Master of Arts in Practical Theology - Course Descriptions
MAPT - 601 Integrative Pastoral Psychotherapy (3 SH)
This course is an introduction to the biological-psychological-systemic-spiritual model of
pastoral psychotherapy. Counseling theory, techniques, and clinical use of self are
addressed through a collaborative perspective which integrates the literature of
psychotherapy, medicine, body energy, cybernetics, systems, theology, and spirituality. The
teaching team is drawn from psychotherapy supervision, medicine (psychiatry, sleep
medicine, and collaborative family medicine) as well as Healing Touch. This course is
designed to meet specific academic requirements of these disciplines: American Association
of Pastoral Counselors - Area I. Core Clinical Theory 1.a. Counseling and Psychotherapy:
Theory and Techniques as applicable to Fee-Based Practicing. Pastoral Counselor,
Licensed Professional Counselor - Category A. Counseling Theory and Techniques.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist - General Core Courses pertinent to specialization,
specifically pastoral psychotherapy.
MAPT - 602 Introduction to the History of the Church (3 SH)
Students survey the Christian movement beginning with the first century through the
medieval period and the Protestant Reformation to the Enlightenment.
MAPT - 603 Pastoral Theological Method in Pastoral Psychotherapy (3 SH)
This course is an introduction to methods for integrating theological reflection and pastoral
psychotherapy. Participants survey the historical and theological foundations for pastoral
psychotherapy, its grounding and contextualization in congregational and specialized
ministry, and its critical relationship to behavior and other sciences. Students will approach
methodological issues historically and relate various methods to contemporary and intercultural
contexts. Methods for critical reflection and decision making will be applied to case
studies and psychotherapy to foster the student's own theological method. This course is
designed to meet the AAPC Fellow Body of Knowledge Area II. A.3. Pastoral Theological
Method as well as the Licensed Professional Counselor academic area Social and Cultural
MAPT - 604 Pastoral Diagnosis In Pastoral Psychotherapy (3 SH)
The purpose of this course is to assist students in their ability to assess persons and systems
synthesizing a theological lens with other perspectives such as learning style, developmental
theory, systems, cybernetics, resiliency, and psychopathology as described in the DSM-IVTR.
Treatment strategies will be applied through case studies to religious understandings
of persons, functional theological norms, and pastoral roles and tasks. This course is
designed to meet the AAPC Fellow Body of Knowledge Area II. A.3. Pastoral Diagnosis as
well as the Licensed Professional Counselor academic area Appraisal.
MAPT - 605 Christian Missions and Globalization in an Interfaith World (3 SH)
This course will reflect on God's mission in the world. It will examine the role of the Church
to the Misio Dei with special attention to the relationship between gospel and culture. Starting
with the Bible, the course will reflect on mission models used in Christian tradition up to the
present. The course will also critically analyze the history of missions and raise current
missiological questions such as ethnocentrism, secularism, religious fundamentalism and the
relationship to people of other faiths.
MAPT - 606 Evangelism in the Contemporary Church & World (3 SH)
Students engage theological foundations of Christian evangelism in today's global context.
Students explore various models of theological praxis from the early to the contemporary
church. Particular emphasis is given to contemporary strategies for evangelism and
theological criteria for critical evaluation. This course fulfills the evangelism requirement for
election to probationary membership and commissioning in The United Methodist Church as
specified in The Book of Discipline.
MAPT - 608 Teaching/Learning: Foundations for Christian Education (3 SH)
This course surveys historical, theological, and philosophical bases of Christian
Education with attention to ways that people learn. It includes how to facilitate learning,
what to teach, choosing and creating appropriate curriculum resources. It is the
foundational course for anyone engaged in educational ministries. This course meets
the requirements for certification in Christian Education for The United Methodist Church.
MAPT - 609 Servant Leadership in the Church (3 SH)
An introduction to the administrative and educational ministries of the Church. This course
involves an examination of leadership styles, church organizational structures, group
processes, recruitment and training as both professional and lay persons join together in the
Christian Educational ministry of the Church. May be taken by non-degree students for
MAPT - 611 Ministries with Children and Families (3 SH)
This course assists Christian religious educators with their ministries with children and families.
Students learn prevalent developmental theories and philosophies about accompanying
children, parents, siblings and other significant mentors on their spiritual journeys. They
examine resources, programs, weekday education, policies, supervision, and methodologies
for effective ways that the church can meet the needs of contemporary families.
MAPT - 612 Adolescent World (3 SH)
A course designed to develop an understanding of youth in today's world. Attention will be
given to the personal, moral, social and religious development of youth and how these
factors impact the educational ministry with youth.
MAPT - 613 Ministries with Youth (3 SH)
A survey of practical strategies for Christian Education with youth. A major focus of the
course will be the exploration of resources and the development of program planning for a
ministry with youth in the local church.
MAPT - 614 Ministries with Adults (3 SH)
This course examines the development of adults as they move through the various stages
of adult life. The transitions in the adult life will be the basis for surveying approaches to the
Christian Education with adults, including ways adults learn, faith development and
resources for program planning with adults.
