Christian Studies MA

Online Master of Arts in Christian Studies

Christian Studies Graduate Degree at Crown

Whether your goal is pastoral ministry, foreign missionary service, theological education, or service within other faith-based organizations, Crown’s online Masters in Christian Studies degree is designed to equip you with the theological understanding and practical skills that will help you in ministry.  In many ways, this degree functions like a mini-Master of Divinity degree.

The core of the program is a newly intensified curriculum that emphasizes the skills of interpreting Scripture while also interpreting the social and cultural elements of one’s ministry context.

The program has 13 Emphasis tracks for individualized study:

A distinctive of this program is that our graduates are prepared for licensing and ordination/consecration with the Christian and Ministry Alliance.  In addition, all of the courses in this program regardless of one’s emphasis track apply toward Crown’s Master of Divinity degree, so students can elect to graduate with their M.A. and continue on for the M.Div.

Faculty with the highest academic degrees, and significant ministry and mission experience, lead the online courses. Students investigate, analyze and demonstrate an understanding of cultural influences in postmodern America and in diverse environments around the globe. The coursework also includes collaborative activities that mirror real-life situations. By constructing knowledge with peers within Crown’s digital environment, students acquire life skills in collaboration that are critical to professional success.

The online Christian Studies M.A. provides a high-quality, online degree program as reflected in top rankings by both MONEY Magazine and Christian Universities Online. Crown’s easy-to-use online learning environment allows you the freedom and flexibility to complete coursework at your convenience. You will graduate with real-world skills that have immediate application in your current and future professional endeavors.

Crown’s tuition is priced competitively lower than similar accredited institutions. In fact, 98 percent of Crown’s students receive student loans, scholarships or financial aid for graduate students.


Learn More About Crown College

  • Courses

    Christian Studies (M.A.) Courses

    Required Courses for the Christian Studies M.A. Degree

    II. Electives - 12 Credits

    General electives should be selected in consultation with one's academic advisor. General electives accepted for transfer into this degree program should normally fall within the areas of study represented by the following emphasis tracks. If an emphasis track is chosen, the student will  need to complete additional elective credits to reach the required number of credits for the degree.

    Note: Students in the M.A. in Christian Studies are eligible to apply all of their classes to the Master of Divinity (M.Div.)  degree program and graduate with both degrees.

    Emphasis Tracks - 9-10 Credits

    Note: If required emphasis track courses have been taken as part of the degree core, an additional 3 credits of electives per course will be required in order to fulfill the emphasis requirements.

    Biblical Studies Emphasis  

    Church Development Emphasis  

    Community Development Emphasis  

    Disaster and Emergency Management Emphasis  

    Executive Leadership Emphasis  

    Higher Education Emphasis  

    Hmong Ministry Emphasis  

    Intercultural Ministries Emphasis  

    International Christian Education Emphasis  

    Leadership Coaching Emphasis  

    Media Ministry Emphasis  

    Non-Profit Leadership Emphasis  

    Pastoral Counseling Emphasis  

    Pastoral Leadership Emphasis  

    Social Science Research Emphasis  

    Spiritual Formation Emphasis  

    Theological Studies Emphasis  

    Urban Ministry Emphasis  

    Total - 36 Credits

    Core + General Electives (12 Credits) with option of an Emphasis


    * If THE 3522 - Systematic Theology I  and THE 3524 - Systematic Theology II  have been taken at the undergraduate level, another theology course may be substituted here. For students in the BSCM/MACS (4+1) program, THE 3522 - Systematic Theology I  and THE 3524 - Systematic Theology II  will be replaced with the graduate course CST 5235 - Theology of Christ and the Church . This course will fulfill CST 5223 - Christian Theology  in the MACS.

    ** If HIS 3601 - History of Christianity  has been taken at the undergraduate level, another CST course may be substituted here.


    Note: For C&MA Ordination purposes, students are encouraged to take INT 5510 - Contemporary Issues in Missions  as one of their electives.

    To view these courses in our online catalog system, click here.
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  • Learning Goals

    The M.A. in Christian Studies is designed to prepare men and women for a variety of leadership positions in local churches, para-church ministries, and non-profit organizations.

    Graduates of the M.A. in Christian Studies will be prepared to:

    • Demonstrate a commitment to spiritual formation as a lifelong journey.
    • Evaluate contemporary theological discussions using a grid of biblical and systematic approaches.
    • Identify the major doctrines and emphases of the Christian and Missionary Alliance.
    • Articulate and apply a biblical theology of discipleship and the mission of God to one’s ministry context.
    • Analyze one’s social and cultural context in order to develop strategies for local ministry and global outreach.
  • Tuition

    An Affordable Online College Education.

