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Key routes to a degree:

Programs > MTh in the Independent Sacramental Movement

Master of Theology in the Independent Sacramental Movement

Related links
>>Arnold Harris Mathew Center for the Study of the Independent Sacramental Movement

Routes to the degree

The MTh is available via the following routes:

>>Taught coursework (see below)
>>APEL plus dissertation/project
>>Community-based learning (projects)

Taught coursework route

1. Introduction
Thank you for your interest in the European-American University Master of Theology in the Independent Sacramental Movement program. The program is designed to be completed within twenty-two months by a student devoting ten to twelve hours a week, working by distance learning.

The program is outlined below, but individual details may be varied on the initiative of the Mentor and/or student, always subject to ratification by the University. In principle, the aim is to provide a fully bespoke, individualized learning experience that takes into account the particular strengths, interests and previous learning of the student, and thus offers a flexible but rigorous route to the degree.

The program currently consists of six modules, listed below with their main topics.

A. History of the Independent Sacramental Movement
Origins in Old Catholicism, Anglicanism, Orthodoxy and ICAN, among others. The Apostolic Succession. The Order of Corporate Reunion. Moss.

B. The Independent Sacramental Movement in the Twentieth-Century
Anglican reactions: Brandreth, Anson. Esotericists: Keizer. Plummer The Many Paths. Persson.

C. Theology of the Independent Sacramental Movement
Study of the diverse theologies that make up the ISM. Traditionalist Catholics and sedevacantists. Controversies of Vatican II. Understandings of the Apostolic Succession and sacramental validity. Liturgy: Mathew, Leadbeater, Church of Antioch (Spruit). Devotional works: Queen.

D. Philosophy of the Independent Sacramental Movement
Philosophical perspectives on the role of the ISM in ecumenical and other contexts. Validity of the ISM as a movement. Reasons for the current form of the ISM and parallels in the early Church.

E. Key figures in the Independent Sacramental Movement
Study of key clergy within the ISM. Mathew, Leadbeater, Matthews, Summers, Mar Georgius, Spruit, Itkin and others. 

F. A Dissertation Topic

2. Aims and objectives
The program is aimed at the ordained or layperson, whether or not a member of the Independent Sacramental Movement, who desires to understand the origins, philosophy and faith that has brought about the ISM. It offers the opportunity to assess all the important strands that have contributed to the movement, without being exclusively devoted to the point of view of any one of the present-day churches that make that movement up. It will produce scholars with an in-depth understanding of the ISM that would be useful for prospective ordinands or those in the early stages of a ministerial vocation, as well as those from other backgrounds who seek to relate to members of the ISM in a meaningful and respectful way.

3. Methods of delivery
The delivery of the teaching for the course is by distance learning. Students will be assigned a Mentor who will be a practitioner in the field and/or an established academic. They will work out the exact details of what is to be studied and how this will be assessed in co-operation with the Mentor with this learning contract then ratified by the University. In most cases, students will communicate with their Mentor via electronic communications (e-mail, fax) although some Mentors prefer to work via postal mail, and many will also offer telephone support.

4. Course materials
The chosen methods of learning are designed to offer the student the maximum of flexibility and scope in tackling the program.

The individualized nature of the program means that traditional course materials in the form of structured course notes are rarely appropriate or practical, although it is hoped that where possible, Mentors will make their notes on particular topics available to the student. Students are, of course, responsible for creating their own course notes based on their reading and related work.

Most work within the program will consist of directed readings from key texts selected by the Mentor. The student will be responsible for obtaining books, which are not included in the tuition fees, although both the Mentor and the University will endeavor to assist in the event of any difficulty in obtaining books. The Mentor will set regular assignments based on the directed reading, most of which will be in the form of an essay or paper. Mentors will also provide guidance on background reading for each topic.

5. Entry requirements
The usual minimum requirements for entry to the course are as follows:

Completion of a first degree or an equivalent theological qualification. In some cases completion of the requirements for ordination will be taken in lieu of a first degree.

Candidates will normally have attained the age of twenty-eight years. All candidates will be expected to show a proficiency in the English language.

It is a key principle of the University that each application should be considered on its own merits, and admission to the course and all interpretations as to the eligibility for such admission remain at the discretion of the University.