Academic Programs

M.A. in Religion

The Master of Arts degree is a two-year full time academic program. The actual time required will depend on several factors such as previous studies in religion, work needed to satisfy the language requirement (if any), adequate time to develop, research, write, and revise the thesis, and other obligations on one’s time and energy. This degree is available in both a residential and a distance-learning format, ESR Access.

As contrasted with the professional M.Div./M.Min. degree, the M.A. is primarily an academic degree. As a terminal degree, it may be pursued by those with a view to secondary level teaching in Quaker or other parochial schools or some other form of educational ministry. It may also serve those called to Peace and Justice ministries or other vocations in which the study and research skills of this degree are enabling. Students planning to continue toward a doctoral program in religious studies may appropriately enroll in either the M.A. or the M.Div./M.Min. program.

The M.A. at ESR allows for concentration in one of four areas: Biblical Studies, Christian Theology, Quaker Studies, or Peace and Justice Studies. Course work in the areas of practical theology and spirituality normally does not count toward the degree. M.A. students may take work in these areas, and many do, but it is above and beyond the requirements for the degree. For this reason, students who are planning to engage in ministry that requires the experience and skills gained in these areas are encouraged to pursue the M.Div./M.Min. program. Likewise, students who plan toward a peace and justice ministry that draws on abilities other than those of research and writing should normally follow a peace and justice ministry emphasis in the M.Div./M.Min. program.

Progress toward a successful completion of this degree requires considerable initiative and discipline on the part of the student. M.A. students or persons enrolled at ESR who are considering the program should acquire from the Director of Academic Services a copy of the Guidelines for Students in the M.A. Program (available on the Academic Services web site). These guidelines contain important information about the requirements, procedures, and deadlines. The student is responsible for all information and deadlines contained in the “Guidelines.”

A student’s work on the M.A. is overseen first by the student’s advisor, and after approval of an M.A. Committee for the student, by the chairperson of that Committee, who then becomes the student’s advisor. Students are also encouraged to develop a peer support group, especially during the time of thesis writing.

Residency requirements affecting transfer students stipulate that at least twelve semester hours must be taken at ESR, and that the thesis must be done under the guidance of ESR.

MA Theses

Adede, Rose. "The Impact of Quaker Missionaries in Kenya: The Work of Emory and Deborah Rees." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1986.

Alexander, Howard W. "The Language and the Reality of Quakerism." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1980.

Altena, Jean van. "Jephthah: Hero as Victim." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 2002.

Amugamwa, Benson Khamasi. "Quakerism and the Isukha Culture: The Impact of Quakerism on the Culture of the Isukha People of Western Kenya." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 2008.

Andres, Robin. "David Tracy: Hermeneutics." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1988.

Angell, Stephen Warder. "Religious Toleration, Truth, and Reason in the Thought of William Penn: A Study of an Address to Protestants Upon the Present Conjuncture (1679)." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1982.

Barasa, Malilo Nyongesa. "Western Christianity and African Traditional Religion in the Thought of Idowu and Mbiti." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1978.

Beasley, Elisabeth. "The I of the Institution: An American Learns Americanism Abroad." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 2007.

Benefiel, Margaret J. "Three Women's Stages of Faith: Julian of Norwich, Margaret Fell, and Hannah Whitall Smith." Papers submitted in lieu of a thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1985.

Benner, Eric. "God and the World: A Process Theology's Reflection on the Relationship of God to the Biodiversity Crisis and Humanity." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 2006.

Bill, John Brent. "David B. Updegraff: The Life, Beliefs, and Influence of a Friends Holiness Preacher." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1980.

Birkel, Michael Lawrence. "Community in the Theology of Basil of Caesarea." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1978.

Bower, Bridget. "Gospel Order among Quietist Quakers in the Nineteenth Century to 1860: A Comparison of the Hicksite and Wilburite Understandings of the Discipline." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1986.

Buckley, Paul. "Thy Affectionate Friend: The Letters of Elias Hicks and William Poole." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 2001.

Carlson, Leif. "Non-Violent Action Versus Temptation to Leave the Holy Land: A Palestinian Christian Perspective." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 2005.

