A new postgraduate degree at Avondale University will better prepare career changers who feel called to enter the ministry.
The Master of Ministry replaces the Graduate Diploma of Ministry and Theology. While the amount of learning is the same—16 units of study over two years—the master’s degree improves the student’s academic experience by:
- providing a higher level of academic development and professional proficiency
- enhancing the profile of graduates
- strengthening the pathway into a higher degree by research, such as the Master of Philosophy at Avondale.
“Students with a bachelor’s degree who feel called to Seventh-day Adventist ministry no longer have to go to our sister institutions,” said Pastor Hensley Gungadoo, course convenor. “They can now get their master’s here at Avondale.”
One of the key points of difference: The master’s brings a focus on research to theoretical training in systematic theology and biblical studies and practical training in church ministry. Students learn about research methodology early in the course and complete an action research project associated with their placements. Some of the theology and biblical studies units also include brief research assessment tasks. “It all gives you the ability to better exegete Scripture, better understand historical theology, and better minister in churches,” said Pastor Gungadoo.
The practical component remains a vital part of the new course, with students completing five ten-week placements in a church or school and one ten-day externship in an evangelistic context. “Serving as a trainee under a mentoring pastor or chaplain helps you integrate theological content with practical ministry,” said Pastor Gungadoo. It also builds credibility “because the question is always, ‘What experience have you had in a local church or school?’”
What is now in store for current students? The graduate diploma moves into a teach-out for those who have completed more than half of the units. Those who have completed half or less can transfer to the master’s program.
New students are eligible for a special ministry and theology offer. They get a 50-percent fee discount on all units in which they enroll in 2023.
The time is now. “Working in ministry is one of the highest callings we can have,” said Pastor Gungadoo. “If you feel God is calling you to minister, respond. You’ll find a lot of joy in following the divine promptings of your heart.”
The original article was published on the Adventist Record website.