Saturday, April 13, 2013 11:10 AM
Mike had a very high-profile, very established career before beginning his studies at Wesley. “My checkered career includes some time in politics and service at the White House under President Bill Clinton. I got involved as a student at Wesley through my work as a member of the Board of Governors,” McCurry said. He served as press secretary for the Clinton administration and is a Washington-based communications consultant with Public Strategies Washington, Inc., a local consulting firm.
Wesley offers a unique 36-hour Master of Arts program intended to provide theological grounding for those pursuing new directions in ministry or in a secular career, whether through a call to ordination, lay ministry or other service in the world. The Master of Arts program, designed to be completed in 36 credit hours, can include foundational theology courses, but allows students to self-design their degree plan to prepare for specialized studies in areas such as children, youth and young adult ministry; faith and politics; faith and health; prison ministry; and multicultural ministry.
“I enrolled as a Master of Theological Studies student before the Master of Arts degree was offered at Wesley. Dean Bruce Birch encouraged me to take his course in Hebrew Bible and I was willing but wondered what the point was if I was not getting a degree. Bruce thought for a moment and said, ‘You’re right…you should get a degree.’ But the 60 hour Master of Theological Studies degree is not designed for someone like me who wants theological education for the sheer joy of it, not for a vocational purpose,” McCurry said.
And that is the reason Wesley instituted the 36-hour Master of Arts degree – to provide an option in theological education for those who are not pursuing a call to pastoral ministry. The program is flexible and can be created around the students interests – both sacred and secular.
“The MA degree is flexible and can also be a great foundation for future learning. I took all the basic courses – Hebrew Bible, Gospels, Epistles Church History, Systematic Theology – but also took electives in literature, ethics and leadership that give me great insight into my future career pursuits,” McCurry said.
McCurry has insightful goals for life after Wesley. “I want to use my theological education to deepen my understanding of how faith can inform necessary changes in the way our country governs itself and in the quality of its political discourse. I would also like to explore how to teach young seminarians to risk engaging their congregations in necessary discussions of complex and often divisive contemporary issues. I hope to hang around Wesley for a long time to come!”
To learn more about Wesley’s innovative Master of Arts program, visit http://www.wesleyseminary.edu/Degrees/MasterofArts.aspx.
To find out what other students are saying about the 36-hour M.A., visit http://www.wesleyseminary.edu/masterofarts.
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