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Required Coursework

Introduction to the Master of Arts degree in Education with an emphasis on Religious Education. Students will be introduced to program goals, objectives, online learning, and the Master of Arts in Education with an Emphasis on Religious Education Student Handbook.

An overview of various theological topics including Trinitarian theology, Christology, pneumatology, missiology, and ecclesiology. Particular attention is given to how religious education can be as seen as practical theology and how Christian theology informs students’ approach to religious education.

An exploration into the historical, ethical, and contemporary foundations of social justice education. Particular attention is given to scriptural teachings, Catholic social teaching, and the work and writings of historical and contemporary peacemakers. Further attention is given to how to dialogue with others who analyze the world’s needs so those challenges can be addressed within religious educational settings.

A study of religious education curriculum as it takes form in (1) kerygma (proclamation); (2) didache (teaching); (3) leiturgia (prayer); (4) koinonia (community); and (5) diakonia (service). Topics include how religious education is a form of practical theology, its sources, and its null curriculum (what ought to be addressed but is not). The use of art and music in religious educational settings is also addressed. Attention is given to how assessment takes place within an overall religious educational curriculum design.

A study of how people develop their religious and ethical sensibilities and how those sensibilities affect how people respond to contemporary religious and ethical issues. Rooted in the work of theologians and educational theorists, this course facilitates critical analysis of contemporary religious and ethical issue and helps students decide how to solve such issues.

Exploring leadership and leadership issues from a inter-cultural and global perspective. Students construct their understanding of different cultural perspectives on leadership through readings and course interactions. Provides students with a valuable perspective on their own and other cultural perspectives through the comparison of cultural expressions of leadership. Explores how leadership is developing from a global, systemic perspective.

This course will examine the role of action research in improving the effectiveness of curriculum and instruction focusing on alternative learners. Candidates use action research in the classroom to address questions related to the improvement of their practice. Candidates develop skills in creating research questions, using a variety of information sources, exploring quantitative and qualitative methods of data gathering, and applying basic statistical techniques useful for evaluating classroom practices. Candidates develop a research methodology, conduct an action research project focusing on alternative learners or issues, and report their findings. Candidates will complete components of this course across two semesters.

This course explores individual differences as well as normative development in children from birth through adulthood. Children vary in physical, intellectual, emotional and social development, and this course will familiarize educators with conceptual foundations as well as applied methodologies that are consistent with current human development and learning theory. Learning needs of all children, particularly at risk learners are the focal point for discussion, review of methodologies and applications to development and learning theories.

This course is designed to help participants draw conclusions and write up the results of their action research project. The culminating project for this course will be an action research project that presents a study focusing on alternative learners or issues in the learning environment.

6 Elective Credits from the following:

A critical and reflective examination of the significance of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), commonly referred to as Vatican II, in the overall history of the church in general and within the field of religious education in particular. Attention is given to the Catholic Church’s New Evangelization in a post-Vatican II worldview. Through a method of interpreting Vatican II, students determine implications of Vatican II on their work as religious educators.

An examination of the historical and theological development of the Christian liturgy and sacraments. Liturgical documents and canon law are examined. Attention is given to how religious educators may help their learners participate more fully in the liturgical and sacramental life of the church.

A study of the history of the relationship between Jews and Christians from the first century through contemporary times. Particular attention is given to theological antisemitism, the Holocaust, and post-Holocaust theology. The course offers further consideration to such religious educational implications as how Christians teach about Jews, Judaism, the Holocaust, and scriptural texts.

An exploration of significant western Christians and their spiritualities throughout church history. Students will be expected to read selections from such texts as the Didache, Confessions, The Flowing Light of the Godhead, Showings, The Interior Castle, and New Seeds of Contemplation. Consideration is given to how students utilize spiritual practice within their religious educational settings.

The Master of Arts in Education – Religious Education degree is designed to help students become both practitioners and researchers of religious education and to help them become nationally certified in religious education. Through the program, students will survey and interpret the field of religious education to re-imagine religious education for today; develop theological expertise and learn how to apply it well within their particular religious educational settings; grow in an ability to think dialogically, taking other’s opinions and religious experiences into consideration; and utilize action research as a method to determine how religious education can be used to transform the world.

The program is open to people of all religious backgrounds that minister in a variety of settings, including schools, churches, hospitals and prisons. The program is offered in a 100% online format that meets the demands of today’s working adults. Courses can be completed in as few as seven weeks, with the program being completed within two years.

Read the brochure and learn more about our faith-based discount.


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The Education Programs offered by the Marian University School of Education are approved by the:

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Marian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Dr. Cynthia Nienhaus, CSA
1-800-262-7426 ext. 6712

For more information, please submit an inquiry or contact our Office of Admission at or 920-923-7650.

Dean, School of Education
Dr. Sue Stoddart
1-800-262-7426 ext. 8100

Department Chairperson
Dr. Kristi Reitz
1-800-262-7426 ext. 7177

Support Staff
Ms. Leah Schraeder, Support Specialist III
1-800-262-7426 ext. 8128 or 920-923-8128

Certification Officer/Advisor
Ms. Joan Ferguson
1-800-262-7426 ext. 8778

Director of Field & Clinical Experiences
Mr. Phil Johnson
1-800-262-7426 ext. 8752