For those called to ministry or service to the church in a non-ordained vocation, the path to a theological education may not be clear. Grounded in central elements of Christian thought and practice, the M.A.C.S. degree is designed to introduce students to theological reflection through interdisciplinary study. The degree offers students the opportunity to explore theological study in a general way or through theological reflection on a specific theme for the purpose of enriching their Christian service in both the church and the world.
This theological study is particularly suited to interdisciplinary discourse within Duke University. The M.A.C.S. is a one-year residential degree encompassing eight courses completed in two semesters. The M.A.C.S. is not intended to serve as direct preparation for ordained ministry or doctoral study.
For recent undergraduates, Duke University graduate students, and Triangle residents, the M.A.C.S. offers the opportunity to spend time deepening theological knowledge while exploring options for faith-based service and leadership. During this time, students will learn to read and interpret Scripture and other Christian texts with greater understanding and clarity, will learn to think theologically about the doctrines and practices of the church, and, through the practice of theological reflection, discern how they might faithfully serve the church and the world.
Ordinarily, applicants for the degree will be required to:
- hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
- earn a B (3.0 on 4.0 scale) in their bachelor’s program
- submit three letters of reference from people capable of assessing their intellectual and academic ability, one letter addressing their character, and one letter, preferably from an ordained person, addressing their spiritual and church life
- submit two essays, one (500 words or less) that states the applicant’s reasons for applying to the program; and another (750-1000 words) that takes the form of a critical review of a classic or contemporary theological text
- if a non-native speaker, earn a cumulative score of 108 on the TOEFL iBT with a minimum of 27 scored in each subtest, or a 610 on the TOEFL PBT with a minimum score of 6 on the TWE. The TOEFL iBT is the preferred English proficiency test. The TOEFL requirement may be waived for international students who have completed an undergraduate degree at an accredited college or university in the United States.
Introducing the Master of Arts in Christian Studies (M.A.C.S.)
“This one-year degree offers a distinctive opportunity for students to cultivate habits of Christian theological reflection while engaging cutting-edge interdisciplinary themes within Duke University’s vital intellectual landscape.”
— Laceye Warner, Executive Vice Dean and Associate Professor of the Practice of Evangelism