Master of Practical Theology

Support gracefully. Counsel wisely. Inspire always.

Pfeiffer’s master of arts in practical theology (MAPT) program combines practical ministry skills with academically rigorous theological reflection. Classes are conducted in an individualized learning environment with students and professors from diverse backgrounds and life experiences.


The MAPT graduate program, in the division of arts and sciences, is available at the Charlotte campus. Classes are offered in weekly, weekend and intensive formats, giving you the options needed to work while pursuing your degree.


The MAPT program requires 42 semester hours, which includes eight biblical and theological core courses, and four tracks for specialization.

Core Courses

  • MAPT 609 Servant Leadership in the Church
  • MAPT 615 Systematic Theology in the Contemporary World
  • MAPT 616 Critical Issues in Christian Ethics
  • MAPT 618 Spiritual Formation
  • MAPT 630 Survey of the Old Testament
  • MAPT 631 Survey of the New Testament
  • MAPT 651 Practical Theology Seminar
  • MAPT 652 Master’s Culminating Experience

Track 1: Christian Education/Age-Level Ministries

  • MAPT 608 Teaching/Learning: Foundations for Christian Education
  • MAPT 642 Teaching for Bible Faith and Spiritual Formation

Plus an additional nine semester hours in electives or choose one of the following Christian Education/Age-Level Ministries specializations.

a. Specialization: Youth Ministries

  • MAPT 612 Adolescent World
  • MAPT 613 Christian Education with Youth
  • MAPT 661 Field Work with Youth 

b. Specialization: Children's Ministries

  • MAPT 611 Ministries with Children and Families
  • MAPT 623 Godly Play: A Ministry of Christian Formation for Children
  • MAPT 660 Field Work with Children

Track 2: Pastoral Care and Counseling (*Carolina Healthcare System)

  • MAPT 601 Integrative Pastoral Therapy*
  • MAPT 603 Pastoral Theological Method*
  • MAPT 619 Spiritual Direction/Companionship
  • MAPT 641 Counseling

Plus an additional six semester hours (2 courses) from electives

Track 3: Missions/Evangelism

  • MAPT 602 Introduction to History of the Church
  • MAPT 605 Christian Missions and Globalization in an Interfaith World, or MAPT 606 Evangelism in the Contemporary Church and World
  • MAPT 625 Christian Worship

Plus an additional six semester hours (2 courses) from electives

Track 4: Church Administration

  • MBA 702 Organizational Behavior
  • MAPT 642 Teaching Bible Faith and Spiritual Formation
  • MSL 730 Human Resources Development
  • MSL 750 Organizational Change Management

Plus an additional six semester hours (2 courses) from electives


  • MAPT 604 Pastoral Diagnosis*
  • MAPT 620 United Methodist History, Doctrine and Policy
  • MAPT 626 Theology and Christian Education
  • MAPT 627 Communication through Creative Arts
  • MAPT 665 Practicum in Spiritual Direction/Companionship
  • MAPT 697 Special Topics in Bible
  • MAPT 698 Special Topics
  • MAPT 699 Independent Study

* - Carolina Healthcare System

For descriptions of courses, visit the academic catalog

Admission Requirements

The following are the admission requirements for the MAPT program:

  • A completed Pfeiffer University graduate application for admission.
  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with a satisfactory grade point average
  • A one-page essay discussing your desire to pursue the MAPT degree

Pfeiffer Responds

In an effort to respond to current issues facing the church through the ongoing ministry of Christian education, Pfeiffer University sponsors periodic seminars and workshops to address Christian education in a rapidly changing world. How are these courses chosen? Christian educators tell us what they are interested in and what they need, and we meet these needs whenever possible.

Interested? Contact us!

Rev. Douglas A. Hume, Ph.D.
Interim Director, MAPT
Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Religion

(704) 945-7315

Tuition & Fees

Click here for current tuition and fees. Contact an admissions advisor about financial aid and scholarship opportunities

Career Options

Center for Deacon Education

Pfeiffer University, in conjunction with Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., established the Center for Deacon Education in 2006. Courses offered through the Center for Deacon Education [LINK Center for Deacon Ordination page] are specifically designed to prepare persons for ministry as deacons. In the United Methodist Church, the Order of Deacon leads the congregation in its servant ministry and equips and supports all baptized Christians in their ministry alongside the order of elder, which focuses on word, sacrament and order.

Through the MAPT graduate degree program and the Center for Deacon Education, complete over 32 semester hours, fulfilling the requirements for the Advanced Course of Study in the United Methodist Church. Students seeking denominational certification register as a non-degree student. Approved certification tracks for United Methodists include Christian Education, Youth Ministry, Children's Ministry and Spiritual Formation.

To learn more, visit the deacon education page.

Partnerships for Ministry Preparation

United Methodist students seeking to complete their master of divinity degree can do so at Union Presbyterian Seminary through a partnership approved by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church that includes Pfeiffer University, Wesley Theological Seminary and Union Presbyterian Seminary.

Since 2006, Pfeiffer and Wesley have helped prepare more than 100 United Methodist (UM) students for deacon ordination. Prior to 2012, those interested in pursuing a master of divinity degree beyond these studies enrolled in one of 13 United Methodist seminaries nationwide that offer full-time programs or one of the limited numbers of UM-approved programs offered by other denominations.

Now, with the approval of Union Presbyterian Seminary Charlotte campus, United Methodist students who have completed required courses at Pfeiffer through Wesley have the option to earn their master of divinity degree locally at Union Presbyterian Seminary with flexibility to enroll in weekday, evening or weekend classes.

Click here for information about admission to the master of divinity program at Union Presbyterian Seminary.


If you want to work in Christian education, church administration, missions, evangelism, pastoral care or counseling, a MAPT degree prepares you for a successful career. Whether you want to become a minister, lead a youth ministry or wish to perform inter-church or community-based services, you need the training and practical experience to perform the job with confidence.

Ready to get started? Apply now. 


    Graduate and Degree Completion Enrollment

    Have questions? Just ask!
    (704) 521-9116