The Master's University

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The Master's University
The Master's College
Type Private
Established 1927
Affiliation Grace Community Church (Non-denominational Evangelical Christian)
President John F. MacArthur
Academic staff
Students 1,198
Undergraduates 952 (+154 degree completion)
Postgraduates 92 (+375 seminary)
Location Santa Clarita, California, United States
Campus Suburban (LA County)
Colors Gold and navy blue         
Athletics 12 Varsity teams
Nickname Mustangs
Mascot Monty the Mustang
Affiliations Golden State Athletic Conference

The Master's University is a non-denominational, conservative Christian liberal arts university located in Santa Clarita, California, United States. The university upholds its motto "For Christ and Scripture" by offering undergraduate, graduate, online, and degree completion programs in 58 fields of study from a biblical perspective.

The Master's University, formerly known as Los Angeles Baptist College and The Master's College, was founded in 1927. Currently under the leadership of John F. MacArthur, the university employs more than 75 faculty members[1] and enrolls an average of 1,100 students attends each semester.[2]

Theology and doctrine[edit]

The Master's University seeks to empower students for a life of enduring commitment to Christ, biblical fidelity, moral integrity, intellectual growth and lasting contribution to the kingdom of God.[3] The faculty, staff and administration are all required to hold to a literal interpretation of the Bible, salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, and a six-day creation model.

According to their doctrinal statement[4] they teach that...

  • The Bible is God's written revelation to man, and thus the 66 books of the Bible given by the Holy Spirit constitute the inspired Word of God.
  • There is one living and true God, an infinite, all-knowing Spirit, perfect in all His attributes, one in essence, eternally existing in three Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  • God's intention in the creation of man was that man should glorify God, enjoy God's fellowship, and live his life in the will of God, but that Adam sinned, incurring the penalty of spiritual and physical death, so that all of humanity became inherently corrupt and subject to the wrath of God.
  • Salvation is wholly of God by grace on the basis of the redemption of Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood, and not on the basis of human merit or works.
  • Physical death involves no loss of immaterial consciousness, that the soul of the redeemed passes immediately into the presence of Christ, that there is a separation of soul and body, and that, for the redeemed, such separation will continue until the rapture, which initiates the first resurrection, when our soul and body will be reunited to be glorified forever with our Lord.
  • The resurrection of the unsaved dead to judgment will be a physical resurrection, whereupon receiving their judgment, they will be committed to an eternal conscious punishment in the lake of fire.


The Master’s University began as Los Angeles Baptist Theological Seminary in 1927, under its first president Dr. William Matthews. The first 24 students met for classes in Calvary Baptist Church in L.A. Moving from location to location in the Los Angeles area, LABTS steadily grew in size.[5] Renamed Los Angeles Baptist College, the school moved to Newhall, California with 50 students in 1961 and purchased Happy Jack's Dude Ranch, a 27-acre property in Placerita Canyon.[6] It was associated with the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches.

In 1985, John MacArthur succeeded fourth president Dr. John Dunkin and changed the name of the school to The Master's College. During MacArthur's tenure, TMC experienced strong student population growth. It also expanded athletics, graduate degree, missions and study abroad programs. In 2016, the TMC board of directors approved plans to change the name of the school to The Master's University upon the approval of accrediting agencies. The name was officially changed in August 2016.[7]


An aerial view of The Master's College campus.
The Master's College Campus


As a liberal arts university, TMU offers 13 majors with 58 emphases or specific areas of study, toward a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Music degree.[8]

The Department of Biblical Studies stresses the understanding, interpretation, and application of biblical literature. Students are prepared for ministry as teachers, missionaries, church leaders, and other ministering personnel. Seven emphases are offered: Bible General, Bible Exposition, Biblical Counseling, Biblical Languages, Christian Education, Intercultural Studies, and Theology.[9]

The Department of Business focuses on the fundamentals of management theory together with the “tools” used by modern management practitioners. Students will apply the lessons learned to contemporary management situations and be encouraged to develop an appetite for contemporary literature in the dynamic field of business administration. Nine Business emphases are available: Accounting, Christian Ministries Administration, Finance, International Business, Management, Management Information Systems, Marketing, Pre-law, and Public Relations.[10]

The goal of the Department of Communication is to help students gain a biblical philosophy of communication in a spiritually challenging environment, as well as the skills necessary to turn their passions into careers that compete on the highest level of excellence. Three emphases are offered: Print Media, Electronic Media, and Speech Communication.[11]

The Department of Computer and Information Sciences instructs students in the theory and practice of computers, software, hardware, networks, databases, the Web, and more. Students may choose between two emphases: Computer Science and Information Systems. A CIS degree helps prepare students for any of a number of careers, including computer programming, web design, network administration, systems analysis, data processing management, and teaching.[12]

The Department of English regards the study of language and literature as central to a Christian liberal arts education and offers a primarily traditional curriculum. Courses examine critical theory, and the faculty employ a variety of methodologies in literary analysis, while favoring a historical and exegetical approach.[13]

