2021-2022 Catalog 
    Jun 13, 2024  
2021-2022 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Religion, M.A.

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Kevin Lowery, Ph.D., Coordinator

The rich heritage of academic excellence that defines Olivet Nazarene University is clearly manifested in Olivet’s Master of Arts degree in Religion. It comes to life in the relevant, real-world content of the coursework, in the impeccable credentials and sense of commitment of faculty, and in the impressive achievements of the program’s alumni.

The Master of Arts degree in Religion program is taught by leading scholars in the Nazarene denomination with some scholars from other traditions as well. They are very active in professional organizations and scholarly research, contributing original work to the academic community. The M.A. in Religion provides professional knowledge, practical decision-making abilities, and vision to handle a variety of leadership positions for leaders in today’s church or for those preparing for leadership in tomorrow’s church.

The strong academic focus of the M.A. program in Religion at ONU provides a solid foundation for further graduate work and for Christian ministry. Flexibility in required courses allows you to customize your program, including a concentration in biblical studies, a concentration in theology, or a personalized, general program in biblical studies and theology. A small student/professor ratio allows for wholesome interaction with both professors and other students.

36 hours

Electives & Concentrations:

Theology Concentration

  • THEO Electives (12 hours)

Bible Concentration

  • BLIT Electives (12 hours)

Religious Studies Concentration


A cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation from the program, and no course counting toward graduation may carry a grade of less than a B-.

Program Format

Students will select, in consultation with the adviser or program coordinator, the courses required to fulfill the degree requirements. Normally, however, the courses are to be chosen from the graduate-level courses in biblical literature and theology offered at Olivet. A concentration in either biblical studies or theology requires 12 semester hours in the respective area of concentration.

The M.A. in Religion program meets in traditional format, although students have the option to take modules as electives. For a more detailed explanation of the different course formats, please refer to “Academic Policies - SGCS: Program Formats ”.

Program Objectives

The M.A. in Religion program aims to:

  • Assist students in developing advanced skills for exegesis, interpretation, and theological understanding of the Bible.
  • Encourage students to do competent research and writing.
  • Develop in students an appreciation for and understanding of the history and theology of the Christian tradition.
  • Develop in students an appreciation for and understanding of the history and theology of the Wesleyan holiness tradition.
  • Develop in students an understanding of contemporary issues in Biblical studies and theology.
  • Motivate students to become lifelong learners who grow spiritually, think clearly, and serve redemptively.

Time Limits

A student is allowed four years from beginning the first graduate course to complete the entire MA.RLGN program. Coursework beyond four years is evaluated by the Program Coordinator, the Director of Graduate Studies, or the Dean of the School of Theology & Christian Ministry. Students granted permission for more than four years may be expected to meet current program requirements, and that may mean retaking one or more courses.

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