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Master of Arts in Christian Education (MACE)

The Master of Arts in Christian Education will prepare you to lead Christian education programs for adults, youth, and children in a wide variety of settings. You will study human development, Christian tradition in Scripture and history, theology, and Christian education theories. This program can be tailored to your needs to include academic training for certification in Christian education, youth ministry, and for ordination as a Deacon in The United Methodist Church.
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Garrett-Evangelical far exceeded my expectation by cultivating and nurturing my call to ministry, as well as illuminating and strengthening gifts and passions I did not realize I had.

Specialize in Youth Ministry

Are you feeling called to working with youth? You can tailor your MACE degree to your vocational call with a specialized focus in Youth Ministry. Students seeking a focus in Youth Ministry are required to take “Introduction to Youth Ministry” and  "Youth, Culture, and Church" as two of their Christian education courses.

Renowned Faculty Dedicated to Christian Education and the Practice of Ministry

Our diverse faculty bring a wealth of expertise and experience not only Garrett-Evangelical, but to the church and our global community. They are members and leaders in local, national, and global organizations, denominations, and societies. Outside of the classroom, you’ll find many of them preaching from the pulpit, teaching Sunday School, organizing for the common good, and more.

Our faculty in the area of Christian Education bring a variety of theological and global perspectives with a strong commitment to education, advocacy, and preparing educational leaders. They include:

Rev. Dr. Reginald BlountRev. Dr. Reginald Blount is Associate Professor of Formation, Leadership, and Culture at Garrett-Evangelical. He has spoken at numerous conferences and workshops around the world helping faith communities envision new and creative ways to minister to, with, and on behalf of young people. Dr. Blount has written extensively on Christian education, in particular youth ministry, including contributions to Making God Real for a Next Generation: Ministry with Millennials Born from 1982 to 1999 (Discipleship Resources, 2003) and Scripture Talks: 50 Creative Messages for Youth (Abingdon Press, 2004).

Dr. Débora JunkerDr. Débora Junker is Associate Professor of Critical Pedagogies and Director of the Hispanic-Latinx Center at Garrett-Evangelical. Junker has published numerous articles, chapters, and books in the field of Christian education. Her research focuses on the work of Paulo Freire’s critical pedagogy, global citizenship, intercultural and postcolonial studies, cultural-historical theory activity, and liberation theologies. She is currently working on a new book, Religious Education for Global Citizenship: Embracing Compassion and Solidarity. The book will explore the concept of global citizenship within a religious context while recognizing the urgent need to engage more concretely in issues of citizenship both theologically and pragmatically.

Rev. Dr. Virginia LeeRev. Dr. Virginia Lee is Associate Professor of Christian Education and Director of Deacon Studies at Garrett-Evangelical and has served in various capacities at numerous churches as a deacon in full connection in the Virginia Annual Conference. Her academic accolades include receiving the Diaconal Advance Graduate Award and the Rosalie Bentzinger Graduate Award, both of which are given by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church. Additionally, Dr. Lee has published articles in both academic and lay journals and has been an active participant in educational and ministerial forums and conferences.

Rev. Dr. Mai-Anh Le TranRev. Dr. Mai-Anh Le Tran is Associate Professor of Religious Education and Practical Theology at Garrett-Evangelical. Dr. Tran is a member and past president of the Religious Education Association: Association of Professors, Practitioners, and Researchers in Religious Education. She is also an editorial board member for Horizons in Religious Education book series and was consulting editor for the Encyclopedia of Christian Education. A selection of Tran’s writings can be found in the Religious Education Journal, Christians in Education, The New Interpreter’s Bible Pastor’s Bible Study series, Ways of Being, Ways of Reading: Asian American Biblical Interpretation, and Teaching for a Culturally Diverse and Racially Just World. Her latest book, Reset the Heart: Unlearning Violence, Relearning Hope, was published by Abingdon Press in May 2017.

Discern Your Call and Hone Your Gifts in Field Education

Without exception, Garrett-Evangelical graduates point to their field education experience as key to their seminary education. As a MACE student, you will complete one year of field education where you will further hone your skills, reflect on your vocational identity, and gain practical ministry experience. Learn more about our field education program at

Christian Education Senior Project

The Master of Arts in Christian Education capstone is the Christian Education Senior Project, an integrative project or essay that you will develop in the final year of your program. The project integrates your experiences in field education and your degree coursework with reflections on the degree goals of the MACE and certification competencies related to Christian education. While working on your project, you will meet in a group with other MACE students and a faculty member who will help guide you through the stance process and provide peer support and feedback.

Affording Your Education

One Student. One Scholarship.

At Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, every master’s degree student receives a scholarship. Scholarships are available for full-time and part-time students and are designed with an eye toward your passion and our mission. Scholarships range from 25% of tuition up to 100% of tuition with stipends and each year we award over $2.5 million in scholarship aid. To learn more about all of our scholarship opportunities, please visit

With our Early Action Scholarships, you'll receive an admissions decision no later than December 15th, and have the opportunity to qualify for scholarships ranging from 65% to 100% of tuition.The application deadline for Early Action Scholarship consideration is November 15th of each year. There is no separate scholarship application.

Our Plus Scholarships include all of our scholarships that include tuition PLUS a stipend. The application deadline for Plus Scholarship consideration is March 1st of each year. There is no separate scholarship application.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Arts in Christian Education degree is a 54-credit hour program and is most often completed in two years for students enrolled full time.

Admissions Lunch and Learn

Grab your lunch and join us for our Admissions "Lunch & Learn" sessions! These hour-long virtual chats will give you the opportunity to learn more about being at student at Garrett and ask questions.

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UMC Certifications

Garrett-Evangelical works in partnership with The United Methodist Church to provide the necessary courses for certification in Christian education. MACE students who would like to be certified by The United Methodist Church can concurrently complete certification course requirements with their degree.


Online Learning

While we honor the traditional methods of instruction and rich heritage of academia, we also embrace non-traditional methods such as online learning and hybrid classes. The maximum number of courses which may be taken in an online format is 1/2 of the degree. Students receiving advanced standing or transfer can take no more than 1/2 of remaining credits toward the degree in an online format. Students seeking ordination should check with the appropriate church authorities to see if there are more specific guidelines that must be met.

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Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Read and interpret local and cultural-religious landscapes
  2. Identify and evaluate Christian religious education (CRE) theories, approaches, practices
  3. Demonstrate interdisciplinary knowledge (of the Christian tradition)
  4. Evaluate educational strategies and approaches for emancipatory teaching and learning
  5. Utilize race critical and intercultural competencies for social justice education in diverse settings
  6. Construct a critical, spiritually-grounded, practice-based self-understanding necessary for transformative faith formation
  7. Develop theological and ethical foundations for engagement with diverse peoples and settings


Dual Degree Options

Contact our Admissions Office at for more information on how to do a dual degree at Garrett-Evangelical.

Master of Divinity and Master of Arts

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. You can learn more about the MDiv degree at

Admission Requirements

  • Graduation from an accredited college or university
  • An undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
  • Proficiency in the English language

Admission Process

Detailed information for the application requirements and process can be found here.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. The Admissions Committee reserves the right to determine, in its sole judgment, whether an applicant is a suitable candidate for a specific degree program or for the vocation that the program represents. International student applications are due by March 1st.

The application deadline for Early Action Scholarship consideration is November 15th of each year. There is no separate scholarship application.

The application deadline for Plus Scholarship consideration is March 1st of each year. There is no separate scholarship application.