Master of Arts Degree in Christian Ministry

ACC Student in class (Mwadiya)

African Christian College is pleased to announce our partnership with the Graduate School of Theology at Abilene Christian University in launching an affordable, quality graduate degree in ministry for African students. This programme began in 2016. The next intake is expected in June 2018.

This Master of Arts in Christian Ministry (MACM) programme is taught and run by Abilene Christian University and their faculty, under their accreditation, and provides a quality, graduate degree for all students. African Christian College serves as a host institution for the residency classes and to provide student assistance in working with ACU.

Master of Arts in Christian Ministry

The Master of Arts in Christian Ministry is a 48-hour degree designed to equip individuals for competent leadership in specialised ministry fields. With specialised ministry tracks or elective hours, students can personalise the MACM to their particular ministry passions and interests.

Because the degree is versatile, students are qualified for a vast array of ministry positions. Almost all graduates enter and remain in ministry, working as church planters, ministers in established churches, teachers, and in other forms of Christian service.

The Southern Africa MACM Programme

This program provides an opportunity for students from throughout Africa to remain in their current jobs while taking course work to advance their ministerial leadership skills.

Students will take the majority of the courses online using interactive, intentional learning activities with other students and faculty members. Students must have regular, dependable internet access during the online courses.

The ACU Graduate School of Theology requires all students to complete part of their degrees in residence. In this programme, the residency requirement will be met through one-week intensives on the campus of African Christian College in the Kingdom of Swaziland. Four of the courses in this programme will meet on the ACC campus. Substantial reading preparation is required for these courses, so students must be registered several weeks in advance to receive reading assignments.

Students must complete all degree requirements within ten years. The average time for completion is two years — with focus and consistent course work.

Admission Requirements

The admission requirements for the MACM are:

  1. A completed application and US$50 application fee.
  2. An official transcript in English of all previous academic work. Official means that originals with the seal that comes directly from the issuing institution to ACU.
  3. A cumulative B average or better and evidence of an overall productive GPA.
  4. Two letters of recommendation; and
  5. A reflective essay, three to five pages in length (typed, double-spaced).

Affordability & Financial Aid

Generous financial assistance is available for African students to participate in this programme. Because of this, the MACM is within financial reach of African students at comparable costs to masters programme available at African institutions.

The student’s total tuition cost of the programme will be around US$3,000. (This reflects a 90% reduction in the normal tuition cost of this programme.)

In addition, the student will need to borrow or purchase textbooks, maintain reliable internet access for online courses, and provide transport to and from Swaziland for the four residency courses.

Course Requirements

The course requirements for the MACM include:

  • Orientation (BIBM 602)
  • Theological Reflection & Practice
  • Advanced Introduction to the Old Testament (BIBL 610)
  • Advanced Introduction to the New Testament (BIBL 620)
  • Biblical Exegesis (BIBL 627)
  • Biblical Theology (BIBL 630)
  • Teaching Scripture in a Contemporary Context (BIBL 682)
  • Foundations of the Theology of Ministry (BIBM 603)
  • Christian Spiritual Formation (BIBM 648)
  • Contexts of Ministry (BIBM 657)
  • Field Education (BIBM 629)
  • History of Christianity I (BIBH 651)
  • History of Christianity II (BIBH 652) –OR– Restoration History (BIBH 664)
  • Systematic Theology I (BIBD 660)
  • English Bible Exam
  • E-Portfolio Review

Students also choose a focused track for their degree programme:

Student & Family Ministry Track Requirements:

  • Youth & Family Ministry (BIBM 646)
  • Ministry with Children & Families (BIBM 673)
  • Engaging Adolescents in Christian Formation (BIBM 635)
  • Church & Family Ministry (BIBM 693)

Spiritual Formation Track:

  • Fundamentals of Spiritual Nurture (BMIS 621)
  • Readings in Christian Spirituality (BIBH 633)
  • Supervised Practice of Ministry
  • Engaging Adolescents in Christian Formation (BIBM 635)

