M.A. with a Major in Apologetics and Ethics
- What is a Master of Arts with a major in Apologetics and Ethics?
- What is apologetics?
- How does apologetics relate to evangelism?
- What are the core components of this degree?
- How can I use this degree?
- What classes will I take?
- Faculty Highlight
- Contact us
"Douglas Groothuis has established the reputation of being one of the best apologists and Christian philosophers in the Evangelical community. Now he has developed a new and exciting program in Christian apologetics and ethics. This program is very important in light of contemporary culture, and any student who studies with Groothuis and his colleagues will get first-rate training. I highly recommend this program." JP Moreland
What is a Master of Arts with a major in Apologetics and Ethics?
The battle for the mind never stops. We must offer our best thinking for the cause of God’s Truth in the marketplace of ideas. The Master of Arts degree with a major in apologetics and ethics prepares for this type of ministry in a pluralistic world and to people who struggle with honest questions about the truth or the tenets of the Christian faith. By investigating and comparing the sources and tests of truth, our courses help you develop a coherent worldview by which to live and minister authentically. At the same time, you will examine contradictory assumptions in alternative philosophies, religions, and cults. God’s Truth can stand the test. At Denver Seminary, you can learn how to make that known!
The apologetics and ethics major falls under the Division of Christian Thought. To learn more about this division, watch a video from the Division of Christian Thought. There are also several articles by Dr. Doug Groothuis available to read.
Apologetics comes from the Greek word apologia, essentially meaning “defense.” People can act as defenders of many different ideas or religions, so there can be many types of apologists. Specifically, Christians have been commissioned to go and make disciples of all nations, and a necessary part of that mission requires engaging in Christian apologetics: commending the Gospel as “existentially true, rationally compelling and existentially engaging,” as Denver Seminary professor Douglas Groothuis puts it in his book, Christian Apologetics. Therefore, the Christian apologist ought to persuasively, winsomely speak the truth in love, engage the culture, and thereby take the Gospel to the world.
Apologetics serves multiple functions which relate to evangelism, and all of which allow apologetics to be properly classified as pre-evangelism.
- First, it helps committed Christians do evangelism. This is because it gives believers a better knowledge of and stability in their own faiths. A believer who is confident in the objective, universal truth of her faith is far more likely to remain steadfast and to enter into persuasive apologetic encounters with non-believers.
- Second, apologetics can persuade non-believing individuals. Apologetics can remove intellectual barriers to Christianity for non-Christians, thus priming them to accept the gospel.
- Third, apologetics can change the culture. Good apologetics commends biblical Christianity as rationally compelling and as the best explanation for what we know about reality, which is not considered even plausible by secular Western culture (much of the academic elite). A knowledgeable and wise apologist can work to change what a given culture takes to be plausible through educational engagements such as public lectures, letters to the editor, or articles. Therefore, apologetics serves a vital function, not only by aiding evangelism to individuals, but also by emboldening believers and by intellectually engaging the culture for the cause of Christ.
This program is designed to advance the mission of God through equipping and training students to work in the related areas of apologetics and ethics. Therefore, a graduate would be well-prepared to:
- Engage in campus ministry through a church or parachurch organization.
- Work in outreach at a local church.
- Train those in their care (ie. pastors) to defend Christianity.
- Be persuasive writers for the Christian cause, and use these gifts in writing books, for magazines, journals, or online.
In addition to the M.A. core required classes (32 hours), the Master of Arts
with a major in apologetics and ethics involves 20 hours of classes specific to apologetics and ethics and 10 hours of electives.
What classes will I take?
- AE 501 - Defending the Christian Faith - this class is an introduction to apologetics (3 hours)
- AE 601 - Christian Ethics and Modern Culture (3 hours)
- AE 664 - Religious Pluralism - this class surveys major world religions as well as addresses sociological and philosophical pluralism (3 hours)
- AE 694 - Writing for Publication (2 hours)
- AE 610 - Advanced Apologetics - this class takes students deeper into the issues raised in Defending Christian Faith (prerequisite), especially related to religious epistemology and arguments for God’s existence (2 hours)
- AE 620 - Advanced Christian Ethics - (Prerequisite: Christian Ethics and Modern Culture), this class looks more closely at philosophical and theological ethics (3 hours)
- AE 630 - Contemporary Apologists - A Study of Influential Recent Apologists such as Francis Schaeffer, J.P. Moreland, William Lane Craig, Alvin Plantinga (2 hours)
- AE 640 - Christianity and Alternate Religions - A study of the established American groups such as Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Mind Sciences, as well as new religious movements (3 hours)
- Summative experience: Either a thesis or an apologetics practicum (4 hours)
A Sampling of Electives:
- AE 669 - The Philosophy of C.S. Lewis (2 hours)
- AE 665 - The Philosophy of Blaise Pascal (2 hours)
- AE 550 - Christian Social Ethics (2 hours)
- Philosophy of Religion
Dr. Douglas R. Groothuis is Professor of Philosophy at Denver Seminary. His most recent book, Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Christian Faith, was awarded the Award of Merit in the Apologetics/Evangelism from Christianity Today and is a book that places apologetics within a Christian worldview and answers the troubling questions that people are actually asking. In addition, he has written for scholarly journals such as Religious Studies, Sophia, Research in Philosophy and Technology, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Philosophia Christi, and Asbury Theological Journal.
Dr. Groothuis has written many articles on the topic of Apologetics, you can view the entire list here. A sample of the articles are:
- What is Truth? (On the Nature and Importance of Truth Today)
- Why Believe That Jesus Is The Only Way?
- A Royal Ruin: Pascal's Argument from Humanity to Christianity
Dr. Groothuis' recent presentation to Saddleback Church
The following video is an hour-long presentation from Dr. Doug Groothuisat Saddleback Church in California. He spoke on "Putting Truth to Work: A Biblical View of Truth."
To view the video, please visit Saddleback Church at this link, click "2011" in the column to the right and then click on Dr. Groothuis's lecture "A Biblical View of Truth."
Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Christian Faith
Dr. Groothuis' most recent book, Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Christian Faith, was awarded the Award of Merit in the Apologetics/Evangelism from Christianity Today.
"Douglas Groothuis does Christian apologetics the way it needs to be done, situating apologetics within a Christian worldview and answering the troubling questions that people are actually asking--questions to which they need answers if faith is going to be a live option. His book draws on many years of teaching and writing about apologetics, distilling the most effective arguments in defense of the Christian faith." (William A. Dembski, author of The End of Christianity)
Have questions? There are a couple of ways for you to contact us:
BY PHONE: 303-762-6937 OR 1-800-922-3040