Master of Arts in Peace and Social Transformation

The groundbreaking M.A. in Peace and Social Transformation provides theological education and practical experience to students who wish to pursue ministries of social change. This degree can be completed in 12 months (full-time, August through July) or spread across a longer period. Spiritual formation is core to this M.A., with the goal of developing the personal and moral integrity that is essential for a public witness in a diverse world. Courses in theology, Biblical studies, and interfaith dialogue or contextual theology provide grounding for understanding and compassionately engaging amidst complex social crises. Students will have the opportunity to develop peace and justice skills and to specialize their ministry through three practicums, including a summative internship.

Students holding greed statue


  1. Demonstrate the knowledge and ability to reflect critically and constructively on theological and Biblical texts especially in relation to prophetic and liberative traditions. 
  2. Demonstrate the interdisciplinary knowledge and ability to recognize, analyze, and respond justly and peaceably to diverse contextual dynamics.  
  3. Demonstrate the spiritual and personal qualities necessary for effective ministry in a pluralistic world. 
  4. Demonstrate integration of learning necessary to design, implement, and assess ministries of social change. 

Find out more about ESR, the program and the application process.

Take a Course When You Need It

We understand that not every student is able to commit to a full-time program of graduate study, but that shouldn’t be a constraint if you’re interested in taking seminary courses for professional or personal reasons. This is why we provide the option of applying for admission to our Occasional Student Program and registering for residential or Access classes.

As an Occasional Student, you may take any ESR 100 or 200 level course, or if you have the appropriate educational background, you may take 300 level courses with the permission of the instructor. Occasional students may take as many as two courses per semester.

Please note that students in this program are subject to the same academic performance requirements as M.Div., M.A. and Certificate students.

Program details

This is a 12-month Residential Master of Arts program. Participation is limited to a cohort of ten students and full-tuition scholarships will be offered to all enrollees.

  • FC 101 Spiritual Formation and Personal Practice (3)
  • FC 102 Spiritual Formation for Public Mission (4.5) – includes a practicum component
  • FC 103 Diversity, Community, and Conflict (3)

  • Either BS 101 Intro First Testament/Hebrew Bible -or- B 102 Intro Second/New Testament
  • One additional Biblical Studies course (3 hours)

TS 101 Intro to Theological Reflection (3)

PJ 225 Organizing for Ministry – includes a practicum (4.5 hours)


Two courses focused on an area of concentration:

ESR courses:

  • TS 360 Interfaith Dialogue
  • HS 103 American Religious History
  • HS/PJ 201 History of the Church’s Peace Witness
  • BS 320 Queer Bible
  • BS/PJ 330 Bible, Violence, and Nonviolence
  • BS 375 Women in the Old Testament
  • BS 380 Eco/Green Bible
  • PC 333 Human Sexuality in Ministry
  • PJ 223 Christian Reconciliation: Conflict Resolution in the Church & World
  • PJ/TS 364 Process Theology
  • PJ/TX 366 Liberation Theologies
  • PJ 370 Spirituality of Peacemaking
  • SP 360 The Spirit of Islam: The Qur’an and Its Interpreters
  • TS 290 Contextual Theology
  • TS 336 Christian Ethics
  • WR 235 Peace Journalism
  • WR 240 Writing Public Theology
  • WR 270 Applied Storytelling

Bethany Theological Seminary courses:

  • B 342 Interpreting Romans as a Resource for Peacemaking
  • M 355 A Place of Refuge in an Urban Context
  • M 326 Preaching, Poetry, and Prophetic Imagination
  • P 126 Varieties of Christian Peace Witness
  • P 201 Conflict Transformation
  • P/B 204 Gospel of Peace
  • P 228 Religion as a Source of Terror and Transformation
  • P 235 Restorative Justice
  • P 249 The Peace of the City and The Quest of Public Theology
  • P/T 268 1968: A Case Study in Public Theology
  • P 273 Mediation as Social and Spiritual Practice

SC 390 Supervised Internship (6)

  • Amigos Latino Center
  • Earlham College Miller Farm (organic farm for education)
  • Trinity Haven (transitional housing for LGBTQ youth in Indianapolis)
  • Starfire Cincinnati (social support for people with disabilities)
  • Central United Methodist Church, Richmond (Bible study on race)

  • Tahirith Justice Center (opposition to under-age and forced marriages and support for these women)
  • Friends Committee on North Carolina Legislation (government advocacy on various issues of interest to Quakers)
  • Support of LGBTQ Youth in State College and Centre County, Pennsylvania
  • New Hour for Women and Children of Long Island (support of formerly incarcerated women)
  • Physicians for Social Responsibly (Oregon chapter)

Our faculty

Earlham School of Religion teaching faculty create collaborative learning environments where students are engaged and challenged to think deeply and critically about matters of faith, theology and religious practice.

Next steps

Ministry isn’t just a vocation or a calling—it’s a way of being in this world, seeking to make it whole. ESR is ready to support you in answering your own call to ministry, whatever shape it takes.