M.A. Global Theology

Program Purpose

The globalization of the Christian faith has resulted in many new voices contributing to theological discussion. Many of the perspectives that these new, global voices share are forged in cultural and social milieus very different to the Western worldview which was, to some extent, the outcome of Christian theology in the first place.

The Master of Arts (Global Theology) is designed to enable a reflective and critical evaluation of the context in which contemporary theological thought is generated. Examining the writings of contemporary Christian scholars within their own context sheds new light on modern Christian theology. Central to this three-year degree are four continental learning experiences supported by annual on-campus sessions.

Program Objectives

Upon completing the MA(GT), the student should be able to:

  • Apply Biblical principles to contemporary ministry contexts
  • Evaluate and respond to cultural phenomena in light of Scriptural values
  • Evaluate and respond to historical events and their aftermath in light of Scriptural values
  • Formulate relevant ministry strategies for the globalized world
  • Model Biblical principles appropriately in a cross-cultural context
  • Develop personal habits of lifelong learning

Program Distinctives

The MA (GT) program with Trinity has two unique features that set it apart from the many programs nationwide.

  1. The cohort basis of the program specifically designed to accommodate those in full time ministry. This provides the benefit of face-to-face interaction with the professor and with classmates, while making it possible to continue to minister or work full time.
  2. The emphasis placed on direct contact with locations that influenced theological development such as:
    • Europe – Christian Theology and Secular Thought
    • Eurasia – Christian Theology and Global Islam: A Christ-Centered Response
    • Africa – Christian Theology in a Post-Colonial Context
    • Asia – Christian Theology and Religious Pluralism

M.A. GLOBAL THEOLOGY

Practical Theology (PT)

PT 510 Research Methods 1: Perspectives and Resources 3 credits

Foundational to post-graduate level study is the need to understand and become familiar with research methodology. This course is intentionally designed to prepare the student for careful, investigative research resulting in appropriate writing styles, accurate referencing, and critical analysis. Analyzing, evaluating, building and presenting arguments are central to the course. Developing a familiarity with different research methodologies, data analysis and the preparation of literature reviews prepare the student to maximize the whole course, but in particular, to be prepared for the research track which comprises their own unique project.

PT 515 Research Methods 2: Project Proposal and Design 3 credits

A distinctive of the MAGT is the collation of research into a cohesive portfolio. This course will prepare the student to analyze the key findings of their research, identify an application for their own context, and present a critical piece of academic work.

PT 525 Global Scholar 3 credits (2)

Each year a leading global scholar will be invited to teach Leadership in a Global Context from the unique perspective of his or her area of expertise. The title of the course will be determined by the content of the syllabus. Building on the factual realities of globalization, this course is designed to develop competencies in developing a biblical worldview that leads to responding in a Christ-honoring way to the complex issues of religious, ideological, and cultural diversity that now define the context of the twenty-first century church. Understanding contemporary phenomena such as mass migration, pluralism, gender issues, and ethnic diversity are foundational to effectively leading churches and ministries that are clearly counter-cultural communities of faith. The intentional inclusiveness of Christ-following people and demonstrating an understanding in leading redemptive communities forms the theological foundation of this course.

PT 530 Introduction to Theological Constructs and Thought in Global Context – Directed Study

Christianity, rooted in Judaism and hence Jewish theological constructs and thought, originated in Jerusalem, the political capital of Judea (the Herodian Kingdom) and the center of Jewish spiritual life in the first century. Over the following centuries Christian theology has been profoundly shaped by countless influences as it spread from its original cultural location. Developing an understanding of what has shaped our theology is foundational to our ability to effectively execute our praxis in increasingly pluralistic social contexts. This course examines the effects that Western theological thought has had on non-Western Christianity and invites us to consider the implications for global Christianity and the mission of Christ to the nations.

Global Theology (GT)

GT 510 Collapse of Empire and Christian Theology: Descent of the West and Its Impact on Christian Thought and Practice [Europe] 6 credits

The Great War (1914 – 1918) had a catastrophic impact on the dynasties that had ruled Europe and its Empires for hundreds of years. More devastating was the confusion that followed. In the developing world questions about how Christians could war with each other cast many doubts on the validity of the message carried by missionaries at the height of the colonial era. In Europe itself, widespread disillusionment set in, resulting in the casting off of social restraint during the “roaring ‘20s” and then the development of classical postmodern thought in the academy during the 1930’s. This module is facilitated by visiting Europe, seeing key sights and museums, and engaging with a variety of people who can offer commentary and opinion about this catalytic time and its impact on Christian thought and practice. Historical method will be discussed in an applied context and the student assisted in identifying a meaningful research topic that will adequately address the subject.

