Master of Arts (Religion)

The Master of Arts (Religion) degree is a two year (36 semester hours) program of studies that focuses on the core fields of study of Biblical Studies, Theological Studies, and Historical Studies.
Students may earn the Master of Arts (Religion) degree by taking semester-length courses online, via video conference, or on the Jacksonville, Texas campus. In addition, some courses for this degree can be earned in intensive on-campus (Motion) classes.

For whom is the Master’s Degree (Religion)?

The Master of Arts (Religion) program allows the student to prepare for several ministerial opportunities. The program is excellent for those who are planning to function in the following non-ministerial vocations:

  • Bible Expositor
  • Educator
  • Theologian
  • Church Historian

Goals for This Degree

Upon satisfactory completion of the Master of Arts in Religion, the graduate should be able to accomplish the following objectives:

  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of theological disciplines for further graduate study or for general educational purposes.
  • Understand and communicate biblical and theological truths in the context of Christian ministry.


BMATS is a ministry of the Baptist Missionary Association and a highly respected theological seminary in East Texas. Founded in 1956, BMATS has a rich history of providing quality education to ministers and academics throughout Texas, the United States, and around the world.

Whether you plan to do schooling on campus or acquire your Master of Arts (Religion) online, our accredited seminary will provide you with all the tools you need to minister with knowledge and confidence.

Please reach out for more information about the MAR or any other theological studies you are interested in.

Get a master’s degree in religion online

At BMATS, we’re committed to providing the most flexible educational opportunities possible for aspiring ministers. Whether you live outside of Texas or simply have a full-time job and need a flexible schooling schedule, we are here to help.

If you’re looking to acquire your Master of Arts (Religion) online, BMATS offers all of our courses online. A small handful of classes can also be taken via Motion classes. Motion is our weekend long intensive courses where our professors teach a full semester’s worth of information in a single week (along with pre and post classroom studies). This allows you to acquire a quality distance education without relocating and with minimal travel time.

Contact us today to learn more about earning our Master of Arts (Religion) degree program online.


If I have a Master of Arts (Religion), what jobs can I get?

An MA in religion can help open the door to a variety of job opportunities. Even careers that do not require a master’s degree will look favorably on applicants who have one, making you stand out from other applicants.

An MA in religious studies can qualify you as a:

  • Bible Expositor
  • Educator
  • Theologian
  • Church Historian
  • And more
Master of Arts (Religion) vs. Master of Divinity

A Master of Arts (Religion) degree requires less than half the course load to complete than the MDiv, making it more accessible for some students who have busy schedules or already have a job in ministry.

An MA in Religion can provide you with the credentials you need to qualify for a desired career, without the hefty course load of the MDiv. However, it’s important to research requirements for the job you want. Some roles, such as the role of lead pastor, may require a Master of Divinity degree, which is also offered at BMATS.

Can I become a pastor with a Master of Arts (Religion)?

Ultimately, this depends on your denomination and the pastoral role you’re seeking. Some vocational ministry positions require an MDiv. Others may only require an MA (Religion) or an equivalent degree. Still others may not require a Master’s degree at all, in which case your MA (Religion) will make you stand out as an applicant.

Master of Arts (Religion) Course Requirements (36 Hours)

Fields of emphasis provide opportunity for students to complete studies in the fields of Biblical Studies and Theological-Historical Studies. The curriculum requires 15 hours of Theological-Historical Studies, 12 hours of Biblical Studies, 3 hours of applied theology, and 6 hours of electives.

The candidate for the Master of Arts (Religion) must earn a minimum of twenty-one (21) semester hours through BMA Seminary. Up to fifteen (15) semester hours of work may be transferred from an accredited institution toward the Master of Arts (Religion) degree.

All courses taken must be 500-600 level.

Biblical Studies (12 Hours)

  • OT 511 Old Testament Introduction and Survey I
  • OT 512 Old Testament Introduction and Survey II
  • NT 512 New Testament Introduction and Survey II
  • NT 511 New Testament Introduction and Survey I 

    Theological-Historical Studies (15 Hours)

    • TH 511 Systematic Theology I
    • TH 512 Systematic Theology II
    • CH 511 General Church History I
    • CH 621 Survey of Baptist Heritage
    • PhR 512 Survey of World Religions or
      PhR 513 Interacting With Abrahamic Faith Traditions

      Church Ministries (3 Hours)

      • PM 517 Theology of Disciple-Making

      Students may substitute PM 514 & EV 512 for PM 517 and one elective.

      Electives (6 hours)

      • Elective in Biblical or Theological-Historical Studies
      • Elective in Biblical or Theological-Historical Studies

        Comprehensive Program Exam is a requirement for graduation.

            Request More Information

            At BMATS, we want to provide our students with the most robust theological education. We aim to see you grow in your knowledge of Scripture and theology. That’s why we strive to offer one of the best Master of Divinity programs in Texas at an affordable cost.

            Contact us today to request more information and find out if BMATS is the right school for you.