University of Chester

Programme Specification
Applied Theology MA
2017 - 2018

Master of Arts

Applied Theology

Applied Theology (Regents)

University of Chester

Regents Theological College

Regents Theological College

Postgraduate (Taught)

Full-time and Part-time

Work-Based inc.(practice / placement)

1 year full-time or 3 years part-time

6 Years

Annual - September

N/A

No

17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Arts and Humanities Theology & Religious Studies

Theology and Religious Studies

Theology and Religious Studies

Friday 25th November 2016

  1. To offer a postgraduate degree programme in Applied Theology in a full-time or part-time mode.
  2. To foster critical and innovative research linked to personal and professional development in five key areas for Pentecostal-Charismatic movements: Biblical Theology; Pentecostal Studies; Discipleship and Mission; Christian Leadership; Chaplaincy. 
  3. To comprehensively extend student knowledge and understanding of the field of Applied Theology, developing critical awareness of the complexity of problems addressed within the discipline.  
  4. To develop systematic conceptual understanding in Applied Theology through critical engagement with current research problems and advanced scholarship leading to original and creative contributions to the field.  
  5. To develop advanced understanding of the methodologies relevant to Applied Theology, including their critical evaluation and original application to new contexts and research problems. 
  6. To encourage students to act autonomously in planning and implementing a negotiated study demonstrating critical selection and evaluation of a comprehensive range of resources at the forefront of current scholarship, including major publications, refereed research articles and primary sources.
  7. To prepare students for further research at PhD level.

Level 7 students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an advanced, comprehensive, critical, and self-reflexive engagement with the study of Applied Theology (e.g. TH7179; TH7161; TH7169; TH7171). 
  2. Develop complex methodological and epistemological frameworks appropriate for the study of Applied Theology (e.g. TH7179). 
  3. Develop a systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights at the forefront of applied theological context and practice (e.g. TH7153; TH7161; TH7164; TH7170; TH7171; TH7175). 
  4. Demonstrate originality in the application of knowledge, together with a critical awareness as to how methodological assumptions are related to theological content in the study of theology (e.g. TH7178; TH7178; TH7176; TH7177; TH7161; TH7171). 
  5. Demonstrate an advanced facility in application of a range of appropriate methods, such as: philosophical, historical, phenomenological, hermeneutical, linguistic, speculative, social scientific, empirical, and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses (e.g. TH7178; TH7176; TH7177). 
  6. Critically evaluate primary and secondary sources, demonstrating critical awareness of the complexity of the relationships between texts, institutions, traditions, philosophy, experience and other sources of authority within theology (e.g. TH7150; TH7178; TH7176; TH7177).        

Level 7 students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an advanced critical ability in analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of key issues and concepts associated with the study of Applied Theology. 
  2. Demonstrate an advanced ability to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, making consistently logical judgments when dealing with contradictory or incomplete information or cutting-edge ideas/practice (e.g. TH7161, TH7170; TH7177). 
  3. Demonstrate an advanced facility in the application of methodologies and approaches that generate original insights into research problems and enable balanced and independent conclusions based on the available evidence (e.g. TH7153, TH7178, TH7179; TH7176, TH7177). 
  4. Demonstrate an advanced hermeneutical awareness of the complex impact of contextual specificity on interpretation, including the effects of historical, geographical, philosophical, sociological, and linguistic contexts on theological articulation (e.g. TH7169, TH7176, TH7177).
  5. Demonstrate advanced research skills, appropriate for Master’s level, which could provide a basis for further postgraduate studies and/or professional development (e.g. TH7150).

