M.A. in Congregational Ministry

Your Path to Vocational Ministry Begins Here

36 Hour Program

Flexible Class Delivery

Affordable Tuition

Local Church Focus

Purpose

The Purpose of the Master of Arts in Congregational Ministry is to provide basic education and understanding in theological education and congregational ministry.   

General Requirements and Length of Program

Students must complete 36 hours of coursework in the core graduate curriculum. If taken in a normal sequence, the M.A. program will require four terms of study. This means that with Fletcher’s trimester model, a student can obtain an M.A. in less than 18 months.  At the end of the program, if students wish to continue, they may change their degree program to a Master of Divinity and continue in their studies, as all M.A. classes serve as part of the M.Div. core curriculum.

Hybrid Classes

Hybrid-model classes serve as one of the means of offering courses for the Jesse C Fletcher Seminary. Under this model, students come for a week in person at the beginning and end of each trimester, respectively. At least once every other week, students have a class meeting on Zoom with the professor at a time convenient for the class and professor.

Course Listings

Fletcher Seminary reserves the right to cancel a course due to low enrollment or unforeseen circumstances. The course number scheme indicates general rules regarding Master’s degree requirements:

100 level Courses which meet degree requirements (no prerequisites)

200 level Elective courses (no prerequisites)

300 level Courses which meet degree requirements (has prerequisites)

400 level Elective courses (has prerequisites)

500 level Directed Study, Independent Study, Advanced Research, Thesis Writing, etc.

Flexible Classes For Busy People

Master of Arts in Congregational Ministry Course Requirements

Christian Scriptures        9 Hours

BIB 101 Biblical Interpretation                               

BIB 301 Hebrew Scriptures

BIB 302 New Testament

Spiritual Formation            9 Hours

SPF 101 Intro to Christian Ministry                   

SPF 102 Ethics as Spiritual Formation                   

SPF 301 Spiritual Practices 

Christian History/Theology        9 Hours

HT 101 Christian Theology   

HT 102 Christian History

HT 301 Contemporary Issues in Theology

Congregational Leadership        9 Hours

CL 101 Pastoral Care

CL 102 Congregation Leadership Dynamics

CL 301 Christian Worship 

TOTAL = 36 Hours

Meet Your Instructors

 The Rev. Dr. Jonathan Davis serves as coach to non-profit and business leaders in North America. He the Associate Vice President of Communications and Marketing for Fletcher Seminary in San Antonio Texas, and the founder of the Small-Town Churches Network (www.smalltownchurches.org), which is dedicated to sharing research, ideas and tools to help small-town churches. He holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Logsdon Seminary, where his research focused on equipping small-town churches for 21st century ministry and where he was the recipient of the Bratton Family Ministry Award.

Jonathan is passionate to help churches and non-profits across North America navigate the unprecedented changes brought on by postmodernity, and to train and equip faith leaders to find not only opportunity but Divine blessing in the midst of cultural and professional upheaval.

Sarah Neeley is a staff chaplain at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler, TX. She has also served in community ministries, children ministry, youth ministry, and hospice chaplaincy. Sarah earned her Ph.D. in Religion and Social Change, with a focus in Social Ethics, from the Iliff School of Theology and University of Denver. Sarah’s academic interests are liberation theologies, Christology, postcolonial thought, economic justice, spiritual care and care ethics, spiritual wholeness, and qualitative research. Sarah is currently working on a book manuscript examining outsider liberative ethics and relational solidarity in the context of unhoused women.

Sarah has a BA in Religion from Baylor University and an M.Div. with a focus on Missions and Cross-Cultural Ministry from Logsdon Seminary, Hardin-Simmons University. She is an ordained minister and endorsed chaplain in the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