    Earning your degree online makes sense. It’s convenient and provides an invaluable advantage to your future success. And at Crown College, it’s affordable. Crown is one of the 10 most affordable Christian colleges in the Midwest. With 98 percent of our students receiving some form of financial aid, we will work with you to figure out the best financial aid package available. Financial aid is funding made available by the federal government, state government, private entities and Crown. Crown College’s School of Online Studies and Graduate School programs participate in the Federal Pell Grant, Minnesota State Grant and Federal Direct Stafford Loans to help finance your education. Most financial aid is awarded on the basis of need. The first step is to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The FAFSA is the government form used to help assess a family’s financial strength. Crown’s school code for FAFSA is: 002383. Students must apply for financial aid each year to be considered for funding.

    Graduate School (GS) Tuition

    Online Graduate 2020-2021 Costs

    Tuition Per Credit (except MBA Program) $555
    MBA Program Tuition Per Credit $575
    Application Fee $25
    Technology Fee $140 per semester

    Check Course Catalog for any additional fees related to your specific program.

  • Careers

    Crown College has designed the online M.A. in Christian studies program to provide graduates with a concrete understanding of the Christian faith and theology, and how to integrate this understanding into service on foreign mission fields or in other areas of ministry. Graduates of Crown College are serving Christ in every timezone around the world, and for those wondering what the career path for a degree in Christian studies and theology looks like, it can include positions in either the private or public sector:

    • Pastoral leadership
    • Administrative leadership
    • Health and welfare ministries
    • Parachurch leadership
    • Overseas missions
    • Biblical education
    • Youth and family ministries
    • Children’s ministries
    • Bi-vocational ministry
    • Youth With a Mission (YWAM)
  • FAQs

    The FAQs provided below address many questions you might have regarding the online master’s degree in Christian studies (MA) from Crown. Feel free to contact your admissions advisor directly for any additional questions you might have.

    What areas are covered by a Christian studies MA?

    A Christian studies MA degree will include Theology, Hermeneutics, Church Doctrine and the history of the global church and the Alliance church. The student can choose an Intercultural or Christian Ministries emphasis among others.

    What classes would this program include?

    Some of the required courses for a Christian studies MA include:

    • Biblical Theology
    • Social and Cultural Foundations for Ministry
    • Alliance Distinctives
    • Hermeneutics and Theological Research
    • History of the Church
    • Luke-Acts: The Mission of Christ and the Church

    How long does it take to complete the degree?

    Crown’s 36 credit hour master’s degree is normally completed in two years, but students may elect to complete the degree more quickly or slowly depending on their availability.

    How often do I have to be on campus?

    The Master’s degree in Christian studies is 100% online and has no requirement for you to travel to campus for any aspect of the program. Although it is a fully online degree program, you will have a dedicated advisor throughout the program who can assist with various departments. You will also have direct access to each of your instructors and will be able to reach them via phone or email.

    While not required, we do hope you will join us on-site for your graduation! We host several special events for our online students and their families at our main campus in St. Bonifacius, Minnesota the day before graduation. The actual commencement service is held on a Saturday.

    What can I do with a Christian Studies Master degree?

    A graduate of our online Christian studies MA program will be prepared for multiple ministry career tracks. These include potential roles as a:

    • Senior Pastor
    • Executive Pastor
    • Administrative Pastor
    • Associate Pastor
    • Youth and Family Pastor
    • Children’s Pastor
    • Spiritual Director
    • Church Planter
    • Overseas Missionary
    • YWAM Worker
    • Campus Crusade Worker
    • Hospital Chaplain
    • Prison Chaplain
    • Administrative Specialist

    Are there degree specializations or concentrations?

    The Christian studies MA degree at Crown College can be personalized for each student in accordance with their emphasis choice. This allows for more in-depth study in their particular areas of interest. Our master’s program provides you eight (8) Emphasis areas to choose from which include:

    • Theological Studies
    • Spiritual Formation
    • Pastoral Leadership
    • Executive Leadership
    • Pastoral Counseling
    • Intercultural Ministries
    • Disaster and Emergency Management
    • Social Science Research

    Do I need to be a pastor or missionary already to complete this program?

    No, although some familiarity with ministry as a career path will certainly help for this particular major.

    Will I be licensed as a minister if I complete this degree?

    Crown College does not license or ordain ministers but our program provides much of the academic preparation required by various denominations. Contact your pastor or denomination for more information about specific requirements.

    For students who wish to be ordained by the Christian & Missionary Alliance, they will complete the required position papers and textbook readings for ordination and consecration. Students work with their local district in order to complete the remaining ordination requirements.

    Can I transfer into the Christian studies Master’s degree if I’m still working on my bachelor’s degree?

    While some life experience and work history (such as current or previous work) may be considered for credit, as a master-level, professional degree, all students will be required to have a bachelor’s degree to be considered for the program and most students will be required to complete all courses included in the curriculum.