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    Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
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    Charlotte, NC 28273
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  • Online MACM
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Online MACM Curriculum

Students choose the online Master of Arts in Christian Ministries (MACM) degree program because it offers a solid foundation in theological, Bible-focused Christian education and an opportunity to gain competency in a wide-range of practical ministry subjects.

A little more than half of the 61-credit online theological Master’s degree program is spent studying core theological subjects including classes in Bible, theology, church history, missions, ethics, and spiritual formation. About a quarter of the online degree program features Christian Ministry Concentration courses in focused practical areas like leadership, counseling, Christian education, and communication. In addition to two elective courses and an integrative capstone course, students gain practical experience through contextualized theological education and practical hands-on-training through three Mentored Ministry rotations.

A full list of requirements is detailed below (click here to download a copy of the current checksheet):

General Core Requirements (30 Credit Hours)

OT500: Old Testament Survey
NT501: New Testament Survey
OT/NT517: Interpreting the Bible
TH501: Theology Survey I}
TH502: Theology Survey II
CH501: Church History to the Reformation
CH502: Church History Since the Reformation
ET501: Christian Ethics
WM601: The World Mission of the Church
MC501: Spiritual Formation

Christian Ministry Concentration Courses (18 Credit Hours)

CL503: Foundations for Leadership
EM502: Educational Ministry of the Church
PC511: Intro. to Pastoral Counseling
CL640: Managing Conflict
MC585: The Christian Communicator
Three Rotations of Mentored Ministry

Capstone Courses (6 Credit Hours)
OT/NT594: Biblical Theology
IS800/881: Integrative Project/Paper OR MC850: Readiness for Ministry
Elective Courses (6 Credit Hours)
Theological Research and Writing Seminar (1 Credit Hour - must be completed first term)

Structure of Courses

The structure of the online MACM degree program courses is designed to benefit those who have significant responsibilities outside of seminary, whether family, ministry or work obligations. The structure contains the following features: 

  • Online courses are 14 weeks long; students normally take up to two courses per semester.
  • Select courses also include intensive three-day residencies that occur during the middle of the semester.  Residencies are scheduled together with three days devoted to one course and three days devoted a student’s second course (if applicable) so that in one week a student can complete two (2) residencies in one visit. Residencies are usually held on the Charlotte, North Carolina campus.  The structure is such that a student can complete the program with as few as 4 or 5 trips to Charlotte over the course of three (3) years, provided that the student takes two courses per semester (see details on residency requirements below).
  • Students may start in any semester (fall, spring, and summer) and can complete the 61-credit hour degree program in a little over three years.
  • In addition to Online New Student Orientation, all students must pass a Theological Research and Writing Seminar (1 Credit Hour) in their first term.
  • Throughout the program, students will contribute to an an E-Portfiolio which serves as a repository for a student's growth and achievement in seminary.

Residency Requirements

There are two main types of classes that students take at Gordon-Conwell: fully online and residential (formats vary).  A class that does not have any live in-person class sessions is considered fully online, while a class that has live in-person class sessions is considered residential. 

The online MACM allows students complete the program 50% with fully online courses. The remaining 50% of courses  must have some live in-class (called residency) component.  The MACM offers these remaining courses in a flexible and convenient web-enhanced format.  Web-enhanced courses are residential courses that feature online coursework and a three (3) day residency in the middle of the course (usually November for the Fall semester, March/April for the Spring semester, and July for the Summer semester.  Courses are often paired with other web-enhanced courses so that it is possible for a student to fulfill two (2) courses with residency in one week in Charlotte. 

Students may choose when to complete courses with residency in their program, but must complete eight (8) course residencies (a minimum of 4 weeks in Charlotte) in three (3) years.  When not taking courses with residencies in a semester, students take fully online courses with no residency requirement.

During the residency experiences students are responsible for:

  • Coursework associated with the residency
  • Travel to and from Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Housing (discounted hotels and housing are available) and meals for five (5) to six (6) days

With the exception of Old Testament Survey (OT500) and New Testament Survey (NT501), which are offered more often, the remaining six (6) courses with residency are offered once every four (4) semesters according to the chart below:

Fall 2014 OT500
Spring 2015 OT500 & NT501 (Residency Pair); MC501 & CL503 (Residency Pair)
Summer 2015 NT501; EM502 & CL640 (Residency Pair)
Fall 2015 OT500; PC511 & MC585 (Residency Pair)
Spring 2016 OT500 & NT501 (Residency Pair)
Summer 2016 NT501; MC501 & CL503 (Residency Pair)
Fall 2016 OT500; EM502 & CL640 (Residency Pair)

To complete their residency requirements, online MACM also have the optional benefit of completing their residency requirement by taking courses at any of Gordon-Conwell's four campuses or other class locations inside the United States or internationally. 

Mentored Ministry and Integrative Project (with E-Portfolio)

At the heart of the online MACM degree is the conviction that relevant ministry experience within real life contexts under the supervision of caring, seasoned mentors is the vital ingredient in shaping the next generation of effective leaders for Christ. Toward that end, online MACM students engage in three Mentored Ministry rotations in their local ministry contexts that help them apply what they are learning while at the same time gaining valuable practical ministry experience.

At the end of the program, students complete a final Integrative Project/Paper built upon their ministry interests and artifacts assembled in E-Portfolio throughout their seminary journey.