Master of Arts (Christian Studies)
Welcome to the MA(CS) program at Alphacrucis, where we believe in inspired learning for influential living. Our classes integrate cutting edge principles in theology, Biblical studies, leadership, and contextual studies with Biblical values, to equip professionals in all contexts. Our students range from pastors and leaders in church-based organisations to IT professionals, doctors, and business men and women. Our lecturers are academics as well as experts in the field who bring contemporary practices and Biblical insights to the classroom based on their daily experience.
MA(CS) is designed with the purpose of integrating three main areas of Christian Studies, Spirituality and Context, and Skills and Application. Beginning with foundational units in Theology, Ethics, Bible, and Critical thinking, the students can then progress to an area of specialisation of their choice. One of the key features of MA(CS) is the Integrated Project (or Research Project) requirement that provides the opportunity for students to synthesise what they have learned by engaging a particular issue in their area of specialisation. The students also have a selection of electives that range from Ancient Languages to Marketing, to add to their learning experience.
I invite you to experience postgraduate education as you have never before.
Dr. Lily A. Arasaratnam
PhD, MA, BS(Psych), BS(Maths)
Designed to equip students with an understanding of and appreciation for the theological and spiritual horizons of the Christian faith, the Master of Arts (Christian Studies) is a postgraduate award that facilitates the integration of faith with professional expertise.
The MA(CS) award aims at the following outcomes:
- To provide graduates from recognised non-theological higher education programs with an advanced knowledge of the Christian faith and to equip them in understanding contemporary contexts.
- To develop in students an appreciation of the importance of Christian faith for personal identity and holistic mission.
- To develop in students the ability to apply higher order skills in interpretation, analysis, and the application of values-based insights to social and cultural situations.
- To elicit in students the skills, values, and knowledge areas nominated in the Alphacrucis graduate attributes, namely Christian worldview, integrity and justice, communication, personal and social skills, critical and creative thinking, and professional knowledge.
Who Is It For?
The MA(CS) award is ideal for persons:
- With non-theological degrees who wish to equip themselves with Biblical knowledge and skills for structured theological reflection
- Who are mature leaders and ministers who wish to add advanced training to their years of experience
- Who seek a postgraduate award in which they can integrate their faith with their professional skills
- Who have completed a theological degree from a recognised higher education provider, who seek a pathway into postgraduate studies and an academic career
- Full Time: 1.5 years
- Part-time: Up to 7 years
- Exit Points: The MA(CS) award has two exit points, namely Graduate Certificate in Arts (Christian Studies) after the completion of 4 units, or Graduate Diploma in Arts (Christian Studies) after the completion of 8 units, including core units.
Students can specialise in three major areas:
1) Christian Studies - the subject areas of Ancient Languages, Bible, and Theology fall under Christian Studies.
2) Skills and Critical Applications - the subject areas of Leadership, Ministry, and Social Engagement fall under Skills and Critical Applications.
3) Studies in Context and Spirituality - the subject areas of Contextual studies, History, and Spirituality fall under Studies in Context and Spirituality.
Additionally, units in Research and Experience are also offered in the MA(CS) course.
The fee information for this course can be found in the Fee Schedule document (by following the Documents link on the Alphacrucis home page). You will note that there are two fee categories for MA(CS) units, as some of our intensives are run as Executive Intensives. The units that are run in Executive Intensive format are matched with the industry value for similar units (in content) in other institutions and priced accordingly.
Designed to facilitate an optimum learning environment, the Alphacrucis Executive Intensives are 4 – 5 day long study periods during which students receive all of the lecture-content of a particular unit, face to face. In addition to a variety of guest speakers and specialists that are brought in to enhance the subject content, the Executive Intensives are also fully catered affairs where the students are provided with morning and afternoon teas, buffet lunches, and tea and coffee service throughout the intensive period. We understand that you have a busy lifestyle and that the week you set aside to attend an intensive is a special time of study. Bearing this in mind, we have designed the Executive Intensive be an enjoyable academic experience where you can relax and concentrate on soaking in the lectures without worrying about other logistics. You take care of your studies, and let our hospitality staff take care of you!
