Associate in Theology
Associate in Theology
An associate in theology program teaches the doctrine and principles of a particular religious belief. It develops religious knowledge from an internal point of view. The program delves into various aspects of theology such as historical, moral and systematic theology, dogmatism, apologetics, doctrinal studies; and their application in religious life.
The program aims to train professionals who wish to gain expertise in theological matters and leadership in the theological issues. These issues pertain to their respective religious beliefs.
The associate program in Christian theology provides a detailed understanding of the Bible and related text. It provides candidates a strong theological base for teaching, leadership, or ministry within a local church. Important objectives of the program may include the following:
- To prepare candidates to master biblical principles ;
- To instill sound understanding of biblical doctrines;
- To make students understand the history and importance of the Church;
- To enable students to demonstrate the authenticity of the Bible and use analytical tools; and
- To make students demonstrate the function and application of the New Testament and Hebrew Scriptures.
Apart from the standard program, associate in theology may also be offered online by various institutes.
Students applying to the associate program are usually required to have a matriculate degree. Some institutes may require a high school degree or equivalent.
Successful completion of the degree generally requires candidates to complete a minimum of 60 credit hours of semester work. This may include 21 credit hours in general education courses, and 18 credit hours in biblical foundations core courses. Furthermore, a major in theology consisting of theology core courses and about 15 credit hours in upper division theology courses may be required. In order to graduate, a student may need to have a minimum overall GPA of 2.0 with the total of 60 credit hours of coursework.
General education courses may include areas such as communication, humanities and fine arts, health and physical education, natural and mathematical sciences, and social and behavioral sciences. Following lists the courses that may be included:
- Written Expression
- Oral Communication
- Argument based Literary Research
- World Literature
- Biological Anthropology
- Finite Mathematics
- Western Civilizations History
- Socio Cultural Anthropology
The biblical foundations core courses may include the following:
- Principles of Christian Living
- Teaching, Ministry, and life of Jesus
- Old Testament Survey
- Christian Leadership
Major courses constitute upper division theology courses and theology electives. Upper division courses may include Church History, Biblical Doctrine fundamentals, and the Biblical Text. For Theology elective courses, students may choose from a number of courses offered.
Please note that the program discussed is based on Christianity, but associate degree may also be offered for other religions. Also, the above mentioned curriculum is general; however, it may differ from one institute to another.
Graduates may pursue a career as priests, ministers, or clergymen. Another possible career choice is to continue religious studies and pursue professorship. Finally, candidates may also opt to become worship leaders or youth pastors.