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Master of Arts in Theology (Justice and Public Life)

Master of Arts in Theology (Justice and Public Life)

The Master of Arts in Theology (Justice and Public Life) is a two-year part-time graduate program designed for working professionals who wish to lead social change toward justice. Students will be introduced to the ways the Bible, history, theology, and practical theology can make a meaningful difference in their work and engage the most challenging issues in society. This degree provides an opportunity for those working in the arts, literature, social media, government service, nonprofit agencies, education, business, health sector, etc. to bring their expertise in their respective fields and their faith convictions to the complex and vital task of social witness to the gospel.

MAT (Justice and Public Life) Learning Outcomes

In service to the mission of Princeton Theological Seminary, graduates of the Master of Arts in Theology program (Justice and Public Life) will be able to:

  1. Engage and lead in social justice and public witness in ways that are (1) personally and vocationally sustainable; (2) biblically, historically, and theologically informed; and (3) marked by ecumenical Christian commitments.
  2. Exhibit competencies for practices for sustained leadership such as community building, conflict management, and communication strategies including digital technologies.
  3. Integrate theological, historical, and biblical resources and reflection into the fullness and particularity of their vocational work and professional arena.
  4. Discern and address problems, questions, and insights from the public sphere utilizing interdisciplinary tools from the theological disciplines in conversation with other relevant fields.

The MAT degree is a two-year hybrid/low residency degree that requires the completion of 36 credits.

Meta MAT Eric Barreto

MAT (Justice and Public Life) Curriculum (36 credits)

Introduction to the Ecology of Theological Education (6 credits) OR Transfer Credits (6 credits) [1]

10 courses focused on Theology, Justice, and Public Life (30 credits)

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[1] MAT students with no training in theological education will take the Introduction to the Ecology of Theological Education course (6 credits) that will distill foundational concepts from each discipline. Students with prior theological education will be allowed to transfer in 6 foundational credits toward the degree.


Additional Information

The degree is a two-year part-time degree. Two courses will be offered in person in the two January terms. The other courses will be offered online. The proposal for the online courses is as follows:

Summary of Blended Modality: 1/3 Asynchronous, 1/3 Synchronous, 1/3 Flexible

  • Courses are designed with at least 1/3 asynchronous and 1/3 synchronous participation in mind, with the remaining contact hours being flexible based on instructor preference and other course design considerations. Asynchronous activities might include recorded lectures, a recorded interview with another scholar, or threaded discussion boards online. Synchronous activities might include a precept facilitated by an instructor/preceptor, small group discussions facilitated by students without the instructor’s presence, or peer review sessions of student work among 2-3 classmates.
  • The instructor drives the pedagogical direction of the course, creates the content items, and conceives of the assignments, assessments, and other activities.

The Office of Digital Learning collaborates on online course design, manages the project timeline, arranges logistics for the recording and editing of videos, builds out the course in Brightspace, and offers all other support needed.


Sample Degree Design – MAT (Justice and Public Life) – 36 Credits

This design reflects a two-year part-time MAT in Justice and Public Life. The degree requires 36 credit hours.

YEAR 1

Summer Term

Online Asynchronous Introduction to the Ecology of Theological Education with Reflection (6) or Transfer Credits for those with theological education foundation (6)
Credits - 6

Fall Term

2 Online Courses that address Theology, Justice, Public Life (6)
NT 3365 Race, Ethnicity, and the New Testament (E. Barreto)
TH 3336 African American Political Theology (Day)
Credits - 6

January Term

1 In-Person Course that addresses Theology, Justice, Public Life – One-Week Intensive (3) – integrative course co-taught by faculty from fall online courses or one faculty from fall and one from spring online offerings
Jan 2024 - Team-taught course offered in person – E. Barreto and Day as instructors
Credits - 3

Spring Term

2 Online Courses that address Theology, Justice, Public Life (6)
Proclamation Amid Trauma (Wagner)
Oppression and Mental Health (Waters)
Credits - 6

YEAR 2

Fall Term

2 Online Courses that address Theology, Justice, Public Life (6)
Credits - 6

January Term

1 In-Person Course that addresses Theology, Justice, Public Life – One-Week Intensive (3) – integrative course co-taught by faculty from fall online courses or one faculty from fall and one from spring online offerings
Jan 2024 - Team-taught course offered in person – E. Barreto and Day as instructors
Credits - 3

Spring Term

2 Online Courses that address Theology, Justice, Public Life (6)
Credits - 6


Sample Courses

Race, Ethnicity, and the New Testament (3 Credits)

A study of the theological intersections between race, ethnicity, and the New Testament. Students explore how the notions of race and ethnicity functioned in antiquity and how contemporary cultural contexts shape our interpretation of Scripture today. Particular attention is paid to the hermeneutical and theological implications of reading the texts of the New Testament in an ethnically diverse world.

