The Master of Arts degree is designed for men and women whose ministerial skills and demonstrated competence qualify them for continued education at the master’s degree level. In offering the degree, AGGST manifests its conviction that Christian ministry should be enhanced as it faces the contemporary world. Ministers should be encouraged to improve their skills and enlarge their vision in order to be the most effective ministers of Jesus Christ. The purpose of the program is that students and graduates might increase their knowledge and skills to enable them to carry out missio Dei–the mission of God–to the nations of the world as pastors, evangelists, missionaries, Bible school teachers, and administrators. AGGST wants to see ministers who are ever more effective as servant-leaders and as perpetual learners, who are striving for excellence in ministry and in applied research for the expansion of God’s kingdom.
Excellence in Ministry
The Church exists to glorify and worship God, edify its members, and make disciples in all nations of the world. Theological education has the primary task of equipping the servants whom the Lord has called to lead His Church in worship and to reach the world (Eph 4:16). The Master of Arts program is committed to the achievement of excellence in ministry in Africa and any other place in the world where the Lord sends His servants.
Effectiveness and excellence in ministry includes these components:
- An understanding of biblical materials at a significant level
- A growing knowledge of theology and its practical application
- A greater awareness of the social, political, and ethical dimensions of the Christian faith
- An increased sensitivity to the problems and potential of people
- An acquaintance with a wide range of media
- A high level of competence in written and oral communication
- An ability to transcend cultural differences and traditions with innovative outreach methods
- An ability to go beyond the traditional techniques of ministry, using more effective methods of ministry
- A steadily maturing relationship with God and an increasing understanding of servanthood
- An emphasis on the Pentecostal distinctive of our faith
Excellence in Applied Research
The Master of Arts degree program emphasizes research. Research at AGGST is associated with practice rather than pure academics. The program seeks to motivate students to carry research and study through to practical action, to apply biblical theology to the needs of people. AGGST considers the MA program a part of a lifelong process of personal development and cultivation of experiences leading to excellence in the function of ministry. The theoretical part of the program is intellectually demanding, but the application of that knowledge is much more challenging.
AGGST’s required thesis project is related to service in God’s Church. It requires a high level of competence and skill as students apply their studies to the context of practical ministry. To permit the students to remain in their positions of ministry and apply what they have learned, all courses are offered in block sessions over a 10-week period, from May through July. Students attend classes for 3 years, then 1 year is dedicated to the thesis.