Master of Arts in Religion (MAR)

Class Type:
In person, hybrid and online
$535 per credit hour
Upcoming Start Dates:
Program Options:
Master's degree
Credit Hours
Years (Avg.)

Who should consider an MAR?

The MAR program is designed for students who prioritize academic preparation in the theological disciplines over professional preparation for ministry. Theological study, research and reflection skills combine with opportunities for formational development and mentoring. MAR students have the option of taking courses in other graduate programs at EMU. Interdisciplinary study is encouraged.

The MAR prepares students for

  • teaching or writing
  • further graduate/doctoral studies*

*Given significant diversity in the admissions expectations for doctoral programs, students choosing between the MAR and MDiv programs as preparation to apply to such programs are urged to consult the admissions requirements of specific programs to which they aspire.

Why EMS?

  • The connection to the university allows for a wide-range of interdisciplinary thesis options, in addition to classical seminary disciplines through study with other graduate programs at EMU.
  • MAR students who wish to publish scholarly works often use the MAR thesis as a starting place.
  • Focus on your own formation as a scholar, creating healthy leadership habits and practices. 


Curriculum (60 SH)

Advising and the thesis process

Students must follow a careful process of academic advising and program approval in this program. The director for the MAR program serves as Academic Advisor to all MAR students throughout their program of study. After completing 30 credit hours, the successful student prepares a thesis proposal which gains the approval of the seminary’s Academic Committee. When approving this proposal the committee also appoints a thesis advisor from the academic discipline to which the thesis relates. The thesis culminates in an oral defense before an Examining Committee consisting of the MAR director, academic advisor, the thesis advisor, and one or two additional readers. The various procedures toward the Master of Arts in Religion are outlined more fully in an MAR program manual.

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