Master of Arts in Ministry

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Program Modality
Earn your master’s degree in Ministry online at your own pace at South College. Get the flexibility and convenience you need alongside mentorship and guidance that helps prepare you to serve and lead in the ministry.


Built with the flexibility to accommodate working professionals, our online Master of Arts (MA) in Ministry program is designed to help you develop knowledge and skills relating to ministry leadership. Our competency-based program lets you move at your own pace by demonstrating mastery of key ministry competencies via course activities and practical assessments. Spend more time on unfamiliar concepts and move faster in areas where you can leverage existing knowledge and expertise. Motivated students may be able finish the MA in Ministry degree in an accelerated online format and for less cost as compared to many other master’s programs.

Develop Essential Skills In

  • Biblical interpretation
  • Theological reflection
  • Communication in ministry
  • Spiritual formation and guidance
  • Pastoral counseling
  • Ministry leadership
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The flexibility to learn at your own pace and to study anywhere you are on your own time.

1:1 Mentoring

A 1:1 partnership with our supportive community of faculty, advisors, staff, and you in an effort to create a collaborative environment in your pursuit of academic excellence.

A Unique Subscription-Based Approach to Higher Learning

A subscription-based tuition structure which allows for a 6-month “All You Can Master” approach. This flexible tuition allows for students to go as fast or as slow as your lifestyle dictates.

Use Your Expertise

Move quickly through the areas you know and spend more time on the ones you need deeper study.

Work towards “Mastery”

Each course requires successful completion of specific formative/summative tasks per competency that must meet or exceed Mastery level in order to progress to the next course . (Doctoral degree programs require a dissertation and successful defense of the dissertation earning a “Pass.”)

Concentrations in this Program

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You May Enjoy This Line of Study If…

  • You have a strong ethical sensibility and a sincere belief in the power of faith
  • You want to integrate more theological reflection into your life and ministry
  • You desire to apply your leadership and ministry skills to help others
  • You are committed to your personal and spiritual growth
  • You possess a penchant for lifetime learning and service

The mission of the Master of Arts in Ministry degree program is to equip students with foundational theological, theoretical, and practical knowledge required for effective ministry leadership in a context of change and diversity. Graduates will be better able to serve and lead in ministry with demonstrated skills in biblical interpretation, theological reflection, communication, leadership, counseling, and spiritual formation.

Admission Requirements

The following items are required for consideration of admission:

  • Completed online South College application;
  • Official transcripts from each regionally or approved accredited institution of higher education attended for earned bachelor’s degree;
  • Evidence of a minimum overall GPA of 2.75 earned in the bachelor’s degree or 3.00 for a graduate degree;
  • Letter of recommendation from someone who supervises the student’s ministry (such as the pastor, non-profit director, denominational official, or board chair)

Conditional Admission
Students with an undergraduate GPA of less than 2.74 may be considered for conditional admission. If they achieve a GPA of 3.00 or higher after the first quarter, they may be admitted as regular enrolled students.

International Student Admission
International students may be citizens of the United States with foreign academic credentials, permanent residents of the US, or non-resident students who must study from their home country. South College cannot issue paperwork for students in the Master of Arts in Ministry program to obtain a student (F-1) visa.

In order to be considered for admission, international students must meet the admissions requirements for the MA in Ministry program, subject to the following:

