Minister-Author-Scholar-Teacher (MAST) Program

The Minister-Author-Scholar-Teacher (MAST) Program is an innovative two-year program that teaches future religious leaders how to research, create and market media for their church and their communities. Participants receive instruction, training and resources to help them discover how to reach out through “alternative” pulpits like books, blogs, film and music.

Each semester, students take part in activities designed to develop their creative processes and business skills, such as discussions with authors and bloggers, sessions with video producers and podcasters, and meetings with literary agents.

Students also can also improve their creative skills by taking classes at other schools at SMU, such as audio or video production or marketing and advertising at the Meadows School of the Arts; courses in various genres of writing in Dedman College; and pedagogy and curriculum development in the Simmons School of Education.

During the second year of the program, students participate in a capstone course in which they develop their own creative project with the goal of publication.


A limited number of incoming master’s-degree students are accepted into the MAST program each year. To be considered for the program, students must be simultaneously accepted into a Perkin’s master’s degree program and have a cumulative 3.5 GPA in their undergraduate degree. They must also submit:

  • A formal letter of interest explaining the student’s sense of vocation as relates to the production of writing and/or other genres of creative media
  • A sample of their creative work (writing or other media) for review

Once accepted, students must maintain a full-time course load (12 credit hours per semester) and a cumulative GPA of 3.5 at SMU. The use of travel funds and participation in the capstone course also are conditional on participation in MAST events (currently offered on the Dallas campus only).

More About MAST

For more information about the MAST program, contact Ted Campbell, director of the MAST program, at 214-768-4885 or email

Read More About MAST