Master of Arts in Public Ministry (MAPM)

Fulfill your Christian vocation to love God and serve neighbor through public ministries of advocacy, organizing, and justice-making


Students in the Master of Arts in Public Ministry program aspire to fulfill their Christian vocations to love God and serve neighbor through public ministries of advocacy, organizing, and justice-making in collaboration with other communities of faith and conscience. In particular, this program equips laity serving in community, social, or justice-oriented organizations who seek to enhance their public work by engaging with theological education and formation.

During my time at Garrett, I have learned how to de-center whiteness in my theological interpretation. This has shaped how I interact with biblical texts and how I begin to center those on the margins following God’s preferential option for the poor and disinherited of society. This has deeply impacted the work that I have done towards dismantling white supremacy and prison abolition.


Grace Okerson (G-ETS 2021)

I’m interested in considering how liberative or social gospel theology can inform public policy decisions related to housing at the local and national level.


Demetrius Davis, MAPM

Degree Requirements


The Master of Arts in Public Ministry is a 50-credit hour program. Students can complete their degree as a residential student (primarily in-person courses on Garrett’s campus) or as a hybrid student (primarily online courses). All courses will be offered in-person and online with the exception of required in-person cohort retreats in August and January that will focus on orientation and formation.


Foundational Courses (24-credit hours)

    • Introduction to Hebrew Bible
    • Introduction to New Testament
    • History of Christian Thought and Practice I OR History of Christian Thought and Practice II
    • Introduction to Theology
    • Introduction to Christian Ethics
    • Elective course in Spiritual Formation
    • Field Education 1
    • Field Education 2


Public Ministry Courses (26-credit hours)

    • Formation and Preparation Retreats
    • Theories and Theologies for Public Justice
    • Methods, Models, and Tools for Social Change
    • 4 concentration courses
    • 1 elective course
    • Public Ministry Project


Building Community and Formation Through Cohort Retreats


MAPM students are required to attend each of the two yearly in-person retreats (August and January) at least two times to receive full credit.


August Retreat
This retreat will feature an orientation to Garrett and the MAPM method. It will also feature cohort building, mentorship pairings, social identity/location awareness training, development and nonviolent communication/action workshops, and more.


January Retreat
This retreat will focus on vocational discernment and career planning, a personality/spirituality types workshop, and public ministry project development.

students in a classroom

Field Education

MAPM students complete 2 semesters of field education. Combining hands-on experience with peer group discussions, you will come to know approaches to ministry leadership, cultivate practical skills in context as you do the work of ministry with skilled church and community leaders, and engage in critical reflection on the Christian leaders you are called to be.

Student Reading in the Library

Public Ministry Project

The Public Ministry Project is a capstone project that you will develop in the final year of your program. The project The project integrates your experiences in field education and your degree coursework.

Degree Options


Residential and Hybrid Option


MAPM students can complete their degree as a residential student (primarily in-person courses on Garrett’s campus) or as a hybrid student (primarily online courses).

Concentration Tracks


Students in the Master of Arts in Public Ministry degree can choose between three concentration tracks that each have a prescribed set of courses. Concentration tracks and courses include:


Ecological Regeneration Track Courses


    • Ecological Theology: God and Creation in Travail
    • Faith in Place: Organizing for Environmental Justice
    • Regenerative Ethics: Theory, Design, and Practice
    • Earth Ministry for Ecological Renewal


Child Advocacy Track Courses


    • Educating Christians for Social Change
    • Child Advocacy
    • Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry
    • Additional approved course


Racial Justice Track


    • Four courses from regular course offerings chosen in consultation with concentration advisor


Dual Degree


Students can round out their Master of Arts degree with the Master of Divinity degree. The MDiv/MA allows students to become specialists in the area of their MA degree while broadening their theological, spiritual, and leadership foundations through the Master of Divinity.




Garrett offers courses in a variety of course modalities to meet a variety of scheduling needs. Course options include in-person, online, hybrid, and more. While the program is taught by faculty of Garrett, students may also take courses at Northwestern University and at any of the Association of Chicago Theological Schools (ACTS) in the Chicago metropolitan area.

We have designed this program to educate faith leaders for wise, courageous, and transformative public ministries in service to God’s loving justice for all peoples and creation.


Rev. Dr. Timothy Eberhart
Robert and Marilyn Degler McClean Associate Professor of Ecological Theology and Practice
Director of the MAPM

Whether doing theological work in the church, leadership in organizations, or in the academy, theology is a constructive, creative practice that requires us to continually speak in new ways about the beauty and fragmentation present in the world.


Dr. Brian Bantum
Neal F. and Ila A. Fisher Professor of Theology

As a former public school teacher, an ordained deacon who is called to ministries of compassion and justice, a seminary professor, an aunt and great-aunt, and as a Christian who tries to live out my baptismal vows, I have a great concern for children – all children.


Rev. Dr. Virginia Lee
Associate Professor of Christian Education

Educating faith leaders for wise, courageous, and transformative public ministries

Check out this in-depth interview with Rev. Dr. Timothy Eberhart about the importance of public ministry and how the MAPM can help students pursue a variety of different vocational paths.

Degree Outcomes


Graduates of this program will be able to:


    • Recognize and explain the dominant economic, political, ecological, social, and cultural forces shaping public life today.
    • Identify and interpret the intersections between different manifestations of injustice.
    • Articulate the implications of one’s social identity/location and personal/spiritual temperaments in preparing for a vocation in public ministry.
    • Examine and apply biblical, historical, theological, ecclesial, and spiritual traditions for the sake of realizing justice in solidarity with the poor and oppressed.
    • Investigate an orienting public concern through a focused degree concentration.
    • Design a proposed model of public ministry based upon a critical assessment of diverse methods for social change.
    • Communicate a narrative of one’s public ministry vision to diverse constituents and present a career preparedness portfolio to potential employers.

Next Steps


Garrett-Evangelical accepts applications from students with a minimum GPA of 2.5 in a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university or from an AETH-certified Bible institute. Because our primary language of instruction is English, applicants be able to show English proficiency, as evidenced by a previous degree in English or completion of either the Duolingo or Test of English as a Foreign Language test.


Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. International student applications are due by March 1st.