Ministerial Leadership Track:

  • Church Leadership (BIBM 601)
  • Managing Conflict in Churches (CONR 617)
  • Leadership in Intercultural Contexts (BMIS 650)
  • The Practice of Ministerial Leadership (BIBM 658)

Ministry & Bible Track (preaching):

  • New Testament Greek I –OR– Biblical Hebrew I
  • New Testament Greek II –OR– Biblical Hebrew II
  • Homiletics (BIBM 604)
  • Preaching Pauline Literature (BIBM 627)

Other tracks may also be added as options such as Organisational Leadership, Pastoral Care, or Conflict Resolution. Also, students may choose four of their own courses to build their own track of courses, with the assistance of their academic advisor.

How to Apply

Enrolment for this programme has already begun and is limited each year. Applications are made directly to Abilene Christian University.

You can complete the application online now at

This page also has instructions for the required reflective essay and recommendation forms.

The application should be completed using the online form. Be sure to choose “Christian Ministry” as the degree. Be sure to clearly state you are applying for the Swaziland, Africa programme.

As you apply, you are encouraged to notify ACC of your intent to apply so we can assist you with any questions or challenges in the application process. Send us an email at

Paying Your Application Fee

Before you are able to fully complete your online application with ACU, you will be asked to pay a US$50 application fee.

If you have a method to pay this fee online yourself, please do so (you may use a debit/credit card or PayPal to pay the fee).

If you need assistance in processing your application fee, ACC as the host institution can help you in processing your fee by accepting your application fees in Swaziland. You may send US$50 (currently 750+ Rand) to ACC and we will forward your payment to USA.

Banking details:

  • Bank: Nedbank LTD Manzini
  • Bank Address: CNR, Nkoseluhlaza & Low Streets, Manzini, Swaziland
  • Branch No: 360264
  • Account Name: African Christian College
  • Account No: 040000013708
  • Swift Code: NESWSZMX

Please be sure to note your name and purpose for the payment and please send an email to to alert us to your application fee payment.


For questions and assistance about this programme you may contact the following individuals:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Who’s offering this degree?

Abilene Christian University (ACU) in Abilene, Texas, USA. ACU administers the programme, ACU faculty teach the courses, and ACU staff follow and make all decisions based on their policies and procedures for applying, enrolment, financial assistance, payment of fees, etc.

Abilene Christian University is one of the largest and most respected Christian universities associated with the Churches of Christ and the Stone-Campbell/Restoration movement. The Graduate School of Theology and its MACM degree programme is fully recognised and accredited internationally.

2. What’s the role of African Christian College?

ACC serves as host and assists ACU in making sure the programme runs smoothly. Residency classes will be held on ACC’s campus in Swaziland. Applicants can pay registration fees through ACC.

3. When is the program starting?

The initial cohort of students began their first class on 11 July 2016 in Swaziland.

The next cohort of students will begin class in June 2018. Students must be accepted, apply early to receive pre-readings, and have paid initial fees before they will be able to enrol in this first course.

4. How long does it take?

Most students complete their MACM in 24 months. For some, it takes longer. But it must be completed within ten years.

5. How do I qualify to enrol?

See the requirements above. An undergraduate theology degree is not required (other undergraduate degrees also qualify). Applicants dedicated to ministry with diplomas may also be considered.

6. Is this only for the African Christian College alumni?

No. This is open to applicants across Africa, even if you didn’t graduate from African Christian College with your undergraduate degree.

7. Do I need to write a TOEFL test?

You don’t need a TOEFL test. You will need to write a reflective essay.

8. What is the reflective essay? 

The writing of an autobiographical statement is considered a critical element in the evaluation of your application. Not only is the autobiography a way to introduce yourself to the admissions committee, but it also will help your faculty adviser guide and evaluate your learning experience in the programme. With this in mind, please write a reflective essay, three to five pages in length (typed, double spaced) about yourself, your religious background, and your vision for ministry. Read the full guidelines for more information the reflective essay. 

