From its earliest days, Methodist Theological School in Ohio has been a learning community infused with a commitment to social justice. In the fall of 2019, MTSO will offer a new professional master’s degree that takes full advantage of the school’s unique ethos: the Master of Arts in Social Justice.
The two-year, 39-credit-hour MASJ degree program provides a core curriculum drawing from ethics, religion and public leadership. Students also will benefit from a cross-cultural immersion experience and a customizable 280-hour internship.
“We live in an era of urgent need for individuals with both the commitment and the skills to drive conversation and action around social justice,” said MTSO President Jay Rundell. “Those who can speak and act with passion and competence on race, immigration, human sexuality, climate, disability, labor exploitation – to name just a few of the defining issues of our time – will shape our culture for generations to come.”
“MTSO is uniquely situated to offer this degree,” said Dean Valerie Bridgeman. “We have a longstanding history of social activism and theological reflection on that activism. MASJ students will learn from activist scholars who aren’t just talking in theory. We have faculty who work for justice in the classroom and on the frontlines beyond this campus.”
MASJ core classes will include on-campus and online learning. All on-campus core classes will meet on Monday and Wednesday evenings. Times of the three elective courses required to complete the degree will depend on the courses chosen.
Among the core courses within the MA in Social Justice program are Theories of Justice and Movements for Social Change; Nonprofit Administration and Leadership; Interreligious Theologies; and Social Justice and the Law. Students may then focus on areas of particular interest by choosing elective courses such as Ecotheology and Global Ethics; Community Organizing and Preaching: Power, Action and Justice; and Race, Religion and Nation: From Black Power to Black Lives Matter.
In earning the MASJ, students will develop skills and strategies for leading, organizing, educating and collaborating in diverse social, political, religious and educational contexts. Potential vocational roles for those with this professional master’s degree include nonprofit administration, community organizing, lobbying, advocacy and activism.
More information about the MA in Social Justice is available at www.mtso.edu/socialjustice.
Methodist Theological School in Ohio provides theological education and leadership in pursuit of a just, sustainable and generative world. In addition to the Master of Divinity degree, the school offers master’s degrees in counseling, social justice, theological studies and practical theology, along with a Doctor of Ministry degree.
Danny Russell, communications director