March 7, 2022
NTS is excited to announce the comprehensive revision of its master’s level curriculum, which entails important degree changes to its Master of Divinity (76 credit hrs), Master of Arts in Theological Studies (45 credit hrs), and Master of Arts in Transformational Leadership (36 credit hrs).
Periodic curriculum revisions are essential to meet the changing demands of ministry and theological formation. At NTS, we began with our conviction that seminary education works in partnership with the church and ministry, and that our mission and Wesleyan-Holiness identity should unabashedly inform our educational approach. As such, our redesigned curriculum underscores longstanding academic and professional emphases. Rigorous study, intentional formation, and ministerial development remain central in our degree outcomes.
The revisions follow a year and a half of planning and evaluation led by the NTS faculty and academic program staff. The process engaged a wide range of constituents, including board members, pastors, district leaders, and student focus groups. It also drew from emerging models and recent research in pedagogy and theological education. NTS benefited from two external grants, three education consultants, and the findings of our comprehensive self-study for the reaffirmation of accreditation (NTS’s accreditation was reaffirmed by the Association of Theological Schools for 10 years—the highest affirmation possible). The exploration process confirmed NTS’s trajectory and strengths and spurred new imagination for how to best serve an emerging generation of Christian leaders.
The revised curriculum features new courses and objectives, as well as signature courses distinct to NTS’s theological heritage and the diverse expertise of its faculty. Highlights of the revision include:
- New courses and degree requirements attentive to the dynamic contexts and contemporary challenges of ministry.
- Stronger integration of contextual education with heightened emphases on ministry practicum and mentoring.
- Greater incorporation of global perspectives and diverse voices through required courses.
- Established and Customizable Specializations in each degree to more directly align with students’ calling and ministerial focus. Pastoral Ministry and Chaplaincy Tracks in the MDiv meet elder ordination requirements for the Church of the Nazarene.
Student experience and achievement of learning outcomes were also prioritized in the revision. This included affirmation of our hybrid learning model in which we blend first-rate educational technologies with a long-standing commitment to community, formation, and embodied presence. Instruction is augmented by student cohorts, experiential learning opportunities, and formative face-to-face engagement on NTS’s campus and through intentional site visits. Our hybrid approach also increases possibilities for student ministry experience and reduces ancillary educational expenses. Even as we lean into hybrid education, we invite students to move to Kansas City who desire a deeper campus connection. The NTS campus remains our hub and an important convening place for faculty, staff, and students. Local students benefit from direct access to faculty, staff, peers, on-site resources, and an array of co-curricular formational opportunities.
Rev. Dr. Josh Sweeden
Dean of the Faculty and Professor of Church and Society