The Department of History and Political Studies is designed to help students develop an understanding of the complex factors that have produced the civilizations of the present and also aid students in becoming responsible Christian citizens. Those majoring in History may choose from two emphases: General History or Church History. Those majoring in Political Studies may choose from three emphases: American Politics, Political Theory, and Constitutional Law.[14]

The Department of Home Economics – Family and Consumer Sciences bases its program on Titus 2:3-5 and seeks to raise up women who exercise good time management, manage the family finances, cook nutritious meals, practice hospitality, joyfully submit to their husbands, and raise their children in the "fear and admonition of the Lord." Emphases include Business, Clothing and Textiles, Food and Nutrition, Early Childhood Education, International Service, and Human Services.[15]

Through the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, students can study important principles for a successful career and effective ministry in elementary and secondary schools (both public and private) and areas of allied health careers. Three emphases are offered: Teaching and Coaching, Sports Injury Studies, and Pre-Physical Therapy.[16]

The Liberal Studies major is designed to offer the student a broad, interdisciplinary program of study, the epitome of the liberal arts education. Two emphases are available to Liberal Studies majors: General and Teacher Education.[17]

Department of Mathematics coursework is designed to provide a strong foundational core curriculum for the student interested in pursuing graduate study and to offer students the opportunity for preparation in fields relating to applied mathematics, such as statistics and teaching. Students can major in one of three emphases: Pure Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, and Mathematics Education.[18]

The Department of Music is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. Having close to 100 students, the department is large enough to provide performance opportunities in state-of-the-art facilities and small enough to grant individual attention and a variety of experiences. Two bachelor's degrees are offered, a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Bachelor of Music, which requires an audition.[19] In the B.A. program, students can choose from four emphases: Audio Technology, Biblical Studies, Communication, and Youth Ministry. In the B.M. program, students can choose from seven emphases: Composition, Instrumental Performance, Piano Performance, Piano Pedagogy, Vocal Performance, Music Education, and Worship Music Ministries.[20]

Students wanting to obtain a California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential may enroll in the Liberal Studies/Teacher Education emphasis. It has been developed to meet the multiple-subject program requirements of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Requirements for this emphasis include specific general education courses as well as courses selected from various disciplines taught in the elementary classroom.[21]

The Department of Biological and Physical Sciences spans the disciplines of Biology, Zoology, Botany, Chemistry, Physics and Earth and Physical Science. The department seeks to produce in students the ability to carefully analyze any area of knowledge that intersects these diverse disciplines. Emphases include Biology, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Natural History/Environmental Biology, and Pre-Medical/Pre-Dentistry.[22]


The Master’s College offers two Master of Arts programs, in addition to a California Teaching Credential Program.

The Master of Arts in Biblical Studies is designed for those who want to increase their knowledge of the Bible but are not able to attend traditional semester-oriented courses. Typical participants include church elders, deacons, deaconesses, women's ministry workers, etc. Core classes are offered in the summer so that students can maintain their full-time jobs, yet take time off in the summer to study.[23]

Students in the Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling program will study the principles and aspects of biblical counseling. The degree is designed to prepare counselors to meet counseling-related needs wherever they exist with the resources provided in the Bible.[9] The content of the courses emphasizes the practical skills of counseling without neglecting the solid biblical foundation on which these skills are built.[24]

The Master's College is authorized to recommend candidates for both Multiple and Single Subject Preliminary teaching credentials. As a faith-based institution, TMC believes that the purpose of the credential program is to enable students to become excellent teachers who integrate faith into teaching, learning, and living.[25]

Degree Completion[edit]

The Degree Completion Program is available to working adults, 25 years or older, who have some college credit and would like to complete their bachelor's degree in a non-traditional, accelerated format. Degrees are offered in Biblical Counseling, Christian Ministries, and Organizational Management and can be completed in as little as 20 months, provided the student has adequate transfer units. Each course meets one evening a week from 6-10 p.m. and lasts eight weeks or less.[26] Students needing to complete General Education requirements can do so through on-campus classes, online classes, or the College Level Examination Program (CLEP).[27]

TMC Online[edit]

The Master’s College Online offers a number of general education and Bible courses in an 8-week accelerated format. Video lectures are the core of the content delivery and are supplemented by carefully selected textbooks which support a Christ-focused education. There are several methods that students use to interact with other classmates and the professor. Flexibility and convenience are the top reasons students choose online learning. Classes are available to undergraduate students, high school students, or anyone seeking biblical enrichment.[28]

Study abroad[edit]

Israel Bible Extension[edit]

The Israel Bible Extension program, called IBEX, is The Master's College study abroad program in the Jerusalem vicinity. IBEX provides a laboratory experience for students who want to study the Bible in the land of the Bible. During this 15-week semester abroad program, students earn 13-16 credits toward general education requirements. In addition to the semester-abroad program, other short term programs are available.[29]

