All Students Should Know About Online Classes for The Master of Divinity with a Concentration in International Church Planting

The Master of Divinity with a concentration in International Church Planting provides a solid foundation of classical studies, and an international missions focus on church planting. This concentration equips students to start and develop churches abroad. 

The uniqueness of this degree allows students to complete their course of study while serving in international settings. The church planting experience primarily occurs under the direction of the Southern Baptist Convention International Mission Board’s 2-to-3-year appointment and online theological seminary programs. 

Entrance Requirements

To register for this online theological seminary, the student must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. One year of Biblical Greek or Biblical Hebrew is required to complete the program. 

Successful completion of the degree presupposes successful appointment by the International Mission Board to do the field portion of the degree unless given special permission by the Dean to go with another organization. 

Educational Method

This concentration combines a strong theoretical emphasis with practical field-based learning. After completing basic Master of Divinity courses on campus, students complete the field-based portion of the degree while serving on a two or three-year international field assignment abroad under the supervision of a veteran missionary or church planter. 

Church Planting Experience

Students must meet the requirements for missionary appointment and be appointed by the IMB if they’re to qualify for the online theological seminary. The appointment must involve two years of service. The placement, in most cases, must include: (1) involvement with starting new congregations and developing a strategy for a people group and 2) a carefully monitored supervisory relationship with a veteran church planter or missionary. 

Students should apply for an appointment at least one year before the proposed beginning date of an online theological seminary. They should carefully plan the sequence of courses to coordinate with the proposed beginning date of missionary service. 

Field Courses

During the student’s field assignment, they can take two modular courses taught on a rotating basis at an international location.

The two field-based modular courses are Animistic Folk Religions and Applied Anthropology for Church Planting. The Remaining 12 hours will include FPO, Language Acquisition, Missions Mentorship, and an online section on Cross-Cultural Ethics. If the Dean approves the student to go with another mission-sending organization, the FPO course may be subbed with another appropriate course at the Dean’s discretion. 

Students receive training in classical theological disciplines such as Old Testament, New Testament, church history and historical theology, systematic theology, ethics, and philosophy, as well as applied disciplines such as pastoral ministry, preaching, apologetics, evangelism, and missions.

Fish School students may use elective hours to pursue a concentration listed below or use their free electives to complete Fish School electives in keeping with their ministry goals and academic interests. 

Offered as a fully-online degree, the Masters of Arts in Worship Leadership is designed for worship leaders who seek to deepen their understanding of authentic expressions of faith and develop their leadership and creative abilities. Through graduate study in worship, theology, culture, leadership, and music, students will be prepared to serve the local church in music and worship ministry.

A student in the Master of Arts in Worship Leadership program may transfer to the Master of Music in Worship Leadership at any time with all completed credits applying toward the new degree.

All students in the School of Church Music and Worship are required to minister in the music program of a local church or organization during the time they are enrolled in their degree programs.

Method of Study

The Master of Arts in Worship Leadership is offered as a fully online degree. Online courses are offered in eight-week, asynchronous intensives throughout the year (Fall A, Fall B, Spring A, Spring B, Summer A, Summer B). Local students may choose to take courses residentially or online. 

Time Limit

The Master of Arts in Worship Leadership degree must be completed within five years of admission. Extensions may be granted to students who are serving in an international mission field.

Worship Ministry Project

Students will develop and present a thirty-minute Worship Ministry Project preceded by a ten-minute lecture followed by a ten-minute defense. The Worship Ministry Project is the capstone event of the MAWL and should reflect the student’s understanding of Christ-honoring, gospel-centered biblical fidelity, artistic creativity, and musical excellence. The Worship Ministry Project is to be completed at the culmination of the Master of Arts in Worship Leadership course requirements.