Christian Ministry, M.A.

Christian Ministry, M.A.


Are you passionate about seeing people transformed spiritually? Do you have a desire to both deepen your personal knowledge and understanding of Scripture while gaining practical tools for the everyday reality of ministry? 

PLNU’s Master of Arts in Christian Ministry (MACM) program is designed with the student in mind. By combining a strong ministry component with rigorous academics, PLNU’s MACM is ideal for both practicing and aspiring pastors and other ministry leaders. 

Within the Master of Arts in Christian Ministry program, you will be equipped and empowered to be a strong leader whose preaching and teaching impact the lives around you. Develop a better understanding of how to lead a missional church and how Wesleyan theology can inform your contemporary ministry. 

The program is designed to accommodate students who live at a distance (often in ministry assignments). Courses are offered in eight-week quads, including one intensive week per semester (or three times per year). There is also a Distance Exception Policy that allows those who live more than fifty miles from PLNU’s Point Loma campus to complete the degree online without having to attend in-person classes on campus. The curriculum has a strong emphasis on both academic rigor and practical ministry.

The degree is designed around four central emphases, which are highlighted in the core courses:

  • Christian Formation
  • Christian Scripture
  • Church in Mission
  • Christian Tradition

Each of these courses is paired with a course that focuses on application in local ministry.

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Student Profile

John E. Miller, Rev.

Building a coalition of churches of differing traditions isn’t something Reverend John E. Miller, Senior Pastor of Wahiawa Community Church of the Nazarene in Oahu, Hawaii would have done before getting his master's of christian ministry at PLNU.

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After completing the Master of Arts in Christian Ministry program, students will be able to:

  • Incorporate Christian formation in the local congregation and the life of the minister.
  • Interpret Scripture especially as related to preaching and teaching in the local church.
  • Explain the nature, mission, and social context of the church, especially as related to ecclesial practices and leadership in the local congregation.
  • Analyze theology, ethics, and church history, especially as related to the Wesleyan tradition and contemporary ministry.

Master of Divinity

As part of Nazarene Theological Seminary’s Multi-Campus Seminary initiative, you can now take NTS coursework at PLNU toward the completion of a Master of Divinity degree. PLNU Master of Arts in Christian Ministry units may also be transferred into the NTS M.Div.

PLNU's Master of Arts in Christian Ministry curriculum covers partial educational requirements for ordination in the Church of the Nazarene.

Application Information

Are you ready to take the next step and apply?

We’re here to make the entire process a simple one. We’ll walk you through the application process, answer your questions, and get you one step closer to earning your degree.

Program Start Date(s):

  • Fall 2024 Quad I — September 2, 2024
  • Fall 2024 Quad II — October 28, 2024
  • Spring 2025 Quad I — January 13, 2025
  • Spring 2025 Quad II — March 17, 2025
  • Summer 2025 Quad I — May 12, 2025
  • Summer 2025 Quad II — July 7, 2025

Application Deadline(s):

  • Fall 2024 Quad I — August 21, 2024
  • Fall 2024 Quad II — October 16, 2024
  • Spring 2025 Quad I — December 11, 2024
  • Spring 2025 Quad II — February 28, 2025
  • Summer 2025 Quad I — April 25, 2025
  • Summer 2025 Quad II — June 20, 2025

All applications submitted after this date will be reviewed based on availability of space.

Start Application

The Selection Process

The educational context at PLNU will challenge you to live a full life that integrates the pursuit of knowledge with beliefs, values and actions. While honoring diverse perspectives and beliefs, Christian values and principles are woven into the educational experience. We understand that your application is not only a reflection of you as a student; it’s a reflection of you as a person. At PLNU, we holistically evaluate your academic history, work and life experience, background, and circumstances to determine admission into a graduate program. Your undergraduate GPA is an important piece of your application, but if you do not meet the minimum GPA requirement of a 2.75 or higher you may still be eligible for admission based on your application package as well as the exceptions policy per your particular program.* Therefore, we strongly encourage you to contact your enrollment counselor, who will advise you regarding your qualifications and provide specific information about the admission under exceptions process.

To be admitted into PLNU's Master of Arts in Christian Ministry program, you must have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution, as evidenced by an official transcript from an institution that indicates the completion of an undergraduate degree.

If you have any questions about your qualifications or the program in general, we encourage you to contact your enrollment counselor.

Application Checklist

Note: The application is completed entirely online with the exception of transcripts, which can be submitted electronically or directly to PLNU, and test scores, which should be submitted electronically.

  1. Submit an online application for admissions (including $50 non-refundable application fee, which is waived for PLNU alums, current or former military and their dependents, and PLNU employees).
  2. Submit official transcripts with proof of earned baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution.* (If you are a PLNU alumnus, please notify your counselor to have your transcripts retrieved. You do not need to request transcripts from the PLNU Office of Records.)

