The M.T.S. at CDSP, offered in residential and online formats, provides solid academic grounding in theological disciplines but is not intended to prepare students for ordination. The hallmark of the M.T.S. is its flexibility.

In practice, it has been utilized by international students who are already ordained and wish to further their theological education, and by those in a variety of fields who wish to gain a theological perspective on their vocations. The rich ecumenical resources of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) provide opportunity for study in many different areas.

The wide choice of electives and the possibility of specialization accommodate many interests and backgrounds. The overall goal of this program is to provide students with an opportunity to integrate their interests, and often their expertise in other fields, with a variety of theological disciplines.

Summary of Requirements for the Residential M.T.S.

In the two-year residential M.T.S., first year students share basic courses in Bible, Church History, and Theology with M.Div. students. In the second year, M.T.S. students choose elective courses in a special area of interest and prepare a thesis or project. The degree requires that a total of 16 three-unit courses be completed.

Course Requirements for the Residential M.T.S.

  • 1 Old Testament
  • 1 New Testament
Theology (2 courses)
  • 1 Introduction to Theology
  • 1 Ethics
Church History (1 course)
  • 2 courses, the first for preliminary exploration of a topic, the second for writing and submitting the thesis
Electives (9 courses)
Total 16 courses

Areas of Focus in the Master of Theological Studies Program

Building upon the strength of offerings at Church Divinity School of the Pacific and the Graduate Theological Union, students enrolled in the Master of Theological Studies program may pursue a specialized area of focus. Interested students would take four elective courses in addition to relevant required courses that might fall within an area of focus. These elective courses may be taken at CDSP or any GTU member school. These areas of focus would enable a student to design a specific course of study in preparation for ministry (whether lay or ordained) or to deepen understanding of a particular area. The areas of focus offered reflect concentrations not normally studied within the Common Master of Arts program offered by the GTU. Students may pursue a more general course of study in the MTS program and need not elect a concentration. Students would discern studying for an area of focus in consultation with their academic adviser.

Areas of Focus Offered at CDSP:

  1. Liturgical Studies
  2. Pastoral Studies
  3. Christian Education
  4. Ministry Development
  5. Interfaith Relations

See admissions requirements.

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