Master of Arts in Christian Ministries

Prepare for specialized ministry in ordained or lay leadership.

15 courses. 45 credit hours. Primarily online or on campus.
Complete in as few as 2 years with a minimum of 1 week on campus.


The Master of Arts in Christian Ministries (MACM) supports leadership and service in ministries impacting Christian community, life and practices. From worship to discipleship, deaconship to pastorate, the MACM can equip you for your call.


Flexible Options

Our flexible options are designed to make high-quality education accessible for working pastors and other professionals—whenever and wherever works for your busy schedule. Courses are available in four formats. Mix and match to suit your schedule and learning style.

  • Traditional on-campus courses meet regularly throughout the semester
  • Gathering Weeks on campus in Dayton, Ohio take place in January, June, August and September.
  • Online courses can be completed at your own pace during the semester.
  • Live Interactive Virtual Education (LIVE) courses meet simultaneously on-campus and online.

The MACM degree can be completed primarily online in three years with as little as one week on campus over the course of the degree.*

*Residency requirements may vary by denomination. Most United Methodist students must complete 1/3 of their degree (5 courses) on campus. A three-year program can be completed at a distance by attending five Gathering Weeks (2-3 weeks per year), allowing you to fulfill on-campus requirements without moving to Dayton. The primarily online option is offered as an approved exception to ATS Degree Program Standard B, section B.3.1.3.


Flexible Curriculum

The MACM equips people for leadership and service to the church with nine core courses (27 credit hours) and six elective courses (18 credit hours). We’ve made this easy with our new Core + 4 Curriculum. Use four of your six elective courses to specialize in the concentration that fits your calling.

Areas of Concentration:

  • Biblical Interpretation
  • Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care
  • Church Planting
  • Holy Spirit and Renewal
  • Ministry Leadership
  • Preaching
  • Wesleyan and Methodist Studies.

No concentration? No problem! Use the four additional elective courses to explore other areas of interest.

If you have previous graduate-level coursework, you may be eligible for Advanced Standing for the Master of Arts in Christian Ministries.



Specialize in a concentration that supports your area of ministry. Those interested in a concentration are encouraged to discuss their interests and needs with the Office of Admissions, who can help discern the best path for following God’s call.


CORE + 4 = MACM with a Concentration

Take required core courses in the areas of Biblical Studies, Church History and Theology, Practice of Ministry and Spiritual Formation. Use four of your electives in your area of concentration.



  • Biblical Interpretation
  • Church Planting
  • Holy Spirit and Renewal
  • Ministry Leadership
  • Pastoral Care
  • Preaching
  • Wesleyan and Methodist Studies

No concentration? No problem! Use the four additional elective courses to explore other areas of interest.

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements

  1. Complete the entire degree plan requirements listed for the MACM.
  2. Complete all course credits applied toward the MACM degree within ten years.
  3. Participate in United’s Contextual Ministry Program, which includes:
    • Travel to one Contextual Ministry retreat in early September.
    • Completion of two Contextual Ministry courses in one year.
    • Participation in a professionally facilitated ministry group.
    • Ministry in a church or community site in your area.

To fulfill residency requirements for The United Methodist Church, United Methodist students must complete 1/3 of the degree (15 credits) on campus. Dayton, Intensive, and hybrid courses count toward this requirement. For ordination requirements, please check with your own judicatory.


Course Requirements: 45 Credit Hours Total


Core Requirements (27 cr. hrs.)

Biblical Studies (6 cr. hrs.)

  • OT504 Introduction to the Old Testament 1; or OT505 Introduction to the Old Testament 2 (3)
  • NT521 Introduction to the New Testament 1; or NT522 Introduction to the New Testament 2 (3)


Church History and Theology (6 cr. hrs.)

  • CH504 History of Christianity 1; or CH505 History of Christianity 2 (3)
  • TH502 Introduction to Theology (3)


Practical Theology (6 cr. hrs.)

  • PW501 Preparing to Preach; or PW502 Intro to African American Preaching; or PW504 Work of Worship; or PW510 United Methodist Worship (3)
  • ER501 Foundations for Evangelism (3); or ER510 Foundations for Church Renewal


Contextual Ministry (9 cr. hrs.)

  • CM510 Contextual Ministry 1 (3)
  • CM511 Contextual Ministry 2 (3)
  • WR601 Methods of Interreligious and Intercultural Encounter (3)


Electives (18 cr. hrs.)

Students may use elective courses to fulfill concentration and denominational requirements, if desired. United Methodists are required to have (6) credits in UM History, Doctrine, and Polity.


Non-Credit Requirements

  • SS500 Online Masters Student Orientation (0)
  • SS510 Graduation Portfolio – Masters (0)
  • SS603 MACM Mid-Program Evaluation (0)
  • SS703 MACM Final Advising (0)
Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA

Learn more about the application process: Masters Admissions page.

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