Master of Arts in Religion

36 Credit-Hours

Fully Online

Flexible Payment Plans

Some People Sense that God is Calling Them to Ministry, but the Way Forward Doesn’t Seem Clear to Them

Apologetics-focused education is strong preparation for engaging with our culture and the questions our neighbors and co-workers have about Christianity

God calls us in many ways and He equips us for the work we will do in many ways. Southern Evangelical Seminary offers a host of degree options that are all rooted in thorough apologetics training, but the Master of Arts in Religion (M.A.R.) program is a unique opportunity for students like you. The M.A.R. is special because it gives students two great options: a broad, solid master’s degree for a wide range of ministry, or a master’s degree that can be applied toward continued studies for a more specialized degree in the future. This 36-credit hour program is offered via our immersive digital campus to maximize its flexibility for your life and other responsibilities. Whether you choose to move directly into ministry after graduation or use your degree as a stepping stone to completing a larger degree, you’ll have a great education and many options in the future.

Read below for the details of this flexible program, and download your FREE ebook to see how such training relates to real-world Gospel issues.

Faculty With Real-Life Ministry Experience

You’ll be learning from faculty who have served as pastors and in other ministry roles. You’ll be able to go beyond textbook knowledge and gain wisdom and insight from their life experiences. Our faculty are also dedicated to getting to know students’ goals and helping them to understand the material in a way that applies to current or future callings. 

Engaging Courses Connect Knowledge with Application

Our courses integrate theology, philosophy, and apologetics in a way that helps you interact with today’s culture. You’ve likely encountered people who have questions about love, suffering, grief, and God’s plan. You will learn how to answer those questions, defend the truth of the Scriptures, and reach people from a wide variety of socioeconomic backgrounds.

Flexible Course Formats for Your Busy Schedule

SES provides a fully immersive digital campus experience where every aspect of traditional education is achieved in a virtual environment. We integrate industry-leading technologies for live-streaming, course management, and student interaction. Our innovative digital campus can deliver the training you need in a way that fits your schedule and budget.

This degree is ideal for those preparing for Campus Ministry, Youth Ministry, Pastoral Ministry, Missions, or Personal Growth.

Your Academic Experience at SES

We aren’t catching up with the distance learning trend — SES has been breaking ground and pioneering an immersive digital campus experience for years. As a student, you'll enjoy a flexible, compelling, connected, environment for your studies. All of the easy-to-use technology you’ll need to thrive in seminary is housed in one place and accessed through a single, secure log-in.

Collaborate with your peers through our integrated approach

Interact with professors during many live-streamed classes

Conduct research in one of the most expansive theological libraries ever created

(With our membership as a supporting sponsor of the Digital Theological Library)

In the M.A. in Religion Program, You Will:

See the Vital Need for Apologetics-Focused Education

Engaging real-world issues for the sake of the Gospel

Download Your FREE eBook Today!

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"When I first started attending Southern Evangelical Seminary, it did not occur to me that a Socratic Logic class would contribute much towards an evangelism centered ministry. Now that I am serving in an evangelism & apologetics centered ministry…I am amazed with how just some basic training in logic has helped me to be more effective at sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ…The enemy is a master deceiver, but logic enhances our ability to contrast the Truth from the lies even when the lies appeal to our flesh. I can honestly say that learning Socratic Logic has contributed much to my personal walk and also the ministry that The Lord has entrusted to me. If I was not obedient to The Lord in learning how to think correctly, I would have limited effectiveness in sharing my faith with others."

Greg Walker


Courses of Interest in the M.A. in Religion

Intro to Christian Apologetics

In this course, you will grapple with how to understand and defend basic elements of the Christian faith. You will be equipped to engage in conversations or debates about things such as the existence of God, the validity of miracles, the deity of Christ, and why we hold to the inspiration of the Bible.

Pneumatology, Ecclesiology, and Eschatology

What exactly is the church and where did it come from? What can we know about the future for believers and unbelievers? Are heaven and hell real? In ministry, you will need to answer these questions and many more. This course is a vital part of your Systematic Theology training to help you respond and engage.