Carlson, Larry E. "The Problem of God's Foreknowledge and Future Contingents: Aristotle, Aquinas and Ockham." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1974.

Chappell, Martin James. "The Loving Will Towards God: An Illumination and Clarification of the Nature and Grace of Contemplation as It Is Presented in the Cloud of Unknowing and Related Treatises." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1983.

Connoley, John Tyler. "Beyond the Harem: Stories of Three Unlikely Heroes." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 2002.

Craig, John C. "The over-Arching Structures of Job: Formalist Concepts Applied to the Bible." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1992.

Dalto, Linda C. "Inner Peace as Empowering Spirituality in Christian Commitment and Discipleship ; [an Evaluation of New Age Spirituality as a Path to Empowering Inner Peace ; Hildegard of Bingen's Vision of Humanity and Life, the Path of Faith as Empowering Spirituality]." Papers submitted in lieu of a thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1990.

Esch, Keith. "Servants of God: A Study of Church Renewal and the Pastoral Ministry." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1966.

Fisher, B. Eugene. "A Study of Toleration among Midwest Quakers, 1850-1900." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1972.

Fisher, Scott G. "Ke Ala a Hiki I Noa: The Path to Liberation." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1998.

Francisco, Grant David Miller. "Bernard Lonergan and Conversion: Contributions Towards Personal and Social Transformation." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1994.

Fujita, Kotaro. "Two Approaches of Mediation as Peacemaking - Quakers' & Rissho-Kosei-Kai's ; the Possibility of Religious Dialogue in Terms of Two Natures of Religion, World-View & Ethos; Historical Practical Aspects of Religious Cooperation for Disarmament, Cases of Wcc, Catholic and Rissho-Kosei-Kai." Three papers submitted in lieu of a thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1990.

Geary, William W. "The Church Renewal Literature of the Sixties: An Evaluation from the Perspective of a Comprehensive Model of Small Group Dynamics." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1972.

Guenther, Christy. "A Theological Investigation into the Nature of Music Therapy." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 2000.

Haney, David Preston. "Carl F.H. Henry: A Critical Appraisal of Fundamentalism." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1965.

Hayner, Anne. "Toward a New Language of National Security." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1985.

Hickman, David L. "The Communicative Process Applied to the Sermon." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1976.

Hinshaw, Randall P. "The Educational Heritage of Friends in America: A Study of Friends Elementary and Secondary Schools." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1971.

Jeffers, Susan. "Paul and Fox on the Road to Damascus: Sent to Turn People to the Light." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1999.

Johns, David Lloyd. "The Concept of Renewal in the Ecclesiology of Douglas Van Steere." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1989.

Kamphausen, Elizabeth Peacock. "Returning to Peculiarity: Education among Friends, Living Quaker Affirmations." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1985.

King, John D. "Toward Understanding the Relationship of Set and Setting to the Religious Psychedelic Drug Experience." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion.

Koenig, Richard S. "Foundational Possibilities for Oneness: In Lao Tzu: Tao-Te-Ching, Genesis 1: Creation Story and Meister Eckhart's Christianity." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1992.

Kriese, Paul. "Truth-Speaking and the Religious Society of Friends." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1984.

Lidala, Charles. "The Concept of the Kingdom of God in Biblical and African Traditions." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1981.

Macy, Howard R. "The Legal Metaphor in Oracles against Foreign Nations in the Pre-Exilic Prophets." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1970.

Marsh, Callie. "Friends of Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative): Who We Are and What That Might Mean." Master's thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 2008.

McDowell, Nancy. "A Theological Interpretation of Selected Mosaics of Ravenna." Master's thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1986.

McGrady, Deborah A. "Qoheleth: Between Two Ages: His Hellenistic and Hebrew Settings." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1979.

Miller, Adam S. F. "The Character of Yahweh in the J Material of Genesis." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1996.

Miller, R. Scott. "The Covenant Faithfulness of Jesus the Messiah: A Narrative Theology of Obedience and Nonviolence, Particularity and Credibility." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 2008.

Minear, Mark D. "The Richmond Conference of 1887." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1984.