Cooperative Programs[edit]

Study abroad programs provide students with numerous opportunities for off-campus learning, locally, nationally and internationally.[30] Programs include the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies and the American Bavarian Exchange.[31]


The Master's College Athletic Department, under the leadership of Director Steve Waldeck, comprises 12 men’s and women’s teams and more than 150 student-athletes. Nicknamed the "Mustangs," the Athletic Department belongs to the Golden State Athletic Conference and is associated with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, Division I, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association as an Associate Member.[32]



The Administration of The Master's College is housed in three buildings on the Main Campus. Rutherford Hall includes the offices of the President and Vice President, Admissions, and Financial Aid, in addition to the Legacy Center, which holds first editions of many of John MacArthur’s books and archival exhibits from the history of the college. Vider Hall houses the Accounting and Registrar’s offices. King Hall includes the offices of Student Life and Campus Ministries.[44]


The majority of classes take place on the North Campus of The Master's College, at the corner of Quigley Canyon Road and Placeritos Boulevard in Placerita Canyon. North Campus includes the Biblical Studies Center, Music Center, English & History Center, and Business & Teacher Education Center. The Reese Center for Science and Mathematics is located on the Main Campus.[45]

Research and study[edit]

The Powell Library, connected to Rutherford Hall by the Legacy Center, offers students a quiet place to study. Computers, a print center, and reserved study carrels are available, in addition to the library’s extensive print and online resources.[46]

Residence halls[edit]

The Master’s College houses students in six residence halls. Dixon Hall and Sweazy Hall are reserved for female students. Waldock Hall and Slight Hall are reserved for male students. Hotchkiss Hall and Smith Hall, more commonly known as "CDUB" by students and staff, house both male and female students on opposite wings, separated by a common lounge. Each room houses two students and is furnished with a bed, closet, desk and storage space for each occupant. In Slight Hall, the rooms are larger and more like apartments; they house five students each.[47]


TMC’s main cafeteria, the Mustang Grill is open seven days a week, excluding school holidays, and offers students daily made-from-scratch meals and a fresh salad bar, including vegetarian and gluten-free options.[48] The Canyon Café serves Starbucks coffee and a number of snacks and to-go meals, such as salads, burritos and breakfast sandwiches.[49]

Student life[edit]

The Student Life Department exists to facilitate the education outside of the classroom. The department desires to maintain an atmosphere conducive to the development of spiritual maturity and discernment in relationships within the residence halls, serving in the local church, and ministering the gospel world-wide. Because each student who comes to The Master’s College professes faith in Jesus Christ, Student Life expects students to grow in that faith through the work of the Holy Spirit.[50]

Student advancement[edit]

The Master’s College opens its doors to students from many different backgrounds. The Office of Student Advancement provides a variety of services for students from multicultural, international and military backgrounds, including the following: orientation to assist in transition to life at The Master’s College, financial aid and admissions counseling, social activities, service opportunities, academic counseling, vocational planning, and discipleship.[51]

Global Outreach[edit]

Global Outreach or “GO” is TMC’s summer missions program. Every summer, the college sends teams of students (and sometimes faculty and staff) to cities around the world to evangelize, participate in service projects, and encourage local missionaries.[52] Past teams have traveled to places such as India, Brazil, Taiwan, Uganda and Thailand.[53]

Servant Leadership Staff[edit]

Student Life believes that biblical community on campus is initiated and modeled by its students. The mission of TMC as defined in the doctrinal statement is fleshed out in the context of a life-on-life community. Servant Leadership Staff provides an opportunity for various students to serve in specific ministry capacities both on and off campus. These opportunities include service as a member of the Associated Student Body, as a Global Outreach missions team leader, as a local church ministry team leader, as an International Assistant, as a Commuter Assistant, or as a Resident Assistant, Assistant Resident Assistant, Dorm Representative, or Senior Dorm Representative in one of the residence halls.[54]

Accreditation and memberships[edit]

The Master’s College is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education.[55] The Music Department has an additional accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music.

TMC is a member of several other organizations: the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, the Association of Christian Schools International, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and the Association on Higher Education and Disability.

Formerly a member of the CCCU,[56] The Master's College withdrew from the CCCU on November 3, 2015, due to its "concerns about the direction of the CCCU" on issues such as Creation and Evolution and same-sex marriage.[57]

Through the leadership of John MacArthur, TMC is also involved with several organizations connected to his ministry: Grace Community Church, Grace Books International, Grace to You Ministries, The Master’s Academy International, and The Master's Seminary.[58]


The Master's College has received recognition from several respected news agencies in their annual college rankings. For 16 consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has ranked TMC in the "First Tier" of Western Regional Colleges, as part of their "America’s Best Colleges" rankings.[59]

In 2014, Forbes also ranked TMC in the top half out of 650 schools.[60]


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