The Master of Arts in Ministerial Studies:
A Brief Overview

The Masters of Arts in Ministerial Studies (MAMS) degree program prepares persons for service as associates in ministry, deaconesses, and diaconal ministers in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) or for service in similar leadership positions in other denominations.

Students normally declare one of two specializations for this degree at the time of admission:

Christian Education (CE), which prepares one to be an associate in ministry, deaconess, or diaconal minister in the ELCA working in Christian Education or to hold similar positions in other denominations; and

 Diaconal Ministry (DM), which prepares one to be an associate in ministry, deaconess, or diaconal minister in the ELCA working in a variety of areas, or to hold similar positions in other denominations. 

These two specializations have different expected outcomes and course requirements, however, both specializations provide the necessary tools and resources for the spiritual, vocational, professional, and theological requirements of church leadership in a variety of positions and settings.

Both Master of Arts in Ministerial Studies degree programs require completion of a Bachelor's degree, or its equivalent, at an accredited institution of higher learning and may be pursued on a full-time or part-time basis and students may either live on campus or commute.

Overall Degree Requirements

The MAMS degree normally requires:
  • two full years of study
  • a total of 60.5 credits
  • the field education requirement of teaching parish
    • This field education experience is connected to an Integrative Seminar designed to aid students in integrating degree coursework with field experience
In addition to the above,
  • MAMS-CE students are required to complete one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education, either full-time during the summer or concurrent with classes during the academic year
  • MAMS-DM students are required to complete the Diaconal Ministry Formation Event once, held each January at Gettysburg Seminary
For more details about the MAMS specializations please read their program overviews: Ecumenical Requirements
At some point in the course of study, ELCA students will complete at least three credits offered by an accredited non-ELCA seminary. Courses offered by a Washington Theological Consortium school are a primary way for students to fulfill this ecumenical requirement.

Leadership Requirements
During the January Term students normally fulfill Multicultural Studies Program and Human Relations requirements. A required seminar on sexual ethics is offered each year, normally in September.

Requirements for Admission and Application Process

Application Materials

Cost of Attendance - MAMS-CE

Cost of Attendance - MAMS-DM


Financial Aid