Master of Arts in Ministerial Studies (M.A.M.S.)

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 in the ELCA or to hold similar positions in other denominations; and Diaconal Ministry (DM), which prepares one to be a deaconess or diaconal minister in the ELCA, or to hold similar positions in other denominations. These two concentrations have different expected outcomes and course requirements.

This degree program prepares persons for service as associates in ministry, deaconesses, or diaconal ministers in the ELCA, or for service in similar leadership positions in other denominations. The degree, normally a two year program when taken full time, requires a total of 60.5 credits, including supervised field education experiences. Students are also required to participate in a seminar on sexual ethics during September and a workshop on Human Relations during January.

MAMS-with Specialization in Christian Education

Graduates of this degree program will be able to:

  • Interpret the role and content of Christian religious education in the overall life of the congregation and the educational heritage of the denomination
  • Demonstrate parish leadership in the areas of Christian education and nurture in the congregation
  • Develop , review and assess appropriate resources and programs for Christian education that respond to the local, regional, national, and global contexts
  • Integrate worship and educational ministry in light of the various theological disciplines
  • Work effectively within the matrix of congregational, ecumenical, and inter-religious contexts

Master of Arts in Ministerial Studies with a Specialization in Diaconal Ministry 
      (M.A.M.S.–Diaconal Ministry)

Graduates of this degree program will be able to:

•  Articulate the Word of God in and for a hurting world, using the fruits of biblical, historical, and theological studies
•  Carry out a particular service on behalf of the church with credibility in the world
•  Equip the baptized for faithful ministry in the world and in the church
•  Participate in the community of Word and Sacrament, and in the diaconal communities of  their own denomination and the broader church
•  Articulate and act out a vision of diakonia that addresses human need

 Diaconal Ministry Concentrations
Students elect 21 credits related to preparation in an area of specialization.  Since up to 28 credits may be transferred from other accredited graduate schools to apply toward the M.A.M.S. degree, all of the specialization course requirements may be taken at another accredited graduate school.  All transfer credits are subject to review before being accepted.

While there are numerous fields of specialization, two in particular are arranged as follows:
A specialization in word and service in rural communities may be arranged, drawing upon the distinctive course offerings and resources of the Seminary’s Town and Country Church Institute.
For those whose area of specialization is social service, it is possible to participate in a Certificate Program in Social Services offered to Gettysburg Seminary diaconal ministry students by Temple University’s School of Social Administration and take specialization courses through Temple’s Harrisburg satellite campus.  

The purpose of the diaconal ministry independent study project is to provide the candidate an opportunity to develop a vision for ministry at the interface of societal need and Christian service and is further described under the Center for Diaconal Ministry and in the Student Handbook
Click on Center for Diaconal Ministry for information on the Formation Event. The next event is:  
July 16-21, 2015-residence at Gettysburg Seminary campus
June 15-August 14, 2015-online component