Christ College

Dean: Dr. Steven P. Mueller

Purpose Statement

The purpose of Christ College is to enable students to understand, communicate, teach, defend and believe the Christian faith through systematic inquiry of the Bible, doctrines of the church and other statements of faith. Christ College also equips students for professional church work in their chosen field. The school guides students interested in receiving certification for ministerial vocations in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.

Master of Arts in Theology (MA)

The Masters of Arts in Theology offers a core curriculum in advanced theological study for students who desire to be well prepared biblically and theologically, combined with flexibility for specific student emphases. Students can pursue goals including acquisition of advanced skills for Christian ministry. The Master of Arts (MA) in Theology degree is designed to stand alone for research and education or prepare students for doctoral programs at other major universities or graduate schools in the United States and abroad. The MA in Theology degree requires 32-38 semester units for completion.

Master of Arts in Theology: Christian Education Leadership

The Christian Education Leadership emphasis engages students in theology, biblical education methodology and principles of leadership to prepare students to equip Christians for the work of ministry (Ephesians 14:12) within a variety of church-related ministries. This can be combined with certification requirements for Director of Christian Education certification within the LCMS.

Master of Arts in Theology: Research in Theology

The Research in Theology emphasis invites students into an ongoing life of theological research and scholarship in a wide range of theological issues and topics and is designed to engage students in research and dialogue with distinguished faculty who are committed to Holy Scripture, the church's creeds, to life in Christ's Church, and to academic excellence.

Master of Arts in Theology: Theology and Culture

The Theology and Culture emphasis invites students into an engagement with the diverse and rich ethnic and cultural heritages so evident in the Pacific Southwest. Students learn alongside intercultural colleagues from Latino, African, Pacific Rim, Middle Eastern, and Anglo backgrounds. The curriculum also serves as part of the LCMS Pastoral Certification program.

Cross-cultural Ministry Center

Director: Dr. Glenn Fluegge

The Cross-cultural Ministry Center (CMC) oversees the preparation, training and formation of candidates for pastoral ministry in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). The CMC specializes in forming missionary pastors to launch and develop culture-crossing ministries. Students graduate with a master of arts degree (MA) in theology and full certification for ordination as a pastor in the LCMS.

Master of Arts in Theology (MA)


  • Christian Education Leadership
  • Research in Theology
  • Servant Leadership
  • Theology and Culture
  • Youth Ministry

Master of Arts in Theology

Core Curriculum
THL 501Introduction to Theological Research2
THL 504Survey of Historical Theology3
THL 511Creeds and Confessions3
THL 528Seminar in Biblical Theology and Exegesis3
THL 565Christianity, Ethics and Contemporary Culture3
THL 573Systematic Doctrinal Theology3
Choose 1 of the following emphases15-21
Total Units32-38


Christian Education Leadership

CED 502Church Leadership and Administration3
CED 532Methodology of Christian Teaching3
CED 550Counseling in Ministry3
Choose 1 of the following courses:3
Adult Ministry3
Children's and Family Ministry3
Youth Ministry3
Choose 1 of the following:6-12
Thesis I
and Thesis II
Internship: DCE12
Total Units18-24

Research in Theology

Choose 9 units from the following:9
Guided Readings3
Elective course is chosen from the theology graduate offerings to be announced in consultation with the faculty advisor
THL 595Thesis I3
THL 596Thesis II3
Total Units15

Servant Leadership

The Servant Leadership emphasis is offered in cooperation with KINDLE (The Karpenko Institute for Nurturing and Developing Leadership Excellence), an institute that works to provide advanced leadership training for Directors of Christian Education.  The KINDLE seminars make up this emphasis.  Students must be recommended from KINDLE to be eligible for this emphasis.

THL 591Colloquium *9
THL 595Thesis I3
THL 596Thesis II3
Total Units15

Theology and Culture

THL 502Ministry in Cultural Context3
THL 505Polity, Leadership and Team Ministry3
THL 521World Religions3
THL 530The Reformation Era I3
THL 540Entrepreneurial Mission Planting3
THL 595Thesis I3
THL 596Thesis II3
Total Units21

Youth Ministry

THL 591Colloquium *9
THL 595Thesis I3
THL 596Thesis II3
Total Units15

The Cross-cultural Ministry Center (CMC) Program

The curriculum of the CMC seeks to form faithful missionary pastors to launch and develop culture-crossing ministries.  It is comprised of three interlinked components:

