University of Chester

Programme Specification
Theology MA
2017 - 2018

Master of Arts

Theology

Theology (KEDS)

University of Chester

King's Evangelical Divinity School

King's Evangelical Divinity School eCampus (distance education)

Postgraduate (Taught)

Full-time and Part-time

Distance,

1 year full time; 2 years part time

6 Years

Variable - Variable

N/A

V610

No

17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Arts and Humanities Theology & Religious Studies

Theology and Religious Studies

N/A

Theology and Religious Studies Module Assessment Board.

Tuesday 2nd February 2016

The aims of the MA in Theology are to: 

  • Offer students a thorough, detailed and scholarly examination of the history, thought and expressions of Evangelicalism, with a special emphasis on current trends and developments within the movement.
  • Provide a challenging course to students of a variety of ages and academic backgrounds to develop and -expand their range of theological skills and knowledge.
  • Enable students to undertake a range of learning experiences that are supported by a variety of teaching approaches and delivered in a supportive, learning and Christian environment.
  • Offer to students the opportunity to explore and reflect critically upon theological studies with a particular regard to the richness of Evangelical practice and expression.
  • Develop an informed awareness of the dynamic nature of the Evangelical tradition and a developed facility in the theological task of subjecting this tradition to a process of critical testing and renewal.
  • Draw on a variety of academic disciplines and discourses to enable students to reflect critically on Evangelical faith and practice.
  • Foster in students an ability to relate areas of Theology to broader areas of human understanding and life.
  • Use the research interests of staff to inform and enhance the students’ learning experience.
  • Promote the development of key transferable skills that will assist students in their career options.
  • Equip students to undertake original research at doctoral level.
  • Help students develop a wide range of intellectual abilities and skills which will enable them to make a significant contribution in their chosen careers, particularly academic research.

By the end of this programme, students should be able to:

  • identify, understand and analyse complex and diverse approaches to theological reflection in Evangelicalism (TH7602, TH7603, TH7604, TH7605, TH7606, TH7608, TH7612)
  • demonstrate a critical and scholarly competence in communicating the subject with respect to extended writing (All modules but esp. TH7601, TH7602, TH7608, TH7615).
  • demonstrate a critical understanding and competence in other academic disciplines relevant to the Theology modules in this programme (notably Philosophy, Ethics, History, Social Sciences) (All modules but esp. TH7602, TH7602, TH7608, TH7611, TH7612, TH7613).
  • read and use primary texts both critically and empathetically (All modules)
  • evaluate the significance of major religious, social, cultural and philosophical movements for Christian, particularly Evangelical, faith and practice (TH5601, TH7602, TH7608, TH7609, TH7610, TH7611, TH7614).
  • engage with a range of issues relating to personal, communal and public life. (TH7601, TH7602, TH7603, TH7604, TH7605, TH7606, TH7607, TH7608, TH7609, TH7610, TH7611, TH7612, TH7613, TH7615.)
  • engage productively with the research literature on interactions within and outside Evangelical scholarship. (All modules, covered esp. in TH7601, TH7614 and TH7615)

By the end of this programme, students should be able to:

  • read and use primary texts both critically and empathetically (TH7601, TH7602, TH7603, TH7604, TH7605, TH7606, TH7607, TH7608, TH7609, TH7610, TH7611, TH7612, TH7613, TH7614, TH7615).
  • write with appropriate scholarly and critical nuance, persuasion and style (TH7601, TH7602, TH7603, TH7604, TH7605, TH7606, TH7607, TH7608, TH7609, TH7610, TH7611, TH7612, TH7613, TH7615).
  • evaluate the significance of major religious, social, cultural and philosophical movements for Christian, particularly Evangelical, faith and practice (TH7601, TH7602, TH7603, TH7604, TH7605, TH7606, TH7607, TH7608, TH7609, TH7610, TH7611, TH7612, TH7613, Th7614, TH7615).
  • engage with a range of issues relating to personal, communal and public life (TH7601, TH7602, TH7603, TH7604, TH7605, TH7606, TH7607, TH7608, TH7609, TH7610, TH7611, TH7612, TH7613, TH7615).
  • engage productively with the research literature on interactions within and outside Evangelical scholarship (TH7601, TH7602, TH7603, TH7604, TH7605, TH7606, TH7607, TH7608, TH7609, TH7610, TH7611, TH7612, TH7613, TH7615).

