top of page


ma and pHD programs

We offer a Master of Arts in Church Ministry and in Applied Church Ministry, and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Church Ministry. 

Master of Arts Degree ("MA")


We have two types of MA programs. The first is our MA in Church Ministry. This is a local degree, so students must live at our branch at Cedar Rapids, IA, to study under the tutelage of our MA director, John Janke, and his associates in the greater CR area.

It's a 3-year degree, comprising 12 quarters and 2 summer sessions. Students will be expected to participate not only in the material germane to John's program but also in general-learning reading, in order to develop the habit of intentional, aggressive reading in areas not usually associated with ministry.



Overview of the Degree


This is a "classroom mode" degree, which simply means the material is disseminated via the classroom. The classes meet in an offline space regularly throughout the week, and you have to be there to attend the class, etc.

Here is a list of the classes this degree offers. This is a rotating list, and all the classes are here.

(click here to see list)

Full-time students must take the following every quarter:

  • the Graduate General-Learning Unit, .5 credits (online, land, or hybrid) ($50)

  • the Graduate Program-Specific Unit, 2 credits (online, land, or hybrid) ($470)

  • the Graduate Practicum, 2.5 credits (land only) ($105)

They must take the following every summer except for the 3rd year:

  • the Summer GLU, .5 credits (online) ($50)

  • the Christian Classics Reading, .5 credits (online) ($30)

  • the Graduate Practicum, 1 credit (land only) ($45)

The cost of tuition and fees for a complete year (not including books):

  • the 4 quarters, $2,500

  • the 4 quarterly accreditation fees ($25/qtr), $100

  • the 1 summers session, $​125​

      YEARLY TOTAL: $2,725

The cost for the 3 years required for this MA programs (only tuition & fees):

  • the first 2 years (each year with 4 quarters and 1 summer session): $5,450

  • the 3rd year (4 quarters): $2,600 

      GRAND TOTAL: $​8,050

Projected Living Expenses


These estimates are on the low end. Students will be strongly encouraged to curtail their entertainment expenses and to eat frugally (we will provide optional instruction on shopping and food preparation):

  • $200/mth for housing (when possible, students will be paired up)​

  • $225/mth for food

  • $125/mth for gas

      TOTAL: $550 ($6,600/yr)



Overview of the Degree


This is a "mentorship mode" degree, which means that it is overseen by two mentors, a sponsoring school (in this case, RBHC), and our accreditation agency, the Open Latch Education Foundation.

In short, RHBC is in a position to help a pair of mentors who have MA degrees plus at least 5 years of professional experience set up their own mentorship MA program at their own local or place of ministry. This program can be customized so that the mentor group can specially customize a program for even just one student from their network. 


The credit spread for an MA degree is between 40 to 70 credits past the BA. Mentors must build a program from the following types of credits:

  • Reading credits (required for all MA plans)

  • Writing credits (required for all MA plans)

  • Project credits (required for all MA plans)

  • Contact credits (required for all MA plans)

  • Training credits (required for some MA plans)

If you feel that you are interested in developing an MA mentorship program, please contact our current director. (click to go to faculty page)


Doctorate of Philosophy Degree ("PhD")


We offer a mentorship PhD in Church Ministry. The concentration (or focus, theme) of the degree is "Cultural Perspectives for Congregational Ministry."

(Very Brief) Overview of the Degree


~This PhD is 130 credits that are "post MA." That is, students who enroll must already have a master of arts or science.

~Students have 3 - 7 years to finish the degree.

~Students must read 30,000 pages of reading, write a total of 70,000 words*, and log a total of 650 hours of ministry-related service, among other requirements.

~Students can take the degree "at distance" as long as they have local ministry platforms they can serve (volunteer, internship, lay ministry, pastoral ministry, nonprofit administration or involvement, etc.).

~Students pay on a per-credit basis for 90 credits ($50 a credit).

~Students will have to pay fees for sponsoring schools, monitors, accreditation requirements, and certain types of assessment.

~Students must meet with their mentor 1 or 2 times a year minimum. Semi-annual meetings must last at least 4 hours, annual meetings 8 hours.

~Assuming a student can finish the degree in 5 years, the total cost should be around $9,000.

There's quite a bit more to know. If you are seriously considering this degree, the best way to get a handle on all the information is to download the document below, which will give you a complete picture of the requirements, and then to schedule a call with the current RHBC director.

(click here for phd overview)

*A bit more on the writing requirement. First, for every reading credit a student earns, they must write a reflection on the reading that is at least 500 words long. Students must declare for credits in multiples of 2, so they will be writing quite a few 1000-word essays on their reading. This requirement alone is 30,000 words throughout the degree. The other 40K words come from the writing project, which, for us, can take many forms beyond the traditional whitepaper. The core idea behind our writing project is that the equivalent of a traditional PhD dissertation is produced, sans the professorial-level research. The final project should be ready for immediate implementation into the core ministry of the student.

bottom of page