ancient Context of the Old Testament emphasis is designed for students who want to understand the historical and cultural backgrounds of the Old Testament better, and learn Hebrew and Aramaic at a level sufficient for advanced exegesis. The program is intended to enable students to thoughtfully synthesize the fields of Ancient Near Eastern Studies, biblical studies, and theology. The emphasis requires 20 units. Normally the five courses will include the three courses below, although the student may arrange otherwise with the faculty coordinator.

  • OT583 Ancient Near Eastern History, Literature, and Culture   
  • LG525 Biblical Aramaic  
  • LG506 Advanced Hebrew Grammar 

Other approved Ancient Near East courses include:

  • OT576 Experiencing the Land of the Bible (travel/study course)  
  • LG533 Ugaritic I  Beginning Ugaritic  
  • LG534 Ugaritic II  Special Topics in Ugaritology 
  • LG535 Beginning Akkadian  
  • LG536 Advanced Akkadian 
  • LG546 Northwest Semitic Texts  

 


Ancient Near Eastern Studies (MA in Theology only)

The Ancient Near Eastern Studies emphasis is designed to orient MA in Theology students to the historical and cultural backgrounds to the Old Testament, with a strong emphasis on Semitic philology. With additional work in biblical studies and theology, the program further means to produce well-rounded graduates who can make connections between these fields. Students will find themselves prepared for doctoral work in either Old Testament/Hebrew Bible or Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. The emphasis requires 32 units.

Choose five of the following ancient Semitic languages:

  • LG525 Biblical Aramaic  
  • LG533 Ugaritic I  Beginning Ugaritic  
  • LG534 Ugaritic II  Special Topics in Ugaritology 
  • LG535 Beginning Akkadian  
  • LG536 Advanced Akkadian 
  • LG546 Northwest Semitic Texts  

Choose one research course (examples  below):

  • OT554 Israelite Religion in its Ancient Near Eastern Context  
  • OT581 History and Historiography of Ancient Israel 
  • Directed/Independent Study 

Choose two Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Literature courses from the following:

  • LG506 Advanced Hebrew Grammar 
  • OT583 Ancient Near Eastern History, Literature, and Culture   
  • Old Testament seminars (PhD level courses available at the 500-level with permission of instructor)  

Students pursuing this emphasis are strongly encouraged to elect exegesis courses that use the biblical languages to meet their book study requirements in the MA curriculum.



Anglican Communion Studies

The Anglican Communion Studies emphasis is designed for students who are preparing for ordination or who simply want to deepen their understanding of Anglicanism/Episcopalianism. Taught by a team of scholars from around the world, courses will emphasize the practical implications of Anglican Communion studies as well as their academic basis. The emphasis requires 24 units. All of the courses are available only online.

Required courses

  • DP516 Anglican History and Polity
  • PM546 Pastoral Theology, Ministry, and Ethics from an Anglican Perspective
  • SP526 Anglican Spirituality
  • TH560 Anglican Theology
  • TM531 Anglican Mission in Global Context
  • WS523 Anglican Liturgy and Worship

 


Biblical and Theological Studies (MA in Theology only)

The Biblical and Theological Studies emphasis is designed to give MA in Theology students the necessary biblical and theological preparation for doctoral studies. In addition to the foundational courses found in the MAT core and additional requirements, this emphasis will round off the MAT program with instruction in the biblical languages. The emphasis requires 20 units.

Required courses

  • LG502 Beginning Hebrew (8 units)
  • LG512 Beginning Greek (12 units)

Recommended Elective

  • NE502 Exegetical Methods and Practice

Children at Risk

The Children at Risk emphasis enables students to dialogue with a variety of disciplines for understanding, relating to, and ministering with children and youth and the cultural and at-risk contexts in which they live. Students will develop effective strategies for implementing holistic ministry with children and youth by connecting relevant theory and theology with contemporary best practices.The emphasis requires 20 units.