By the end of this programme, students should be able to:

  • demonstrate an awareness of the variety of overarching methodologies available in theological studies and an ability to situate themselves in relation to this range of methodologies (TH7601, TH7602, TH7603, TH7604, TH7605, TH7606, TH7607, TH7608, TH7609, TH7610, TH7611, TH7612, TH7613, TH7614, TH7615).
  • develop a systematic understanding and awareness of recognised problems, insight, or ideas that are at the forefront of Evangelical studies (TH7601, TH7602, TH7603, TH7604, TH7605, TH7606, TH7607, TH7608, TH7609, TH7610, TH7611, TH7612, TH7613, TH7615).
  • critically evaluate the history, thought, and affects of the Evangelical movement. (TH7602, TH7603, TH7604, TH7605, TH7606, TH7607, TH7608, TH7609, TH7610, TH7611, TH7612, TH7613, TH7615).
  • demonstrate an ability to draw on a variety of academic discourses in reflecting critically on global expressions of Evangelical thought and practice (TH7601, TH7602, TH7603, TH7604, TH7605, TH7606, TH7607, TH7608, TH7609, TH7610, TH7611, TH7612, TH7613, TH7615).
  • offer informed comment from a theological perspective on contemporary issues in key global case studies
  • help students objectively critique and offer originality in the application of knowledge with respect to the various components of Evangelicalism (TH7602, TH7603, TH7604, TH7605, TH7606, TH7607, TH7608, TH7609, TH7610, TH7611, TH7612, TH7613, TH7615).
  • evaluate methodologies, develop critiques, and where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses in the assessment of Theology. (TH7602, TH7603, TH7604, TH7605, TH7606, TH7607, TH7608, TH7609, TH7610, TH7611, TH7612, TH7613, TH7615).
  • make independent and imaginative use of theological information and resources (TH7601, TH7602, TH7603, TH7604, TH7605, TH7606, TH7607, TH7608, TH7609, TH7610, TH7611, TH7612, TH7613, TH7614, TH7615).
  • demonstrate the development and extension of practical skills in areas such as pastoral care, Christian communication and leadership. (TH7601, TH7602, TH7603, TH7604, TH7605, TH7606, TH7607, TH7608, TH7609, TH7610, TH7611, TH7612, TH7613, TH7615).

By the end of this programme, students should be able to demonstrate:

  • The ability to identify wide ranges of relevant sources of information, critically evaluate the material and present their own interpretation in a coherent way, showing an ability to understand complex lines of reasoning (TH7601, TH7602, TH7603, TH7604, TH7605, TH7606, TH7607, TH7608, TH7609, TH7610, TH7611, TH7612, TH7613, TH7615).

  • An analytical ability and a capacity to formulate questions and solve problems. (TH7601, TH7602, TH7603, TH7604, TH7605, TH7606, TH7607, TH7608, TH7609, TH7610, TH7611, TH7612, TH7613, TH7614, TH7615).

  • Strong presentation skills, especially in terms of academically suitable written work. (TH7601, TH7602, TH7603, TH7604, TH7605, TH7606, TH7607, TH7608, TH7609, TH7610, TH7611, TH7612, TH7613, TH7615).
  • A capacity to communicate accurately and with criticality and balance. (TH7601, TH7602, TH7603, TH7604, TH7605, TH7606, TH7607, TH7608, TH7609, TH7610, TH7611, TH7612, TH7613, TH7614, TH7615).
  • An ability to obtain, understand, and use primary and secondary sources. (TH7601, TH7602, TH7603, TH7604, TH7605, TH7606, TH7607, TH7608, TH7609, TH7610, TH7611, TH7612, TH7613, TH7614, TH7615).

 

The MA in Theology consists of 180 credits, made up of a number of modules, mostly chosen by the student. It is also possible to study for fewer credits and obtain an 'early exit' award: either a Postgraduate Certificate in Theology or a Postgraduate Diploma in Theology.

For the full MA programme, students are required to take THREE core modules and choose any FOUR optional modules. (Note that the Dissertation must be taken last)

The following core modules are required:

  • TH7601 Study and Research Methods (Core Module, 20 credits)
  • TH7602 History, Thought and Expressions of Global Evangelicalism (Core Module, 20 credits)
  • TH7615 Dissertation (Core Module 60 credits)

