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Academic Programs: Master of Theological Studies
The Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) is a basic, flexible, individualized program of study that provides theological education for purposes other than the practice of the ordained ministry of word, sacraments, and order.
It is specifically designed for persons who desire such education for their personal enrichment and growth, for relevant and meaningful engagement in other ministries of the church or other professions, or as a foundation for further graduate theological studies.
In Track I the program may be completed in a minimum of two or a maximum of five years; in Track II it may be completed in a minimum of three and a maximum of seven years.
The M.T.S. Degree is awarded upon the satisfactory completion of 60 credit hours distributed among required courses, a writing component, elective courses in an area of concentration, and other elective courses, as described in the chapter on "Curricula and Courses". According to the number of credits earned, students in the M.T.S. program are classified as follows:
Junior - a student having completed fewer than 30 semester hours.
Senior - a student having completed 30, but fewer than the 60 semester hours.
There are six areas of concentration in the M.T.S. program: Biblical Studies, History of Christianity, Theology, Christian Education, Pastoral Care and Religion and Society. The electives are not to include courses in the following subject areas: Worship and Hymnology, Preaching, Supervised Ministry, the Church Revitalized (except for majors in Religion and Society), Foundations for Ministry (except for majors in Christian Education), and Pastoral Care (except for majors in that area).
Two Tracks in the Master's Programs
The Seminary offers its Master's degree programs in two tracks:
Track I courses are ordinarily offered Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, from 8:10am to 6:00pm.
Track II courses are ordinarily offered on Fridays from 6:00pm to 11:00pm, and on Saturdays from 8:00am to 4:00pm.
Track II is a flexible arrangement which makes it possible for mature, working, and commuting students to pursue graduate degrees without severely disrupting their obligations to family and careers. The courses offered in this track are usually taught by the regular faculty of the Seminary, and meet the same high academic standards as the courses taught in Track I.
Students enrolled in either track may take courses in the other track, providing they take the majority of courses in the track in which they are registered, and that the total number of credits to be attempted in both tracks in a semester does not exceed a maximum of 15 semester hours. Track II students in their first semester may not exceed a maximum of 9 semester hours. Permission must be obtained from the Dean to exceed that maximum.
Curricula and Courses in the Master's Programs
The curricula of the M.Div. and M.T.S. programs consist of three components. The first component is a series of required courses, which insure that all students in each program have the same broad foundation on which to build. The second component is elective courses. Students, in consultation with their advisors, may select courses that will allow them to pursue areas of particular interest and/or gain skill areas where they are weak. Third is a research/synthesis component, which consist of either a theology of ministry paper or a thesis. Students should consult with their advisors to determine which option is best suited for them.
Courses in the master's programs are divided into five areas, according to subject matter: Biblical Studies, History of Christianity, Theology and Ethics, Religion and Society, and Pastoral Theology.
Total Credit Hours Required for Graduation 60
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