Dr. Stiver taught Systematic Theology and Christian Philosophy at Logsdon Seminary full time from 1998 to 2019. He received his Ph.D. from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he also taught Christian philosophy for 14 years. His books include The Philosophy of Religious Language: Sign, Symbol, and Story (1996) Theology after Ricoeur: New Directions in Hermeneutical Theology (2001), Life Together in the Way of Jesus Christ: An Introduction to Christian Theology (2009), and Ricoeur and Theology (2012). He is the co-series editor with Greg Johnson of the Series on the Thought of Paul Ricoeur. He has co-edited two books in that series, Paul Ricoeur and the Task of Political Philosophy (2014) and Ideology and Utopia in the Twenty-First Century: The Surplus of Meaning in Ricoeur’s Conception of the Dialectical Relationship of Ideology and Utopia (2021). Dr. Stiver also authored chapters for numerous books and contributed articles to journals. He frequently presents scholarly papers to professional societies and organizations, serving as President of the Society for Ricoeur Studies, the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion, the Southwest Region of the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion, and the Southwest Commission for Religious Studies. He has also served as president of the faculty at both Southern Baptist Seminary and Hardin-Simmons University. Dr. Stiver has served as pastor in Missouri and Indiana. He enjoys teaching Sunday School, as well as speaking for other churches and organizations. He has served as chair of the board for the non-profit organization Just People. He enjoys playing basketball, playing the saxophone, reading, movies, the Sacramento Kings, New York Yankees, and Louisville Cardinals. Most of all, he enjoys his wife, Beth, daughter, Carrie, and two grandkids, Iylan and Canyon

Fall 2022 Semester Courses

SPF 101 Introduction to Christian Ministry

Instructor: Dr. Jonathan Davis

Course Day/Time: Tuesdays, 8:00-9:30PM

Course Description

This course is designed to introduce students to basic concepts of vocational ministry, including exploring ministerial identity and calling, how to think and write theologically at the graduate level, and understanding the program objectives of Fletcher’s model for theological education. Students will compete and discuss a personal assessment tool and consider how they may use their seminary experience to build on strength and shore up growth edges. Students will utilize peer discussion to process issues of vocational call, theological reflection, self-assessment, and beginning seminary education together.

Learning Outcomes

  1. As a result of this class students will understand the purpose of theological education
  2. As a result of this class students will learn and practice basic models of theological reflection
  3. As a result of this class students will engage in self-assessment regarding vocational call, growth edges in ministry leadership, and embedded theology
  4. As a result of this class students will develop a plan for personal growth and development

SPF 102 Ethics as Spiritual Formation

Instructor: Dr. Sarah Neely

Course Day/Time: Tuesdays, 6:00-7:30PM

Course Description

This course will consider individual and corporate integrity in the ecclesial setting. Students will explore the biblical-theological expectations of character, behavior, leadership, and relationships. The course will equip students to develop their own professional codes of conduct for sustainable ministry.

Learner Outcomes

  1. At the conclusion of this course, the student will be able to utilize ethic frameworks to examine
    their personal character and be moral leaders as evidenced by their reflection paper.
  2. At the conclusion of this course, the student will be able to navigate healthy professional
    boundaries as evidenced by their case study.
  3. At the conclusion of this course, the student will be able to articulate their own vision of
    ministerial ethics as evidenced by their written professional code of conduct.

HT 101 Applied Christian Theology

Instructor: Dr. Dan Stiver

Course Day/Time: Thursdays, 6:30-8:00PM

Course Description: This course is designed to provide an introduction to the study of Christian theology, with the aim of engaging students in biblical-warranted, critical reflection upon Christian
beliefs and practices in light of the traditional maxim of faith seeking understanding, for the purpose of faithful living. Students will be encouraged to develop the capacity to articulate and evaluate
thoughtfully their own understandings of Christian doctrine and to relate their study in wise and
practical ways to the life and ministry of the contemporary church and world.

Learning Outcomes

  1. At the conclusion of this course, students will have developed depth understanding of the great doctrines of the Christian faith as evidenced by articulating details of Christian doctrines.
  2. At the conclusion of this course, students will have practice in reflecting critically on their beliefs in developing further their own theology, which involves joining in the history of theology's wrestling with difficult questions of faith, as evidenced by expressing their own theological views.
  3. At the conclusion of this course, students will have cultivated the spiritual discipline of engaging beliefs different from one’s own in an attitude of openness and respect combined with conviction as evidenced by relating their views to other views in a respectful and accurate way.
  4. At the conclusion of this course, students will have gained facility in using their knowledge of Christian doctrine in analyzing concrete problems of ministry as evidenced by evaluating these problems of ministry theologically.