Programme code:
Programme name:
Start of study:
2024 Autumn
120 ECTS Credits
Master’s Degree
Start semester:
Apply at our local applicationpage
Master in Theology and Ministry
The programme aims at training leaders for ministry in a changing context through theological reflection over practice.
Master in Theology and Ministry addresses four primary target groups of students:
  • Graduate-students seeking education and qualification for positions in churches or Christian organizations
  • Graduate-students seeking to fulfill the admission requirements of PhD-programs in practical theology
  • Employees in churches or Christian organizations desiring supplementary training at master level
  • Postgraduates aiming at a second career in Churches or Christian organizations

To be admitted to the Master’s Programme in Theology and Ministry, the applicant must meet the following criteria:


  • Completed a 3- or 4- year bachelor’s degree (depending on the country in which the degree was completed), including a specialisation of at least 80 ECTS credits in the following theological disciplines: biblical theology, church history, systematic theology, and practical theology. In special cases, the institution may recognize other documented qualifications as completely or partly equivalent to the educational pathways mentioned above.


  • Applicants are required to possess an average grade of C or higher (ECTS) in the undergraduate study. Grade records from foreign institutions will be converted in line with common conversion scales or by individual assessment.


  • International applicants whose first language is not English, must document their English proficiency in one of the following ways:
    • TOEFL (the Test of English as a Foreign Language) with a minimum score of 80 points on the internet-based test (IBT). TOEFL results must be sent directly from ETS (code 1886), and the test must not be older than 2 years.
    • IELTS (the International English Language Testing System, academic) with an overall band score of 6.0 or better, with 5.5 as the minimum score for each of the four categories listening, reading, writing and speaking. The IELTS results must be verifiable online, and not older than 2 years.
    • The applicant will be exempted from taking an English test, if such a test is not required according to NOKUT’s GSU-list. To be exempted, the applicant must provide the relevant secondary school documentation from the country in question, or the relevant higher education documentation, as specified in the GSU-list.
    • In exceptional cases applicants may provide proof of English proficiency in other ways, with the level of competence equivalent to the test results required for TOEFL and IELTS.
  • Applicants are required to submit a one-page motivational letter, explaining the reasons for applying for the study.


In the admission process, applicants are assessed competitively according to their grades.

A candidate who has completed his or her qualification will have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The candidate:

  • has advanced knowledge within the academic field of theology and ministry (and on developments within practical theology, biblical interpretation, spirituality, and missional ecclesiology in particular)
  • has specialized insights in the academic field of ministry
  • has thorough knowledge of theory formulation and method development in the field of practical theological research
  • can apply theological and interdisciplinary knowledge in an innovative manner within the field of theology and ministry
  • can analyze practical theological problems on the basis of the Church's history, traditions, distinctive character and place in society


The candidate:

  • can analyze established theories, methods and interpretations in practical theology and work independently with theoretical problems and problems in the practice field relevant for future ministry
  • can use and assess various practical theological research methods in an independent and apt manner
  • can analyze and deal critically with various types of sources relevant for theology and ministry, and use them to structure and formulate scholarly arguments
  • can carry out an independent, limited research project within the field of practical theology under supervision and in accordance with applicable norms for research ethics

General competence

The candidate:

  • can assess relevant academic, professional, and research ethical problems
  • can apply his/her knowledge and skills in new areas in order to carry out advanced assignments
  • can communicate extensive scholarly work and master language and terminology of the academic field of theology and ministry
  • can participate in scholarly discourses in academia, the church, and in wider society
  • can contribute to new thinking and innovation processes in church and in society

Autumn 1. year

Spring 1. year

Autumn 2. year

Spring 2. year

Compulsory courses 
 (60 ECTS)

TAM301 (15) Thinking theologically about practice

TAM303 (15) Spirituality and Spiritual formation

TAM302 (15) Encountering God through Scripture

TAM304 (15) Missional Ecclesiology

Elective courses (30 ECTS)

30 credits from 
 the following:

TAM321 (15) Youth ministry as theory and practice / TAM321B (15) Youth ministry as theory and practice – with internship

TAM322 (15) Leading ecclesial change and growth in contexts

TAM323B (15) Kirkelig undervisning – med veiledet praksis

TEOL360 (30) Avsluttande praktikum

Or: Credits from other courses accepted by application

Or: Credits from international exchange accepted by application

Master Thesis (30 ECTS)

TAM350 (30) Master thesis

The condition for organized religion has changed fundamentally in secularized European societies. Both new and more traditional Churches and organizations engage in different, yet related, challenges: They identify a need for change. Innovative initiatives are taken. Old, long forgotten practices are rediscovered, redesigned and brought back to life. Faith practices are up for negation, both in the life of the gathering community and at the intersection with larger society. The Master in Theology and Ministry seeks to equip future church leaders and employees in organizations with the competences needed to engage in these challenges in a constructive and critical manner.

The academic field of theology is also in progress. Throughout the Master of Theology and Ministry, students will be brought to the forefront of practical theological research: Whereas some speak of an empirical turn, and are dedicated to the contextual and experiential side of theology, others advocate more of a theological turn interested in the distinct spiritual and revelatory nature of theology. A radical willingness to listen to the empirical reality as it is and a radical willingness to search for theological significance and response is a mark of Master in Theology and Ministry.