Dr. Lily A. Arasaratnam (faculty profile)
Dr Shane Clifton (faculty profile)
Shane is married to Elly, and together they are the parents of three boys, Jeremy, Jacob and Lachlan. In addition to his roles as Head of Theology, Shane is the editor of Australasian Pentecostal Studies journal, and chair of the Asia Pacific Theological Association's theological commission. In October 2010 Shane suffered a serious accident that left a quadriplegic. He is an occasional blogger, and has also written about some of his experiences since the accident - see http://shaneclifton.wordpress.com/
Greta Cornish (faculty profile)
Mr Joshua Dowton (faculty profile)
Dr Jacqueline Grey (faculty profile)
Graduating with a BA in 1994, Jacqui served as the AOG chaplain and campus director for Students For Christ at Sydney University until 1998. After studying at Southern Cross, she completed her honours and doctoral studies through CSU, graduating in 2006. Jacqui lectures in Old Testament studies and currently is the Academic Dean. She has published several books are articles, including Them, Us & Me: How the Old Testament Speaks to People Today (APS, 2008), Raising Women Leaders (co-edited with Shane Clifton) (APS, 2009), Three's A Crowd: Pentecostalism, Hermeneutics and the Old Testament (Pickwick, 2011). Jacqui is an active member of her local church, Cityside, in the inner city and loves traveling, photography & art, coffee with friends and fine Italian food.
Rev. Kevin Hovey (faculty profile)
Dr Ian Jagelman (faculty profile)
Mrs Celeste Kumar (faculty profile)
Mr Johnny Kumar (faculty profile)
Ps Narelle Melton (faculty profile)
Graduating with a BNurs(hons) in 2000, Narelle moved from Canberra to work in Orange Base Hospital, primarily on the male surgical ward. In 2003 she moved to Sydney to study midwifery and worked at Nepean Hospital. Once graduating with her GradDip of Midwifery, she continued at Nepean Hospital in the postnatal ward part-time, and commenced her studies at Southern Cross College, completing a MDiv in 2009. During this time Narelle started to tutor and lecture in Old Testament studies at SCC. In 2010, she enrolled in a PhD through University of Birmingham, UK. Currently Narelle is an Associate Lecturer in Old Testament studies and the BCM program director. Narelle is loving her research studies and the bonus of travelling to the UK every year. She is also active in her local church, Rivers Edge Church, a new church plant in the Newington area, where her faith can be outworked in the community.
Professor Paul Oslington (faculty profile)
Paul Oslington joined Alphacrucis in January 2013. He held a Chair jointly in the School of Business and School of Theology at Australian Catholic University from 2008-2013, and continues there as an Adjunct Professor. Before that he was Associate Professor of Economics at University of New South Wales, and held visiting positions at University of Oxford in 1999, University of British Columbia and Regent College Vancouver in 2003, and Princeton Theological Seminary and University in 2006/7.
His PhD in Economics and Master of Economics/Econometrics with Honours were completed at the University of Sydney, and Bachelor of Divinity through Melbourne College of Divinity.
Further details at https://apps.acu.edu.au/staffdirectory/?paul-oslington
Rev Dr David Parker (faculty profile)
Adam White (faculty profile)
Dr. Yong-Sun Yang (faculty profile)
Yong-Sun Yang has an academic training in Mathematics, Economics, Philosophy, and Theology. He was born in South Korea and came to Australia in 1993 after 2 years of study in Japan. He lives in Sydney with his wife, Mi-Hea, three daughters, So-Ra, So-Ri, and Ha-Neul, and one son, Jeong-Hun.
Mr Andrew Youd (faculty profile)
Academic Entry Requirements
Students with undergraduate or postgraduate degrees from recognised Australian or international institutions are eligible for traditional entry to the MA(CS) program. International students are required to demonstrate English language competency with IELTS of 7.0 or above.
Professional Entry Requirements
Students who do not have a previous undergraduate degree but have 5 or more years of relevant professional experience may qualify for entry into the Graduate Certificate in Christian Leadership (GCCL). Upon successful completion of the GCCL with overall Credit grade or higher, professional entry students may articulate into the MA(CS) program.
Additional Entry Requirements
International Students – In addition to the above criteria, international students must be at least 18 years of age, demonstrate 7.0 IELTS in all bands of the test, and may only enrol in full-time study.
