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Program Details

Master of Arts

The Master of Arts in Gerontology at Bethel equips professionals to become well-trained gerontologists who provide the services and leadership to respond to the needs of and to bring hope and fulfillment to our society’s older adults.

Face to Face

Face to Face Evening

You'll meet during the evening at one of our convenient locations.

Location: St. Paul

Start Dates: Fall 2017

Total Credits


Approximate Program Length

20 months


  • Health and Aging (GRTG605)

    Examination of health as shalom, well-being, or wholeness. Normal physical, psychological, and spiritual changes of aging will be addressed. Identification of ways to promote healthy aging and common health concerns of the elderly.

    3 credits

  • Adult Development and Aging (GRTG610)

    In-depth understanding of the developmental processes related to aging from a psychosocial perspective. Learners explore age-change theories and human adaptations in terms of mental health, personality stability, sensory aging related to cognitive processes, learning, and social cognition. Discussion of relationship issues, gender roles, death and bereavement, occupational patterns, retirement, and leisure.

    3 credits

  • Aging and Diversity: Class, Gender, and Ethnicity (GRTG615)

    Exploration of the meaning of diversity, broadly defined to include differences in types of community, housing, ethnicity, physical status, and age, and examination of this range of diversity as it applies to the field and practice of gerontology.

    3 credits

  • Spirituality and Aging (GRTG620)

    Issues such as meaning (and loss of meaning), grief, ambiguous loss, virtue ethics, and wisdom as they relate to aging persons. Examination of ethnic and gender influences on the experience of spirituality in the aging process from a cross-cultural perspective. Models of assessment of spiritual needs will be presented.

    3 credits

  • Policy Issues in Aging (GRTG640)

    Major public policies and programs benefitting older persons. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Older Americans Act. Evolving federal, state, local, and individual roles. How laws play out in community. Differential impact of policy proposals on elderly populations, with reference to sex, race, class, and urban/rural differences. Strategies and tactics to influence development of public policy.

    3 credits

  • Leadership and Program Management (GRTG645)

    Review of leadership and management styles. Styles identified will be applied to various current and potential positions in the field of gerontology.

    3 credits

  • Project Design and Management (GRTG650)

    Preparation of a detailed project proposal for work to be done during a practicum. Write literature review specifying framework using a theoretical perspective from the field of gerontology. State clear learning goals with realistic expectations of practical results. Obtain approvals from program director and site supervisor.

    3 credits

  • Master's Project and Integrative Seminar (GRTG750)

    Meet regularly with cohort and instructor(s) to share progress on projects and work on final papers, explore professional growth and career development, and investigate issues related to integration of faith with professional and academic aspects of gerontological practice.

    3 credits

  • Thesis Practicum (GRTG790)

    Intensive experience in the field of gerontology. Students design and carry out applied research projects with clearly delineated learning goals that demonstrate mastery over the chosen subject matter and its relationship to the discipline of gerontology. Final thesis paper exhibits scholarly standards of excellence.

    6 credits

  • Ethics (PHIL615)

    Introduction to the basic concepts of ethics and examination of practical applications in the fields of gerontology and gerontological practice in a wide range of settings.

    3 credits

  • Social Gerontology (SOCS600)

    Study of the aging process. Focus is on how larger social and cultural contexts shape aging processes and how, in turn, these shape the societies and cultures in which they occur. Particular focus is on developing a holistic understanding of aging.

    3 credits

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