Master of Theological Studies (MTS)

Build a strong academic foundation for graduate-level research, professional enhancement, or personal enrichment


The Master of Theological Studies (MTS) program provides the background for preparation for the doctoral study of religion. It can also be combined with another professional degree to provide the foundation for a career in religious leadership in a variety of ministry settings. This two-year degree program allows for specialization in a chosen area of research and a thesis or project that reflects your vocational goals. In addition, MTS students come from all over the world to form an exciting and diverse classroom experience.

I was compelled to seminary by the theological questions that the world and my own experience have raised. Who is God for us today? What does God have to do with Jesus Christ? And what does this mean for the communities that we live in? … Seminary opens up the opportunity to ask these questions critically, courageously, with curiosity, and in community.


Colton Bernasol, MTS

The MTS program was more than just an academic program. It was an avenue through which I encountered the unique possibilities granted through a community of encouragement and affirmation, whether through peers, mentors, or even the primary sources themselves!


Jessica Lee (G-ETS 2020)

The strength of the MTS program is the professors at Garrett, who profoundly affected my thinking on God’s nature and God’s relationship with God’s people. They challenged, guided and encouraged deeper theological thought.


LeAnn Pedersen Pope (G-ETS 2020)

Degree Requirements


The Master of Theological Studies degree is a 54-credit hour program with at least 15-credit hours being designated for the student’s area of specialization.


4 Christian Tradition in Scripture and History Courses (12-credit hours)

    • Introduction to Hebrew Bible
    • Introduction to New Testament
    • History of Christian Thought & Practice 1
    • History of Christian Thought and Practice 2


2 Theology and Ethics Courses (6-credit hours)


2 Theory and Practice of Ministry Courses (6-credit hours)


5 Specialization Courses (15-credit hours)


2 Elective Courses (6-credit hours)

    • Students specializing in Hebrew Bible or New Testament should complete at least one year in either Hebrew or Greek, respectively.


3 Thesis Requirement Courses (9-credit hours)

    • MTS Colloquium, 1st year
    • MTS Colloquium, 2nd year
    • MTS Thesis

MTS Thesis and Colloquium

In addition to coursework, a thesis or project is required for the MTS degree which reflects the student’s academic specialization and their vocational goals. A required component of the thesis project is participation in the MTS Colloquium. The colloquium helps students develop and write their MTS thesis by providing support and resources as well as an academic community for peer feedback.

students talking in the library

Degree Options


The Master of Theological Studies offers six areas of specialization that allow students to pursue rigorous and critical theological study. Students will build a strong academic foundation for future graduate-level research, for professional enhancement, or for personal enrichment.



    • New Testament
    • Hebrew Bible
    • History of Christianity
    • Theology and Ethics
    • Liturgy
    • Religion, Personality, and Culture




Garrett offers courses in a variety of course modalities to meet a variety of scheduling needs. Course options include in-person, online, hybrid, hyflex, and more. While the program is taught by faculty of Garrett, students may also take courses at Northwestern University and at any of the Association of Chicago Theological Schools (ACTS) in the Chicago metropolitan area.

Diverse, Passionate, and Renowned Faculty


My abiding fascination with the potency of “story” is the common thread in my research and teaching in the Old Testament. In the texts of ancient Israel one encounters a world where identity is formed, re-formed, remembered, and cherished through the telling of stories.


Dr. Julie Duncan
Associate Professor of Old Testament
Director of MTS Program

Over the last twenty years, my teaching and research have focused on culture and the Bible, with a special emphasis on the tasks of building nations, transforming local communities, fulfilling the ideals of culture, saving individuals from chaos, meaninglessness, injustice, and violence and moving them toward wholeness/shalom and beauty/glory.


Dr. K.-K. Yeo
Harry R. Kendall Professor of New Testament

As a teacher, I try to help my students become aware of the stake they have in the questions raised by theology and the responsibility they have to develop their own theology as best they can.


Dr. Nancy Bedford
Georgia Harkness Professor of Theology

I teach students to engage Christian liturgical and theological traditions in a manner that is attentive and responsive to contextual issues of power that relate to human and other creaturely bodies on the personal, communal, and social levels.


Rev. Dr. Andrew Wymer
Assistant Professor of Liturgical Studies

Degree Outcomes


Graduates of this program will be able to:

    • Demonstrate general knowledge of the Christian theological tradition:
      • Scripture
      • History and doctrine
    • Demonstrate focused knowledge and understanding within an area of specialization (e.g., basic scholarship in specialization and/or interdisciplinary knowledge).
    • Articulate and deploy the critical method, or methods, appropriate to the chosen thesis topic (capstone project)
    • Able to locate and evaluate scholarly resources, incorporate them appropriately into the thesis proposal and thesis, and document them according to appropriate citation practices.
    • Develop, and persuasively argue, a thesis statement
      • supported by evidence,
      • employing scholarly vocabulary specific to the field, and
      • presented in a framework informed by critical and theoretical contexts

Next Steps


Garrett-Evangelical accepts applications from students with a minimum GPA of 2.5 in a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university or from an AETH-certified Bible institute. Because our primary language of instruction is English, applicants be able to show English proficiency, as evidenced by a previous degree in English or completion of either the Duolingo or Test of English as a Foreign Language test.


Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. International student applications are due by March 1st.