Over the past year at HBU, I’ve gotten a lot of great questions about doing an MA in Apologetics. Why should someone study apologetics? What can you do with an apologetics degree? What’s distinctive about HBU’s program? Since, as a teacher, I know that if one person asks a question, a lot of other people in the room are probably thinking the same question, I’ve decided to do a series of posts on Frequently Asked Questions. Here goes with the first one! “What kind of job can I get with an MA in Cultural Apologetics?” The answer is: it depends! Okay, let me unpack that for you a bit… Apologetics at HBU is an interdisciplinary program, unlike most apologetics programs that are focused on philosophy, theology, or biblical studies. Our MAA includes philosophy, theology, and biblical studies – but it also includes extensive work in literature and the arts, in history and culture, and in the practical arts of communication in writing and speaking (in both ‘traditional’ media and ‘new media.’)
Thus, our MAA is a liberal-arts program in the best sense of the word. Students learn how to read important, difficult primary texts; how to assess scholarship and apply it; how to think critically, and be able to assess, evaluate, synthesize, and apply what they’ve learned; and how to communicate their ideas clearly, graciously, and effectively. We seek truth and study how ideas form worldviews, why they matter, and how to express truth in ways that are culturally and personally effective. We have small classes, 15 students per class – often fewer – so that students have the opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue with the professor and fellow students. (By the way, that small class size applies to the online courses as well as the Houston courses!)
And we do lots of writing. Those are skills that transfer to many different fields: business, teaching, communications, ministry. Note that the liberal-arts skills that students develop and hone in our program are extremely useful for ‘secular’ jobs, as well as for more directly ministry-related jobs.
But indeed, many of our students will use their degree for church, para-church, and independent ministry work; our partnership with Ratio Christi will help students get involved in campus ministry. HBU frequently hosts conferences and apologetics events, and has online ministry connections, so students will get hands-on experience in ‘doing apologetics’ during the program.
Furthermore, since we are a very arts-focused program, we anticipate that many students will use their training to ‘do apologetics’ in creative writing, music, filmmaking, and the performance arts. Two of our full-time faculty are specialists in imaginative and literary apologetics: myself (Dr Holly Ordway) and Dr Michael Ward.
Finally, graduates will be prepared for further academic study if they choose, at the MA or PhD level, in fields such as philosophy, apologetics, theology, and the humanities. Want to discuss whether an MA in Apologetics at HBU would suit your interests, talents, and calling? Feel free to comment, or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.