Students also choose any FOUR of the following optional Modules

  • TH7603 Case Study: Evangelicalism in Latin America (Optional, 20 credits)
  • TH7604 Case Study: Evangelicalism in Africa (Optional, 20 credits)
  • TH7605 Case Study: Evangelicalism in Asia (Optional, 20 credits)
  • TH7606 Case Study: Evangelicalism in Western Europe and North America (Optional, 20 credits)
  • TH7607 Biblical Theology (Optional, 20 credits)
  • TH7608 Evangelical Approaches to Biblical Hermeneutics (Optional, 20 credits)
  • TH7609 Theological Studies in the Book of Romans (Optional, 20 credits)
  • TH7610 Interpreting the Book of Revelation (Optional, 20 credits)
  • TH7611 Thought and Expressions of the Messianic Jewish Movement (Optional, 20 credits)
  • TH7612 Evangelicalism, Politics and Globalization (Optional, 20 credits)
  • TH7613 European Christianity, Zionism and the Modern State of Israel (Optional, 20 credits)
  • TH7614 Early Church Theology: Trinity and Christology (Optional, 20 credits)

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
TH7601 7 Study and Research Methods 20 Comp
TH7602 7 History, Thought and Expressions of Global Evangelicalism 20 Comp
TH7603 7 Case Study: Evangelicalism in Latin America 20 Optional
TH7604 7 Case Study: Evangelicalism in Africa 20 Optional
TH7605 7 Case Study: Evangelicalism in Asia 20 Optional
TH7606 7 Case Study: Evangelicalism in Western Europe and North America 20 Optional
TH7607 7 Biblical Theology 20 Optional
TH7608 7 Evangelical Approaches to Biblical Hermeneutics 20 Optional
TH7609 7 Theological Studies in the Book of Romans 20 Optional
TH7610 7 Interpreting the Book of Revelation 20 Optional
TH7611 7 Thought and Expressions of the Messianic Jewish Movement 20 Optional
TH7612 7 Evangelicalism, Politics and Globalization 20 Optional
TH7613 7 European Christianity, Zionism and the Modern State of Israel 20 Optional
TH7614 7 Early Church Theology: Trinity and Christology 20 Optional
TH7615 7 Dissertation 60 Comp

  • 60 credits at Level 7 entitles the student to a Postgraduate Certificate
  • 120 credits at Level 7 entitles the student to a Postgraduate Diploma
  • 180 credits at Level 7 entitles the student to a Masters degree

N/A

N/A

Students applying for the MA programme must demonstrate the ability to undertake a Masters degree of this nature successfully. This is usually understood to be a good undergraduate degree in a subject in Theology or a related subject (2:2 or above). In some cases, particularly with mature students, applicants who are able to demonstrate an ability to undertake postgraduate studies without these requirements are considered on an individual case by case basis. We welcome applicants with significant professional or ministry experience to discuss their situation with us. The school recognises the place of prior learning (APL) and prior experiential learning (APEL) in the recruitment of students to this programme. 

An IELTS score of 7.0 is required where English is not the applicant's first language.

All candidates must complete an application form and satisfy King's entrance requirements. All candidates must supply an appropriate reference and may be interviewed by the Programme Leader or nominated substitute.

Master's students are expected to have attained the skills indicated for QAA Level 6 before proceeding to postgraduate level work. 

This section reflects the QAA Subject Benchmark Statement for Theology and Religious Studies revised for 2014. The benchmark statements have been used as a foundation for the design of this programme and the following discussion identifies the appropriate benchmark applications, mapped, illustratively, against modules in the programme. 

TRS Benchmark - subject knowledge and skills

- A broadly based core together with the wider context required for the subject area covered by the programme in question, and specialised study in depth of some aspects of the field. This implies not just the mastery of data but also the setting of these data within a theoretical framework, which includes critical analysis and debate about how to understand and structure the raw data into a coherent whole. (All modules.)

- One or more religions, ancient or modern, including the origin, history and developed or present character of each. (All modules relate to Christianity. TH7611 relates also to Judaism)


- The reading, analysis and interpretation of texts, sometimes in the original languages, particularly texts that have been sacred or significant to one or more practising communities. This study will often focus both on the historical context which generated the texts and on hermeneutical questions concerning their meaning and application for the appropriate community of believers in the present, or for other readers today. (All modules but esp. TH7607, TH7608, TH7609, TH7610)

- Engagement with some of the major religious thinkers, prophets, teachers, ascetics, mystics, healers, or leaders through their extant work or subsequent influence (esp. TH7602, TH7603, TH7604, TH7605, TH7606).

- The application of a variety of critical methods of study, often adapted from those of other subjects in the humanities and social sciences, to the study of texts, practices, religious communities as social and cultural entities, or their diverse material culture and art forms. (All modules, esp. TH7601)

- The history of the particular discipline(s) covered by the programme, including the major theories, movements and thinkers. (All modules, esp. TH7602) 

(vi) Ethics, morality and values. All religions have certain expectations in these areas, and the student will include them in the study along with other aspects of the religion. (All modules, esp. TH7603, TH7604, TH7605, TH7606, TH7613)

TRS Benchmark – qualities of mind (#3.2)

- The ability to understand how people have thought and acted - and continue to think and act - in contexts other than the student's own; how beliefs, doctrines, traditions and practices have developed within particular social and cultural contexts; and how religious traditions have changed over time and continue to evolve in the contemporary world. (All modules but esp. TH7602, TH7610,  TH7611, TH7612, TH7613).

