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Master of Arts in Religion / Pastoral Ministry

Program Details

Liberty University’s Master of Arts in Religion (M.A.R.) degree program is designed to enhance the student’s biblical, theological, and Christian knowledge. The program’s advanced courses aim to provide a strong foundation of Christianity’s scripture, faith, and truths in order to prepare students for local church work. The program is intended to educate current pastors, Christian instructors, and lay leaders. Upon graduation of the program, students may find careers as an associate pastor, missionary, youth pastor, or church education administrator.

Students within the M.A.R. program will also need to complete a cognate within a specific specialty area. Liberty University offers a total of 12 cognates for students to choose from. Some of the cognates are Leadership, Homiletics, Marketplace Chaplaincy, and Pastoral Ministries. Some of the M.A.R. degree’s cognates require students to attend on-campus intensives. Intensives are accelerated, one-week courses that provide students the opportunity to interact with students and professors through classes and workshops. To earn the M.A.R. degree, students must complete a total of 60 credit hours. The 60 credits are divided into 48 Core and 12 Cognate credits hours.

The Pastoral Ministries cognate offers instruction on a variety of subjects related to pastoral ministries field. Some of the Pastoral Ministries cognate’s courses are Spiritual Factors of Growing Churches (EVAN 500), Strategic Prayer & Spiritual Warfare (EVAN 670), and Introduction to Pastoral Counseling (PACO 500). All of the cognate’s courses may be completed online and do not require any intensives.

The Pastoral Ministries courses will cover topics such as anointed preaching, angelology, holy living, and 21st century ministry issues. Students will also gain experience in the development and implementation of programs that promote the growth of evangelism. In addition, the program’s curriculum will prepare students for the creation of prayer strategies that may be used within churches. Specifically, within PACO 500, students will apply biblical knowledge, behavioral procedures, and communication skills to effective methods of short-term counseling.

Liberty University allows students to transfer a maximum of 27 credit hours to the M.A.R. degree program from a previous academic institution; however, a minimum of 33 credits must be complete through Liberty University. Students must complete the program with cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher. Graduates that have completed the M.A.R. program may transfer up to 45 credit hours to the Master of Divinity (MDiv) program; however, this does not apply to the 72 hour track of the MDiv program.


  • Send official college transcripts (a sealed, unopened copy)
  • Students must have received a regionally or nationally accredited bachelor’s degree with at least a 2.0 GPA for admission in good standing
  • Submit a pastoral recommendation
  • Complete the seminary questionnaire

Accreditation & Licensing

Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. This is the regional accrediting body for southern states.


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