Students at commencement

Master of Arts

Use your gifts to serve the church and world

The two-year master’s programs at Luther Seminary are designed to educate and equip God’s people who are called to a variety of vocations in the world and in the church.

As a M.A. student, you will have the opportunity to study alongside other master's-level students. Through such interactions, you will expand your understanding of your own concentration areas while gaining appreciation of the gifts, callings and vocations of your peers.

Professional M.A. degree concentrations

Master of Arts in Children, Youth and Family Ministry

Luther Seminary's Children, Youth and Family (CYF) Ministry degree programs integrate theology, theory and practical leadership. Graduates leave powerfully equipped to nurture and strengthen the faith of young people and their families with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The CYF Ministry concentration provides students with academic courses, community discipleship, and ministry experience that prepares students for leadership in various ministry settings.

M.A. students -- residential or distributed learners -- can choose to pursue a CYF concentration. 

CYF is interested in creative people who desire to think theologically by standing deeply in the lived realities of young people. We believe the cultural and personal realities of younger people (and their families) offer an amazingly rich context to ask big questions about God, church, and the world. The CYF concentration hopes to create a mutual learning environment through Intensive Courses, attention to Community, and integration around Contextual Learning as an environment to explore new ideas. We see CYF as a kind of  laboratory where students can design, rethink, and explore in the context of CYF ministry.

All M.A. in CYF students are engaged in leadership in contextual ministry site. Residential CYF students typically work part-time in a ministry position in the Twin Cities. Distributed CYF students work part- or full-time in a ministry position in their area.

Find out more information about the Children, Youth and Family program and its curriculum.

Master of Arts in Leadership and Innovation for Ministry

Given the complexity of today’s local, national and global landscape, cultivating innovative, agile leaders is both urgent and necessary. This degree targets leaders who are interested in helping congregations,   non-profit organizations social services ministries and others innovate and change to be more responsive to the changing needs and real-world opportunities. Also, leaders who are interested in starting new faith-based organizations or being entrepreneurial in ministry settings will benefit from this program.

The M.A. degree in Leadership and Innovation for Ministry integrates a robust understanding of leadership with theology, innovation and practical tools. Leaders will develop the capacity to assess complex problems and lead adaptive organizational change. They will also gain a deeper awareness of themselves as effective and flexible leaders. The learning will be practical, connected to a variety of ministry-related organizations and collaborative with a number of partners including faculty, students and local practitioners.

This program uses a combination of face-to-face classes and intensives, online learning and field experience. As a result, residency on the St. Paul Luther Seminary campus is not required.

Master of Arts in Christian Ministry

This Master of Arts degree, which is biblical and theological, prepares students for public leadership in a variety of contexts and roles. There are a number of leaders who can benefit from these studies:

  • Non-ordained leaders who are currently serving in ministry settings
  • Leaders who are seeking lay rostering within their church denomination
  • Leaders in the global church
  • Leaders who are working in non-profits or chaplaincy

The M.A. degree in Christian Ministry prepares students for public leadership in a variety of contexts and roles. This flexible degree, available on campus or online, allows students to concentrate in a particular area of ministry. Or students can take a variety of leadership courses to fit their vocational goals. In addition to classroom learning, this program includes field experiences to help provide on-the-ground leadership development and a capstone ministry project.

This program uses a combination of face-to-face classes and intensives, online learning and field experience. As a result, residency on the St. Paul Luther Seminary campus is not required.

Master of Arts (Academic)

Luther Seminary offers various concentrations in the Master of Arts for those interested in pursuing further graduate studies and vocations of teaching. Students may also use these courses as a grounding for specific work in congregations or non-profit organizations. The Academic M.A. degree concentrations include:

Bible concentration

This specialization focuses on the study of the Bible. It is intended as a course of study for those with a particular interest in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. It may serve as a springboard to further graduate studies or to use as an in-depth understanding for teaching in congregations.

History of Christianity concentration

This specialization focuses on the history of Christianity. This in-depth look at the historical aspects of the church helps provide context for understanding Christianity today. This study is particularly helpful to students who plan to pursue further graduate work.

Justice and Reconciliation concentration

This specialization focuses on God’s reforming work of justice and reconciliation in the world today. It explores a range of biblical, theological and ecumenical perspectives in concert with philosophical and sociological approaches to justice and reconciliation. This study is helpful for students who want to pursue further graduate studies, work in congregations and non-profit organizations or lead efforts in community-related work.

Systematic Theology concentration

This specialization focuses on systematic theology for those interested in further graduate study in this area.  This concentration helps students understand God’s triune mission in the world from many diverse biblical and theological perspectives.

Master of Arts (Studies in Lutheran Ministries) - Affiliated Track

This program provides Lutheran theological training for those preparing for ministry in a Lutheran setting. Coursework grounds students in Lutheran theology and tradition, and the implications for biblical interpretation and various forms of ministry.

The affiliated track is for students who have an M.Div. degree from a non-ELCA seminary and need to complete an ELCA internship as well as one year of residence at a Lutheran seminary in preparation for ordination in the ELCA. At Luther, they take an additional 8.0 credits, including an ELCA internship and capstone project.

Master of Arts (Studies in Lutheran Ministries) - Non-Affiliated Track

This program provides Lutheran theological training for those preparing for ministry in a Lutheran setting. Coursework grounds students in Lutheran theology and tradition, and the implications for biblical interpretation and various forms of ministry.

This track is for students who are involved or plan to be involved in ministry in an ELCA context as Associates in Ministry (AiMs), Synodically Authorized Ministers (SAMs), diaconal ministers, musicians, para-church professionals and non-profit leaders.

For more detailed information about admission requirements for the M.A. program, please visit our Apply Now.