MAPT - 615 Systematic Theology in the Contemporary World (3 SH)
This course wil examine the contemporary Christian theological understanding of God, sin/
evil, Jesus Christ, salvation, church and ethics. From exploration of these perspectives,
students will begin to formulate and articulate their own theological beliefs.
MAPT - 616 Critical Issues in Christian Ethics (3 SH)
This course is an introduction to the field of Christian Ethics. By practicing disciplined
reflection on ethical issues, students will learn to use various methods in ethics, and how to
employ responsibly differentsources, such as Scripture, Christian traditions, social
sciences/philosophy, and experience, in ethical argument.
MAPT - 618 Spiritual Formation (3 SH)
An orientation to the history and practices of spiritual disciplines for personal and parish
renewal, this course particularly emphasizes prayer and its relationship to worship,
discernment processes, prophetic witness, and Christian servant leadership. It provides
resources for personal and corporate spiritual formation. This course meets the
academic requirements for certification in Spiritual Formation in The United Methodist
MAPT - 619 Spiritual Formation - Spiritual Direction/Companionship (3 SH)
Students will practice focusing attentiveness to God, listening skills, psychological
awareness, personal spiritual disciplines, spiritual formation's historical background,
including formative Wesleyan spirituality, and ethical issues for fostering this supportive
relationship. They acquire training in ways to offer spiritual guidance and friendship.
The course emphasizes many prayer pracices, spiritual guidance, personal and
professional development. This course is required for Spiritual Formation Certification in
the United Methodist Church.
MAPT - 620 United Methodist History, Doctrine and Polity (3 SH)
An examination of the historical tradition, doctrine, and structure of the United Methodist
Church. This course fulfills the United Methodist Studies requirement for certification in
Christian education, youth, music and evangelism. This does not fulfill the requirement for
those seeking ordination as Deacons. May be taken by non-degree students for undergraduate
MAPT - 623 Godly Play: A Ministry of Christian Formation for Children (3 SH)
A study of the educational and theological foundations, and of the resources and story
materials for implementing a particular ministry of Christian formation for children. Opportunity
will also be provided for examining the spirituality and learning styles of children,
exploring sacred space and the classroom environment, and practicing the teaching roles
and skills involved in this approach to the Christian nurture of children.
MAPT - 625 Christian Worship (3 SH)
An exploration of the history, development and meaning of worship. Attention will be given
to designing worship for various settings and experimenting with creative forms of worship.
MAPT - 626 Theology and Christian Education (3 SH)
This course will examine traditional Christian doctrines through the writings and teachings
of selected twentieth century theologians. Students will learn both the historical development
of major doctrines and the particular meanings offered by contemporary interpreters.
The course will also include the use given to these doctrines in the faith, worship, and work
of the modern Church community. May be taken by non-degree students for undergraduate
MAPT - 627 Communication Through Creative Arts Media (3 SH)
An introduction to various ways of expressing Biblical stories, religious and theological
thoughts and concepts. The course varies depending on the selection of subject matter.
Some possible topics are: mime, storytelling, puppetry, and the use of media in Christian
MAPT - 630 Survey of the Old Testament (3 SH)
A survey of the Old Testament and the issues most relevant to its academic study. Both
historical and theological approaches to the text will be emphasized, as well as the integration
of these approaches with the tasks of Christian Education.
MAPT - 631 Survey of the New Testament (3 SH)
A survey of the New Testament and the issues most relevant to its academic study. Both
historical and theological approaches to the text are emphasized, as well as the integration
of these approaches with the tasks of Christian Education.
MAPT - 640 World Religions in America (3 SH)
This course is an exploration into the major religious traditions in America.
MAPT - 641 Counseling (3 SH)
An introduction to basic theories and skills related to an understanding of the human
personality and the ministry of counseling in the effort to establish helping relationships in
MAPT - 642 Teaching for Biblical Faith and Spiritual Formation (3 SH)
This course is a study of the biblical message, the nature of the Bible, its role in congregational
contexts and processes that nurture spiritual formation and discipleship. Students ascertain
the relation of the Bible to Christian Education and Spiritual Formation. They experience
teaching approaches and methodologies appropriate for the Church's book of faith
MAPT - 651 Practical Theology Seminar (3 SH)
This seminar offers an orientation to the field of Practical Theology and an overview of
methodologies for doing practical theological reflection in a variety of contexts. Practical
Theology is concerned with Christian action; therefore we utilize practical theological
methods to help us explore the connections between our religious traditions and
convictions and the way that we do ministry.
MAPT - 652 Master's Culminating Experience (3 SH)
In the "Culminating Experience" students demonstrate their competency in Christian
Education and integration of course work in their ministry of Christian Education. In
consultation with faculty and/or advisor, students may choose from the following
segments to meet the requirements for this course. Note: CPE is the required segment
for students on thePastoral Care and Counseling track. Pfeiffer University reserves the
right to assign professors to the various segments of this course, although student
requests for professors are always welcomed.
