Master of Arts in Theology & Letters (M.A.) - New Saint Andrews College

Master of Arts in Theology & Letters (M.A.)

cs_lewis_writing-cropA Vision for Literary Theology and Theological Wordsmithing

The M.A. in Theology & Letters is a limited enrollment, academically rigorous, two-year course of graduate studies for those aspiring to be literary theologians and/or theologically informed creative writers and students of literature. The M.A. program thus provides students a unique opportunity to explore both literature and theology and to develop their writing skills with a theological foundation. In addition to courses in theology, literature, and writing workshops, students also enroll in two years of faculty-directed readings in the corpus of C.S. Lewis as a model of the kind of synthesis of story-telling, persuasive writing, literary analysis, and theology sought after in the M.A. degree.

 

An introduction to the Master of Arts (M.A.) program

Learn more about our newly updated M.A. program from NSA’s President, Ben Merkle, and Douglas Wilson, NSA’s Theology & Letters Graduate Program Director:

M.A. Grad Program | Theology and Letters | 2015 from New Saint Andrews College on Vimeo.

Requirements for the M.A. Degree

Candidates for the M.A. degree must pass a total of 32 credits, with a minimum grade of MCH (B-) in each course. The M.A. degree requirements include:

  1. Four, two-credit terms of Theological Foundations seminars (Reformed Systematics and/or Biblical Theology; 8 credits total)
  2. Ten, two-credit M.A. Seminar Electives or Writing Workshops (20 credits total) (see below for future course listings)
  3. Eight terms of M.A. Directed Readings in the writings of C.S. Lewis.
  4. Research or Creative Writing Project (4 credits total)
  5. Final Oral Exam
  6. Attendance at the weekly Graduate Forum
  7. Participation in co-curricular activities

YEAR ONE
Jerusalem
Nicea
Chalcedon
Westminster
Theological Foundations
(2 cr)
Theological Foundations
(2 cr)
Theological Foundations
(2 cr)
Theological Foundations
(2 cr)

C.S. Lewis Directed Reading

C.S. Lewis Directed Reading
C.S. Lewis Directed Reading
C.S. Lewis Directed Reading
MA Seminar and/or Writing Workshop
(2 cr / seminar / workshop)
MA Seminar and/or Writing Workshop
(2 cr / seminar / workshop)
MA Seminar and/or Writing Workshop
(2 cr / seminar / workshop)
MA Seminar and/or Writing Workshop
(2 cr / seminar / workshop)

YEAR TWO
Jerusalem
Nicea
Chalcedon
Westminster
MA Seminar and/or Writing Workshop
(2 cr / seminar / workshop)
MA Seminar and/or Writing Workshop
(2 cr / seminar / workshop)
MA Seminar and/or Writing Workshop
(2 cr / seminar / workshop)
MA Seminar and/or Writing Workshop
(2 cr / seminar / workshop)
C.S. Lewis Directed Reading
C.S. Lewis Directed Reading
C.S. Lewis Directed Reading
C.S. Lewis Directed Reading
MA Thesis or Creative Writing Project
(4 cr)

Comprehensive Exam
(0 cr)

Select M.A. Courses Planned for the 2017-18 Academic Year

Year Long Biblical Theology (Douglas Wilson)

The purpose of this course is to closely examine how the New Testament writers treat Old Testament texts. There are four books that are regularly cited in the New Testament, which are Genesis, Deuteronomy, Psalms and Isaiah. Over the course of this year, each term will tackle one of these books, looking at all the NT uses from each. The goal will be, when done, to have a thorough understanding of the uses and limits of the apostolic hermeneutics

Writing Workshops (N.D. Wilson)

Specific topics for each workshop to be confirmed. Two intensives to be offered in the 2017/18 academic year.

Week-long intensive writing workshops with N.D. Wilson where students will pursue the craft of  writing through self-guided but discussed readings, topical round-table seminars, presentation of original work, and live writing.

Poetry Workshop (Aaron Rench)
The Poetry Workshop will consist of students writing new poems and bringing them to class for feedback and critique from the instructor as well as each other. Group discussion and interaction will be key in this class. In addition to writing poems, students will also select published poems and provide brief commentary on them.
Abraham in the Bible and Tradition (Timothy Edwards)

This course will focus on a close reading of the Abraham narrative found in Genesis 11:27-25:11 alongside interpretations of events within this narrative found in other books of the Old Testament, the New Testament and post-biblical Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions. Students will examine how these interpretive traditions have read the biblical narrative and how Abraham became a point of divergence between Judaism, Christianity and Islam and not a point of convergence.

Sola Scriptura and the Rules of Theology (Mitch Stokes)

Generally, the resolution of theological disagreement requires an agreed-upon “theological rule book,” a rule book that can adjudicate between competing theological views.  During the Reformation, this of course became particularly salient as Protestants boldly claimed that the Church had been following the wrong set of theological rules.  But which theological rules are the correct ones, and who decides, and by what criteria?  And even if everyone had agreed that Scripture (alone) is the correct rule book, what interpretive rules ought we use to determine what the rule book actually says?  Again, says who, and by what criteria?  This course navigates these issues, discussing how contemporary Christians might properly deal with the fact that many theological disagreements are second-order, or “meta” disagreements: disagreements about the fundamental rules of theology.

The Epic Tradition in Poetry and Literature (Peter Escalante)

Epic poetry is one of the great roots of Western literature. It flourished especially among peoples speaking Indo-European languages from Ireland to India and reveals cognate conceptions and practices of religion, politics, and art inherited along with the related languages. Christians in Europe encountered it primarily through Virgil and slowly absorbed its themes while transfiguring them through a Biblical sensibility, eventually producing their own epic works while also sometimes seeing the Bible in epic terms. In this course, students will look at this long literary arc from Homer and Virgil to Ariosto and Milton primarily through Lewis’ critical categories of “primary and secondary epic”, and end with a consideration of 19th and 20th century critical retrievals of elements of epic form.

 

Theological Poetics (Jonathan McIntosh)
This graduate seminar is a study in the philosophical and theological meaning and significance of the act and product of human making, or what J.R.R. Tolkien called “sub-creation.” The course examines how the act of poiesis sheds light on and even achieves a development within God’s own act of creation, albeit under his ordination, and considers how human making represents a unique and possibly even privileged form of human knowing. Authors studied include Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Nicholas of Cusa, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Martin Heidegger, Tolkien, and C.S. Lewis.

Graduate Tuition

Graduate classes for full-time students are $450 per credit (around $7,200 per year).
Graduate classes for part-time students are $475 per credit.

 

Graduate Admissions

The College invites qualified men and women who hold bachelor degrees to submit applications for admission to pursue graduate study at New Saint Andrews. The graduate degree programs are limited enrollment, academically rigorous post-graduate courses of study.

 

Graduate Application Forms

Graduate Application
Graduate Non-Matriculating Application

PDF download of graduate application packet