  • Official College and/or University Transcript(s): Official transcripts (written in English or translation, if not originally in English) of students’ college or university work must be sent directly from the college or university to the Admissions Office at South College. If original documents are not available, certified copies will be accepted. South College will consider the three-year international bachelor’s for admission to the Master of Arts in Ministry. The acceptance of the three-year international bachelor’s degrees is contingent upon the students’ foreign credential evaluation (from an approved evaluation agency). The evaluation must indicate: “That the degree prepares the student for graduate level studies” OR “Given the relatively high proportion of coursework completed in the major field of study, the foreign degree program has prepared this student to meet minimum graduate admission eligibility standards.” If the evaluation indicates that the three-year bachelor’s degree does not prepare the student for graduate level studies, the student must complete a degree equivalent to a US bachelor’s degree prior to entering the MA in Ministry program. The following countries will be considered for three-year bachelor’s degrees: Bologna Process participating countries, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, India, and Vietnam.
  • English Language Proficiency Documentation: Since all instruction, reading, and research in the Master of Arts in Ministry is in English, it is essential that all international students be able to understand and speak English fluently. In light of this, the college requires for graduate admission a paper-based TOEFL score of 575, computer-based TOEFL score of 233, or an Internet-based TOEFL score of 90 for students whose native language is not English, or whose primary language of instruction on the undergraduate level was not English. A student’s TOEFL requirement may be waived if he or she has scored above the minimum score for acceptance on either the GMAT or GRE.

It is highly recommended that international students applying to South College submit an application at least four months prior to the desired date of enrollment.

Learning Outcomes

The Master of Arts in Ministry program is designed to equip students for entry and advancement in full-time or bi-vocational ministry leadership in a variety of settings, including local churches or parishes, institutional chaplaincy, and faith-based non-profit organizations.

Goal 1: Theological Reflection.

Students interpret scriptural insights, theological concepts and social-cultural understandings and relate them to specific ministry practices.

  • Objective 1.1: Students demonstrate an understanding of the literary, historical, and cultural contexts of the Bible and its relation to ministry.
  • Objective 1.2: Students articulate theological concepts related to the practice of ministry.
  • Objective 1.3: Students articulate an understanding of the diversity of North American society and culture and its impact on faith communities and ministry.

Goal 2: Personal Growth.

Students demonstrate spiritual maturity and integrity that integrates their personal lives, academic studies, and vocation.

  • Objective 2.1: Students articulate their personal calling and a candid assessment of their personal strengths and limitations.
  • Objective 2.2: Students engage the disciplines of personal and spiritual growth.
  • Objective 2.3: Students articulate and follow the highest personal and professional ethical standards.
  • Objective 2.4: Students are able to guide the spiritual and personal growth of others in community.

Goal 3: Ministry Skills.

Students practice the skills of ministry leadership effectively both independently and collaboratively with volunteers and other ministry professionals.

  • Objective 3.1: Students lead confidently and competently with smaller teams and/or the whole congregation/organization.
  • Objective 3.2: Students communicate biblical and theological perspectives effectively in oral, written, interpersonal and digital settings.
  • Objective 3.3: Students provide biblically and theologically informed pastoral counseling and spiritual guidance to others.
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Tuition & Fees
What is the tuition for South College?

Tuition and fees for South College students vary by program, and tuition rates are tiered based on the number of credits taken each quarter. For example, in our undergraduate programs, students taking 10-20 credits per quarter are charged one quarterly tuition rate based on their program, while students in the same program taking 1-5 or 6-9 credits are charged different tuition rates. Our tuition rates are designed such that South College students who take a high number of credits per quarter may be able to complete their program at a lower total cost than students who take fewer credits per quarter. Contact our admissions team who can help you prepare the budget for the field of study you want to pursue. And don’t forget we also offer numerous grants, scholarships, and financial aid packages to those that qualify.

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Financial Aid
Does South College offer Financial Aid?

Yes! Financial aid for South College is available to those who qualify. Students at South College have access to a range of financial aid to provide the economic assistance they need to pay for college. Aid is available in the form of scholarships, grants and awards, work-study programs, and loans. We’re happy to participate in numerous federal, state, and private student aid programs, and to offer funding directly. In addition to federal and state financial aid, South College institutional grants can reduce out-of-pocket expenses for qualified military-affiliated students, first responders, and recent high school graduates. Visit our financial page or contact our admissions team. We want you to succeed! Let us help you give your dream direction and address your financial aid questions.

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Is South College Accredited?

