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Master of Theological Studies (MTS)

The Master of Theological Studies offers six areas of specialization that allows 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. It can also be combined with another professional degree, such as law, journalism, or social work, to provide a solid foundation for a career in religious leadership.
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I wanted to attend Garrett-Evangelical because it is equally focused on good academic work and a desire to passionately serve the church. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to learn from the faculty's different experiences and areas of expertise.

A Welcome from the Director

The Garrett-Evangelical 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.

While the program is taught by faculty of Garrett-Evangelical, students may also take courses at Northwestern University and at any of the Association of Chicago Theological Schools (ACTS) in the Chicago metropolitan area. The Styberg Library and the Northwestern University Library, just steps away, provide an extraordinary collection of print and digital resources. In addition, MTS students come from all over the world to form an exciting and diverse classroom experience. 

I welcome your interest in our program. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

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

Areas of Specialization

At the heart of the curriculum is the master's thesis, which acts as the capstone to your research. Your faculty advisor will normally be in the field of specialization. Advisors in other fields may be made with the approval of the program director in consultation with the field of specialization.

Areas of specialization include:

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

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 will help students in developing and writing the thesis, find support and resources, and form an academic community for peer feedback. A total of six credit hours are granted for the thesis project.

Renowned Faculty Dedicated to Rigorous Academics and the Practice of Ministry

Our 26 full-time faculty members are widely recognized for their expertise, scholarship, and leadership in the Church and academy. They represent most major denominations and a variety of theological perspectives. Our faculty members have published hundreds of books and articles, and several hold places of international recognition and preeminence in their fields.

Meet Our Faculty

Degree Requirements

The Master of Theological Studies degree is a 60-credit hour program with at least 15-credit hours being designated for the student's area of specialization. This degree is most often completed in two years for students enrolled full time.

Online Learning

While we honor the traditional methods of instruction and rich heritage of academia, we also embrace non-traditional methods such as online learning and hybrid classes. The maximum number of courses which may be taken in an online format is 1/3 of the degree. Students receiving advanced standing or transfer can take no more than 1/3 of remaining credits toward the degree in an online format. Students seeking ordination should check with the appropriate church authorities to see if there are more specific guidelines that must be met.

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Admission Requirements

  • Graduation from an accredited college or university
  • A grade point average of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
  • Proficiency in the English language

Admission Process

Applications are accepted on an ongoing, rolling-admission basis and are due six weeks before date of entry for domestic students. International applications are due March 1st. Applications will be reviewed upon completion. The admissions committee reserves the right to determine, in its sole judgment, whether an applicant is a suitable candidate for a specific degree program or for the vocation that the program represents.