Level 7 students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an advanced ability to make sound decisions autonomously, due to increased self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems as well as planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level (e.g. TH7150). 
  2. Demonstrate a significantly enhanced facility for making sound judgments informed by advanced theological and methodological frameworks in complex and unpredictable situations or where available data is fragmentary or contradictory (All modules). 
  3. Demonstrate an advanced ability to critically analyse a wide range of theological, ecclesial and social scenarios and implement original solutions resulting in increased effectiveness in offering religious and social counsel, support and direction (e.g. TH7171; TH7175). 
  4. Demonstrate an advanced critical ability to creatively apply theologically grounded insights into a range of practical situations and vocational contexts, as well as to consistently assess and respond to the interaction between the theoretical and practical elements of Christian ministry.(e.g. TH7150; TH7161; TH7164; TH7170, TH7175).
  5. Demonstrate the requisite research skills and independent learning ability needed to pursue further advanced research and enhance personal initiative and responsibility for continuing professional development. (All modules)

Level 7 students should be able to:

  1. Deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, communicating the results of research/innovative practice to peers (e.g. TH7150; TH7153; TH7179).  
  2. Confidently display professional competence in academic or professional communications to both specialist & non-specialist audiences as appropriate (All modules).  
  3. Fully accept accountability for achievement of group and personal outcomes and the communication of such to relevant audiences (e.g. TH7161; TH7164).
  4. Evaluate their own performance and that of others showing in-depth awareness of professional expectations/requirements and substantial critical insight (e.g. TH7161; TH7164; TH7171).

For the MA in Applied Theology the structure is:

  1. The module Thinking Theologically: An Introduction to Theology and Its Methodologies (TH7179);
  2. Plus three optional modules;
  3. Plus the dissertation (TH7150).

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
TH7150 7 Dissertation 60 Comp
TH7153 7 Pentecostal Spirituality 30 Optional
TH7161 7 Christian Leadership Development 30 Optional
TH7164 7 Christian Leadership and Strategic Organisational Transformation 30 Optional
TH7169 7 Contemporary Christian Missions 30 Optional
TH7170 7 Christian Ministry in an Institutional Context 30 Optional
TH7171 7 Practical Chaplaincy Development 30 Optional
TH7175 7 Towards a Theology of Whole life Discipleship and Mission. 30 Optional
TH7176 7 God and Israel in Biblical Theology. 30 Optional
TH7177 7 Pentecostal Theology in Transformation 30 Optional
TH7178 7 Spirit and Salvation in Luke-Acts 30 Optional
TH7179 7 Thinking Theologically: An Introduction to Theology and its Methodologies 30 Comp

Postgraduate Certificate 60 credits

Postgraduate Diploma 120 credits

MA in Applied Theology 180 credits

n/a

n/a

The academic ability, motivation and potential of a student required for entry to the programme can be established from a number of forms of evidence:

  1. An initial degree in Theology or Applied Theology, and/or Religious Studies.
  2. An initial degree in another subject, together with evidence of certificated learning in Theology and/or Applied Theology and/or Religious Studies or substantial related experience.
  3. A non-graduate qualification plus substantial professional experience in theology or ministry, evidenced in a summary of non-certificated and experiential learning. 

Applicants will be interviewed. 

Exceptionally, consideration may be given to applicants without the formal requirements of the above. In these instances applicants who do not satisfy the above will be offered an opportunity to be exceptionally considered for admission to the programme by undertaking TH7166 as a stand-alone module. If applicants are successful in passing the module then this may be considered for entry onto the programme

Students who wish to be admitted on the basis of non-EU previous qualifications are required to submit a certificate of comparison from NARIC upon which their application might be considered. For students whose first language is not English, and who have not previously studied in English to Level 3 or above, the normal requirement will be IELTS 6.5, TOEFL 575, and equivalent.   

The Theology and Religious Studies Benchmark Statement, published by the QAA in 2000 and revised in 2007 and 2014, details the range of subject knowledge (TRS Benchmark 3.1), the qualities of mind (3.2), and generic skills acquired and developed in TRS degree programmes. Appendix A of the subject Benchmark Statement states that a Master’s degree in theology and religious studies is awarded to students who have demonstrated these Graduate standards as well as the more specific standards set out for MA programmes. Level 7 modules on the MA in Applied Theology build on and extend the benchmarks developed in TRS BA degree programmes, and are in line with the current MA draft benchmarks.