Yes! South College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award degrees at the doctorate, educational specialist, master's, baccalaureate, and associate levels, as well as certificates. With over 100 programs and concentrations and campuses on multiple states the state authorizations have been obtained. Visit the link to see the full listing. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the appropriate licensing board to confirm whether a South College program will meet the requirements for professional licensure in that state. South College will assist with this information for fully online programs. For onground/hybrid programs, the institution ensures that the program meets requirements for the state in which the campus is located.

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South College offers a wide range of degree and certificate programs in areas such as business, healthcare, legal studies, education, criminal justice, and technology. At this time, we do not currently offer housing options. Our expansive online study and hybrid options allow our students to learn wherever they are located, and often with the flexibility of their own convenient time. With academic advisors that support the students throughout their tenure at South College, along with tutors, study groups, and a student success team, students at South College have resources at their fingertips to assist them in their educational pursuits and may be able to guide towards housing areas close to the campus of their choice. The individual attention and support provided by our faculty and staff helps to set us apart. Students interested in a more personalized learning experience are often attracted to South College over other larger universities and colleges in our campus locations. Request more information about South College today!

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South College was founded in 1882 and focused on serving students who want a hands-on, relevant education that can have a meaningful impact on their lives. South College strives to provide quality instruction, resources, and support services based on systematic and ongoing assessment and evaluation of objectives/outcomes to ensure the development of student abilities necessary for the achievement of positive student outcomes and the mission/vision of the college. The institution establishes policies and procedures to maintain compliance with applicable federal, state, and accrediting requirements. Click below to learn all about South College’s history, and who we are as an institution today.

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Does South College accept Transfer Students?

Yes! Credit for transfer work may be given if it was taken at an accredited collegiate institution, if it is equivalent to courses offered at South College, and if it carries a grade of C or better. Any coursework taken over seven years ago may be denied transfer credit if the material is outdated. Policies for the acceptance of any graduate level transfer credit are determined by the associated program faculty within guidelines determined by the institution. We want students to succeed and will do our best to help you in your journey to apply transfer credits to those who qualify. Contact admissions for assistance for your transfer individualized plan and consideration and learn about transfer specifications and time limits by course here:

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What Kind of Certificate & Degrees does South College Offer?

South College is a regionally accredited private co-educational, institution with non-residential campuses in Knoxville and Nashville, Tennessee; Asheville, North Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia; Indianapolis, Indiana; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Orlando, Florida. Students can pursue academic programs at all levels, including professional certificates and associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. New academic programs are added frequently in response to local, regional, and national employment trends, and South College is committed to providing programs at all levels with innovative course content and teaching platforms. Explore all the programs and come back often as we regularly add new programs that may spark your interest!

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Online vs. On-Campus
Online vs On-Campus – What Is Best?

Since its founding 140 years ago, South College‘s mission has been to serve students who want a hands-on, professional focused education. Today this means offering traditional classroom experiences along with accelerated, hybrid, and online learning options. It means small class sizes, modern labs, and campuses that are convenient to large numbers of students. Most of all, it means experienced instructors who provide real world experiences in their classes and lead in-depth discussions on the concepts taught. South College also offers non-traditional distance-learning programs, allowing students to earn a college degree online providing more flexibility with the same level of quality education and experience from all academic programs offered. This option is great for potential students who are working a full-time job or are not in travel distance to one of the learning sites. Online vs. campus? You decide. Get the student experience you desire in the program that fits your style best on your road to success!

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Military Programs
Does South College Have Programs for Active or Retired Military?

As an institution of higher education, South College recognizes its responsibility to society and supports both institutional and individual commitments to service. South College encourages its administration, faculty, and staff to invest their knowledge, experience, and expertise in community, professional, and institutional service. South College’s core values of excellence, responsibility, and integrity serve as the foundation for assessing the quality of institutional, school/departmental, and individual performance in achieving this mission. South College is grateful for the service and sacrifice of our military and their families. We are happy to provide the South College Military Grant to support our military – past and present – in the pursuit of their education and skill development. The South College Application Fee is waived for all active-duty military members, veterans, their spouses, and their dependent children who receive this Grant.

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