Residency Requirement - MA(CS) students are expected to sit at least one unit in face-to-face format.To facilitate the meeting of the MA(CS) residency requirement, the introductory unit, RES401, will be delivered in executive intensive format. Other units are also available in intensive and executive intensive formats. Please check timetables for specific details.
Complete Fee Schedules and FEE-HELP information (where appropriate) for all Alphacrucis courses can be found in our Documents section, under the Fees and FEE-HELP Information link.
Accreditation Details for International Students
- CRICOS Provider Trading Name: Alphacrucis College
- CRICOS Provider Codes:
- CRICOS Award Name: Master of Arts (Christian Studies)
- CRICOS Course (Award) Codes:
- NSW: 071389G – Details on the Australian Government's DEEWR site
Units offered as part of this Award:
- ANL401 - Old Testament Hebrew I
Description: This unit provides a foundation in understanding and reading Old Testament Hebrew. Unit detail page >>
- ANL402 - New Testament Greek I
Description: This unit provides a foundation in understanding and reading New Testament Greek. Unit detail page >>
- ANL501 - Old Testament Hebrew II
Description: This unit builds on ANL401 to develop students’ knowledge of Old Testament Hebrew and their ability to translate and exegete Hebrew texts. Unit detail page >>
- ANL502 - New Testament Greek II
Description: This unit builds on ANL402 to develop students’ knowledge of New Testament Greek and their ability to translate and exegete Greek texts. Unit detail page >>
- BIB401 - The Story of Scripture
Description: This unit introduces students to the biblical story as developed in the Old and New Testaments. It provides a historical, literary, theological and thematic introduction to the bible. The discussion includes the development of the biblical canon and the origins of its literature. It will also help students to confidently read and exegete scripture as part of their ministry and devotional life. Unit detail page >>
- BIB502 - Interpreting Scripture Today
Description: This unit provides develops the students knowledge and skills in the various methods in reading biblical texts. Through a study of the historical and philosophical development of critical interpretation, it provides a theoretical framework to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the various methods discussed. Unit detail page >>
- BIB503 - Reading Biblical Narrative
Description: This unit is the study of narratives and narrative techniques used in the Bible. In particular it looks at story-telling in the ancient context as a form of theological interpretation of ‘historical’ events. It provides opportunity for students to apply and evaluate a number of contemporary reading methods to biblical narratives. Unit detail page >>
- BIB510 - Old Testament Poetry
Description: This unit is the study of poetry and poetic techniques used in the Old Testament. It considers the role of poetry in the various socio-cultural world of the Old Testament, such as home and cultic contexts. This course provides opportunity for students to apply and evaluate a number of contemporary reading methods to Old Testament poetry. Unit detail page >>
- BIB549 - Biblical Theology
Description: This unit is a detailed examination of the nature and method of Biblical Theology. In particular, students will examine how specific themes are developed through the history, and in the cultural world, of the biblical texts. Unit detail page >>
- BIB550 - Reading the Synoptic Gospels
Description: This unit examines the literary form of the gospel narratives. It examines the key theological themes, symbolism and theology of the New Testament gospels. This unit forms a bridge between OT and NT, and brings greater focus to a reading of the Christian Bible. Unit detail page >>
- BIB551 - New Testament Letters
Description: The unit examines the rhetorical function of the New Testament letters, with special focus on Pauline literature. It the moves from generality of Pauline theology to the particularity of Romans, and the constraints posed by the epistolary mode itself. Unit detail page >>
- CON401 - Ethics in Context
Description: This unit is designed to explore theological and philosophical bases for ethical decision making, and to facilitate guided reflection on personal morality and societal ethical issues. The unit intends to emphasise the communal and contextual nature of ethical decision making. Unit detail page >>
- CON500 - Christian Thought and Culture
Description: This unit provides the basis for a reflective approach to culture, its analysis and discussion, with regard to Christian perspectives. Unit detail page >>
- CON501 - Christian Vocation and the Workplace
Description: This unit considers the meaning and importance of calling for vocation. It develops a theology of work that transcends assumptions that God is limited to religious practice, and considers the spiritual and moral challenges confronting Christians in the workplace. Unit detail page >>
- CON502 - The Sociology of Christian Community and Practice
Description: This unit aims to provide students with the skills and insights required to analyse the place of values-communities in advanced industrial societies, and to reflect on what this means for the person of religious faith in the high modern/ postmodern contexts. Unit detail page >>
