Educational Effectiveness

The Education Effectiveness of the Graduate Programs in Theology and Ministry is demonstrated best by the intentional education and formation of lay ecclesial ministers prepared to contribute fruitfully to their communities of faith through theological reflection, praxis, and leadership. The Master of Arts in Practical Theology and Ministry program cultivates this preparation by fostering in our students the learning objectives/competencies delineated at each level of study which advance the mission of each program.

Master of Arts In Practical Theology and Ministry Program

Student-Centered Learning Objectives/Competencies

  • Objective 1: Students demonstrate mastery of core theological curriculum through reflective reading, critical thinking, and quality academic writing. (Scholarly and Intellectual Acuity)
  • Objective 2: Students demonstrate mastery of pastoral skill sets through effective communication, informed conscience, appropriate boundary formation, and respect for the equal dignity of all persons. (Ministerial Authenticity)
  • Objective 3: Students demonstrate the ability to balance responsibilities, articulate ministerial identity, and remain open to constructive critique and affirmation. (Personal Formation and Identity)
  • Objective 4: Students demonstrate spiritual depth, develop resources for ministry, and exhibit commitment to sustained encounters with Scripture, tradition, and ongoing revelation of God. (Spiritual Maturity)
  • Objective 5: Students demonstrate sound theological engagement with diverse cultural and religious traditions. (Global Consciousness)

These objectives are specifically integrated and assessed in the following core courses:

Course/Objective Assessment Map

Learning Objectives/Competencies552609620621636 or 637
Objective 1: Scholarly and Intellectual AcuityXXx
Objective 2: Ministerial AuthenticityXXX
Objective 3: Personal Formation/ IdentityXXX
Objective 4: Spiritual MaturityXxx
Objective 5: Global ConsciousnessxxX

A variety of course requirements and assignments are used to assess these learning objectives/competencies through the core courses of the curriculum. These assessments are scored through an extensive rubric.

Rubric For Assessment Of Maptm Student Objectives (Competencies)

