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Christian Ministry, M.A.

Biblical Seminary

When ministry strives to transform communities,
the possibilities are endless.

Christian ministry in today’s increasingly plural society requires practical leadership grounded in theological study – it requires the ability to nuance the Gospel and engage creatively to promote transformation.

At Fresno Pacific University Biblical Seminary, you’ll complete your master’s degree in less time than a master of divinity, allowing you to spend less time in the classroom and more time serving your community.

You’ll study with a diverse community of learners, and from published faculty and local pastors. A combination of classroom education and field experience will equip you with knowledge and skills for effective, long-term ministry.

Program Highlights

  • Learn from local pastors: Dale Oquist, Paul Binion II, Anthony Flores and Renn Serna
  • Gain new perspectives as MFT and ministry students study together in foundational courses
  • Consider studying in Israel during summer or attend Hispanic Summer Program
  • Engage in diverse practicum opportunities
  • Take online courses available
  • Fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

Catalog

Program Director: Brian Ross

Overview

To prepare people for a range of ministries in a variety of settings. Those with pastoral experience and those who are involved with ministry through Christian agencies will have the opportunity to strengthen the foundations of ministry and develop new skills. Some may wish to enhance their volunteer ministry in congregational settings or train to be more effective in the market place. With its emphasis on practical and personal formation, as well as its solid underpinning of biblical and theological studies, the degree gives knowledge and skills for a continuing and deepening ministry. Elective units provide opportunity to focus on area of special interest.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate commitment to live as a disciple of Jesus in Christian community.
  2. Articulate commitment to a biblical theological Christian perspective.
  3. Interpret diverse cultural contexts of ministry using theological perspectives integrated with social scientific approaches.
  4. Practice leadership skills in pastoral ministry.
  5. Proclaim the biblical good news through culturally relevant words and deeds with the purpose of leading all people into covenant with Jesus Christ and the church.
  6. Develop self-aware renewal practices that empower fulfillment of the contemporary pastoral vocation of leading, serving and reconciling in a resistant culture.
  7. Provide best-practices pastoral leadership that results in growing churches that prepare, plan, equip and empower members to engage in God’s transformative mission in the world.
  8. Interpret the emerging post-Christian cultural context locally and globally.
  9. Equip a congregation to attend to pastoral care needs of the congregation and its community. 

Locations Offered

Main Campus Fresno

Required Courses (54 Units)

Biblical and Theological Reflection (21 Units)

  • BIB 709 - Bible Knowledge Requirement Seminar Credits 0
  • BIB 720 - The Church and God’s Mission in the World Credits 3
  •        Must be an FPU Biblical Seminary course.

  • BIB 725 - Understanding, Interpreting and Teaching Scripture Credits 2 - 3
  •        Must be taken for 3 units

  • THEO 730 - Discipleship and Ethics Credits 2 - 3
  •        Must be an FPU Biblical Seminary course.

  •        Must be taken for 3 units

  • BIB 750 - Old Testament Theology Credits 3 *
  • BIB 752 - New Testament Theology Credits 3 *
  • THEO 712 - The Story of the Church and Its Theology Credits 2 - 3
  • Must be taken as a 3 unit course

  • Journeying Deep Into Scripture - Bible Elective (3)

Personal and Holistic Formation (5.5 Units)

  • MIN 704 - Discerning Vocation and Calling Credits 1
  •        Must be an FPU Biblical Seminary course.

  • MIN 712 - The Charismatic Experience Credits 1.5
  • MIN 714 - Spirit, Character, and Transformation Credits 2 - 3
  •    Must be taken as a 3 unit course

Missional and Practical Application (19 Units)

  • MIN 718 - Effective Contemporary Public Communication Credits 3
  • THEO 719 - Exploring Secular Culture & Connecting with Secular People Credits: 3
  • MIN 750D - Cross-Cultural Encounter: San Francisco Credits 1.5
  • MIN 753 - Leading Organizations and Volunteers for Mission Credits 3
  • MIN 762 - Exegeting and Serving Your Neighborhood Credits 1.5
  • MIN 768 - Serving Resiliently Through Crises and Trauma Credits 2 - 3
  •        Must be taken for 2 units

  • MIN 793A - The Practice of Ministry I Credits 1.5 *
  •        Must be an FPU Biblical Seminary course.

  • MIN 793B - The Practice of Ministry II Credits 1.5 *
  •        Must be an FPU Biblical Seminary course.

  • * Students do not need to take the Practice of Ministry series in order.

Integration and Specialization (8.5 Units)

  • Elective units for specialization 5.5
  • BIB 790CM - Senior Seminar - Christian Ministries Credits 3
  •        Must be an FPU Biblical Seminary course.

  • MIN 770CM - Ministry Discernment - Christian Ministry Credits 0
  •        Must be an FPU Biblical Seminary course.

