The Master of Arts (MA) thesis is an extensive, ministry-related scholarly paper for which the student earns six hours of graduate credit. The thesis demonstrates the student’s ability to relate fundamental theological and biblical principles to the practice of ministry. The thesis likewise indicates the student’s ability to do careful research, to meet high academic standards, and to contribute to the knowledge of Christian ministry.
The Thesis Mentor
Early in their course of studies, students should begin to consider a ministry-related problem they would like to address in the thesis they will produce at the end of their program. The document Master of Arts Thesis Guide, below, provides instruction and guidance for this extensive research project.
Each student is assigned a mentor to guide him or her through the thesis-writing process. The mentor is a member of the AGGST faculty and is assigned by the Academic Committee with the recommendation of the Director of Graduate Studies and in consultation with the student. Appointment is made during the second year of studies after the student has successfully completed the comprehensive examination. The mentor assumes responsibility for the student in the research and writing of the thesis and helps the student in the following ways:
- Consults with the student concerning the selection and development of a particular thesis topic. Reads\
- Reads and evaluates all written materials submitted by the student during the writing of the proposal and thesis.
- Reads, corrects, and promptly returns each chapter of the thesis as the student submits it, evaluating content, grammar, style, punctuation, footnotes, and bibliography
- Gives tentative approval to each chapter when the recommended revisions and corrections have been made
- Reviews the completed first draft
- Reads and approves the final revision that the student submits after making suggested corrections
A complete draft of the thesis project must be submitted to the mentor no later than May 1 of the year of graduation. The final project must be submitted by October 1 of that year. Once the mentor has received and approved the final copy, he or she certifies to the academic committee that the student has successfully completed the program and recommends that he or she be approved for graduation.