- The appreciation of the complexity of different mentalities, social behaviours and aesthetic responses, and of the ways they have been shaped by beliefs and values, and conversely, how beliefs, sacred texts and art forms have been shaped by society and politics. (All modules.)

- Sensitivity to the problems of religious language and experience, and to issues of multiple and conflicting interpretations of language and symbols, texts and traditions. Simplistic, literalising or doctrinaire explanations are less likely to be advanced by a student of Theology and Religious Studies. (All modules esp. TH7611)

- Appreciation of both the interconnectedness of and internal tensions within a system of beliefs and practices. (All modules esp. TH7607, TH7609, TH7611)

- Basic critical and analytical skills; a recognition that statements should be tested, that evidence and arguments are subject to assessment, that the interpreter’s role demands critical evaluation. (All modules, esp. TH7601)

- The ability to employ a variety of methods of study in analysing material, to think independently, set tasks and solve problems. (All modules.)

(h) The capacity to give a clear and accurate account of a subject, marshal arguments in a mature way and engage in debate and dialogue with respect for the opposite case or different viewpoint. (All modules.)

TRS Benchmark – generic skills

The Statement also lists these generic (transferable) skills acquired through the study of Theology and Religious Studies:

  • empathy and imaginative insight, with a tolerance of diverse positions
  • self-discipline
  • self-direction
  • independence of mind and initiative
  • capacity for reflexive learning, understanding how they learn
  • commitment to lifelong learning
  • ability to attend to others and have respect for others' views
  • capacity to modify, suspend or otherwise change position when warranted
  • ability to gather, evaluate and synthesise different types of information
  • analytical ability and the capacity to formulate questions and solve problems
  • writing skills, including clarity of expression, citation of relevant evidence andauthorities and accurate referencingpresentation skills, both oral and written, supported by appropriate technologies
  • technological and media literacy, including the generation of documents and other
    resources, electronic communication and interaction in various forms and accessing
    information from a variety of sources
  • awareness of the importance of contemporary media as both a resource for study
    and a medium for theological and religious discourse
  • teamwork skills
  • ability to engage critically with the meaning of documents and recognise that
    meanings may be multiple
  • ability to read texts in a different language, where appropriate.

A range of learning and teaching methods are used within the context of distance learning / online eCampus (sometimes called "blended learning"). Learning and teaching are thus structured in the following ways:

Distance learning (or open learning) in which students are supplied with recorded lectures, audio interviews, written study notes, guided reading, and other suitable material. This material is provided online via the eCampus but where necessary can also be provided through post. The learning is supported by individual contact with tutors by e-mail, eCampus interaction, and where appropriate, telephone and/or face-to-face meetings. Students are also encouraged (but not required) to partake in educational conferences 

Occasional conferences which are organised in order to give students the experience of a wider range of scholarship and the possibility of participating in academic discussion and debate with a wider peer group. 

Supervision of dissertations involving regular contact with a supervisor by e-mail, telephone, face-to-face, or by post.

Research seminars may be organised where appropriate to give students working on dissertations the experience of presenting and discussing their research in a peer environment.

Tutorials as appropriate for students embarking on the dissertation phase of the programme. At level 7, students work with responsibility for their own independent learning. There is emphasis upon research level study and examination of subjects from a scholarly and nuanced position.

A wide range of careers are pursued by people who have studied at King's. These typically include Christian pastoral ministry and related paths within the church but also encompasses a wide range of nonreligious careers. The programme is also suitable for students intending to proceed to doctoral research or further academic study. 

The skills developed in this programme include include: 

Cultural understanding
Open-mindedness - less likely to judge others and more likely to listen
Researching and interviewing skills through fieldwork
Confidence in own abilities
Academic, intellectual and social development
IT skills
Writing skills
Presentation
Organising own workload and meeting deadlines Working independently

It is the policy of King's Evangelical Divinity School to recognise and encourage the variety of contributions that are made by all who work and study at the college. King’s does not turn down applications on confessional grounds, accepting students from a variety of religious and nonreligious backgrounds. The school complies with existing equality legislation, aiming to provide equality of opportunity for all prospective students.

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