    African American Political Theologies (3 credits)

    This course focuses on how African American theological and religious thinkers articulate and understand “African American Political Theology” and its impact on social, cultural, economic, and political arrangements in the North American context. This course explores the multifarious character of African American political theologies and how these theologies help one re-conceptualize “the political” within social and cultural life. This course employs readings in areas such as Black theology, womanist theology, post-colonial thought, Black feminism, Black cultural studies, and Afro-pessimist philosophy. This course maintains that African American political theologies have been indispensable to the articulation of justice and human flourishing in America and can continue to serve as a viable source of critique towards a new cultural politics of difference within the United States.

    Race and Belonging in Biblical and Theological Perspective (3 credits) - week-long intensive course on campus

    This course seeks to explore how the intersections among race, belonging, and social justice can be articulated and addressed from both biblical and theological approaches. This course will engage in readings, collaborative reflection, and experiential learning in local contexts around Princeton.

    Proclamation Amid Trauma (3 credits)

    This course encourages students to think both theologically and homiletically about the experience of trauma and its impact on congregations and communities. Students will 1) be invited to consider how the experience of trauma challenges, shapes, or reinforces theological conversations and assumptions; 2) be invited to address homiletical concerns when preaching in communities experiencing trauma, including considering role of the preacher, sermon form, sermon content, and delivery; and 3) will have an opportunity to grow as practitioners as they preach and reflect upon three contextually unique sermons responsive to a variety of traumatic incidents. Students will be asked to acquire one theological text, which they will sign up to read and present at the beginning of the course. All other resources for the course will be provided on the course site.

    Oppression and Mental Health (3 credits)

    This class will engage a variety of social, psychological, and theological frameworks to examine the effects of structural oppression and discrimination on individual and communal mental health. It will then consider how living with a severe mental health condition leads to further oppression in the carceral state. We will review socioeconomic status and mental health, neoliberalism and pastoral care, cultural trauma, the War on Drugs, and the criminalization of those living with severe mental illness. Examples will include the experiences of BIPOC communities, LGBTQ+ communities, and communities navigating socioeconomic precarity. Students will draw from Christian resources to 1) build a program for healing and empowerment at the congregational level or 2) equip the congregation to lead change through public policy or protest.


    MAT (Justice and Public Life) Financial Assistance

    Princeton Theological Seminary is offering a limited-time, first-year discount of 20% off the cost of tuition for students enrolled in the Master of Arts in Theology (Justice and Public Life) degree program. Students who enroll in the MAT program for the 2023-2024 academic year will receive a 20% discount off tuition on each bill during the first year (July-June). Per credit tuition rates in 2024-2025 are subject to change. For more information on this limited-time discount program, please contact Student Financial Services at sfs@ptsem.edu. Applications must be filed by April 15 for the following academic year.

    Regular Cost

    With 1st Year 20% Discount

    MAT Cost per Credit

    $780

    $624

    MAT Cost per 3-Credit Class

    $2,340

    $1,872

    Students enrolled in the Master of Arts in Theology (Justice and Public Life) degree program who are taking 2 or more classes in a semester (Fall, Spring, or Summer) are eligible for Federal Direct Loans of Federal Work Study to assist in defraying the cost of their tuition. Completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required to begin the process of applying for these programs. Contact Student Financial Services at SFS@ptsem.edu for more information.


    Apply

    Click below to apply for Princeton Seminary’s MAT degree program. Visit the admissions area of our website for information about important deadlines, scheduling interviews, and more. If you have questions regarding the program, email the Office of Admissions at admissions@ptsem.edu.

    Application Portal

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