Graduate Programs

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At Bryn Athyn College, our graduate programs focus on religious studies. The College offers two degree programs, both of which are specifically designed for students who are interested in studying the teachings for the New Church and exploring religion in general. Our Master of Divinity program is a three-year degree that leads toward ordination as a minister for the New Church (www.newchurch.org), while the Master of Arts in Religious Studies degree is designed to enable students to study the teachings for the New Church in-depth through part-time or full-time academic study.

Masters of Divinity

The Master of Divinity program is a three-year complete degree that leads towards ordination as a minister for the New Church. It adheres to the highest educational standards demanded of an institution with an internationally recognized degree program. The program rests upon three supports: doctrinal study, communication skills, and experiential learning.

Doctrinal Study | Doctrinal study forms the primary foundation of the New Church ministry. A New Church minister needs to be conversant with the teachings of the Old and New Testaments, and particularly of the teachings for the New Church, known as the Heavenly Doctrines.

Communication Skills | Communication provides students with the ability to teach and lead in the light of their doctrinal study. Skills developed in this part of the program equip the future pastor to communicate the message of the New Church effectively in a variety of situations.

Experiential Learning | Experiential learning is the final support of training for the ministry. Since the use of the priesthood is to teach the truth and lead people, it follows that doctrinal knowledge and skill in presenting it needs to be honed and refined. The experiential component of ministerial training is designed to bring students into contact with a range of people of different ages and different settings. The “learning” refers to the on-going discussion and measurement as students integrate their doctrinal knowledge and communication skills with real people.

Masters of Arts in Religious Studies (MARS)

The Master of Arts in Religious Studies degree is designed to enable students to study the teachings for the New Church in-depth. The program allows students to relate the truths of doctrine to various academic, professional, and personal areas. This degree is useful for those who wish to:

  • Gain a more solid foundation in New Church doctrine for their personal understanding and intellectual development.
  • Become more effective at discussing and sharing New Church teachings with the world.
  • Become more effective New Church teachers.
  • Enter more deeply into lay leadership roles in the church.
  • Pursue further graduate work.

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