OVERVIEW

Overview

The Graduate Department of Theology provides an excellent opportunity for men and women called to professional or lay ministry to pursue quality graduate education integrated with real life ministry that prepares students for a lifetime of faithful service and vibrant discipleship.

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The Master of Religious Education in Missional Leadership (MREML) is built upon a solid biblical, theological and pastoral foundation, and is an ideal degree for anyone committed to leading within the church who is wrestling with the implications of a practical and living gospel and its relationship to and with dynamic cultures.

The MREML is a 36-hour, cohort-based, full-time integrated program combining 24 online hours with 12 intensive onsite hours. While the majority of the coursework will be completed online, students will be required to travel to the RC campus or other designated sites two times per year to participate in one-week retreat seminars and intensive courses.

Master of Religious Education Missional Leadership

Any current ministry preparation degrees train ministers for settings that simply no longer exist. In our new and rapidly evolving cultural context, ministry preparation will need to be conceived differently in both content and delivery. The MRE in Missional Leadership is an attempt to provide faithful ministry preparation that takes our changing context seriously.

The MREML assumes that the congregation, not the classroom, is the primary learning context for missional leadership. This commitment requires students to have a primary ministry context in which they can develop their capacities as leaders. It also requires that the courses offered are delivered in such a manner that students can remain in their congregational setting.

This 36-hour degree includes 24-hours of online instruction. The remaining 12 hours take place in one-week intensive seminars on Rochester College’s campus. The student, therefore, can complete the degree from anywhere as long as one week per semester can be spent on Rochester’s campus.

Because the degree is delivered in such a unique fashion, the MREML can provide key resource people beyond Rochester’s outstanding resident faculty. We have recruited some of the key leaders in both the missional and emerging church movements as faculty. Additionally, missional leaders from around the world have agreed to serve as online coaches for MREML students.

The degree is cohort based. Students will move through the two-year curriculum with 14 other students, developing Christian community, encouraging one another in spiritual formation, and learning from each other’s experience. Each student will take 12 hours in Biblical text, 12 hours in missional leadership, and 12 hours in theology/history. While these categories may seem traditional, the design of each course is focused on actual leadership tasks in missional congregations. All courses are integrated and sequential so that all courses build on what has come before and anticipate what will come after. Each course also contributes to the student’s e-portfolio, a collection of student work through the program, which the student defends for degree completion.

To request more information for the MREML, contact Dr. Mark Love at missional@rc.edu or (248) 218-2300.

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 Admissions

An applicant to Master of Religious Education must have a bachelor degree from an accredited college or university accredited via approved Council for Higher Education with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in his/her undergraduate work in order to receive a regular admission. Probationary admission status may be granted to an applicant with a cumulative undergraduate grade point average from 2.7 – 2.99.  Applicants may have a bachelor’s degree in any field.

The following items must be submitted to the Graduate Admissions Committee.

  1. Complete the Graduate Application for Admission or apply online here.
  2. Pay the non-refundable application fee online ($35).
  3. Submit three letters of recommendations two of which must be academic references, and one must be either from a minister or church leader (see address below).
  4. Contact all colleges/universities which you have attended and request that all of your official transcripts be sent directly to the Master of Religious Education Admission (See address below).
  5. Complete a statement of purpose essay (500-1000 words), in which the applicant describes her/his statement of Purpose for pursuing graduate education in Missional Leadership. You may send it by mail or attach it as a Word document or a PDF file through email at missional@rc.edu.
  6. Submit a signed Congregation Consent Form from a congregational leader (or other appropriate ministry setting) that you have permissions to do projects within the congregation for your degree.

For additional questions regarding admission to the Master of Religious Education, please contact missional@rc.edu.


Mail all documents that are completed offline to the following address:

Rochester College
Master of Religious Education Admission
800 West Avon Road
Rochester Hills, MI 48307 USA
Phone: 248.218.2200 | Fax: 248.218.2055

 

DEGREE
The Graduate School of Religion at Rochester College provides an excellent opportunity for men and women called to professional or lay ministry to pursue quality graduate education integrated with real life ministry that prepares students for a lifetime of faithful service and vibrant discipleship. The Master of Religious Education in Missional Leadership (MREML) is built upon a solid biblical, theological, and pastoral foundation, and is an ideal degree for anyone committed to leading within the church who is wrestling with the implications of a practical and living gospel and its relationship to and with dynamic cultures.

The MREML is a 36-hour, cohort-based, full-time integrated program combining 24 online hours with 12 intensive onsite hours. While the majority of the coursework will be completed online, students will be required to travel to the Rochester College campus or other designated sites two times per year to participate in one-week retreat seminars and intensives courses.

Master of Religious Education in Missional Leadership

Degree Plan

Bible

BIB 5303  Jesus and the Life of the Church

BIB 5313  Early Christianity and the Gentile Mission

BIB 5163  Yahweh and Ancient Israel in Covenant Community

BIB 5173  Prophetic Critique and Vision for Renewal

Integral Leadership

MIN 5813  Leading the Missional Congregation

MIN 5833  The Gospel and Cultures

MIN 5853  Leading as Hospitality

MIN 5803  The Word of God and Missional Leadership

Mission

THL 5823  Global Christianity

THL 5843  God, New Creation, and The Church

THL 5893  Missio Dei – The Christian Story of Mission

THL 5863  Salvation and Human Identity

Total: 36 credit hours

TUITION

Tuition for 2013 – 2014

Tuition (per semester hour) $569
Application Fee $35 non-refundable one-time fee
Audit Fee $58 per semester hour
Drop Fee $25 per form
Graduation Fee $125 for Master of Religious Education
Intensive/Retreat Course Fee $75
Late Payment Fee $35
Late Registration Fee $35
Payment Plan Fee $60
Portfolio Defense Fee $25
Additional Student Costs
Students are responsible for the following costs:

