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Master of Arts in Christian Education (MACE)

The Master of Arts in Christian Education will prepare you to lead Christian education programs for adults, youth, and children in a wide variety of settings. You will study human development, Christian tradition in Scripture and history, theology, and Christian education theories. This program can be tailored to your needs to include academic training for certification in Christian education, youth ministry, and for ordination as a Deacon in The United Methodist Church.
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Garrett-Evangelical far exceeded my expectation by cultivating and nurturing my call to ministry, as well as illuminating and strengthening gifts and passions I did not realize I had.

Youth Ministry Focus

An optional focus in Youth ministry is available to further tailor your degree to your vocation. Students seeking a focus in Youth Ministry are required to take "Youth, Culture, and Church" and "Youth and Faith Passage" as two of their Christian education courses.

Field Education

Without exception, Garrett-Evangelical graduates point to their field education experience as key to their seminary education. Our field education program reflects the Seminary’s philosophy that students mature into ministry by knowing, being, and doing. Master of Arts in Christian Education students take one year of field education, serving at the field site 15 hours per week. By combining hands-on experience with our academic course series, Vocational Formation & Church Leadership (VFCL), we offer students the finest opportunity to discern, test and refine their call to ministry.

Our program offers:

  • Field Site Discernment – We guide each student to a field site where your call, gifts, and vocational goals will be supported, challenged, refined, and affirmed.
  • A Variety of Sites – Options include churches in urban, suburban and rural settings in the immediate area and surrounding states; chaplaincies in both health related and collegiate settings; a variety of social service and outreach agencies.
  • Mentoring – Students meet weekly with the field site supervisor for theological reflection and support. (The VFCL course is structured to provide additional mentoring from ministry professionals and peers.)
  • Compensation – Students receive a stipend for their work in field education.

Christian Education Stance

The stance is an integrative project or essay developed during the final year of the program. The Christian Education stance will integrate work from field education and reflect on the degree goals of the MACE and certification competencies related to Christian education. MACE students will meet in a group with a faculty member to guide them through the stance process and to provide peer support and feedback.

Renowned Faculty Dedicated to Christian Education and the Practice of Ministry

Our faculty is one of Garrett-Evangelical's greatest assets. They are widely recognized for their expertise, scholarship, and leadership in the Church and academy. Our faculty in the area of Christian Education include:

Dr. Reginald Blount is Assistant Professor of Formation, Youth, and Culture at Garrett-Evangelical. He has spoken at numerous conferences and workshops around the world helping faith communities envision new and creative ways to minister to, with, and on behalf of young people. Dr. Blount has written extensively on Christian education, in particular youth ministry, including contributions to Making God Real for a Next Generation: Ministry with Millennials Born from 1982 to 1999 (Discipleship Resources, 2003) and Scripture Talks: 50 Creative Messages for Youth (Abingdon Press, 2004).

Dr. Virginia Lee is Associate Professor of Christian Education and Director of Deacon Studies at Garrett-Evangelical and has served in various capacities at numerous churches as a deacon in full connection in the Virginia Annual Conference. Her academic accolades include receiving the Diaconal Advance Graduate Award and the Rosalie Bentzinger Graduate Award, both of which are given by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church. Additionally, Dr. Lee has published articles in both academic and lay journals and has been an active participant in educational and ministerial forums and conferences.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Arts in Christian Education degree is a 56-credit hour program and is most often completed in two years for students enrolled full time.

Online Learning

While we honor the traditional methods of instruction and rich heritage of academia, we also embrace non-traditional methods such as online learning and hybrid classes. The maximum number of courses which may be taken in an online format is 1/3 of the degree. Students receiving advanced standing or transfer can take no more than 1/3 of remaining credits toward the degree in an online format. Students seeking ordination should check with the appropriate church authorities to see if there are more specific guidelines that must be met.

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Admission Requirements

  • Graduation from an accredited college or university
  • An undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
  • Proficiency in the English language

Admission Process

Applications will be reviewed upon completion. The admissions committee reserves the right to determine, in its sole judgment, whether an applicant is a suitable candidate for a specific degree program or for the vocation that the program represents. Applications are accepted on an ongoing, rolling-admission basis and are due six weeks before date of entry for domestic students. International applications are due March 1st.