Faculty talking on stairway

Message from the Chair

Matthew headshot

I am thrilled you are exploring the Department of Practical Theology at Azusa Pacific University through our website. We are convinced that all Christians are called to partner with God’s ongoing mission in the world in whatever geographical, social, or professional settings they inhabit. Therefore, we desire to create undergraduate programs that assist in preparing students to minister effectively in a variety of settings including traditional church ministries, parachurch ministries, nonprofit organizations, and everyday vocational settings.

The Department of Practical Theology offers two majors and four minors. Students can pursue a major in Christian Ministries or Youth and Family Ministries. We have developed both of these programs around a number of core courses we believe are important for all of our majors to experience, courses that seek to enhance students’ abilities related to key perspectives and practices required for effective ministry, including theological reflection, leadership, written and verbal communication, and personal and cultural awareness. In addition, we have developed four courses suited to the demands that students will encounter in settings related to each of these programs. Each student will also choose one of a number of 12-unit concentrations in order to customize their educational experience to fit their personal ministry interests. These concentrations include church and pastoral ministries, intercultural Christian ministries, ministry in urban and social service contexts, sports ministry, and youth outreach and discipleship.

Our department also offers minors in Christian ministries and youth and family ministries. We have crafted these minors in such a way that students who have decided to major in another academic discipline but desire to be involved in ministry in some fashion are introduced to key concepts and practices that will assist them in ministering in a variety of contexts.

Each of the courses offered by our department is taught by our qualified full-time and adjunct faculty, who have ministerial experience and academic expertise in a variety of relevant fields. They are also committed to helping each student discern God’s unique call on their life as they mature personally, intellectually, spiritually, and socially while at Azusa Pacific.

If you have any questions regarding our academic programs, our faculty, or the university after reviewing our website, I would be happy to discuss them with you. Please do not hesitate to contact me via phone or email. I look forward to the possibility of partnering with you as you endeavor to discover your role in God’s mission in our world.

Matthew Elofson, PhD
Chair and Professor, Department of Practical Theology

Note: This information is current for the 2023-24 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.