The MA Applied Theology and the MA Transformational Leadership are designed for people who want to reflect on the interface of the Bible and theology with the practice of mission, work and ministry in a 21st century context. A combination of excellent teaching, student interaction and personal research creates a unique learning experience.
If you are interested in reflecting on your current work and ministry context, if you want to engage with the points of view of others, if you would like to enhance your work/ministry skills, or if you are looking for something that will aid your personal transformation, the MA is for you.
Leadership is a critical issue for the future of any church, and this is certainly true for the church in Ireland. The leaders of the future are the people who will shape the future. The key question is what “shape” should that leadership be within the context of the church in Ireland? If you are either involved in or interested in leadership this module offers the opportunity to reflect critically on not just some theories of leadership but also on your own leadership practice.
Questions of identity are important in the contemporary world. Theological identity is an important aspect of an applied theology as it impacts theological and biblical reflection in a range of ways. This module provides an opportunity for you to engage critically with, and reflect on, aspects of evangelical identity and how that impinges on an applied theology.
The contemporary mission of the church is a debated topic, particularly as the paradigm referred to as “Christendom” diminishes in Western Europe. This module offers you an opportunity to critically examine some of the current thinking about mission. Part of that analysis will be how the church of the 21st century might become a missional community able to demonstrate by word and deed the relevance of the Christian message in an increasingly globalized world. The focus for the module will be the church in Ireland, but it can also function as a paradigm if you are living and working in another context.
The Bible is a vital document for the church, for theological reflection and for ministry within the church. If you are engaged with and working at the interface between theology and ministry you need to have an in-depth, working knowledge of the issues that Bible interpretation raises. This module gives you the opportunity to master a range of aspects of the tools of interpretation. The content of this module will relate both to other areas of study on the programme and to your own ministry practice.
Understanding theological commitments and presuppositions is an important aspect of developing an applied theology. Thinking and reflecting theologically and biblically on life and ministry as an aspect of applied theology is central to this module and gives you the opportunity to engage in critique and reflection on their own theological framework.
One of the important functions of churches is in the area of pastoral care. It is important that people who are involved in pastoral caring in either a local church context or in a broader sphere reflect critically and systematically on both the theory and practice of their caring. The module gives you an opportunity to do this for the context in which you are working, although the focus will usually be on church-based caring.
In recent years there has been something of a resurgence of interest in Christian spirituality, perhaps reflecting a general cultural trend in Western European culture. Properly understood, Christian spirituality should always be critically engaged with a wide range of biblical and theological resources. It should also be regarded as a “lived theology”, an example of applied theology in practice. This module offers you an opportunity to critically explore aspects of Christian spirituality. This is important for those who are involved in many areas of Christian ministry.
The communication of the Bible is important in the life of the church and being able to preach and communicate the Bible are important aspects of an applied theology. The contemporary context, however, poses some major challenges to traditional understandings and practices of preaching/communication which need to be engaged. This module encourages you to self-critically engage with both the theoretical underpinning of, and the skills required for, preaching/communication.
(This module is only available to students studying for the MA in Transformational Leadership award.)
Transformational leaders need to develop the self-reflective skills that will enable them to be most effective in a leadership role. This module offers that opportunity and is designed to facilitate those specific skills, abilities and attitudes. The module aims to give you an experience of transformational leadership in practice.
This module allows you to study a specific topic that interests you, and which is not covered anywhere else on the programme. To facilitate this, the class-based teaching sessions are replaced with supervised guided reading and independent study. This module is only available to students who have demonstrated that they will be able to manage this mode of study.