  1. Coursework for a Master of Arts in Theology (Theology and Culture emphasis)
  2. Courses preparing students for pastoral ministry (required for certification as an ordained minister in the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod)
  3. Concurrent vicarage experience.  All coursework in the CMC is embedded in real life ministry and mission experience-the “CMC Missional Vicarage.”  It is 4+ years, part of the requirements for completing the CMC curriculum, and runs concurrently with coursework.  It consists of planning activities, carrying out those activities, and then journaling your progress.  In the first half of the Missional Vicarage, vicars carry out basic mission and ministry activities at a Lutheran church.  In the second half, vicars plan and finally launch and develop a new culture-crossing ministry in the community.  All of this is closely coordinated with district facilitators and carried out under the guidance of a local congregation, a Mentor Pastor, and a CUI Faculty Supervisor.  This vicorage experience replaces the thesis for the Master of Arts in Theology (Theology and Culture emphasis)*

Program Requirements

MA Theology (Theology and Culture emphasis) Coursework
THL 501Introduction to Theological Research2
THL 502Ministry in Cultural Context3
THL 504Survey of Historical Theology3
THL 505Polity, Leadership and Team Ministry3
THL 510Lutheran Confessions3
THL 521World Religions3
THL 529Lutheran Hermeneutics and the Theology of Scripture3
THL 530The Reformation Era I3
THL 540Entrepreneurial Mission Planting3
THL 565Christianity, Ethics and Contemporary Culture3
Choose 1 of the following courses:3
Systematics I3
Systematics II3
Systematics III3
Pastoral Preparation Coursework
TGRE 501Greek I3
TGRE 502Greek II3
TEXO 507Old Testament Isagogics3
TEXO 510Old Testament Book3
TEXN 510The Synoptic Gospels and Acts3
TEXN 520Romans/Pauline Literature3
TEXN 540Pastoral Epistles3
TEXN 532Johannine Corpus3
TPRC 502Pastoral Theology **3
TPRC 503Pastor as Counselor3
TPRC 521Pastor as Missionary3
TPRC 530Homiletics I **3
TPRC 531Homiletics II **3
TPRC 542Lutheran Worship in Culture Context3
THL 541Mission Planting Institute3
Choose 2 of the following courses not taken for MA:6
Systematics I3
Systematics II3
Systematics III3
CMC Missional Vicarage
TVIC 501Vicarage I: Practicum I2
TVIC 502Vicarage I: Practicum II3
TVIC 503Vicarage II: Internship I3
TVIC 504Vicarage II: Internship II3
TVIC 505Vicarage III: Mission Plant I3
TVIC 506Vicarage III: Mission Plant II3
TVIC 507Vicarage IV: Church Planting I3
TVIC 508Vicarage IV: Church Planting II3
Total Units106

Application Requirements

1.  Completed Application for admission online.

2.  Submit a non-refundable application fee (see Tuition and Fees).

3.  Request and submit official, sealed transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.

4.  Submit 2 letters of recommendation using the university's reference form

  • Recommendations must be current and should come from persons with whom the students has studies or worked concerning the following: academic proficiency, personal character, and competence and effectiveness in professional work.
  • Examples of acceptable reference sources are employers, work supervisors, principals/assistant principals, university instructors, colleagues, or pastors.

5.  Complete and submit a statement of intent.

6.  Interview with Christ College's Director of Graduate Programs or his representative.

7.  Apply for financial aid and/or set up a payment plan through the Office of the Bursar (non-degree students are not eligible for financial aid.

Admission Requirements

The applicant must submit evidence of their ability to achieve success in a graduate program, shown by the following:

1.  Full Admission: a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale in all previous college work. 

2.  Conditional Admission: a cumulative GPA of 2.70-2.99 in all previous college work. Students admitted with provisional status may enroll for a maximum of 9 units (3 courses). If a minimum GPA of 3.25 is earned in the 3 courses (9 units), candidates may be granted regular status in a graduate program.

International Applicants

Students applying from outside the United States will be required to provide other information as necessary for preparation of the Form I-20 to obtain a visa. 

Transfer Credit

A maximum of 6 graduate units may be transferred into the program from an accredited university/college. These courses must be approved by the dean of the school and closely match course descriptions in the university's MA in Theology program.

A maximum of 6 graduate units may be used from courses taken during non-degree seeking student status pending the approved of Christ College's graduate program director.