The Master of Arts in Christian Formation and Discipleship is a continuation of the founding program for the Centre of Christian Formation and Discipleship. It is held as a YWAM University of the Nations School.
M.A. Christian Formation and Discipleship
University of the Nations
February 21, 2020 to December 10, 2022
Cape Town, South Africa and Harpenden, England
We define Christian Formation as the process and practices that deepen one’s experience of the triune God together with others, as well as grows one’s character and clarifies one’s vocational calling so that one relates and lives as Jesus would if he were that person.
Our program is designed to first facilitate the Christian formation of the candidate while equipping them to do the same for others. In this context of growing as a disciple and facilitating the discipleship of others, the candidate will explore a breadth of relevant theories from the disciplines of theology, church history, psychology/counseling and education while examining a variety of discipleship models. The candidate will continue to adapt their own model of discipleship as they integrate and apply what they are learning.
Throughout the three year track, we will be engaging with material from authors or speakers from a variety of Biblical perspectives. It is our assumption that every stream of God’s people (past and present) has some treasure to offer. We want to learn from them all: Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Protestant, Pentecostal and more. In addition, we recognize the value of insight gained by professionals in other fields study such as psychology and adult education. With the help of the Holy Spirit we seek to discern God’s ways of growing people.
Prerequisites for being accepted into the program
- B.A. or B.S. is desired but not required.
- The candidate must have at least 7 years of active ministry in a category aimed to facilitate the discipleship of others.
- They must have a basic knowledge of the content of Scripture with an ability to study and apply Scripture. (SBS I, BCC or equivalent).
- They must have an ability to engage in all learning activities at a master’s level. Academic research and writing skills are necessary to successfully complete the program. (Research and writing intensives will be made available to candidates.
- Program staff will support candidates in need of improving their research and writing skills).
- Acceptance to the program requires a commitment to engage in the whole program, including all on site intensives.
Core Leadership Team to oversee the program
The Core Leadership Team: is responsible to ensure the learning experience offered throughout the program meets Masters level academic standards in addition to meeting all other stated outcomes for the program. This is an oversight role. Every module will be led by one of the Core Leaders.
These core leaders will not necessarily be present at every intensive, except Maureen.
- Maureen Menard
- Camille Bishop
- Pam Drennan
- John Peachey
- Steve Cochrane
- Trent Sheppard
- Liam Byrnes
- Leah Broomfield
- Others to be determined
- Advisors to the program
- Dr. Christopher Hall
- Dr. Cherith Fee Nordling
- Masters Track Cohort leader and staff team (the parallel to school leader and staff): Maureen is the cohort leader. Maureen will be involved with each module and intensive.Staff Team: Most are graduates with an M. A. in Christian Formation and Discipleship. We have a large team of about 15 staff who will carry a variety of responsibilities for the program.Responsibilities of the staff who will be small group leaders:
- Lead a small group. (2 staff to a group)
- track with the candidates throughout the program
- be present at all 8 on site intensives
- will be familiar with all content in each module
- assist module leadership in creating and grading assignments
The three year program begins with a ten day on site orientation Intensive followed by 6 modules, a Thesis, Capstone or Integrative Project and a final on site intensive. The personal formation track will run alongside these other components throughout the program.
Orientation Intensive Design: The orientation intensive will be designed to have a strong experiential component with God and one another to facilitate the bonding of the cohort in the context of God’s Presence. A brief overview of the program will be explained with a more detailed explanation of the personal formation track and Module 1. Small groups will be established by the end of the intensive.
Personal Formation Track: The Personal Formation Track is a track of learning that runs throughout the MA the program. The focus of this track is to facilitate the spiritual formation of the candidates and build skills in forming others. Candidates will be in small groups with two staff as leaders. The syllabus for this track will include required reading and listening, a number of spiritual practices and other kinds of formation assignments some of which are done in between the modules.
Module Leadership (parallel to guest speakers in a school): Each module will have its own leadership team. This team will create the curriculum path for the module including identifying a speaker for the intensives. Members of the team may also be speakers in the intensives in addition to outside speakers. Module Leadership will work together with the Master’s Staff team in creating assignments and grading papers.
Module Design: Each moduleis usually 3 months long including a two week on site intensiveheld in either Cape Town or Harpenden. All work is done at distance with the aid of on line tools. The distance work (before and after the intensive) includes reading of books and articles, listening to MP3 files, learning activities, on line discussions and written assignments.
On Site Intensive Program Design: The on-site intensives include formal, non-formal and informal activities. Every effort will be made to create a God focused relational environment conducive for learning. The schedule includes lectures from guest speakers, worship, intercession, discussion groups, study groups and other learning activities. The informal time for the cohort to continue to deepen relationship is also very important to the learning process. The Intensives in Harpenden will be hosted by the YWAM base. All accommodation and food will be provided for a set price. The Intensives in Cape Town will be held in a variety of venues. Staff and students will be housed in homes or AirBnb rentals at cost.Cohort based learning: Individual candidates apply and are formed into acommunity of learners which remains consistent throughout the whole degree track. Smaller groups will be established within this larger community.