  • Travel: Students are required to travel to Rochester College campus two times per year. First year students will meet at Rochester College campus.  Second year students will meet in St. Paul, Minneapolis and Durham, North Carolina.
  • Lodging: RC will provide affordable housing for all students in need with advance notice.
  • Food: Students are responsible for their meals during the week of intensive class.
Financial Awards
Rochester College participates in a variety of financial aid programs for the benefit of students. Students must meet the eligibility requirements of these programs in order to participate. Information is available on Student Aid on the Web at www.studentaid.ed.gov
Scholarships
Students may take advantage of various scholarships through our Financial Aid process or from outside organizations. You may submit Scholarship Application Form to Master of Religious Education Admission. You may send it by mail or attach it as a Word document or a PDF file through email at missional@rc.edu.
 
FACULTY

FACULTY

Rubel Shelly Chancellor Rochester College
Mark Love Director MRE in Missional Leadership
Keith Huey Professor of Church History
Craig Bowman Professor of Old Testament
Greg Stevenson Professor of New Testament
David Keller Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies

 

Guest Faculty

Patrick Keifert President of Church Innovations
Jonathan W. Hartgrove Author and New Monastic
Randy Harris ACU Bible, Missions, and Ministry Instructor
Natalie Magnusson Spiritual Formation Coach
John Mark Hicks Theologians, Churchman, Author

 

 

 

 

 

COURSES

Course Descriptions

BIB 5163  Yahweh and Ancient Israel in Covenant Community
Examines the story of the people of God in the first five books of the Old Testament. Consideration is given to specific texts and themes and the contextual interpretation of these materials. How do we understand God’s missional intentions for the world through the core stories related to Israel’s identity? How do these stories shape the missional imagination of congregations today?

BIB 5173  Prophetic Critique and Vision for Renewal: Implications for Faithful Response among Missional Communities
Focuses on the message of the Old Testament prophets and their continuing relevance for congregations today. In particular, the prophetic imagination is presented as essential for any church hoping to embody God’s missional intentions for the world.

BIB 5303  Jesus and the Life of the Church
Explores the abiding significance of the figure of Jesus for the life and faith of the church. As the primary sources for our understanding of Jesus of Nazareth are the four Gospels, much of this course centers around Gospel studies. This study, however, does not occur in a scholarly vacuum. Constant effort will be expended, both by professor and students, to engage these ancient texts in a way that witnesses to the Living Jesus amongst us today.

BIB 5313  Early Christianity and the Gentile Mission
Early Christianity was a diverse phenomenon, a product of varied religious, social, and cultural contexts. This course explores the theological and cultural issues involved in Christianity’s engagement with the larger world. We will examine the historical and theological background for the church’s gentile mission, selected New Testament texts that engage these issues, and draw implications for American Christianity’s interaction with the larger culture(s) around it.

MIN 5803 The Word of God and Missional Leadership
Serves as the capstone for the MREML. Students bring their learning to a point and explore how their particular ministry corresponds to an understanding of the Word of God as living and active in their context.

MIN 5813  Leading the Missional Congregation
Examines the nature of congregational leadership in a missional era. Common understandings of congregational leadership are rooted in both notions of Christendom and modern organizational theory. This course reimagines congregational leadership in light of biblical/theological and cultural sources. Students are invited to develop new capacities necessary for leading a congregation in mission.

THL 5823 Global Christianity
The face of Christianity in the 21st century is rapidly and dramatically changing. Vibrant churches in Africa, Asia, and South America have challenged long-held understandings of the church rooted in Western culture. How does our awareness of and participation in these new forms of Christianity transform our understandings of God’s mission, the gospel, and the identity of the church?

MIN 5833  The Gospel and Cultures
Defines gospel and culture according to recent scholarship and explores the relationship between them. Specifically, it seeks to understand how the gospel itself mediates the dynamic and ongoing relationship between church and world. Students develop both gospel perspectives for viewing their situations in ministry and skills for reading and engaging local cultures.

THL 5843 Mission of God: New Creation, and The Church
The missional church defines its life in relation to the mission of God. This brings certain theological themes to the fore in understanding the church. This course looks at the relationship between God, church, and world through the lenses of Trinitarian theology and eschatology. How are these great theological themes lived out missionally in our congregations?

MIN 5853  Leading as Hospitality
The identity of a missional church, rooted in the life of God, is discovered in large part through practices of hospitality, or through welcoming the stranger. Leaders for a church in mission, therefore, cultivate communities of hospitality. This course explores the nature of Christian hospitality and how it is practiced in the lives of actual congregations.

THL 5863 Mission of God: Salvation and Human Identity
Congregations tend to define mission in relation to their understanding of salvation. This course begins with the premise that salvation embraces God’s intentions for all of creation. How does this view of salvation critique understandings that revolve around the eternal status of the individual? How, in turn, might we understand what it means to be human in light of this larger conception? Finally, how do our congregations embody salvation in missional practices?

THL 5893 Mission of God: Missio Dei – The Christian Story of Mission
Traces the Christian story from the perspective of missio Dei (mission of God). The Christian story is told, not simply as a history of mission, but from the perspective of God’s intentions for the world realized in history. It is not only a history of ideas, but also an examination of how the church has embodied its understandings of Missio Dei, including implications for our congregations today.

FORMS

Admission Forms

Academic Forms

Graduate Catalogs

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Fax or mail your completed forms to:

Rochester College
Master of Religious Education
800 West Avon Road
Rochester Hills, MI 48307
Fax # (248) 218-2055

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