- CON503 - Issues in Interpersonal Communication
Description: This subject is designed to provide students with an overview of prevalent theories in interpersonal communication and their application in a variety of contexts such as relationships, self-development, professional settings, etc. Unit detail page >>
- CON504 - World Religions
Description: This unit is designed to explore historical, theological and philosophical bases of world religions. Unit detail page >>
- CON505 - Theory and Practice of Intercultural Communication
Description: This unit is designed to equip students with knowledge and understanding of intercultural communication practices and social cognition, particularly in the context of leadership. Unit detail page >>
- CON507 - Gender and Leadership
Description: This unit of advanced pastoral theology explores the role and function of women in Christian leadership and ministry. In particular it examines the theological, cultural and practical exclusion of women’s contribution and seeks to explore strategies to alleviate this potential omission. Unit detail page >>
- CON510 - Biblical Field Study
Description: This unit features a three-week field study program in a location or locations formative for the biblical text, designed to provide students with a first-hand introduction to the relevant cultural, geographical, historical, and archaeological issues. Unit detail page >>
- EXP501 - Ministry Internship
Description: This unit incorporates learning experiences at a practical level. It provides students with an opportunity to reflect on both the practice and theory of ministry. This reflection occurs with a certified supervisor, as well as in classroom and small group contexts. Mentoring is provided by certified pastors or leaders in specialized ministries. Unit detail page >>
- HIS401 - History of Christianity: Frameworks and Function
Description: History is a framing discipline for Christian studies – it is a source of data, of informing models and thinking approaches, and a fundamental element of the incarnational truth to which Christians hold. This unit provides an introduction to the methods and content of this essential discipline. Unit detail page >>
- LEA401 - Introduction to Leadership:Past and Present
Description: This unit will look at the role of leadership for Christians today. In light of an understanding of theoretical models of leadership, the student will have opportunity to reflect both theologically and personally on leadership issues and be introduced to foundational leadership theories. Unit detail page >>
- LEA402 - Complexity and Leadership Competencies
Description: This unit is designed to help students to understand the relationship between leadership competencies, the complexity involved in different levels of organizational structures and belief systems. Unit detail page >>
- LEA501 - Organisational Strategy and Innovation
Description: This unit focuses on strategic thinking, planning, and organisational innovation. Unit detail page >>
- LEA502 - Responsible Leadership
Description: This unit places contemporary approaches to governance and risk management in the context of Biblical and theological principles, providing students with practical skills for effective and responsible leadership in values-driven contexts. Unit detail page >>
- LEA503 - Marketing and Stakeholder Engagement
Description: Christians are by definition communicators, ‘strategic marketers’ of ideas, and yet marketing is one of the permanent fixtures of modern life which provides continuing ethical and practical conundrums for Christians in the workplace. This unit offers an introduction to Christian engagement with two key marketing functions - building reputation and engaging target audiences - and their relevance to non-commercial organisations. Unit detail page >>
- LEA504 - Psychology of Leadership
Description: This subject is designed to provide students with a broad overview of psychological theories and concepts that are particularly related to the context of leadership. Unit detail page >>
- MIN401 - Foundations of Pastoral Theology
Description: This unit discusses the theological issues involved in pastoral ministry and presupposes a degree of practical experience and theoretical knowledge. Unit detail page >>
- MIN502 - Theory and Practice of Evangelism
Description: This unit is an examination of theory and practice of evangelism in the Australian context. Unit detail page >>
- MIN503 - Contemporary Preaching
Description: This unit addresses the challenges posed to contemporary preaching by our postmodern cultural context, and the dynamics of mediating renewal of the mind through preaching. Unit detail page >>
- MIN504 - Ministry of Healing
Description: This unit explores the ministry of healing in the Christian Church through a study of biblical, historical, theological, scientific, and pastoral perspectives on the phenomenon of healing. Unit detail page >>
- MIN505 - Discipleship
Description: This unit is a study of Christian discipleship, focusing on the biblical, theological, and historical patterns of discipleship and their strategic relevance to the task of making disciples today. Unit detail page >>
- RES401 - Critical and Creative Thinking