Required courses:

  • MD575 Childhood in Global Perspective 
  • MD543 Mission with Children at Risk

Choose three courses (12 units) from the following lists; at least one course must be from the Tools and Practices section

Tools and Practices 

  • MD553 Sexually Exploited and Street Children: Tools for Ministry
  • MD545 Ministry with Street Children
  • MD544 Ministry with Sexually Exploited and Trafficked Children 
  • MD528 Development Tools and Practices  
  • MN533 Community Organizing  
  • TM520 Church Based Urban Research 
  • TM522 Homelessness and Church Partnerships
  • FS511 Cultural and Ethnic Issues in Marital and Family Intervention
  • FL501 Family Life Education
  • FL502 Parent Education and Guidance
  • YF503 Youth Outreach and Evangelism 

Children, Youth and Family 

  • MD551 Girl Child: The Problem and Potential 
  • MD555 Learning with Children 
  • PI519 Community and Caring for Children at Risk 
  • YF500 Foundation of Youth Ministry  
  • YF502 Leadership in Youth Ministry
  • YF504 Introduction to Family Ministry  
  • FS500 Family Systems Dynamics
  • FS505 Child and Family Development
  • FI540 Narrative and Family Life

Other Approved Courses 

  • MD524 Advocacy for Social Justice
  • MD546 Relief, Refugees and Conflict
  • MD525 Poverty and Development 
  • MD540 Theology of Poverty and Development
  • MN520 Encountering the City
  • MN534 Complex Urban Environments
  • EV514 Urban Evangelism
  • ML500 Teamwork and Leadership 
  • MM568 Self Care in Mission  
  • TC511 Theology and Hip Hop Culture   

 


Christian Ethics

The Christian Ethics emphasis enables students to develop deeper knowledge and skills in Christian ethics as they relate to practices in churches and in the world. Within Christian ethics courses, and with courses focusing on church renewal students are prepared for leading church renewal through deeper Christian discipleship, or for service in citizen organizations.This emphasis requires 20 units.

  • ET501 Christian Ethics (as part of degree core requirement)
  • Choose any three ethics courses (ET prefix)
  • Choose any one philosophy/philosophical theology course (PH prefix)
  • Choose one of the following courses:
    • Church Renewal
      • MC500 Church and Mission in a Global Context
      • MC520 Church Planting
      • MC532 Evangelizing Nominal Christians
      • MP520 Transforming Contemporary Culture
    • Youth Ministry or Global Ministry
      • YF502 Leadership in Youth Ministry
      • YF503 Youth Outreach and Evangelism
      • MD500 Globalization, the Poor and Christian Mission  
      • MD524 Advocacy for Social Justice   
      • MD525 Poverty and Development 
      • MD546 Relief, Refugees, and Conflict 
      • GM518 Introduction to Urban Studies


Church in Contemporary Culture

The Church in Contemporary Culture emphasis leads students to discover the underlying rules and patterns of how contemporary culture operates. Students will assess the impact of post-Christendom and postmodernity in the life of the culture, and evaluate contemporary forms of church and mission as to their congruence with contemporary culture. In addition, students will develop appropriate church models and the skills needed for indigenous church planting. This emphasis requires 20 units.

  • Choose two of the following courses:
    • MC509 The Church in a Culture of Technology
    • TC500 Theology and Culture
    • TC512 Theology and Media Culture
  • Choose three courses from the following:
    • MC520 Church Planting
    • MP520 Transforming Contemporary Culture
    • TC515 Understanding Popular Music
    • TC530 Theology and Film
    • TC581 Worship, Theology, and the Arts Touchstone Course
    • TC588 Engaging Independent Film
    • TC531 Postmodern Theology, Film, and Youth Culture
    • CO515 Communication for Church and Community Ministry
    • The third course from the Required section above


    De Pree Emphasis in Leadership

    The De Pree Emphasis in Leadership is designed to embody Fuller Seminary's commitment to practicing leadership in line with the values of Max De Pree. Working off of Max De Pree's understanding that "belief precedes behavior," students learn not only practices for leadership, but also values that stand behind those practices.

    To complete the De Pree Emphasis in Leadership, as student must pass courses in four of the five course areas and complete an internship, for a total of 20 units.