    Official transcripts must be sent to:
    Point Loma Nazarene University
    Office of Graduate Admissions
    3900 Lomaland Dr.
    San Diego, CA 92106

    Official electronic transcripts must be emailed to:

    *Please note, official transcripts must be sent directly from the regionally accredited institution.
  3. Submit a personal essay that addresses the following topic:
    • Submit a writing sample that includes a statement of commitment to Christian values and to excellence in scholarship.
  4. Once you have submitted your admissions application, your two selected professional recommenders will automatically be sent the auto-generated document to complete on your behalf. If you'd like to include a written letter in addition to this required document, you may do so, but it's unnecessary.

Start Application

Exceptions Policy*: If you have below a 2.75 GPA in your baccalaureate degree, you will need to speak with your enrollment counselor for more information on the exceptions materials needed for your particular program.

State Authorization

State authorization is a formal determination that PLNU is approved to conduct educational activities regulated by that state or U.S. Territory. PLNU is not required to obtain state authorization in every state or U.S. Territory, and the university has opted at this time not to seek authorization in certain states and U.S. Territories. Additionally, PLNU meets the criteria for exemption from authorization in certain states.

At this time, PLNU does not have authorization in Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, and the U.S. Territories. 

Authorizations in specific states may change periodically. PLNU recommends contacting PLNU admissions at (800) 733-7770 for the latest information.

Career Opportunities

PLNU’s Master of Arts in Christian Ministry will prepare you to further your career as a working minister, expanding both your understanding and impact. You'll grow your passion for ministry, gain expertise in the study of Scripture, and be empowered you to lead a missional church.

“The one-week intensive structure of the PLNU master of christian ministry program allows me to balance both ministry and scholastic pursuits. I am able to make my Wednesday and Sunday commitments while still being in class. Likewise, the online coursework before and after the one-week intensive is designed to work around my schedule, and as a bi-vocational pastor, this has been extremely important for my ability to complete courses.”    

Garrett Blevins
Student, Master of Arts in Christian Ministry  

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Financial Aid and Student Support

We take seriously the role of providing you with financial, academic, and career support so you have the tools you need to be successful at PLNU and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

Financial Aid and Student Support

Frequently Asked Questions

What is required to be admitted into this program?

  • Completion of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution.
  • A completed application for admission to the program.
  • Official transcripts indicating an approved undergraduate degree.
  • An interview with the director of the master of ministry program.
  • A writing sample that includes a statement of commitment to Christian values and excellence in scholarship.

Can I work while completing the program?

Absolutely! The master of ministry program consists of blended in-person and online courses that allow for a flexible schedule, so you can continue to work full or part time.

What scholarship and financial aid opportunities are available to me?

You'll have the option to apply for a number of scholarships through Student Financial Services and the School of Theology and Christian Ministry. This program also qualifies for state and federal financial aid options. For specific details, please contact PLNU’s Graduate and Professional Student Services.

How long does it take to complete the program?

The expected completion time is two years.

How many days a week do classes meet?

Each course is eight weeks long and it includes a one-week intensive at PLNU's campus per semester (three times a year). The courses are asynchronous online which means they don't require any regular class sessions. 

PLNU is a Christian university, but I'm not a Christian. Would I feel out of place in this program?

We welcome and encourage people of all backgrounds as students in our programs. Issues that relate to faith may be discussed in some classes, and engaging in discussion with individuals with alternative points of view will be encouraged as learning opportunities. Students will work within a learning community that is supportive academically, spiritually, and emotionally.

Do I need to be part of the Wesleyan tradition?

Courses include a Wesleyan emphasis, but all Christian traditions are invited and will be well-served by the program. In fact, hospitality of ideas and other traditions is an important part of a Wesleyan perspective.

Do I need to be in a current ministry assignment?

While most students in our program are actively involved in ministry, recent graduates who have not yet gained ministry experience are welcome.

I’m from out of the area; are there alternative options available for the one-week intensives?

Students who live more than fifty miles from PLNU’s Point Loma campus may apply to participate in the in-person portion of each course synchronously online without traveling to campus. Students apply for the distance exception during the regular application process and, if granted, may choose to participate in the in-person portion of each course by traveling to campus or by attending those class days synchronously online.  

Who teaches the courses?

While each course is assigned a professor of record from PLNU’s School of Theology and Christian Ministry, we also invite guest lecturers to the week-long intensives who are practicing professionals and specialists in their fields.

Will this program prepare me to be eligible for Nazarene ordination?

Courses within the Master of Arts in Christian Ministry curriculum may be applied toward the educational requirements for ordination in the Church of the Nazarene.

Do I get a discount for being Nazarene?

Our program is intentionally made affordable for all students, Nazarene or not, so there is not a specific Nazarene discount.

Can I complete this program without doing the week-long intensives?

The week intensives (one each semester) are a requirement of the program, whether in person or synchronously via Zoom. 

What days am I expected to be on campus for the week-long intensives?

Students will attend one week-long intensive per semester (three times per year). During week eight of the Quad I class, the intensive will be divided into half: Students attend Monday & Tuesday 8-5, Wednesday 8-5 for the first class. Second class is Wednesday 1-5, and 8-5 Thursday and Friday. 

Course List

For information about the courses required for the Christian Ministry, M.A. program, view the PLNU Catalog. 

Course Information

Department Faculty