Master of Arts in Christian Education and Formation

Master of Arts in Christian Education and Formation (MACEF)

The Master of Arts in Christian Education and Formation (MACEF) is a professional degree that includes basic studies in Bible, theology, church history, and practical theology. The MACEF is designed to prepare students for the ministry of education and formation in congregational and institutional settings, and to provide training for teaching the Christian religion in church or secular schools. As such, graduates of this program will possess effective teaching and dynamic leadership skills, and garner in-depth knowledge of Christian education.


The Master of Arts in Christian Education and Formation (MACEF) is a two-year program requiring the successful completion of 52.5 credits fulfilling five primary components:

Foundation Courses (20 credits)

Departmental Gateways, Introductions, or Foundations in the following areas (18 credits)

  • Biblical Studies: Orientation to Old Testament and Exegesis, Orientation to New Testament and Exegesis
  • History and Ecumenics: World Christian History I, World Christian History II
  • Theology: Doing Christian Theology
  • Practical Theology: A Gateway Course in Education and Formation in the first year

Speech Communication in Ministry I and II (2 credits)

Additional Department Courses (6 credits)

  • One elective course in Theology
  • One elective Practical Theology Gateway Course in either Pastoral Care or Preaching

Core Commitment Courses (6 credits)

  • A Life Together course
  • One course designated as fulfilling one of the following core commitments: Theological Imagination; Christian Leadership: Church, Religion, and Society; Renewal of Creation, Self, and Communities; Spiritual Practices of the Faith

Education and Formation Courses (16 credits)

One course from each of the following categories:

  • Theological/Theoretical Foundations
  • Human Sciences
  • Contextual Issues in Ministry
  • Skills and Practices

Elective course in student’s focal area of Education and Formation
Reflective Practicum (1 credit)

Field Education (4.5 credits)

To view a sample degree design, click here.

Field Education

MACEF students take an Introduction to Field Education and Vocational Discernment course during their first year (.5 credit for the year). Students then engage in two field education placements: one during the summer preceding their second year (two credits) and a second during the fall and spring of the second year (two credits). Field education placements range from local to international locations.

Learn more about field education.

More about the MACEF Tracks (Inside PTS)
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Click below to apply for Princeton Seminary’s MACEF degree program. Visit the admissions area of our website for information about important deadlines, scheduling interviews, and more.

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Educating faithful Christian leaders.

Scholar and Theological Educator

Kathleen M. O’Connor, Class of 1984

“Informal time in discussion groups with faculty and students discussing feminist theological literature altered my views, excited my spirit, and greatly influenced my teaching.”