Description: This unit introduces students to the challenges of observation, analysis and deduction, as they relate to the academic endeavour. It introduces the fundamentals of quantitative and qualitative research and the ontological and epistemological implications of these two approaches. Unit detail page >>
- RES501 - Research Project
Description: This unit introduces the fundamentals of quantitative and qualitative research and the ontological and epistemological implications of these two approaches. Unit detail page >>
- RES503 - Integrated Project
Description: This unit aims to provide the student with the opportunity to integrate and apply theoretical understanding of a subject area to a specific practical context Unit detail page >>
- SEN401 - Global Christianity and Social Engagement
Description: This unit sets out the theological foundations for social engagement. It provides a theology of holistic mission that takes into account the physical, social, cultural and spiritual implications of the ‘good news’ of the Kingdom of God. Unit detail page >>
- SEN501 - Mission and Global Poverty
Description: This unit examines the nature and causes of poverty and analyses strategies in response. Unit detail page >>
- SPI500 - Christian Spirituality and Vocation
Description: This unit introduces students to traditional and contemporary Christian approaches to Spirituality. It focuses particularly on the way in which renewal movements have experienced God. Unit detail page >>
- SPI501 - Theology and Practice of Prayer
Description: This unit is an examination of the theology and practice of prayer in biblical, historical, and contemporary contexts. Unit detail page >>
- SPI502 - Negotiating the Life Path: The Spiritual Journey
Description: This unit sits at the core of the MA(CS), in the sense that while all units have integrative elements, this unit is specifically about integration across the narrative of the student’s own life. The unit acts - through reflective exercises, self analytic skills, and Christian understandings about life-path discipleship -- as an integrating point between the other disciplines to which the student is being exposed elsewhere in the course. Unit detail page >>
- THE401 - Theological Horizons of Worldview
Description: This unit introduces students to the central doctrines of Christian faith, and considers the way in which these inform the development of personal worldview and frame the life and mission of the church. Unit detail page >>
- THE501 - Christ and Salvation
Description: This unit is provides students with an overview of traditional and contemporary Christologies. It explores the developments that gave rise to the Christological creeds, as well as the redemptive significance of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection for contemporary society. Unit detail page >>
- THE502 - Trinity
Description: This unit is designed to enable students to understand and explain the doctrine of the Trinity, and to appreciate its significance for theology, faith and mission. Unit detail page >>
- THE503 - Church in the Power of the Spirit
Description: This unit explores developments in pneumatology, and relates these to the nature and mission of the church, especially Pentecostal and charismatic communities. Unit detail page >>
- THE504 - Theology and Popular Culture
Description: This unit complements the study of doctrine with an explanation of the interrelationship between theology and popular culture. In particular, the unit is concerned with exploring the way in which the church can respond to, critique, and interact with the various mediums of contemporary pop culture, including film, television and music. Unit detail page >>
- THE505 - Pentecostal/Charismatic Hermeneutics
Description: This unit orients students to the development of hermeneutical theory in general, and the discussion of specific methodologies consistent with reading community of the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements. Unit detail page >>
- THE506 - Theology and Economics
Description: This unit deals with the relationship between economics and Christian theology. The place of economics in contemporary culture makes a serious engagement with economics vital for Christian witness. Unit detail page >>
- THE550 - Influential Contemporary Theologians
Description: This unit explores the writings of seminal modern theologians, focusing on their method, central ideas, and contribution to the development of Christian thought Unit detail page >>
- THE551 - Seminar in Theological Issues
Description: This unit provides students with an opportunity to critically apply methodological thinking (using in particular the methodological approach of Bernard Lonergan) to contemporary theological issues. It intends to help students construct and present theological arguments, and engage generously and critically with the work of their peers. Unit detail page >>
- XXX580 - Independent Study in XXX
Description: This unit provides advanced students with the flexibility to engage in independently supervised study in an area of interest. Unit detail page >>
- XXX582 - Colloquium in XXX
Description: This unit intends to provide a forum for extending students in their interests, to facilitate independent research and peer to peer engagement with the research of others. Unit detail page >>