The MA is organized around four key questions that we believe will help shape a lifetime of ministry:
WHERE AM I IN THE CITY?
What does my location reveal about the challenges, opportunities, and hopes of our time? How am I shaped by my location, and how am I to work for God’s peace and hope in this context? What is ministry in an ever-changing city?
HOW AM I BEING FORMED FOR THE WORK OF THE GOSPEL IN THE CITY?
How do prayer and the Scriptures provide a foundation and new imagination for life and ministry? What am I seeing and hearing that is new? How do I live a life of worship in the city?
HOW ARE WE TO FOLLOW CHRIST EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK?
How does the whole church express its many callings? What does it mean to live in Christ in the everyday, to be faithful at work, school, and home? How is this seeking the peace of the city as public faith?
HOW AM I A PART OF CHRIST'S CONTINUAL TRANSLATION INTO NEW CULTURES AND CONTEXTS?
How is my community and church a part of this ongoing story of one people from many languages, cultures and places? How does this draw us and me more deeply into God? How do theology and culture relate?
A nexus is a connection or a series of connections that links a group or things. Each nexus is central and connected to the other. The core nexus of the Master of Arts in Ministry in the Global City are organized around these four areas: Location, Formation, Vocation, and Translation.
LOCATION: Wayfinding in our Urban World
This nexus focuses on understanding the role of location or context for ministry. In particular, what does it mean that the city, with its underlying dynamics, complexities, gifts, and histories, is our context? Starting with how we bodily engage the city through our senses, this nexus brings together urban theory, Biblical reflection, comparative history, and tools for research, providing a foundational perspective for understanding and serving in an urban world.
FORMATION: Praying with the Word
In this nexus, we emphasize how the overarching Scriptural narrative and prayer form us for life in the Gospel, individually and as communities. This is a dynamic process that helps us continually think through our call to God's mission. Formation is foundational for sustaining a vibrant faith and vision for ministry in the city, and is both individual and communal.
VOCATION: Following Christ in Every Area of Life
This nexus seeks to develop an integrative theology and spirituality for our everyday lives in the city, Monday through Saturday. The goal is to think and work theologically and biblically around the spheres of public life, family, community, and work in the global city. All areas of life belong to Christ, and all areas of service occur in the Spirit by the whole people of God.
TRANSLATION: Moving with the Spirit
In this nexus, we see how as Christ is formed in a community, the church is yet one people drawn together from all languages and people. As Andrew Walls indicates, theology is seeking to live and think in Christian ways, in every language and thought form, as Christ is formed in every community. While looking at all six continents, this nexus particularly explores how the Christian movement has been appropriated in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean, and how this dynamic has come to be expressed in New York City. At heart, this is a theological framework that draws us more deeply into God and the movement of the Spirit.
Because the program is taught as a thematic whole, each course and nexus provides a way to take what is being learned forward, and to make connections to other courses and nexus. The program opens with "Leadership and Learning," which emphasizes how we come to learn, understand, and lead in an uncertain, turbulent world. The program then moves into core areas of understanding location and context, individual and community formation in Scripture and prayer, application in vocation and life, and an appreciation of the larger Church and the translation of the Gospel into multiple languages, cultures, and peoples. Area seminars enable students to focus and deepen an area of practice, such as pastoral ministry, community development, the arts, or youth work. The Capstone project, which is creative and constructive, is intended to build on this area of emphasis and to bring the program components together for the church and the city. The colloquium will meet as a final integrative course, reviewing the program and what has been learned, and engaging in the process of considering future plans for ministry.
RESEARCH AND THE ARTS
The Walls-Ortiz Gallery and Center, named for Andrew Walls and the late Manuel Ortiz, ministry practitioners and scholars in world Christianity and urban missions who continue to be key forces in the life of City Seminary, is our space for research, public dialogue, and interaction with the arts. It is a community space for conversation, for telling stories, for visualizing and engaging faith, and for new questions and unexpected appreciations.
We extend welcome not only to the seminary community and visitors, but also to our Harlem and NYC community—individuals and organizations of and for all ages —that breathe life into our everyday interactions and learning. Students have the opportunity to conduct research or pursue creative projects and to display their work in the Gallery, or in the Hope Campus Lobby gallery space. Student learning is also enriched by City Seminary research initiatives, including the Next Generation Research Project, studying faith transmission in immigrant communities, the Practices of Ministry in the City Project, and the Global New York Church Project.