Last time in our Frequently Asked Questions post, I addressed the question, “What kind of job can I get with an MA in Cultural Apologetics?”
Next up: “How can the MA in Cultural Apologetics help me with further graduate study or ministry work?”
If you’re going for a PhD, the interdisciplinary nature of the MAA makes it possible to tailor your MAA work toward the graduate program you have in mind: philosophy, theology, literature, etc. You can choose your essay topics within the core courses with your academic focus in mind, and you can choose your electives accordingly. Discussion with your academic advisor is essential! Furthermore, if you are going for a PhD, you may be able to take a more advanced course as a substitute for one of your core courses, with the approval of your advisor, if you have already done sufficient work in that area to allow for the substitution.
If you are going for a PhD, you will want to take the Thesis as your final elective. This is a semester-long independent research and writing project, usually around 30,000-50,000 words, that will show your aptitude for doctoral work. The Thesis requires advance approval from your academic advisor; you will also need to find a faculty member who is willing to supervise your thesis. You will need to submit a proposal for your thesis, including a topic and reading list, in the semester before you are registered for the Thesis.
Participation in the academic community is very important for students who are interested in further graduate work. The School of Christian Thought hosts two academic conferences each year, for Philosophy and Theology. Graduate students are encouraged to attend; students are also welcome to submit proposals to present papers at the conference. This is a great way to build your academic skills and prepare for a PhD.
Preparation for Ministry or Creative Work
Most of our students will not be doing a PhD, but a capstone project is valuable for everyone! That’s the experience you will get in Apologetics Communication, which is a course that you should take in your final year.
In Apologetics Communication, taught by Prof. Mary Jo Sharp, you will be drawing on what you’ve learned in your other courses, and choosing to focus on a project or topic that you’ve developed a strong interest in. It is a hands-on class, and the work you do in it will be a stepping stone to further writing, speaking, teaching, or ministry opportunities. Students can also gain experience in ministry through internships and volunteering at conferences.
If you are interested in ministry through creative writing, then another important ministry-preparation course is Creative Writing and Apologetics, with Dr Ordway. This, like Apologetics Communication, is a hands-on, workshop course; students will write imaginative literature and learn about publishing options as well. Combined with Dr Michael Ward’s CS Lewis and Imaginative Apologetics and Literature and Apologetics courses, the Creative Writing course provides a strong grounding in the theory and practice of literary apologetics. The School of Fine Arts holds a Writers’ Conference every year and has many topics and speakers that are of great relevance for imaginative apologetics as well.
In our MA in Cultural Apologetics program, we equip students to transform culture: and that work starts while you’re studying with us!
Questions? Want to discuss whether an MA in Apologetics at HBU would suit your interests, talents, and calling? You can see more at hbu.edu/maa or hbu.edu/maaonline. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.