Peace and Social Transformation

Master of Arts Degree

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Learn more about our program...

The Master of Arts in Peace and Social Transformation at Community of Christ Seminary aims to develop personal and moral integrity for students, which is essential in the public work of peace and justice. By pairing foundational theological and scriptural courses with formational, contextual, and practical academic studies, students can deepen their experience and understanding of peace, social change, and justice work. This degree focuses on the theologies and ministries of peace while exploring social change theories, social transformation methodologies, adaptive action models, conflict resolution, and restorative justice, all with the goal of empowering movement and transformation within communities, organizations, and churches.

Offerings
Graduate
Field of Study
Seminary
Format
Online Campus
Curriculum
  • MA Degree - Peace and Social Transformation

    Core Curriculum (25 s.h.)

    Select three electives from the list below (9 s.h.)

    Courses Offered
    • RELG5011Christian Theology
      RELG5011 Christian Theology - 3 s.h.

      This course is an initial exploration of the discipline and methods of theology. The foundational topics of Christian theology are covered including the nature and necessity of the theological task and contemporary understandings of the doctrine of God, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, humanity, the church, and Christian hope.

    • RELG5022Introduction to the Hebrew Bible
      RELG5022 Introduction to the Hebrew Bible - 3 s.h.

      A review of the sacred literature of ancient Israel, centered on its covenantal themes and Ancient Near Eastern contexts. Prerequisite: RELG5011.

    • RELG5040New Testament – Gospels and Acts
      RELG5040 New Testament – Gospels and Acts - 3 s.h.

      A review of the New Testament literature focusing on the gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, centered around its christological themes as they relate to other primary doctrines. Attention will be given to techniques of exegesis based on various methods of biblical criticism. Prerequisite: RELG5011.

    • RELG5435Integrated Leadership
      RELG5435 Integrated Leadership - 3 s.h.

      A focus on ministerial formation through exploration of the connection between vocation, ministerial “calling”, and social context. Students will engage in critical examination of ministerial myths, narratives, and stories that shape leadership response in a variety of pastoral experiences. Attention will be given to resources and tools for critical reflection on self and vocation. Prerequisite: RELG5011.

    • RELG5440Spiritual Formation and Transformation
      RELG5440 Spiritual Formation and Transformation - 3 s.h.

      A study of the historical and theological roots and implications of spiritual formation. Students will engage in critical study and practice of spiritual practices and formation models. Students will reflect on study and practices from biblical, historical, and psychological perspectives through individual experience in class as in the context of ministerial and spiritual leadership. Prerequisite: RELG5011.

    • RELG5445Theology of Peace
      RELG5445 Theology of Peace - 3 s.h.

      An introduction to and exploration of peace in Christian theology. Biblical, historical, and theological perspectives of peace are central to theological narratives. Focus is given to providing students resources for building their own foundational theologies of peace for application in peace and justice ministries: RELG5011

    • RELG5450Philosophy of Peacebuilding
      RELG5450 Philosophy of Peacebuilding - 3 s.h.

      Peace is central to theological and ethical thinking. Students will explore approaches to peace, grounded in social and moral philosophy. Emphasis on evaluating ethical implications of peace, justice, and peacebuilding for individual, communal, and vocational contexts. Prerequisite: RELG5011.

    • RELG6050Christology and Liberation
      RELG6050 Christology and Liberation - 3 s.h.

      Explores Christological intersections between classical interpretations of Jesus of Nazareth’s identity and various modern and post-modern liberative approaches. As well as considering the contributions of the Social Gospel Movement, the work of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Jürgen Moltmann, special attention will be given to Latin American, Feminist, Womanist, African American, and Eco-liberationist Christologies. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the relevance of Jesus’ life and message to situations of violence, racism, and various forms of gender, environmental and economic oppression. Prerequisite: RELG5011.

    • RELG6240Contemporary Culture and Theologies
      RELG6240 Contemporary Culture and Theologies - 3 s.h.

      An examination of the nature and implications of current issues and practices found in major world cultures with emphasis on their impact on Christian ministry, particularly ecumenical and intercultural ministry. Prerequisite: RELG5011.

    • RELG6245Transformational Leadership
      RELG6245 Transformational Leadership - 3 s.h.

      Exploring leadership that leads to sustainable and transformative change in community and organizations. Critical study of missional leadership through theological, sociological, biblical, and ministerial analysis. Prerequisite: RELG5011.