Master in Theology and Ministry is rooted in a discipline-oriented understanding of theology. For this reason 80 credits in theological disciplines from undergraduate studies are required for admission. Historical, systematic, and critical perspectives will run through the curriculum. This said, Master in Theology and Ministry represents an expansion from a traditional Master in Theology by including practice to a greater degree in its very subject matter.

TAM301 Thinking theologically about practice gives focus to the intersection between theological reflection and empirical research in developing modes of critical and creative theological thinking about practice.

TAM302 Encountering God through Scripture: Hermeneutical Reflections and Exegetical Explorations explores a broad range of ways to interpret Biblical texts (spiritual, critical, and missional), rediscovered from church history and recently developed in biblical scholarship.

TAM303 SSpiritual Formation: Traditions and Transformation offers understanding of spirituality as a phenomenon in wider society and highlights the necessity of spiritual formation for future leaders.

TAM304 Missional Ecclesiology in light of Trinitarian Faith and Contemporary Culture aims at bridging perspectives from systematic theology and cultural studies in a critical and constructive dialogue with ecclesiology.

The second year offers a specialization in ministry through the following elective courses:

TAM321 Youth Ministry as Theory and Practice (or TAM321B with intership), draws on research in the academic field of Youth Ministry to reflect on church for today's youth and to envision a church for next generation, 15 ETCS.

TAM322 Leading Ecclesial Change and growth in contexts seeks to understand processes of change and growth in contexts in the church, and how to initiate, evaluate and lead such processes, 15 ECTS.

TAM323 Kirkelig Undervisning / TAM323B Kirkelig Undervisning - med veiledet praksis aims to educate future holders of the Catechist office in the Church of Norway, 15 ECTS.

TEOL360 Avsluttande praktikum offers the last part of pastoral training (praktisk-teologisk utdanning) for students aiming at qualifying for ministry as pastor (prest) in the Church of Norway (Den norske kirke) as their second career (35 years or older candidates), 30 ECTS.

TAM350 Master Thesis is an individual small-scale research project carried out under supervision, equivalent to 30 ECTS.

Learning sessions on campus comprised of lectures, group-seminars, and case-based classes.

These are supported each semester by an eight week long online learning-program of video-lectures, self-study, small coursework assignments, and the opportunity for online support and feedback.

Writing the Master Thesis entails in addition supervision, paper presentations, and plenary discussions.

Coursework requirements:

For courses in the first three semesters:

80% attendance at the two on campus learning sessions. (Alternative assignments will be provided for students prohibited from attending)

Submitting eight minor coursework requirements online in every course.

For the course in fourth semester:

80% attendance at the two on campus learning sessions. (Alternative assignments will be provided for students prohibited from attending)

Presenting two papers connected to the Master Thesis.

All coursework requirements are graded "Approved" or "Not approved".

All coursework requirements must be approved for the student to be eligible for final assessment in a course.

Assessment: All modules in the Master program in Theology and Ministry is assessed by one compulsory item: a Term Paper, a Home Exam, a Term Project, or a thesis.

Assessment in TAM302 and TAM303 is the subject of one Term Paper.

Assessment in TAM301, TAM304 and TAM321 is the subject of one Home Exam.

Assessment in TAM322 and TAM323/TAM323B is the subject of one Term Project

Assessment in TAM350 is the subject of one written Thesis and oral examination

For assessment in TEOL360, see the course description.

All items are assessed according to the standard ECTS grading scale. See course descriptions for further details.

Supervised internship in the elective courses TAM321B Youth Ministry - with Internship and TAM323B Kirkelig undervisning – med veiledet praksis. These are compulsory for students qualifying for an office as Catechist in the Church of Norway.

For internship and different types of practice sessions in TEOL360, see the course description.

In the master’s programme in Theology and Ministry, it is recommended to study abroad during the third semester. NLA has exchange / study abroad agreements with partner institutions around the world. For more information about the possibilities for studying abroad, please visit NLAs website about student exchange.

Throughout the study programme, you will receive and process international impulses, through engagement with international research and publications, international guest lecturers, and possibilities of internships abroad or participation in international collaborative projects.

Master in Theology and Ministry is at an academic level that on completion is sufficient for application to relevant third cycle degree.

Master in Theology and Ministry prepares for a wide variety of jobs in the church, including the Church of Norway, Christian organizations, Christian institutions, and in the free churches. In particular it is relevant for those who lead, supervise or take part in some sort of ecclesial innovation and for those who want to lead and supervise processes of change in the church.

The target group includes: Church planters, employees in Christian organizations, Christian communicators, organizational leadership, faith educators, teachers at Bible colleges, pastors, youth ministers etc.

The elective courses TAM321B and TAM323B are relevant for students pursuing qualification for the office of Catechist in the Church of Norway. Further information on the qualification requirements for Catechist is found in Tjenesteordning med kvalifikasjonskrav for kateketer.

The Master in Theology and Ministry degree can help fulfil parts of the qualification requirements for pastors in the Church of Norway, second career-path (above 35 years old). See Tjenesteordning med kvalifikasjonskrav for menighetsprester.

The Master in Theology and Ministry does not fulfill or replace the requirements of Master in Theology or Master in Diakonia.

English is the working language of MATAM.

The elective course modules TAM323B and TEOL360 are offered in Norwegian only.

All assignments, exams, and thesis may be submitted in English, a Scandinavian language, or other languages by application.