The Pentecostal/Charismatic and Evangelical movements are among the largest and fastest growing traditions within world Christianity and indeed of any faith, representing on some estimates well over half a billion people. Birmingham has a long-standing tradition of studying these movements ranging back over some 40 years, and remains today a world leader in this field of research. Our specialisms include: Evangelical and Pentecostal/Charismatic history; missiology; doctrine; biblical interpretation; worship; and liturgy.
This course provides an excellent preparation for further research in the field but as a standalone course which will be of interest to: people from within these Christian traditions; those who are fascinated by religious phenomena, growth and development; professionals in social policy, education, politics and economics; and the faith groups who engage regularly with individuals and communities from Evangelical and Pentecostal/Charismatic backgrounds.
To achieve the MA, you will study two core modules and four optional modules, which are assessed by essays. To complete the course, you will also produce a 15,000-word dissertation, which allows plenty of opportunity for you to explore your own specific interests in the field.
To gain a Diploma, you will study six taught modules (as above - two are core, four are optional) and to complete a Certificate-level qualification, you will study three taught modules (two core, one optional).
You will study two core modules:
This module provides an introduction to the study of graduate-level Theology and to research in this field.
History of Evangelicalism and Pentecostalism
This module concentrates on the origins, history and development of Evangelicalism in different parts of the world. There is a particular emphasis on the theological and historical precedents to Pentecostalism in late 19th- and early 20th- century Evangelicalism and the significance of Pentecostalism to global Christianity.
You will also choose four optional modules from a range which typically includes:
Pentecostal/Charismatic Theology in Context
This module examines key theological issues relating to the global Pentecostal and Charismatic movements. Particular attention is given to the subjects of spirituality, mission, culture and society, and globalisation. Contextual and multi-disciplinary approaches to Pentecostal and Charismatic studies will inform the theological reflection.
Contemporary Theology of the Holy Spirit
This module will consider the theological distinctives of contemporary Evangelicalism, tracing their historic roots and practical outworking today.
Evangelical and Pentecostal Approaches to Music and Worship
This module will look at the growth and development of worship in the Evangelical and Pentecostal movements since the 1970s and include consideration of the theology of music and worship and a historical survey, as well as a discussion and analysis of contemporary practice.
Evangelical and Pentecostal Hermeneutics
This module will examine the use of the Bible in the Evangelical and Pentecostal/Charismatic traditions, highlighting similarities and differences between their approaches to and appropriation of the biblical text.
World Christianity in the 20th Century
This module studies the enormous changes in the nature and demography of world Christianity from the time of the missionary movement and the Second Evangelical Awakening in the 19th Century to the end of the 20th Century, with particular focus on schisms and denominational histories, including Roman Catholicism, the Protestant churches, non-conformist and evangelical churches, African and Asian independent churches, and Pentecostalism. Attention will also be given to globalisation and the relationship between Christianity and society.
Evangelical Theology in Comparative Perspective
This module will be characterised by the critical and comparative discussion of theological texts which have been written by prominent contemporary theologians from within the broad evangelical tradition. As the title of the module indicates, texts should not be considered in isolation but must be read in critical comparison and dialogue with suitable non-evangelical selections. Students will be expected to select and research texts in order to present a discussion paper during the module. For example, when selecting texts for study, students might choose: a thematic approach, an issues approach, a regional approach, or a biblical/exegetical approach; these demonstrate significant issues for evangelical theology in comparison with non-evangelical readings.
Sociology of Evangelicalism and Pentecostalism
This module studies Evangelicalism and Pentecostalism from a sociological perspective. Attention will be given to the ways in which sociologists conceptualise Evangelicalism and Pentecostalism. It will then examine how sociologists have studied these movements using empirical research methods and social theory for explanations. The beliefs, practices, attitudes, and demographics of Evangelicals and Pentecostals, and the organisations that support the subculture are discussed. Finally, the relationship between global society and Evangelicalism and Pentecostalism will be a particular focus.
Alternatively, you may select up to two of your optional modules from our other distance learning programmes in the School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion – MA Philosophy of Health and Happiness and MA Philosophy of Religion and Ethics. The choice includes:
God, Freedom and the Meaning of Life
Philosophy of Health and Happiness
Philosophy of Cognitive Science