Possibilities Await
With and FPU Education

Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary is rooted in the evangelical, Anabaptist tradition, and like you, we are passionate about making a tangible difference in the Central Valley and around the world. You’ll learn this through spirited inquiry, thoughtful reflection and hands-on experience. If you want a place to explore and pursue your calling in a practical way – join us!

First Steps to Admission

  • Review the admission requirements for your chosen program.
  • Submit an application for admission online
    * There is a $90 application fee.
  • Request official transcripts from previously attended colleges, universities and high schools and send electronically to trans.evaluator@fresno.edu
    • If you graduated from FPU, you do not need to request transcripts.
  • Submit remaining admission requirements via fax, email or postal mail.
    • Mail: Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary Admission, 1717 S. Chestnut Ave., Box 14, Fresno, CA 93702
    • Email: Seminary@fresno.edu

Apply now

Requirements*

  • Commitment to and desire for Christian ministry and Service
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university (minimum 2.5 GPA; 3.0 for MFT program*)
  • Application form and fee
  • Personal profile questions
  • Three references from a pastor or other ministry leader, a current or former employer, and a friend or family member using the Seminary Reference Form
    • Please do not use a family member as the pastoral or employer reference
  • Writing sample from your undergraduate education
    • This can be any paper submitted for a letter grade regardless of subject
  • Check your specific program's requirements

*Under special circumstances these requirements may be waived.

Special Circumstances

FPU Undergraduate Alumni Admission

Undergraduate alumni (traditional and degree completion) pursuing a graduate program at Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary may have courses waived towards their seminary program. Students must complete the qualifying undergraduate course with a grade of B or higher to receive seminary course credit. Once students have been admitted to a seminary program, they must complete the Advanced Standing form in Sunbird Central to officially request advanced standing at the seminary.

Admission with a GPA below 2.5 or below 3.0 for the MFT program

In some circumstances, we are willing to waive the GPA requirement if the student demonstrates high maturity and/or life experience that demonstrates they can perform well in the program. We take into account their ministry experience for BIB/MIN programs, their GRE score, volunteer counseling hours experience and psych pre-requisites for the MFT degree. We encourage people with a low GPA to still apply so we can look over their materials.

Admission without a Bachelor's Degree

Students will be considered for admission to Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary into the M.Div., M.A.CM, M.A. CLT, or M.A. MLC degrees or one of our certificate programs without the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree if they have:

  • 60 semester units or two years of post-secondary education minimum
  • Significant ministry experience
  • Evidence of life experience which has prepared them for graduate theological education

In compliance with the Association of Theological Schools such students may only pursue the degree or program to which they have applied.

Additional Bible Knowledge Requirement

The Bible Knowledge Requirement (BKR) is a one-day, no credit class with an examination at the end of the day. The BKR is required to be met during the first month of your first term.

Non-Matriculated Students

Students may enroll in up to 6 units of courses for credit/audit at Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary without being admitted into a degree or certificate program. This is considered a non-matriculated status.

Cost & Financial Aid

The below listed prices reflect the current and upcoming Fall and Spring semesters and do not include any financial aid. Paying for college can be an overwhelming step in education your journey. We can help you find all the possible opportunities to reduce your out of pocket costs.

Tuition & Financial Aid

2022-23
Tuition per Unit Amount
Theology / Bib / Religion $495
MFT / Counseling $550
Other Costs Amount
Student Body Fee $115
Seminary Technology $50
2021-22
Tuition per Unit Amount
Theology / Bib / Religion $485
MFT / Counseling $540
Other Costs Amount
Student Body Fee $115
Seminary Technology $50

* This is an estimate. Costs subject to change. Cost of attendance figures are used for budgeting purposes only and represent an estimate of projected tuition and fees for the coming academic year. Actual tuition rates are approved by the Board of Trustees and may vary.

Types of aid

Financial aid can refer to scholarships, grants and loans, which are available to you from the government, the university or outside sources. Aid types vary depending on the type of student you are.

View FPBS Private Scholarships

Career Opportunities

Graduates with this degree are currently serving locally and abroad as executive pastors, student ministry pastors, pastoral counselors, and fire, law enforcement and hospital chaplains. Graduates have planted churches and led teams in unconventional and creative ministry and community development.

Career Possibilities

  • executive pastor
  • student ministry pastor
  • pastoral counselor
  • chaplain

Career Development Happens Here

The staff in our Career Development and Experiential Learning Center are here to help you prepare to enter the working world. Whether your a freshman or an FPU alum, there are a number of resources and trainings offered to help you find the internship and job you’re looking for.

  • Resume writing classes
  • Career assessments, exploration & planning
  • Job search and networking opportunities
  • and much more

Visit the Career Development Center