MA in Theology (Community Development and Social Change)

  • Course Title

    MA in Theology (Community Development and Social Change)
  • Length of Study

    1 year (Full Time); 2 to 5 year (Part Time)
  • Start Date(s)

    September 2023
  • Principal Lecturer

    Anna Whitfield
  • Course Accreditation

    University of Manchester

Course Overview

The Master of Arts in Theology (Community Development and Social Change) pathway is aimed at students from a wide range of backgrounds, academic traditions and spiritualities, who have a critical curiosity and a sense of call to both understand and have an impact on their world, through faith based community development.

The programme will offer the opportunity to enjoy a unique learning experience where teachers and fellow learners explore crucial issues of our time, drawing on insights and traditions of theology and community development to develop a deep and grounded analysis of the world, in order to engage in its transformation. We hope future-students will explore new ways to re-see and reimagining their world and their relationship to it and in doing so, develop approaches that help others to re-see and reimagine their own worlds. This spiritual, philosophical, political and practical journey is both deeply personal and intentionally collective.

The Quick Guide

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The pathway is designed to work round your existing work, family, or caring commitments. Over the course of your degree, you will attend six intensive learning sessions in Manchester, supplemented by supported online learning.


The people contributing to the pathway are experts in community development and community organising, theology and social action and practical ways of achieving individual and social change. We will use theory and theology to answer real-life problems experienced in our communities.

  • Anna Whitfield has been involved in youth and community work in Manchester for nearly 25 years. She has worked in statutory, church and voluntary sector spaces and is committed to her neighbours, to disagreeing well and to seeing people flourish.
  • Dr Dave Beck has extensive experience as an educator and practitioner in Community Development, previously creating and leading the successful MA at the University of Glasgow. He is a member of the International Committee of the Community Development Society and his book Community Development for Social Change is a key text for anyone wanting to engage with ideas of community flourishing.


We value participation and group-learning and therefore your current experience and knowledge will help shape how the pathway runs. Peer-learning groups will support your learning throughout your degree.


You will study theological ideas and social theories which will enable you
consider your role in the transformation of our world and how different ways of thinking and acting might enhance that.

Nazarene Theological College is an approved partner of The University of Manchester, delivering programmes developed by Nazarene Theological College, approved by and leading to an award of the University of Manchester.


Students will receive a minimum of 180 credits while on this course.

Modules & Placements

You will choose three core units, plus another unit from across our MA options. You will be required to write your dissertation in the area of Community Development and Social Change.

Core Units

Theological Foundations for Understanding & Practicing Community (ST7701) and The Kingdom of God, Power, & Social Change (ST7702) and Theories and Theologies of Change (ST7703)

Pathway Units

  • Research Methods & Literature Review (AS7595)
  • Models of Theological Reflection (PT7620)
  • Leadership & Change (PT7631)
  • Community Engagement: Building Communities of Shalom (ST7680)
  • Independent Study (ST7660)
  • Re-Imagining the World: Transformational Learning towards Social Change (ST7704)

Full List of Options

Entry Requirements

Honours degree in a relevant subject

Candidates for the Master of Arts degree must normally have a good honours degree in a relevant subject to be admitted to the course.

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Those who hold a good honours degree in a non-theological discipline may be asked to complete NTC’s pre-MA foundational course as a bridge into the MA in Theology (Community Development and Social Change). Students are referred onto this programme as part of the MA in Theology (Community Development and Social Change) admissions process.

Those who do not have the formal qualifications necessary to gain entry directly on to the MA courses are able to apply to the Postgraduate Diploma or Certificate. The Diploma is identical to the MA in all aspects except that the PGDip does not require the completion of a dissertation and it does not require the same standards of achievement. The Postgraduate Certificate requires completion of TWO taught units (60 credits) including required unit(s), does not require the completion of a dissertation and it does not require the same standards of achievement. Students who wish to progress on to complete the MA may do so, provided they have performed at the required level.

Non-graduates may be admitted to the PG Certificate on the basis of academic work or a combination of academic and prior experiential learning which indicates that they have reached the level of academic standing equivalent to a graduate. Students who wish to be considered under these provisions should apply to the college for evaluation of their previous experience. In such cases, they may be accepted at the discretion of the Academic Board provided that in addition to the normal requirements of the course of study they attend such course units, prior to the commencement of the PG course, and complete such examinations as may be prescribed by the Academic Board in each case.

Proficiency in English

All teaching at the College is conducted in English but we welcome International Students  from around the world.

Applicants whose first language is not English need to demonstrate proficiency in English by completing an IELTS test with acceptable scores.

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If you are a candidate for a postgraduate course, you will need a minimum IEL TS score of 6.5, or its equivalent, overall. You are responsible for arranging to take the appropriate test and for submitting the documentary evidence.

Fees & Funding

Course Fees: £8,562 per year (UK) / £13,058 per year (non UK). This fee is split pro rata for part time study.
The College is supported by gifts and donations from Churches and from individual donors, and this allows student fees to be set at a competitive rate.

Read more about Fees & Funding