This segment is usually developed from work done in other courses or of interest
spurred by work done in other courses. Students may take this segment after 33 SH
have been earned. This may be seen as a "Master's Thesis" type segment and should
be of quality to be published. The student will present a research proposal of 250-500
words that describe the research, including requests (if any) for a particular faculty
supervisor, to the Director of the M.A. Program in Christian Education. Proposals must
be submitted no later than April 1 for a fall semester research paper and November 1 for
a spring research paper. No summer offering of this segment is available. A word of
caution: many proposals are either too vague OR too specific.
This segment involves students in a structured experience in an approved ministry
setting. This segment is especially recommended for students with limited church
experience. Students may take this segment after 33 SH have been earned.Students
will submit a proposal of their intent to take this segment to the Director of the M.A.
program at least two months prior to the actual semester start date. This proposal will
include the place of ministry, the on-site supervisor, and the request (if any) for a specific
faculty supervisor. During this segment students will: (1) Submit a Learning-Service
Covenant with specific learning goals and means of establishing those goals to the
directing professor; (2) Submit evaluations of their ministry; (3) Meet at least weekly with
an on-site supervisor; (4) Meet, if possible, with a peer group to evaluate and explore
ministry issues; (5) Set up evaluation consultations with an on-site supervisor to discuss
self AND supervisor-evaluations; (6) Submit evaluations from the supervisor and one's
self to the directing professor.
This project segment is designed to be flexible to meet the established of he institution
and the student. Nevertheless a proposal needs to be submitted no later than two
months before the start of the semester in which the student registers for this course to
the Director of the M.A. program. Students are eligible to take this segment after 33 SH
have been completed. The proposal will include a clear description of the "project;"
including rationale, the project to be completed, the anticipated outcome of the project,
and evaluation criteria. It is helpful, but not required, that prior faculty consent to help
with this "project" be obtained. Consent is evidenced by the faculty member signing the
submitted proposal. Projects can take many forms such as: the producing of specific
curriculum, drama, video, photo-essay, program development, multimedia expression,
course development and teaching, mission development, etc.
Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) (with Carolina Health Care System)
CPE develops the capacity for the pastoral and spiritual care of individuals, families, and
systems. This course provides an opportunity to apply and practice pastoral care skills
with patients and their families under faculty supervision. Students gain the opportunity
to hone their listening and care-giving skills and will learn to integrate theological,
psychological, and sociological aspects of spiritual care. The course brings theological
students and ministers of all faiths into supervised encounter with persons in crisis. This
course requires 300 hours of clinical (in the hospital or congregation) ministry. Students
on the Pastoral Care & Counseling track are required to do supervised Clinical Pastoral
Education (CPE) as their master's culminating experience. Students pursuing deacon
ordination are advised to complete this course as their culminating experience for the
MAPT - 660 Field Work With Children (3 SH)
This course provides opportunities for observation and practice in the field of children's
ministry under the guidance of a supervisor. The purpose of this field work is to focus on
children's ministry within the context of the local church. This course is a requirement for
specialization in children's ministry.
MAPT - 661 Field Work With Youth (3 SH)
This course provides opportunities for observation and practice in the field of youth ministry
under the guidance of a supervisor. The purpose of this field work is to focus on youth
ministry within the context of the local church. This course is a requirement for specialization
in youth ministry.
MAPT - 662 Field Study (3 SH)
This is a semester-long field education placement that is required for specialization in Youth
Ministries or Children's Ministries.
MAPT - 665 Practicum in Spiritual Direction/Companionship (3 SH)
The practicum provides supervised field education in spiritual guidance of individuals and
groups, extending over an academic year. This includes students' own regular engagement
with a spiritual director, monthly participation in a peer supervision group, personal written
reflection, and a minimum of one spiritual retreat with professor. Prerequisite: CHED 618
and CHED 619. This course is required for Spiritual Formation Certification in The United
MAPT - 697 Special Topics in the Bible (3 SH)
Courses of special interest in the Bible will be offered, such as studies on specific biblical
texts, for example, the Pauline epistles, eschatological or wisdom literature.
MAPT - 698 Special Topics (1-3 SH)
Courses given on topical or special interests. A special title will be used in each instance
and will be entered on the student's transcript. The intention of this provision is to permit
flexibility in the curriculum for the student and to provide opportunities for study of issues
not contained in the curriculum. Some special topics are: Christian Education and the
Future, Drug Education, Christian Education, and Human Sexuality.
MAPT - 699 Independent Study (3 SH)
With the guidance of their faculty advisor, students who have completed the required
foundation courses may request an independent study. The purpose of this course is to
meet specific needs of the student and to provide opportunity for intense research on a topic
not in the curriculum. A professor with competence in the student's area of study will guide
the course and set requirements acceptable to the MAPT Program Director and the Dean
of the School of Religion.