Master of Theological Studies Requirements

Requirements: The Master of Theological Studies requires 48 semester hours (SH) of elective and required courses, with a cumulative grade point average of 2.7.

The time to complete a degree depends on the number of hours taken each semester. Students taking twelve credits per semester can complete the degree in two years, while those carrying lighter loads will take longer.  International and domestic students who have completed significant prior graduate coursework or equivalent, including research methods, may apply for a twelve month MTS track with two nine hour semesters of course work and a thesis.  Students have six years in which to complete the Master of Theological Studies degree unless an extension for special circumstances is granted by the Academic Council.

Note: Students focusing in Bible must demonstrate competence in a relevant biblical language. They may substitute biblical language coursework for one of the General Studies courses.

General Studies (27 hours)

Taken from general courses including all Practice of Ministry areas with designation MTS Adaptation Area I, II, or III (each designated course will list which one of the Areas of the MTS that the course will fulfill)., which can be adapted to the M.T.S. student’s practice of critical reflection, research, etc., in consultation with the instructor.

Area 1: Three courses in Scripture and Sacred Tradition (9 hours)

__ 1. Gateway to the Practice of Interpreting the Bible
__ 2. Gateway to the Practice of Interpreting Christian Tradition
__ 3. ________________________________________________

Area II: Theology and Critical Reflection on Practice (9 hours)

__ 1. Gateway to Theological Reflection
__ 2. ________________________________________________
__ 3. ________________________________________________

Area III: Society, Religion, and Culture (9 hours)

__ 1. Engages a Non Christian Religion, such as Judaism, World Religions, Jewish/Christian Dialogue, Islam, Religious Pluralism, Yoga, Yoga and Spirituality, etc.
__ 2. Engages a Secular Approach, such as art, philosophy, science, ethics, psychology, etc.
__ 3. ________________________________________________

Focused Research (9 hours)

9 hours selected from advanced courses with a view towards identifying a thesis topic and pursuing focused thesis research or project development
__ 1. ________________________________________________
__ 2. ________________________________________________
__ 3. ________________________________________________

Colloquia and Thesis (12 hours)

__ X-820 M.T.S. Colloquium (3 SH)
__ X-821 M.T.S. Colloquium (3 SH)
__ X-825: M.T.S. Thesis /Project (6 SH)

Thesis and Oral Examination

There are two options for fulfilling the final project.

OPTION 1: An M.T.S. student may write a thesis with a clear focus that demonstrates the student’s capacity to do independent research, to work creatively and discerningly with the major materials relevant to the thesis topic, and to write in an appropriate, scholarly and engaging style. The thesis should be at least 50 and no more than 100 typed double-spaced pages.
OPTION 2: An M.T.S. student may create a final integrative project as educational presentations, artwork, or a portfolio of interrelated papers written for focus area courses, but these “alternative” formats should include a written statement of at least 10 pages and not more than 25 pages demonstrating an integrated understanding of focus area issues.
In all cases, the student will present the project to the advisor and two other faculty members, who will, on the basis of an oral conversation with the student about the project, assign the grade for it.
  • At least four weeks prior to the end of the semester the student must submit a final draft to the advisor for final critique and decision as to whether to recommend the thesis to committee.
  • At least two weeks prior to the end of the semester three copies must be submitted to the thesis/ project committee.
  • Two copies for the library must be submitted to the Academic Deans Office by the day graduate grades are due.