The programme equips students with an ‘expanded range of research and study tools’ (A4.3) beginning initially in the core modules TH7166 where students learn the research skills needed to engage in advanced independent research, and developed then in a range of optional modules. Students cultivate appropriate knowledge of research methods and ethical research (A4.2, A6.1) and are required to demonstrate an advanced ability to use primary and secondary sources. Optional modules enable students to extend these skills allowing for broadness of scope both in terms of disciplines and theories, and in terms of religious traditions. Field work skills (developed in modules such as TH7164, TH7169, TH7170, TH7175) encourage students to integrate theoretical literature with practice (A6.1) and to critically reflect on their own position. Independence and originality of research is encouraged as students design their own projects, innovatively apply methodologies and research tools to new contexts and research problems; and form their own – sometimes original – conclusions. The research dissertation (TH7150) allows students to expand their skills in self-directed learning, as well as show an advanced ability to critically analyse complex theological problems and develop innovative proposals for their resolution.

At level 7 a wide range of learning and teaching methods are adopted. The course offers an integrated programme of lectures, seminars and tutorials, together with opportunities for individual consultation with the module lecturer. Students are expected to dedicate up to 50 hours for directed prior reading as assigned by module leaders. Lectures are intended to develop students’ existing knowledge base introducing them to the critical research problems and methodological frameworks needed for them to develop their own ideas and arguments. It will be the responsibility of the tutor to facilitate discussion and interaction within the group.  During the periods of modular instruction, guidance will be offered for the on-site research and development that will occur during non-contact occasions.

Each module consists of 25 hours residential teaching, taken as two-day couplets over consecutive weeks according to an annually devised and publicised module calendar from September-May each academic year. In total, students are entitled to 30 contact hours per module with the exception of the dissertation. Students will have access to module leaders and tutors via face-to-face contact or electronic forms of communication as they prepare their research projects. Students will be supported by means of one-to-one supervision during the dissertation process.  Students are expected to be able to compile a substantial research paper for each module they complete, according to the appropriate methodology for the theological discipline and research topic they are addressing.

Assessments types include: critical book reviews (TH7151; TH7176; TH7177); journal article research papers (all modules); research proposal (TH7150); critical self-reflective paper (TH7161; TH7171; TH7153); Empirical survey and analysis (TH7175); dissertation of 15,000 words (TH7150). While the module lecturer may allow students to submit their own suggested research paper topics, the final decision on the titles for module papers remains that of the lecturer in consultation with the Dean of Postgraduate Studies.

In terms of formative assessment, students will be required to submit a full draft of the research paper for the first module they undertake by a specified deadline, which will be marked by the lecturer, with a provisional grade being indicated.  They will also be entitled to view the turnitin report on their initial draft submission. This will enable students to submit a finalised improved draft.  Students will not be permitted to present the latter if initial draft papers have not been first submitted and marked. 

Prior to the commencement of the modular programme, Regents offers a short residential orientation for all new students. The orientation incorporates general matters relating to: library usage and resources; access to the Regents and Chester portals; financial administration; campus operations and facilities; social and devotional life on campus. An introduction to postgraduate study is also provided with guidance being offered on matters such as: the nature of research at Level 7 including learning criteria; critical research skills for postgraduate study; academic malpractice; explanation of student portal resources including module descriptors, study guides, assessment questions, pre-reading guidance, and lecture notes; access and expectations regarding academic and administrative staff; module choice; programme handbooks; ethical approval procedures.

This programme of study will appeal to graduates in theology, in particular those from Pentecostal-charismatic backgrounds, Christian ministers and workers, educated laity involved in Christian work in a voluntary or non-professional capacity. 

The programme may be used for personal and academic development, and by some for initial ministerial training or continuing ministerial education. Students on this programme are often engaged in lay or ordained ministries - the study equips them theologically and practically and the awards signal professional ministerial achievement.

The programme offers initial training and experience in extended academic research and is therefore prepares graduates for PhD study in Theology.

Modules in the programme offer opportunities for addressing questions of gender, sexuality, race and religious identity. There are no confessional requirements for entry to or success in the programme.

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