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Wheaton Announces New Concentration in its M.A. in Theology Program for Future Ministers

April 1, 2021

The M.A. in Ecclesial Theology is designed for those pursuing vocational ministry.

The Wheaton College School of Biblical & Theological Studies is launching a new M.A. in Theology concentration in collaboration with the Center for Pastor Theologians, one of the country’s leading organizations devoted to theologically equipping pastors.

The M.A. in Ecclesial Theology is the newest addition to Wheaton’s M.A. in Theology program, which also offers historical theology and systematic theology concentrations.  

“Since its founding in 1937, Wheaton College’s M.A. in Theology program has equipped students to be stewards of Christian thought in the academy, the church, and the marketplace,” said Wheaton College President Dr. Philip Ryken. “We are very grateful for our new partnership with the Center for Pastor Theologians, which will empower us to prepare ministry-minded students to become thoughtful church leaders.”

Wheaton’s School of Biblical & Theological Studies faculty has dreamed for several years of a partnership with the Center for Pastor Theologians, which is led by Wheaton alumnus Dr. Todd Wilson ’97 M.A. ’01. 

“CPT’s vision is to help train its large network of pastors to think more robustly about theology, and Wheaton has a rich biblical and theological curriculum with a strong commitment to equipping students for vocational ministry,” said Theology Professor Dr. Marc Cortez, who is directing this new concentration. “The ecclesial theology concentration draws on the strengths of the two organizations.” 

The new M.A. in Ecclesial Theology offers a core curriculum of historical, biblical, and systematic theology, which is the same for each concentration, and includes a new course on Biblical Interpretation taught by Assistant Professor of New Testament Dr. Esau McCaulley and a foundational Seminar in Ecclesial Theology taught by the leadership of the Center for Pastor Theologians. In addition, the ecclesial theology concentration also offers students the choice of one elective and one advanced seminar in their particular area of focus with Wheaton faculty members, such as Franklin S. Dyrness Associate Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies Dr. Jennifer Powell McNutt and Dr. Cortez, who spent a decade in youth ministry before getting his Ph.D. at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. 

 “It is crucial to form the next generation of church leaders with the vocational identity of pastor theologian who can live out their calling with a deep commitment to shepherding the church theologically,” said Dr. Joel Lawrence, the executive director for the Center for Pastor Theologians. “The CPT has had a fruitful relationship with Wheaton over the years, and we are grateful for the opportunity to partner in the crucial task of shaping pastors who are equipped to be theologians for today’s complex world.”

--Emily Bratcher