Morse, Anita. "Discovering Our Ethical Roots through Story Telling." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 2000.

Nagami, Isamu. "A Comparison between Revelation and Pure Experience in the Thoughts of Karl Barth and Kitaro Nichida." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1972.

Newlin, Kate. "Supporting the Faith Development of Young Adult Friends by Encouraging Theological Development and Moratorium Experiences in Adolescence." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 2009.

Palmer, R. Candida. "Friends and Accountability: An Arena for Faith and Practice. Members One of Another: Reflections on the Quaker Understanding of the Church. Pray without Ceasing: A Prayer Manual." Three papers submitted in lieu of a Thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1984.

Porter, Bonita. "Issues in Pastoral Care with Women." Three papers submitted in lieu of a thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1991.

Purushothaman, Naluparayil K. "The Life and Thoughts of D. Elton Trueblood: A Whole Man." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1979.

Rankin, Roger T. "The Concept of Resurrection in the Theology of Wolfhart Pannenberg." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1976.

Robison, G. Edwin. "History of the Policy of the American Friends Mission in Central India, 1896-1957." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1972.

Rouse, Daniel Brian. "Socio-Economic Implications of Preoccupation with Self and Group Interests: The Christian Hope of Moving Beyond That Tendency." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1983.

Sartwell, Richard C. "The Influence of Leading Friends in Ohio Yearly Meeting of Friends, Evangelical, 1854-1919." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1974.

Sawahata, Yasutomo. "Buddhist-Christian Dialogue on Peace: Three Research Papers." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1997.

Selleck, Linda. "Gentle Invaders: Quaker Women Educators and Race During the Civil War and Reconstruction." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1991.

Shaw, Frederick. "Methodology and Christology in the Thought of Schubert M. Ogden." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1976.

Sippel, Serra Delaplain. "Women and Beauty: A Journey to Self-Love." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1995.

Smith, George. "Aspects of Quaker Education." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1993.

Smith, John C. "Joseph Hoag, a Vermont Quaker." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1971.

Spicer, Legia L. "Expectation of Meaning: The Truth-Being of Abraham Joshua Heschel." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1988.

Strejcek, Vladimir. "Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King: Different Political Situations and Religions, the Same Non-Violent Struggle for Freedom." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1985.

Taber, William P. "The History of Ohio Yearly Meeting, Conservative: From Its Beginnings until 1917." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1965.

Terrell, John Timothy. "The Movement from Sect to Denomination in Nineteenth Century Gurneyite Quakerism." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1985.

Thornburg, Charles Michael. "William of Ockham: Philosophy and Natural Theology: A Selective Study." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1965.

Thuo, Philip. "Issues Relating to Faith in Christ in Church History." Three papers submitted in lieu of a thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1991.

Valekis, Jim. "'Open Our Eyes, Lord--We Want to See Jesus': A Study of Ongoing Salvation Story and Worship Day Ritual Transformations in the Worldwide Church of God." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 2001.

Van Tine, John R. D. "Toward Understanding the Relationship of Henry David Thoreau to New England Puritanism." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1970.

Wafula, Robert Juma. "Tithing for the Development of the African Christian Church: In a Kenyan Perspective." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1999.

Washington-Lacey, Bonita. "Working Towards Justice in the Bonds of Oppression: Womanist Theology." iMaster’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1996.

Wetherell, David. "Mythological Allusions in the Book of Job." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1971.

Whitbeck, Les B. "Charismata and Status in Two Charismatic Groups." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1973.

Wilson, Lloyd Lee. "'The Remnant of Like Faith': The First Fifty Years of North Carolina Yearly Meeting (Conservative)." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 2009.

Wingfield, Marvin Dow. "The Politics of Honor in the Abraham/Lot Narratives: An Anthropological Midrash." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1984.

Wood, Paul M. "A Quest for the Interpersonal Jesus." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1972.

Yuasa, Tadashi. "A Comparative Study of Early Quakerism and Non-Church Christianity in Japan." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1975.

Zulick, Margaret D. "Wisdom as an Image of the Center." Master’s thesis, Earlham School of Religion, 1986.