    Area 1: The Leader as Person (Self-Awareness, Reflection, Self-Discipline, Spiritual Formation, Character Development)

    • CF526 Congregation as Learning Community
    • CF565 Empowering the People of God
    • ML530 Lifelong Leadership Development
    • ML568 Leading Self, People, and Organizations

    Area 2: Management (Boards, Budgets, Meetings, Volunteers, Finance, Fund-Raising, Personnel, Planning, Evaluation, Legal)

    • ML531 Managing Organizations

    Area 3: Introduction to Leadership (Organizational Behavior, Authority, Power, Frames, Mission/Vision, Change, Conflict)

    •  GM522 Leadership in Context

    Area 4: Organizational Dynamics (Organizational Culture, Systems Theory, Teams, Organizational Life Cycle, Emotional Intelligence)

    • ML565 Organic Organizations and Churches

    Area 5: Topics in Advanced Leadership 

    • ML538 Crosscultural Leadership
    • ML584 Crosscultural Dynamics of Global Leadership
    • PM514 Missional Church and Leadership
    • Any other advanced course

    Internship Requirement 

    • Students must complete an internship that includes participation in a Theological or Missiological Reflection Group.

    International Development and Urban Studies

    The International Development and Urban Studies emphasis is intended to equip students in the theory and practice of working for holistic transformation with the poor and oppressed internationally and in U.S. urban settings. Students substantively engage with the impact of a globalizing and urbanizing world and the impact of both on the poor.The emphasis requires a total of 20 units.

    Required: 

    • MD525 Poverty and Development
    Choose one:
    • MN520 Encountering the City
    • MN534 Complex Urban Environments
    • GM518 Introduction to Urban Studies
    Choose one:
    • MN533 Organizing Urban Communities
    • MD528 Development Tools and Practice

    Choose 2 courses (8 units) from the following: 

    • International Development
      • MD500 Globalization, the Poor and Christian Mission 
      • MD528 Development Tools and Practice
      • MD546 Relief, Refugees and Conflict  
      • MD540 Theology of Poverty and Development  
      • MD524 Advocacy and Social Justice  
      • Other Children at Risk courses
    • Urban Studies
      • GM518 Introduction to Urban Studies  
      • EV514 Urban Evangelism  
      • TM520 Church-Based Urban Research 
      • MN534 Complex Urban Environments  
      • MN533 Organizing Urban Communities for Transformation
      • MN576 Incarnation and Mission among the World's Urban Poor  
      • TM522 Homelessness, Congregations and Church Partnerships
      • TC511 Theology and Hip Hop Culture
      • SP504 Spirituality and Urban Mission
    • Other Courses
      • PG504 Community and Caring for Children at Risk
      • TM521 Congregations in the World 

    Islamic Studies

    The Islamic Studies emphasis equips students to pursue intercultural work and to engage globally and more thoughtfully with Islam and Muslims. Students will gain an overview of Muslim faith and practice, with special attention to comparisons with Christianity and varieties of expressions and survey and analyze Muslim-Christian relations throughout history and in modern day.

    This emphasis requires six specific courses, for a total of 24 units:

    • MR550 Introduction to Islam 
    • MR552 History of the Muslim-Christian Encounter  
    • MR554 Models of Witness in Muslim Contexts 
    • MR555 Popular Islamic Piety
    • MR556 Current Trends in Islam  
    • MR574 Muslim Peoples: A Sociological Approach  

    Recommended Electives

    • MR575 Arabic Reading
    • MR557 Women and the Family in Islam

    Leadership in Multicultural Latino Community

    The Leadership in Multicultural Latino Community emphasis offers students the opportunity to link a deeper biblical, theological and ministry understanding with tools for understanding the complexities of ministry in the US Hispanic context. Courses are taught by pastors and professors involved in the Hispanic community who address the challenges out of their own life and ministry experiences.This emphasis requires a total of 20 units.

    • ST 555 Teología Latina en contexto (Hispanic Theology In Context)   
    • GM 574: Iglesia Evangélica Latina (Hispanic Protestant Church) 
    • Choose two courses (8 units): Any courses with a MIN attribute on the quarterly schedule taught through el Centro Latino (the Hispanic Center) 
    • Capstone Course: Leadership in Practice 

    Recovery Ministry

    The Recovery Ministry emphasis is designed to prepare students to creatively engage in the development of ministries to people struggling with addiction and/or abuse. Addiction and abuse are systemic problems that complicate and reinforce most other social problems—everything from traffic safety to criminality. The Recovery Ministry emphasis is designed to help students become well informed about these difficult issues and prepared to be part of the solution.A total of 20 units is required.  

