Combined Master of Arts & Certificate in Education

Increase competency in teaching theology and religion. Be prepared for the classroom.

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We partner with the Department of Education and Counseling to offer a combined MA in Theology with a Certificate in Education.

  • This combined program will provide a unique opportunity to graduate students in theology who plan to seek careers as educators on the primary level, the secondary level, or in institutions of higher learning.
  • Graduate students in theology will deepen their understanding of curriculum development, student assessment, working with multicultural populations, and other aspects of education theory and practice.

Applicants are evaluated and accepted by the Graduate Program in Theology for its Master’s program and the Graduate Program in Education for its Certificate program. That is, both programs evaluate applications according to their admissions criteria and collaborate in admitting you to the combined degree and certificate program.

The same admission standards that apply for the MA in Theology program and the Education Certificate program apply for students seeking admission to the combined program. Be sure to address your reasons for seeking admission to the combined program when you compose your statement of objectives.


The combined program requires students to take 42 credits. The credit requirements are as follows: 

  • 30 credit hours or 10 courses from the Theology curriculum (including THL 8750 Religious Education). Theology will accept 6 credit hours (2 courses) in Education toward the Theology Master’s degree.
  • 12 credit hours (4 courses) from the Education curriculum.  Education will accept 3 credits (1 course) in Theology toward the Education Certificate.
  • Total credits = 42 (Theology 30 + Education 12)

Use our worksheet to plan your courses. Choose four courses from among these EDU courses (other courses with approval of THL Graduate Program Director):

Required Courses:

  1. EDU 8616 Methods of Teaching
  2. EDU 8679 Standards Aligned Systems and Curriculum

Any Two of the Following:

  • EDU 8561 Advanced Trends in Special Education
  • EDU 8610 Current Issues in Education
  • EDU 8662 Trends in the Social Studies
  • EDU 8669 Comparative Education
  • EDU 8670 History of Education
  • EDU 8673 Philosophy of Education
  • EDU 8678 Multiculturalism, Gender, and Inclusion in Schools

Graduate assistants and tuition scholars in Theology who wish to participate in the combined program will receive tuition remission for 36 credits, but not for the additional 6 credits required to earn a Certificate in Education.

Worksheets, Requirements, and Deadlines

Admission Status

  • If you fulfill all admission requirements, we will admit you as a matriculated student.
  • If not, the committee may recommend that you be admitted non-matriculated and retain this status until you have successfully completed several graduate courses. At that time, we will re-evaluate your matriculation status.
  • Please note that only matriculated students are eligible for VU assistantships and governmental loans.