    • RELG6250Community Building and Diversity
      RELG6250 Community Building and Diversity - 3 s.h.

      Examining essential skills in developing leaders as spiritual/sociological researchers in the context of their ministerial community for the purpose of cultivating missional transformation. Topics of social analysis will include social location, theological perspective, culture and cultural diversity, community systems, and religious pluralism. Attention will also be given to adaptive change as it relates to rapidly changing culture and context of ministry experience. Prerequisite: RELG5011.

    • RELG6255Social Justice: Ethics, Ecology, and Peace
      RELG6255 Social Justice: Ethics, Ecology, and Peace - 3 s.h.

      An exploration of religious and philosophical foundations of imperatives for social and ecological justice. Examines mutual implications between interpersonal and environmental ethics as well as the scope of theories of justice as applied to human/nonhuman communities. Prerequisite: RELG5011.

    • RELG6260Conflict Resolution and Restorative Justice
      RELG6260 Conflict Resolution and Restorative Justice - 3 s.h.

      Examining methods, concepts, and skills of conflict resolution and restorative justice paired with theological and historical perspectives. Intended to equip students with the skills to engage constructively and meaningfully with conflict and justice in personal, congregational, institutional, and community settings. Prerequisite: RELG5011.

    • RELG6270Missiology and Social Transformation
      RELG6270 Missiology and Social Transformation - 3 s.h.

      A study in the imperative of mission for discipleship and its implications for social change and transformation. Students will engage a critical exploration of the theological, historical, and scriptural interpretations of mission. Attention will specifically be given to various approaches and methods of social transformation rooted in Christian mission.

    • RELG6700Practicum Internship
      RELG6700 Practicum Internship - 1 s.h.

      A summative project that engages students in praxis in order for them to utilize application of skills, methods, and approaches of peace and social transformation in their context. The practicum internships consists of a project in the field, paper, and presentation. The student will present their project and paper to a committee as a ‘final’ of their graduate work. (Evaluated on a pass/fail basis)

    RELG5011Christian Theology RELG5022Introduction to the Hebrew Bible RELG5040New Testament – Gospels and Acts RELG5435Integrated Leadership RELG5440Spiritual Formation and Transformation RELG5445Theology of Peace RELG5450Philosophy of Peacebuilding RELG6050Christology and Liberation RELG6240Contemporary Culture and Theologies RELG6245Transformational Leadership RELG6250Community Building and Diversity RELG6255Social Justice: Ethics, Ecology, and Peace RELG6260Conflict Resolution and Restorative Justice RELG6270Missiology and Social Transformation RELG6700Practicum Internship
    Course Descriptions
    RELG5011 Christian Theology - 3 s.h.

    This course is an initial exploration of the discipline and methods of theology. The foundational topics of Christian theology are covered including the nature and necessity of the theological task and contemporary understandings of the doctrine of God, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, humanity, the church, and Christian hope.

    RELG5022 Introduction to the Hebrew Bible - 3 s.h.

    A review of the sacred literature of ancient Israel, centered on its covenantal themes and Ancient Near Eastern contexts. Prerequisite: RELG5011.

    RELG5040 New Testament – Gospels and Acts - 3 s.h.

    A review of the New Testament literature focusing on the gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, centered around its christological themes as they relate to other primary doctrines. Attention will be given to techniques of exegesis based on various methods of biblical criticism. Prerequisite: RELG5011.

    RELG5435 Integrated Leadership - 3 s.h.

    A focus on ministerial formation through exploration of the connection between vocation, ministerial “calling”, and social context. Students will engage in critical examination of ministerial myths, narratives, and stories that shape leadership response in a variety of pastoral experiences. Attention will be given to resources and tools for critical reflection on self and vocation. Prerequisite: RELG5011.

    RELG5440 Spiritual Formation and Transformation - 3 s.h.

    A study of the historical and theological roots and implications of spiritual formation. Students will engage in critical study and practice of spiritual practices and formation models. Students will reflect on study and practices from biblical, historical, and psychological perspectives through individual experience in class as in the context of ministerial and spiritual leadership. Prerequisite: RELG5011.

    RELG5445 Theology of Peace - 3 s.h.

    An introduction to and exploration of peace in Christian theology. Biblical, historical, and theological perspectives of peace are central to theological narratives. Focus is given to providing students resources for building their own foundational theologies of peace for application in peace and justice ministries: RELG5011

    RELG5450 Philosophy of Peacebuilding - 3 s.h.

