The Master of Arts in Religion (M.A.R.) degree is designed for students committed to work in the public ministry. Students in the Master of Arts in Religion program may continue on for a Master of Divinity (M.Div.). A 3 credit thesis is required. The ability to do exegesis in one of the biblical languages as required in the M.Div. program is not required for the M.A.R. degree.

Prerequisites

– A secondary school diploma is required.
– A B.Th. degree or previous coursework in Christian theology equivalent to it is required of all applicants to ALS masters programs. If a student does not have this background, they will be encouraged to first complete the ALS B.Th. program.
– A recommendation letter from the student’s pastor is required.
– Students must be able to follow classes in English or Cantonese.
– Students normally will be members of a local congregation, and all who attend classes must demonstrate respect for the Lutheran character of the school. Students are to maintain good Christian character while enrolled.
– Admission also requires character befitting of a person who aspires for ministry as outlined in 2 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. Admission will be granted upon approval by the ALS president after consultation with the ALS Academic Dean and faculty.

Program of Study

A M.A.R. degree certifies that a student has a well-rounded biblical and theological education and is prepared to serve as a full-time church worker. Therefore, a balance is required between courses in the various disciplines; elective courses allow the student to follow his interests and gifts. 

Biblical Language Study

ALS encourages students to study the Bible in its original languages. M.A.R. students may apply up to 12 credits of Biblical language study in either Greek or Hebrew to their degree. If they have already achieved proficiency in one language in a previous degree program, they may study the other language as part of their M.A.R. program. The first 6 credits of language study will be applied towards the degree as elective credits, while up to 6 additional credits can be applied to the biblical theology requirements of the degree.

Length of Study

Candidates entering the M.A.R. program with a B.Th. degree and studying full-time should normally complete their degree within one to two years of enrollment.  The ALS faculty must approve the continuance of any program that lasts more than four years.