Certificate in Theology and the Arts

The Certificate in Theology and the Arts is an innovative program offered by Wesley that presents students with several unique opportunities through the Henry Luce Center for the Arts and Religion. Students take fourteen program-specific credits, including courses in art theory, introductory courses in several artistic disciplines (including music, drama, dance, visual art, and literary art), and focused electives in a specific discipline. Participants will be able to explore the relationship between art and faith and develop skills for using art in worship and other areas of Christian life. Students in the program can also take advantage of Wesley's location in the nation's capital by connecting with resources in the Washington DC art community.

  • Program Design
  • M.A. with Certificate
  • Eligibility
  • How to Apply
  • In addition to the requirements of their Masters-level program, students enrolled in the Certificate in Theology and the Arts will take fourteen credits of RA (Religion & Arts) distributed as follows:

    One theoretical course (choose one for a total of 2 credits)

    RA-253 Art for God’s Sake: Art, Culture, and Christian Understanding
    RA-120 Making it Real: Symbol, Sacrament, Ritual and Art
    or other course as designated in the course schedule

    Introductory courses in three different artistic disciplines 
    (choose 2 credits in each of three areas for a total of 6 credits)


    RA-130 Chapel Choir
    RA- 135 Music Skills for the Local Church

    Student Juyeon Jeon performs in the Heart the Arts FestivalDrama and Biblical Storytelling

    RA-188 Tools for Drama in Ministry
    RA-190 Religious Themes in Drama
    RA-175 Biblical Storytelling


    RA-194 Liturgical Dance
    RA-192 Dance Theory and Technique

    Visual Art

    RA-122 Picturing the Church
    RA-152 Contemplative Drawing

    Literary Art

    RA-144 Scripture in Literature
    RA-142 Language of Grace: Readings in Modern Literature

    RA electives in a single artistic discipline

    Choose 6 credits in a single artistic discipline (music, drama, dance,  visual art, literary art) from the RA course offerings and others as designated in the course schedule. These may include Practicums, Directed Studies, and specialized courses at AU or elsewhere as determined in consultation with RA faculty.

    The curriculum for the M.A. with a Certificate in Theology and the Arts is designed to provide a general theological degree blended with a certificate in the practice of arts ministry. 

    Requirements: 36 credit hour total for M.A. with Certificate Foundational coursework (20 credits)

    student drama in the chapelIntroduction to Hebrew Bible 1 (2)
    Introduction to Hebrew Bible 2 (2)
    Introduction to New Testament: Gospels (2)
    Introduction to New Testament: Epistles (2)
    The Church in History: Early Church through Reformation (3);
    The Church in History: Reformation through Present (3)
    Systematic Theology 1 (3)
    Systematic Theology 2 (3)
    Arts Ministry Coursework (14 credits)
    Follows requirements for Certificate in Theology and the Arts
    Elective (2 credits) Tailored to research interests, with advisor approval 

    Year One – Fall                 
    BI-101 Hebrew Bible 1 (2)         
    BI-171 New Testament: Gospels (2)     
    CH-101The Church in History 1 (3)     
    RA-xxx RA Theoretical course (2)
    Year Two – Fall
    ST-305 Systematic Theology 1 (3) 
    RA-xxx  RA Area 2 (2) 
    RA-xxx  RA Area 3 (2) 
    RA-xxx    RA elective (2) 
    Year One – Fall                 
    BI-101 Hebrew Bible 1 (2)         
    BI-171 New Testament: Gospels (2)     
    CH-101The Church in History 1 (3)     
    RA-xxx RA Theoretical course (2)
    Year Two – J-Term 
    A-xxx RA elective (1-2) as offered
    Year One – J-Term or Summer        
    RA-xxx RA elective (1-2) as offered
    Year Two – Spring 
    ST-306 Systematic Theology 2 (3) 
    RA-xxx RA elective (2) 
    RA-xxx RA elective (2) 


    Current Wesley students in any MDiv, MA, or MTS program must apply to the Certificate in Theology and the Arts before they have completed 30 hours.

    If you have already completed a graduate degree from an ATS-accredited theological school, or are currently enrolled in an approved graduate theological degree program at a member institution of the Washington Theological Consortium, you may apply for the Certificate in Theology and the Arts and enroll in the appropriate courses as a non-degree student. No more than 2 RA credits may be transferred from another institution, but full credit will be given for any previous RA courses taken at WTS.

    If you have already have completed a graduate theological degree, the CTA will be awarded successful completion of the required 14 credits. If your degree is from Wesley, the Certificate will also be recorded on your transcript.

    If you are a current Consortium student, registration and payment of tuition for courses toward the Certificate must be done directly through Wesley. Upon completion of CTA requirements, the official, signed certificates will be held by the WTS Registrar pending proof that you have completed a graduate degree at your home institution.

    Art suppliesContact the Wesley admissions office at (202) 885-8659 or visit us at www.wesleyseminary.edu to find additional program information, to arrange for a campus visit, or to apply. Interested students are encouraged to declare their interest in the Certificate in Theology and the Arts as part of their admissions process to Wesley.

    Students who apply for the Certificate should have some expertise or experience in one of the artistic disciplines, as demonstrated to a committee of RA faculty through the presentation of a portfolio, DVD, audition, or other means appropriate to the discipline. Upon acceptance, students will be assigned an advisor from the RA faculty.

    Questions about the Certificate in Theology and the Arts should be directed to Dr. Deborah Sokolove, Director of the Henry Luce III Center for the Arts and Religion at (202) 885-8674 or Amy Gray, Program Administrator, at (202) 885-8637.

    Theology and the Arts Application


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