GT 610 Post-Colonialism and Christian Theology: Deconstructing Old Paradigms [Africa] 6 credits

The single most influential idea in the contemporary African Church and its theology is the legacy of European Colonialism. Redemptive language is often interposed with concepts of freedom from the oppression of the colonist. This has created a context that is difficult to describe or understand. However, contextual engagement within the African Church will provide valuable experiences even if these are difficult to quantify. Through visiting African churches, engaging with scholars and pastors, and examining the colonial history of a region the student should be able to engage in reflective analysis and identify an area of research that would positively contribute to the continued effort to ensure biblical orthodoxy in a post-colonial, highly politicized part of the Church of Jesus Christ.

GT 615 Religious Pluralism and Christian Theology: Understanding Context, Community, and Relevance [Asia] 6 credits

Religious pluralism is one of the key factors that describes contemporary globalization. Asia has a long history of accommodating religious pluralism. Visiting countries whose vast populations hold different religious views provide opportunities to evaluate diversity and view our Christian faith in a context where it is, at best, a comparative religion. Bringing the good news of Jesus to communities who have in some instances practiced their faith for hundreds of years before the advent of Christian faith requires careful theological thought, a sensitive apologetic, and an exemplary lifestyle. This facilitated learning experience is intended to produce these outcomes.

GT 620 Global Islam and Christian Theology: A Christ-Centered Response [Eurasia] 6 credits

The twentieth century saw an unprecedented expansion of Islam around the world. Europe has experienced the mass migration of millions of people from Islamic countries. Additionally, there has been the rise of radical Islam often with the use of violence. This has polarized the international community often producing reactionary rhetoric from Christian leaders. This saturation experience seeks to analyze the socio-political impact of global Islam and propose Christ-centered responses drawing on careful theological reflection. The experience will include time in a Middle Eastern country, dialogue with those involved in serving in a majority Islamic environment, and visits to Islamic centers.

Thesis (TH)

TH 690 Thesis 9 credits

The capstone of the MAGT is a project based on the findings of the contextual studies component of the course. The student will produce a cohesive folio with consistent referencing and combined bibliography. A critical assessment of the material and its application to the student’s context will constitute the introduction and conclusion to a project of approximately 20,000 words, excluding footnotes.

Typical Student

There are two categories of students. The first are mature students who are currently in pastoral, missionary or other ministry vocations. The second are students completing their undergraduate studies and wishing to continue directly into postgraduate studies.

Program Structure

The MA (Global Theology) is a 48 credit program and you can complete in as little as three years.

Complete the Program in Up to Three Years

  • Year one: Take four courses in the fall and the first learning experience trip to Europe.
  • Year two: Take the second learning experience trip in the fall and third learning experience trip in the spring.
  • Year three: Take the fourth learning experience trip in the fall and work on thesis and elective class.

What is a Residential Session?

The Residential Sessions of the MA(GT) at Trinity are four sessions of four days each per semester. Typically, they will begin on a Monday evening with a shared supper and a forum. The program will run full day Tuesday – Thursday and finish by lunchtime on Friday. The dates for the sessions are scheduled at least two years in advance for your long-term planning.

Access to the Internet is required for participation in the program.

MAGT Session Dates

DatesCourseLocationCohort
2020   
August 24-28Research Methods 1
 Global Scholar 1
October 23-30Collapse of EmpireAmsterdam1
 Online Theology 1
2021   
March 15-22Religious PluralismIndia1
August 23-27Research Methods 2
August 23-27Global Scholar 1, 2
October 25-Nov. 2Post-Colonialism & Christian TheologySouth Africa1, 2
October 25-Nov. 2Intro to Theo Thought 2
2022   
March 14-21Global IslamJordan1, 2
August 22-26Thesis 1
August 22-26Research Methods 3
August 22-26Global Scholar 2, 3
October 26-Nov 3Collapse of an EmpireLondon2, 3
October 26-Nov 3Intro to Theology ThoughtOnline3
2023   
March 13-20Thesis 1
March 13-20Thesis Proposal 2
MarchGraduation Spring 2023 1
May 13-20Religious PluralismIndia2, 3