Objective 1: Scholarly And Intellectual Acuity
Reflective ReadingClearly describes issue/praxis that stimulated interest in the research topic. Explicitly defines the parameters of the project and the research goals. Demonstrates keen awareness of underlying theological issues.Presents general information concerning the issue/praxis to be addressed in the paper. Sets basic pattern for the unfolding of the project. Expresses the fundamental theological issues explored in the research.Minimal exposition of the issue/praxis guiding the paper. Boundaries of project ill-defined. Uncertain of theological issues involved.
Quality writingResearch selection represents breadth of recent theological scholarship on topic. Research selections clearly address issue at hand. Research clearly incorporates diverse theological viewpoints/ approaches. Referenced consistently formatted in Turabian style. Minimal unsubstantiated rhetoric.Research selection shows an awareness of recent theological scholarship on the topic. Research choices are generally on point. Research includes some evidence of diverse theological views/approaches. References inconsistently and/or incorrectly formatted. Noticeable unsubstantiated rhetoric.Research selection shows lack of engagement with recent theological scholarship. Choices minimally address topic of paper. Research gives one-sided perspective. No recognizable format for research reference. Principally unsubstantiated rhetoric.
Critical ThinkingResearch applied clearly and insightfully to the issue/praxis in question. Implications of the research explored in relation to project. Conclusions demonstrate depth of reflection on the interplay between theory and praxis in this project. Shows creative thought and expression.Research accurately applied to issue/praxis in question. Implications of research noted in relation to project. Conclusions give some evidence of reflection on the relation between theory and praxis for this project.Research minimally or inaccurately applied to the issue/praxis in question. Minimal evidence of how the research relates to the issue/ praxis in question. Little evidence of reflection on relation between theory and praxis.
Objective 2: Ministerial Authenticity
Effective communicationDemonstrates reflective and attentive communication with others in a consistent mannerMaintains attention to the communication of others and generally responds in a reflective mannerFormulates his/her opinion or argument rather than hearing or responding to that of others
Informed conscienceExhibits a moral conscience and social responsibility based on the teachings of the Gospel and traditionBrings moral and Gospel considerations to bear on most issues and practicesLacks moral sensibilities that cohere with scripture or tradition
Appropriate boundary formationSets appropriate boundaries for ministerial and personal interactions and demonstrates respect for those of othersExhibits some interactions which transgress one’s own personal or ministerial boundaries of or those of another Exhibits considerable confusion about personal and ministerial boundaries and fails to recognize or respect those of others
Respect for the equal dignityListens reflectively, suspends judgment, and speaks intentionally with respect for the equality and dignity of all persons Exhibits some tendency to judge or misconstrue the contributions of others; displays an inclination to value particular perspectives over othersResponds inappropriately and/or judgmentally to the insights of others; display clear biases against particular perspectives
Objective 3: Personal Formation And Identity
Balances responsibilities Recognizes areas of physical, emotional, and psychological strengths and limitations; class interactions demonstrates engagement with readings; submits course assignments when dueIdentifies particular strengths and limitations; class interactions demonstrates awareness of topics under consideration; submits course assignments late or incompleteResists assessment and recognition of personal strengths and limitations; demonstrates minimal engagement with course content; fails to submit course assignments
Articulate ministerial identityDiscerns and identifies a vocation to ministerial life as integral to one’s personal and professional identity Articulates the general contours of a ministerial identity in connection with vocation and with integrity of one’s personExpresses a diffuse ministerial identity; envisions his/her work as a job rather than as a ministry or vocation
Open to constructive critique and affirmationExhibits a willingness to both give and receive coherent and valuable critiques in all situationsExhibits an inclination toward giving and receiving most constructive critiques Exhibits significant resistance to receiving or giving constructive critiques
Objective 4: Spiritual Maturity
Demonstrates spiritual depthEngages the woundedness of the world, the needs of the community, and the vulnerabilities of others in the context of faith Demonstrates a recognition of the vulnerabilities of others and responds to them in the context of faithResists engagement with vulnerabilities and needs of others and accepts little or no responsibility to respond from a faith orientation
Develops resources for ministryIdentifies, assesses, and applies theory and methods of theological education and formation as resources in ministry Identifies connections between theological theory and methods and ministerial life and praxisDeems theological theory and method as of little or no value in his/her ministerial life and praxis
Committed to encounters with Scripture, tradition, and ongoing revelation of GodIdentifies personal and transformative encounters with God in Scripture and tradition; actively seeks to discern revelations of the Divine in unfamiliar or novel waysExhibits awareness of the action of God in his/her personal and ministerial life; remains open to revelations of the Divine in unfamiliar or novel ways Demonstrates an inability to discern personal encounters with God in scripture or tradition; resists revelations of the Divine in unfamiliar ways
Objective 5: Global Consciousness
Theological engagement with diverse cultural and religious traditionsDemonstrates capacity for sound theological engagement with diverse cultural and religious traditions through the effective and insightful application of critical and constructive theological and ministerial knowledge in discussion, research, and reflection.Engages diverse cultural and religious traditions with theological interest; satisfactorily applies insights to theological and ministerial issues. Exhibits reluctance to engage diverse cultural and religious traditions; fails to discern connection between such diversity and theological or ministerial issues.

Measures Of Educational Effectiveness

The measures by which an educational program demonstrates its effectiveness are many and varied. The Master of Arts in Practical Theology and Ministry program at Barry University measures its effectiveness through (1) the number of students who begin the MA program of study and complete it, (2) the percentage of graduates who obtained employment related to their degrees within a year of graduation, and (3) the number of students who have attained the goals of the degree programs, as indicated by successful completion of the MA capstone process of written and oral comprehensives.

Statement of Educational Effectiveness

Between 2007 – 2018

  • 50 students fully matriculated (2 semesters) into the Master of Arts programs at Barry University(MA in Practical Theology and MA in Practical Theology and Ministry).
  • 8 students have been accepted but have not begun coursework.
  • 26 students attained the goals of the degree programs and completed their degree by successful completion of the MA capstone process of written and oral comprehensives.
  • 14 students are in course of study toward the MA in Practical Theology and Ministry.
  • 10 students withdrew from the program.


  • Of those who have graduated from the MA in Practical Theology and MA in Practical Theology and Ministry programs between 2007 – 2018:
    1. 80% minister in a position related to their degree.
    2. 20% have applied to or matriculated into a PhD program.