Full Course Listing

SM501 Writing & Research Skills (3)

AP501 Introduction to Christian Apologetics (3)

OT501 Old Testament Survey 1 (3)
OT502 Old Testament Survey 2 (3)
NT501 New Testament Survey 1 (3)
NT502 New Testament Survey 2 (3)

ST501 Prolegomena & Bibliology (3)
ST502 Theology Proper & Creation (3)
ST503 Hamartiology & Soteriology (3)
ST504 Pneumatology, Ecclesiology, & Eschatology (3)

a) AP Elective (3)
b) Electives (6)


  • Have earned a bachelors degree from an institution
    accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation, the United
    States Department of Education, or the equivalent (as assessed by SES)
  • GPA of 2.5 or above for their undergraduate program

If one does not meet the undergraduate GPA requirement, he may be granted a Provisional Admission. This requires
that the student maintain a 2.5 or higher GPA on the first semester of work at SES in order to be granted full admission.

A Valuable Degree with Exceptionally Affordable Tuition

Prospective students are almost always surprised to learn how affordable we keep our degree programs at Southern Evangelical Seminary. You will also not be bogged down with numerous fees.

You need effective training for ministry — not a crippling load of student loan debt. The value of a degree here pays off through your entire career and truly has an eternal value as well. 

As a result, we're delighted to tell you that you'll have a very difficult time finding a better tuition rate than what we offer at SES: $475 per credit hour.


per credit hour

Read more about our current tuition rates, flexible payment plans, and financial aid opportunities.


Financial Aid & Discounts

Why Should You Seriously Consider Studying at SES?

You almost certainly have at least some basic — and perhaps even advanced — knowledge of Christian apologetics. Many new students at SES have studied books like Tactics by Gregory Koukl, Lewis' Mere Christianity, or I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist by SES alum Frank Turek and SES co-founder Norman Geisler. These are all very helpful resources, but perhaps you have reached that point in your self-guided research where you hit a wall or find yourself out of your depth.

Apologetics, theology, and even Bible study will never reach their potential without being grounded in sound philosophy. It's not a matter of whether you're doing philosophy. It's a matter of whether you're doing it well or poorly. You can be a good philosopher without being a good apologist or theologian, but it does not work the other way around! Giving you the philosophical foundation you need for both theology and apologetics is just one of the ways that a degree or certificate from SES will serve you well.

Built for Your Calling

Whether you are pursuing full-time vocational leadership or personal ministry growth, this program is designed to provide a path for your success.

Full-time Ministry

Full-Time Ministry

Christians are called to be salt and light in our world, and leaders should be equipped to confidently engage the ideas shaping today’s culture. Apologetics training is essential for breaking down barriers and effectively leading others. As you pursue God’s calling on your life through ministry, a seminary education will maximize your impact.

Personal Ministry

 If your personal study hasn’t yielded the growth you’re looking for, formal training can equip you to answer hard questions and present the truth in love. Being grounded in apologetics prepares you to be fruitful in all aspects of your personal ministry. Our apologetics program offers structured training you need to share the faith and defend truth in everyday life.


Ready to Apply Now?

Start the admission process today. You can begin in just a few minutes by filling out our initial application and it will open the door for us to have an exploratory conversation about your educational priorities and hopes for ministry. We have an entire team at SES who is ready to help you in the process of discerning your gifts and calling to ministry so you can engage our culture in the conversations that matter the most.

Compare the M.A. in Religion with Other SES Degrees

Master of Arts in Christian Apologetics (M.A.C.A.)


Dig into the meat of classical apologetics with this foundational M.A. degree; be equipped for ministry or further studies

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Philosophy


Stand out in the evangelical world with this deep dive into classical philosophy and its important role in the apologetics task

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Christian Apologetics & Theology


This seminary-level degree will take your apologetics training to the next level by layering in important theological study