    Required: 

    • CN520 Pastoral Counseling
    • EV532 Recovery Ministry in a Local Church
    • CN558 Pastoral Care and Sexuality

    Choose one:

    • CN553 Pastoral Care/Sex Abuse/Family
    • CN557 Pastoral Care and Addictions

    Choose one:

    • CN504 Family Therapy and Pastoral Counseling
    • FS500 Introduction to Family Systems Theory

     


    Theology and the Arts

    The Theology and the Arts emphasis is for students with an academic interest in culture, art, and theology, and for practicing artists who want a theological and biblical foundation for their work. Students prepare to be theological interpreters of culture and/or artists able to bring art and culture into conversation with theology. The emphasis requires 24 units.

    • TC581 Worship, Theology and the Arts Touchstone Course
    • TC591 Theology and the Arts Capstone Cohort
    • TC592A/B Theology and the Arts Project Cohort
    • Choose three other Theology and Culture (TC prefix) classes

     


    U.S. Military Chaplaincy

    The U.S. Military Chaplaincy emphasis is designed to provide a range of courses that will prepare chaplains for the special challenges of working in military settings. While flexible, it gives a solid foundation in theology, Bible, and practical theology courses relating to family, pastoral care, worship and preaching, trauma, and administration.It requires 24 units, and is only available in connection with the MA in Theology and Ministry degree program. Because of the unique nature of this emphasis, the MA in Theology and Ministry with the U.S. Military Chaplaincy emphasis requires a total of 108 quarter units.

    • Any Counseling course (CN prefix)
    • ET520 Biblical and Practical Peacemaking
    • MR549 Evangelicals and Interfaith Dialog
    • FS500 Family Systems Dynamics
    • Choose two courses from the following (8 units)
      • CN506 Conflict and Conciliation
      • CN535 Grief, Loss, Death and Dying
      • CN557 Pastoral Care and Addictions
      • WS518 Worship Ministry on the Lord's Day
      • MM568 Self-Care in Mission
      • Any Leadership course in the School of Theology or School of Intercultural Studies

    Worship and Music Ministry

    The Worship and Music Ministry emphasis is a practical degree designed to address the learning needs of students currently in musical worship leadership or to prepare those intending to work in such contexts, particularly within the local church. Students will incorporate biblical and theological studies, practical theology, and cultural literacy, in addition to specialized studies in worship and music ministry.The emphasis requires 24 units.

    • TC581 Worship, Theology and the Arts Touchstone Course
    • WS514 Music in Worship
    • WS518 Worship Ministry on the Lord's Day 
    • WS521 Music and Theology
    • WS522 Music for the Church Year and Occasional Services (2 units)
    • WS515 Music Leadership Practicum (6 units)  

    Worship, Theology, and the Arts

    The Worship, Theology, and the Arts emphasis is for students interested in ministries relating to worship and the arts. Students incorporate biblical, historical, theological, and cultural foundations of worship and the use of the arts in ministry. Students have the opportunity to choose a more specific focus under the this emphasis. A total of 24 units is required.

    Required: 

    • TC581: Worship, Theology and the Arts Touchstone Course
    • Choose any five courses from the following:
      • Worship Studies (WS prefix)
      • Theology and Culture (TC prefix)
      • Communication (ME prefix - School of Intercultural Studies)

    Recommended Electives 

    • TC591: Theology and the Arts Capstone Cohort  
    • TC592a/b: Theology and the Arts Project Cohort  

    Youth, Family, and Culture

    The Youth, Family, and Culture emphasis is designed to enable the student to design a flexible, well-rounded and comprehensive curricular experience that can be shaped to address their cultural and contextual ministry interest and calling.

    • Choose any three Youth, Family, and Culture courses (YF prefix)
    • Choose two courses from the following departments or individual classes
      • Christian Formation and Discipleship (CF prefix)
      • Pastoral Counseling (CN prefix)
      • Family Studies (FS prefix - School of Psychology)
      • Theology and Culture (TC prefix)
      • Holistic Ministries (MD prefix - School of Intercultural Studies)
      • EV559 Evangelism in Context: St. Patrick as Model
       


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