At Union University, be transformed.

The Master of Christian Studies (MCS) is designed especially for bi-vocational pastors, missionaries, church planters, foreign nationals planting ethnic churches in the U.S. and church staff members. Laypersons who want to be better equipped biblically will also benefit from the program.

Our convenient one-night-a-week format allows completion of the MCS program in only two years. Students may also choose an accelerated or fully online option.

Study and Ministry

MCS students become biblically and theologically grounded while developing ministry skills. In the on-site programs, students are encouraged to apply classroom learning to local church ministry through directed assignments.

Online Emphasis

The online program was originally designed for those under appointment or seeking appointment by an SBC missions agency. It is also ideal for those whose vocational goals include direct involvement in church planting. The highly interactive program focuses all courses on the missions task of the church within the context of biblical and theological studies.


The 36-credit hour degree can be completed in one to two years. Most MCS courses, whether on one of Union's campuses or online, are offered in an accelerated eight-week format. They are offered at least once every year.

Financial Assistance

Scholarships may be available to bi-vocational pastors through the North American Mission Board.

Purpose Statement

The Master of Christian Studies exists to raise the level of ministry competence among bi-vocational pastors, missionaries, church planters, foreign nationals planting ethnic churches in the U.S., church staff members, and laypersons seeking a more thorough blending of faith and life in the workplace through both on-site courses in Memphis and online offerings.

Program Emphases

MCS courses are foundational, in terms of the student’s ability to think biblically and theologically, and synergistic, fostering effective ministry. MCS students become biblically and theologically grounded while developing ministry skills that integrate faith and learning.

Expected Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will acquire competence in (and deepen them analytical skills as they reflect on) the biblical text, theology, and Christian history, as well as how these apply to the ministries of churches.
  • Students will acquire skill in Bible study methods, Bible-preaching/teaching, and leadership principles.
  • Students will integrate what they learn in classes with the ministry they complete in their church or ministry setting.
  • Students will be more motivated to participate in and lead their churches in advancing the kingdom of God.
  • Students will demonstrate a commitment to apply Scripture to their personal lives and ministries.

Program Requirements - 36 hours

  • Old Testament 1
  • Old Testament 2
  • New Testament 1
  • New Testament 2
  • Biblical Interpretation
  • Communicating Biblical Truth
  • Evangelism and Missions
  • Christian Leadership
  • Theology 1
  • Theology 2
  • Survey of Church History
  • Spiritual Formation

Transfer of Credit

Up to nine semester hours of graduate credit from a regionally accredited college or university may be transferred into the degree program at the time the student is admitted provided the grades earned were B or higher.

Admission Requirements

  1. A Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited the institution, or equivalent.
  2. Official transcript(s) showing all course work, completion of a baccalaureate degree(s), and all graduate credit previously attempted. Even if withdrawal occurred prior to earning credits and even if those credits do not apply to the current degree being sought, official transcripts must be sent from each institution.
  3. A minimum college cumulative grade point average of 2.4 (on a 4.0 scale). Applicants with a college cumulative grade point average below 2.4 (on a 4.0 scale) may be accepted on academic probation on an individual basis.
  4. Complete online M.C.S. application process at and submit a $25 application fee.
  5. Three personal letters of recommendation.
  6. If English is not a student’s first language, minimum scores of 560 or 220 computer must be achieved on the TOEFL.
  7. A 3-5 page essay outlining the applicant’s spiritual journey.
Program taught in:
  • English

See 3 more programs offered by Union University »

Last updated August 16, 2019
This course is Online
Start Date
Sep 2019
2 years
350 USD
Tuition per Semester Hour
By locations
By date
Start Date
Sep 2019
End Date
Application deadline

Sep 2019

Application deadline
End Date