9. How do I pay the registration fee and how much is it?

You can either pay the registration fee direct to ACU or pay through ACC. It costs US$50.

10. How do you qualify for the Financial Aid?

Accepted students in this programme will receive the 90% tuition reduction. Additional financial aid is not available to cover transport, book, or internet costs.

11. When is tuition payment due?

Accepted students will pay tuition fees based on subjects you enrol. Therefore your tuition fee will not be due all at once, but throughout the duration of your study. However, the tuition for a subject course must be paid before you will be able to access the online content or attend the in-person class. 

12. What about other courses?

This programme is limited to the ACU Graduate School of Theology offerings. In addition to the Master of Arts in Christian Ministry (MACM), students may wish to enrol in the Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree programme. This programme requires additional courses and costs beyond the MACM requirements, but may be an option.

13. What if I don’t have a Greek/Hebrew background?

If you choose the Ministry & Bible track, you will be taking Elementary New Testament Greek I and II. This will be introductory Greek, though it will be difficult! Even if you don’t have a Greek background you will learn it from the basics. The same is true for Hebrew — you’ll learn from the beginning.

14. Do I have to attend class in Swaziland?

Most of your classes will be interactive, online courses. However, it is a requirement to attend residency classes as well. Four courses will be offered in one-week intensives on the campus of African Christian College in Swaziland. Students will be expected to attend these four courses in person to earn credit. These will be held twice per year. Courses are not offered in back-to-back weeks. Travel costs are not covered in financial assistance or tuition fees.

15. Will we have books?

Yes. Textbooks are required for most courses, including online courses. The faculty is encouraged to choose books available in electronic copy so that students can easily download and read the books on your electronic device in case hard copies are difficult to obtain. Students are responsible for the purchasing or borrowing the required books. 

16. Will we have access to online library resources?

Yes. As a student of Abilene Christian University, you will have full access to the electronic resources, journal databases, and ebooks available through the ACU library online.

17. Do I have to pay the $50 fee to apply?

Yes. The US$50 application fee is required for all applicants. It is not refunded if your admission is denied and it is not put toward your tuition fees if you are accepted.

18. Who will be my lecturers?

The excellent faculty of Abilene Christian University will be the lecturer for all courses — online and residency. These faculty members are leaders in professional organisations, present scholarly papers at international meetings, and publish widely in professional journals. At the same time, faculty are involved in ministry among churches all over the world.

19. What are “student choice” or “elective” courses?

Electives courses mean that you may choose among the available, online courses which ones you prefer to take to help you in your ministry. Five of the sixteen courses you must take for this degree are electives you may choose. Your academic advisor will help you make the best decision in your course options.

20. What are the different tracks?

Students choose a focused area for study based on your interests. These tracks will prepare students for effective ministry in the particular areas. More tracks may be added, but the current tracks include:

  • Student & Family Ministry — for ministries working with children, youth, and their families
  • Spiritual Formation — for ministries focusing on the spiritual development, discipleship, and growth of the church
  • Ministerial Leadership — for preparation as leaders in churches as senior or executive ministers
  • Ministry & Bible — for those focused on teaching and preaching the Bible’s message

21. What is the “English Bible Exam”?

This is an exam, written in English, over the scope of the Bible. Basic and specific Bible knowledge is tested toward the end of your degree programme.

22. What is an “E-portfolio review”?

As you complete course work throughout the programme you will build an electronic portfolio of your work and learnings. This will be reviewed toward the end of your degree programme as a collection of your work and progress.

23. Do I have to write a thesis?

A thesis is not required for the MACM degree. However, if you have a desire to write a thesis, then you can discuss this with your advisor as an ‘elective’ course. Most students choose not to write a thesis.

24. If I have other questions, who do I contact?

You can contact Ndumiso Dlamini at African Christian College or Emily Childers at Abilene Christian University with any questions you may have. Find their contact information above.

25. When can I apply?

Now! Enrolment has begun, and the number of spaces is limited in this initial year. Begin your application online now at