    Peace is central to theological and ethical thinking. Students will explore approaches to peace, grounded in social and moral philosophy. Emphasis on evaluating ethical implications of peace, justice, and peacebuilding for individual, communal, and vocational contexts. Prerequisite: RELG5011.

    RELG6050 Christology and Liberation - 3 s.h.

    Explores Christological intersections between classical interpretations of Jesus of Nazareth’s identity and various modern and post-modern liberative approaches. As well as considering the contributions of the Social Gospel Movement, the work of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Jürgen Moltmann, special attention will be given to Latin American, Feminist, Womanist, African American, and Eco-liberationist Christologies. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the relevance of Jesus’ life and message to situations of violence, racism, and various forms of gender, environmental and economic oppression. Prerequisite: RELG5011.

    RELG6240 Contemporary Culture and Theologies - 3 s.h.

    An examination of the nature and implications of current issues and practices found in major world cultures with emphasis on their impact on Christian ministry, particularly ecumenical and intercultural ministry. Prerequisite: RELG5011.

    RELG6245 Transformational Leadership - 3 s.h.

    Exploring leadership that leads to sustainable and transformative change in community and organizations. Critical study of missional leadership through theological, sociological, biblical, and ministerial analysis. Prerequisite: RELG5011.

    RELG6250 Community Building and Diversity - 3 s.h.

    Examining essential skills in developing leaders as spiritual/sociological researchers in the context of their ministerial community for the purpose of cultivating missional transformation. Topics of social analysis will include social location, theological perspective, culture and cultural diversity, community systems, and religious pluralism. Attention will also be given to adaptive change as it relates to rapidly changing culture and context of ministry experience. Prerequisite: RELG5011.

    RELG6255 Social Justice: Ethics, Ecology, and Peace - 3 s.h.

    An exploration of religious and philosophical foundations of imperatives for social and ecological justice. Examines mutual implications between interpersonal and environmental ethics as well as the scope of theories of justice as applied to human/nonhuman communities. Prerequisite: RELG5011.

    RELG6260 Conflict Resolution and Restorative Justice - 3 s.h.

    Examining methods, concepts, and skills of conflict resolution and restorative justice paired with theological and historical perspectives. Intended to equip students with the skills to engage constructively and meaningfully with conflict and justice in personal, congregational, institutional, and community settings. Prerequisite: RELG5011.

    RELG6270 Missiology and Social Transformation - 3 s.h.

    A study in the imperative of mission for discipleship and its implications for social change and transformation. Students will engage a critical exploration of the theological, historical, and scriptural interpretations of mission. Attention will specifically be given to various approaches and methods of social transformation rooted in Christian mission.

    RELG6700 Practicum Internship - 1 s.h.

    A summative project that engages students in praxis in order for them to utilize application of skills, methods, and approaches of peace and social transformation in their context. The practicum internships consists of a project in the field, paper, and presentation. The student will present their project and paper to a committee as a ‘final’ of their graduate work. (Evaluated on a pass/fail basis)

Exceptional Faculty
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Tuition
FEEAMOUNT
Tuition$300.00 per semester hour
Continuing Education Unit (CEU) Charge$240.00 per course
Auditing Fee$450.00 per course
Extension Fee (for incomplete course, non-refundable)$100.00 per occurence
Non-Degree Seeking Administration Fee (Missouri program students have a three business day right of rescission.)$50.00 per course
Program Support Fee (online courses)$18.00 per course
Reactivation Fee$50.00 per occurence

Why Graceland

  • An approach to curriculum, teaching and the seminary’s community life that enhances and integrates the intellectual, personal, professional and spiritual growth of students
  • A dynamic relationship of research, consultation and learning with local church congregations and denominational jurisdictions at all levels
  • A proclaiming community of faith and learning inclusive of women and men who are diverse in ethnic, economic, social and national background
  • The preparation of the Christian leaders for mission through ministries of proclamation, justice, peace and reconciliation in religious, educational, political and public settings
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Community of Christ Seminary

The Community of Christ Seminary at Graceland University is shaped by a strong dedication to creating a place of belonging for all people, not just those who look, think and live the way we do. Backed by a solid foundation grounded in Christianity, we believe that faith should be inclusive and welcoming — and we teach all of our courses and concentrations through the lens of this perspective.

Contact Us

Learn more about our graduate seminary degree programs.