Personal Formation Track: The Personal Formation Track is a track of learning that runs alongside the six modules throughout the MA the program. The syllabus for this track will include required reading and listening, a number of spiritual practices and other kinds of formation assignments some of which is done in between the modules. The focus of this track is to facilitate the spiritual formation of the candidates and build skills in deepening the formation of others.
Thesis, Capstone project, Integrative Project
Research Thesis or Capstone Project
A student electing to complete a traditional research thesis or capstone project will be involved in a supervised independent inquiry. Using knowledge learned throughout the Master’s program, the candidate will explore one or more research questions or test a hypothesis. The program Supervisors will help the candidate to select an appropriate topic, and make sure that their research meets the requirements of a Master’s thesis.
The purpose of the Integrative Project is to help the candidate integrate an aspect of the learning outcomes of the Masters into their personal life and ministry. The Candidate is to design a project in which they facilitate the Christian formation of others. The process should deepen their understanding and skills in specific ways relevant to their life and ministry. In some cases, the project will include a product that is created, used in a formation process and evaluated (e.g. a seminar or retreat curriculum). The project is then written up according to guidelines provided.
Final Intensive and Graduation
Candidates will present their capstone, thesis or integrative project to our group. We will also have a few retreat like days to reflect back over the three years and pray for one another. We finish with a graduation ceremony.
Time and Financial Commitments
Candidates can anticipate assignments will take approximately 15 to 20 hours a week. Some of that time will include practices that are woven into your daily routines, such as a quiet time.
Tuition cost: 6,000 US$ to be paid in six 1000US$ payments upon arrival of the orientation and the next 5 on-site intensives.
On Site Intensive Costs
Harpenden: Food and housing per intensive approximately 300 US$ to paid upon arrival
Cape Town: to be determined
Not included: transport, books and other resources needed.
Intensives and Modules
Please Note: The dates will remain the same, however, the order of the modules may change.
Personal Formation Track:(10 Credits) - Led by Maureen Menard and staff team
Orientation Intensive: Cape Town, South Africa 2020 February 21 Friday (arrival) to March 1 Sunday (after lunch departure).
Module 1: March 30 to June 19, 2020 (8 credits): Spiritual Formation/Learning from Friends of the Past
Intensives May 17 to May 29, 2020 Harpenden, England
Module 2: Sept 21 to Dec 11, 2020 (8 credits): Overview of Christian Theology
Intensives Oct 18 to 30, 2020 Cape Town, South Africa
Module 3: Jan 11 to April 2, 2021 (8 credits) Human Development
Intensive Feb 14 to 26, 2021 Cape Town, South Africa
Module 4: May 3 to July 23, 2021 (8 credits) Theology of Ministry and Education
Intensives May 30 to June 11, 2021 Harpenden, England
Module 5: September 20 to December 10, 2021 (8 credits) Exploring Christian Theologies and Practices of Christian Formation
Intensives Oct 17 to 29, 2021 Harpenden, England
Module 6 Jan 10 - April 1, 2022 (8 credits) Growing Disciples who grow the Kingdom of God
Intensive Feb 27 to Mar 11 Cape Town, South Africa
Final Integrative Project, Thesis or Capstone: Time line with due dates will be established with each candidate. Everything must be completed by October 31.
Final Intensive and Graduation: December 2 (arrival) to December 10, 2022 (departure). Location to be decided.
Application Process and Form
Please fill out the application form by clicking this link. There is no fee to submit an application.
Upon your acceptance, a 100US$ fee will be requested to hold your place in the program. This will be deducted from your 6000 US$ tuition.
This application form has 11 parts, which include requests for your personal details but also ask questions relating to your motivations, past experiences and references.
We recommend you set aside at least 30-45mins but it may take much longer depending on your processing and ability to find the relevant details.
It will be helpful to you to have the following information to hand before beginning;
- Dates of your DTS Lecture and Outreach Phase
- Details of any higher education qualification you have received
- Details of any Bible training you have received either within or without of YWAM
- Contact details of 2 people who have known you in a christian leadership context and are willing to act as references for your application
If you are logged into a google/gmail/UofN account, the form allows you to return and edit your submissions at a later date.
IMPORTANT: Before you begin online application - Application Essay
Before you begin your application we are asking that you complete a short application essay that is designed to help us gauge your writing and bible study skill level before you join us. This submission will not necessarily impact your acceptance.
Read through 1 Thessalonians;
Download and read this document on Essay Guidelines.
In the essay format found here, answer the following questions;
- Describe 3 changes needed in the lives of some of the Thessalonians
- Identify 3 ways Paul seeks to influence them in the direction of change (paying attention to what he does or how he does it)
- Identify 3 ways you are inspired or challenged from the example of Paul.
Download Essay Guidelines.