Master of Arts
in Theological Studies
Christianity in the context of Haitian culture characterized by afro-Caribbean animism faces particular social, psychological, and political issues. Leaders in the Haitian context who have a firm grasp on how worldview, anthropology and sociology impact theology will be effectively equipped to navigate the particular challenges facing the development of the church in 21st century Haiti.
The primary goal of the MA in Theological Studies degree program optimizes effectiveness of leadership in ecclesial settings in Haiti through a critical contextualization of Trinitarian-based Christian theology for afro-Caribbean culture and worldview. Axiomatic questions guiding the MATS include:
- What is Christian theology in the Haitian context?
- What are the primary factors that make Christian theology and worldview in the Haitian context unique?
- How does worldview shape hermeneutics?
- What does it mean to have a uniquely Christian theology that is thoroughly and uncompromising biblical, Trinitarian, all within the Haitian context?
- How is Christian theology best contextualized for all aspects of Haitian culture for the sake of optimally effective evangelism, disciple-making, and cultural impact?
Students who complete the MATS degree program will be able to:
- Understand and articulate the uniqueness of Trinitarian-grounded theology in the Haitian context.
- Understand the philosophical and historical underpinnings of afro-Caribbean worldview that influence Haitian worldview.
- Understand how worldview and theology relate to each another and how this relationship impacts Haitian society’s engagement with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Understand how transformational ministry in intimate connection with in the life of the Triune God can mitigate particular difficulties and issues in the Haitian Afro-Caribbean context.
Courses (45 credit hours)
- RSC580 Methods of Graduate Studies, Research, and Writing (3)
- TH500 Worldview and Theology (3)
- TH510 Introduction to Contextual Theology: Theory & Practice (3)
- TH520 Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, and Animism: A History of Christianity in Haiti (3)
- TH530 Philosophical Foundations of Christian Theology (3)
- TH541 Christian Systematic Theology in the Cultural Context I (3)
- TH542 Christian Systematic Theology in the Cultural Context II (3)
- BS520 Hermeneutics in Context (3)
- TH611 Christian Theology and Afro-Caribbean Worldview (3)
- AP620 Contextual Apologetics (3)
- TH612 Theology of Haitian Voodoo, the Cult of Loas, and Animism (3)
- CM650 Contextual Preaching (3)
- CM630 Evangelism, Discipleship, and Syncretism in Haiti (3)
- RSC680 Graduate Thesis (6)
Be Firmly Rooted in the Word. Dig Deeper.
Methods of Graduate Studies, Research, and Writing (3) – final description TBD, will be taken by all graduate students regardless of program. Some nuances may be incorporated here depending on degree; e.g., writing style or paper content, but this will be the entry course for all graduate students. Also sets up capstone or thesis and introduces threads that run through each course related to developing research, writing, and exegetical/biblical application skills.
Worldview and Theology (3)explores how worldview and theology relate to each other.
Introduction to Contextual Theology: Theory & Practice (3)orients students to the enterprise of doing Christian theology in order to redeem aspects of culture, including the secular sciences (anthropology, sociology, psychology).
Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, and Animism: A History of Christianity in Haiti (3) surveys the history and practice of Christianity in Haiti with emphasis on the reason and shape of syncretism.
Philosophical Foundations of Christian Theology (3)explores other philosophical elements that are important for understanding Christian theology; compares philosophical foundations for theology in the Eastern and Western traditions of the ancient and medieval church; examines what Western and Eastern traditions can learn from each other; and how West and East can be reconciled for encountering non-Christian cultures and worldviews throughout the world with the goal of a robust articulation of the uniqueness of Christian theism.
Christian Systematic Theology in the Cultural Context I (3)examines how to bring the doctrines of the Triune God and humanity to one’s cultural context. The study of doctrine of the Triune God includes the existence of God as Trinity, the knowability and character of the Triune God, creation, providence, miracles, prayer, angels and demons. The study of the doctrine of humanity includes the creation, humanity as male and female, the essential nature of humanity, and sin.
Christian Systematic Theology in the Cultural Context II (3)examines the doctrines of Christ, the Holy Spirit, redemption, the church, and the future, all in inextricable relation to the Triune God, and articulating them in engagement with the surrounding culture.
Hermeneutics in Context (3)explores how to bring sound hermeneutic practice to cultural contexts through describing, analyzing, and evaluating the character traits of Afro-Caribbean culture and worldview and offeing hermeneutic application to the culture and worldview. The aim is to strengthen and sharpen interpretive skills for one’s cultural context while remaining faithful to the biblical-historic orthodoxy of the church.
Christian Theology and Afro-Caribbean Worldview (3)examinesand critiques the philosophical foundations for Afro-Caribbean worldview as it relates to theology, and the nature of its interfacing with the philosophical foundations of orthodox Christian theology.
Contextual Apologetics (3)offers a defense of Christian doctrines through systematic argumentation and discussion.
Theology of Haitian Voodoo, the Cult of Loas, and Animism (3)analyzesHaitian voodoo as a worldview and religion from the unique truth of Christian theism, emphasizing the contrast between voodoo ethics and Christian ethics and their impacts on the shape of society.
Contextual Preaching (3)investigatesways in which the unchanging gospel can be preached in varying cultural contexts with specific attention tothe fact that culture shapes the way by which the gospel is presented, but that the gospel itself is unchanging due to the unchanging Triune God.
Evangelism, Discipleship, and Syncretism in Haiti (3)analyzes the cultural context of animism, voodoo, and syncretism as underpinnings of a worldview, and offers the best practices of evangelism and discipleship in the midst of such a worldview.
Graduate Thesis (6)gives opportunity for the demonstration of skill and understanding in theological research and writing at an advanced level through the advisor-guided process of writing a research thesis pertinent to the degree curriculum which meets with the academic standards of the University.