Combined Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy Program Details

This Fast Track program reduces the time which would be required if the Master’s and Ph.D. degree programs were earned separately. The program allows a portion of the Master’s curriculum to transfer into the Ph.D. thesis, reducing the minimum number of words required.

To Earn the Master of Arts

This program has been designed to provide you with a comprehensive Biblical education in an accelerated online four-module educational format. The 32 credit hour requirement for the Master of Arts portion of the Fast Track Combined M.A./Ph.D. program are fulfilled by completing four projects in the Major Concentration of your choosing. 

Atlantic Coast offers a Master of Arts Degree in:

  • Biblical Studies
  • Christian Counseling
  • Pastoral Ministry
  • Theology

Each M.A. Concentration contains courses which require Projects related to two textbook and audio lectures which will be located in the Online Resource Room . The audio lectures are also available for personal ministry use. In addition to the courses in the Concentration, there is a Master of Arts Summative Examination. This is a written summation of the learning experience in the M.A. concentration, and is to include how this M.A. experience will be applied by the graduate in life and ministry.

Sample M.A. Program Syllabus:

Project One

Create a two-level annotated outline for the two textbooks that detail what you consider to be the most important elements or sections in the book.

Project Two

Write a Review Essay for each textbook. Your Review Essays should be not less than 750 words each. 

Project Three

Write a Response (reaction) Essay for each textbook. These should be not less than 750 words.

Project Four

Use at least 300 words to describe your learning experience in the course. Include how you will use what you have learned in your professional and/or personal life.

Summative Examination

The Summative Exam is an “open book” summation of your learning experience in the M.A. degree program. Using your textbook outlines, essays, and notes from the audio lectures, write a summation of your educational experience in no less than 1,500 words.

To Earn the Ph.D. 

Atlantic Coast Theological Seminary has adopted the British Model for the awarding of the Ph.D. degree. British Universities award the Ph.D. on the basis of an acceptable thesis. At universities in the U.K., the term thesis is usually associated with the Ph.D. (doctoral) and research Master’s degrees. The term dissertation is the more common title for a substantial writing project submitted as part of a Master’s degree.  The British Model Ph.D. requires only the thesis as described below.


The thesis shall be written in the English language.


The thesis shall be not less than 125 pages, exclusive of Abstract, Table of Contents, list of tables and illustrative material.

Preliminary Page

The first five preliminary pages must be the Title Page, Abstract, Dedication and Acknowledgements, Author’s Declaration and Table of Contents. These should be single-sided.

Title Page

At the top of the title page, within the margins, the thesis should give the title and, if necessary, sub-title and volume number. The full name of the author should be in the center of the page. At the bottom center should be the words “A thesis submitted to Atlantic Coast Theological Seminary in accordance with the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, and month and year of submission.


Each copy must include an abstract or summary of the thesis in not more than 500 words, on one side, which should be single spaced in a font size between 10 and 12.

Author’s Declaration

A signed declaration is required, stating how much of the work contained in the thesis is the candidate’s own work and how much of it has been conducted in collaboration with, or with the assistance of, others.

Table of Contents, List of Tables, and Illustrative Material

The table of contents must list, with page numbers, all chapters, sections and subsections, the list of references, bibliography, list of abbreviations and appendices. The list of tables and illustrations should follow the table of contents, listing with page numbers the tables, photographs, diagrams etc. in the order in which they appear in the text. 

How Long Should it Take to Write Your Thesis?

The answer: not as long as you think. Most of the time academics confuse time with quality. When a project takes a long time, it’s almost always believed to be more valuable than one completed more quickly.

Most theses can be completed in six months or less, with two exceptions. The first (and most obvious) exception is when your study will require data collection or longitudinal research over a long period of time. For example, if your research design requires observation over a one year period, you won’t be able to complete the thesis in six months. The second exception is if you do not work on your thesis consistently.

These program objectives are in compliance with the federal government administration’s request to educational institutions to develop Fast Track degree programs which will place qualified persons into the workplace more rapidly than outdated traditional programs. We believe this also applies to ministry.

The Atlantic Coast Mission is to provide you with the courses, technology, and academic support to ensure that you obtain the specific knowledge, skills, and credentials to maximize your potential for the demands of the 21st Century.