School of Theology & Christian Ministry

Master of Theological Studies

The Master of Theological Studies (MTS) is an academic degree that must be completed on campus. Some courses are available online, allowing students to begin their studies while determining their best path to campus. While not intended for those seeking ordination, the MTS degree may serve those interested in personal enrichment or teaching Bible and theology whether in the local church or in higher education.

Those in lay ministry will find the MTS degree (non-thesis track) a preparation for serving as leaders within the context of the local church or other ministries. This MTS seminary degree covers a broad spectrum of courses from theology and Bible to church history.

Those interested in future doctoral studies will discover the MTS degree (thesis track) serves as a path for making this next academic vocational step. The MTS degree (thesis track) introduces seminary students to Bible, theology, and church history, as well as biblical languages. In addition to these core studies, the student completes academic research culminating in a thesis. Our seminary faculty encourages you to explore these two academically focused tracks of theological study.

Your AU Story Begins Now

The MTS degree has deepened my faith and helped me think critically about scripture, theology, and ministry in a way that impacts my daily life. I have been challenged and enriched through the AU School of Theology and Christian Ministry and the caring professors who are investing in my life and ministry. I highly recommend the Anderson University School of Theology and Christian Ministry!

— Erin Moss Taylor, MTS Graduate ’10
Adult Ministries Director, The Church at the Crossing (Indianapolis)

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Start your AU story

Non-Thesis Track Degree Requirements
Non-Thesis Track, Master of Theological Studies (49 semester hours)

A student enrolled in the non-thesis track of the Master of Theological Studies seminary degree is required to successfully complete a comprehensive examination in Bible, theology, and history, in addition to the courses listed below. For more detailed information and course descriptions, refer to the current seminary catalog.

Core:

  • THST 5000 Orientation to Graduate Theological Studies
  • THST 5110 Hermeneutics and Critical Reflection in Theological Education
  • OLDT 5100 Faith and Life Through the Hebrew Scriptures
  • NEWT 5100 New Testament Seminar: Jesus and the Caesars
  • THST 5120 Faith Seeking Understanding
  • CHIS 5100 History of Christianity
  • INTS 5100 Missio Dei: Introduction to Culture Studies
  • PAST 5100 Spiritual Formation

Plus:

  • Choose ONE course (3 hrs) from the Biblical Studies Course Descriptions
    Either OLDT or NEWT
  • Choose ONE course (3 hrs) from the CHIS Courses
  • Choose ONE course (3 hrs) from the THST Courses
  • 18 hours of electives will be selected in consultation with the MTS advisor in a chosen area of study. Courses must to be approved by the Academic Cabinet.

For detailed information on these courses, sequence, and the program structure, see the current Anderson University School of Theology and Christian Ministry catalog.

Thesis Track Degree Requirements
Thesis Track, Master of Theological Studies (49 semester hours)

The following is an outline of the requirements for the thesis track of the Master of Theological Studies degree at Anderson University School of Theology and Christian Ministry. For more detailed information and course descriptions, refer to the current seminary catalog.

Thesis Track Courses

Core:

  • THST 5000 Orientation to Graduate Theological Studies
  • THST 5110 Hermeneutics and Critical Reflection in Theological Education
  • OLDT 5100 Faith and Life Through the Hebrew Scriptures
  • NEWT 5100 New Testament Seminar: Jesus and the Caesars
  • THST 5120 Faith Seeking Understanding
  • CHIS 5100 History of Christianity
  • INTS 5100 Missio Dei: Introduction to Culture Studies
  • PAST 5100 Spiritual Formation

Plus:

  • Choose ONE course (3 hrs) from the Biblical Studies Course DescriptionsEither OLDT or NEWT
  • Choose ONE course (3 hrs) from the CHIS Courses
  • Choose ONE course (3 hrs) from the THST Courses
  • 15 hours of electives will be selected in consultation with the MTS advisor in a chosen area of study. Courses must to be approved by the Academic Cabinet.
  • Caption related to Course objectives for both:
    Research Design (1 hr)
    Thesis (2 hrs)

For detailed information on these courses, sequence, and the program structure, see the current Anderson University School of Theology and Christian Ministry catalog.

Thesis Track Admissions Process
The thesis track of the MTS degree requires additional information during the application process. In order for a student to be considered for the Anderson University School of Theology MTS degree, the following criteria must be met:

  1. Achieve an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
  2. Write an academic paper according to guidelines available from the Office of Student Development.
  3. Interview with a full-time AU seminary faculty member (in the area of Bible, church history, theology, or mission), and receive that faculty member’s written recommendation that this degree is an appropriate one given the prospective student’s vocational and educational goals.
  4. Complete all admission requirements by August 1 (for fall admission) or December 1 (for spring admission).
Ministry Preparation

Ministry preparation within Anderson University’s School of Theology and Christian Ministry is rooted in some important values. First of all, we value Scripture. Faculty take the Bible seriously and encourage students to read it, take seriously its claims, become familiar with its stories, and work with critical questions about how it came to be and how it is used.

We value good theology. Theology is as much a practice as a system of belief, and good ministry involves sound thinking about important issues. It doesn’t mean doing so alone, however, nor does it mean carrying around a set of stale answers. Good theology is a living, breathing activity done with others in light of particular challenges.

We value people and the many places where they can be found. We don’t assume that reviewing someone’s status updates, knowing whether they are a “Boomer” or “Gen X,” or classifying them as “red” or “blue” is the same as knowing that person. There is more to every human being created in God’s image than the labels that person might be given, and we encourage students to become familiar not only with categories but with people in particular ministry contexts.

We value the church. We affirm that ministry is a characteristic of authentic Christian community. We see ministry as being open so that God’s good news works through each person’s giftedness to affect individuals for good at the point of their real needs. It is no one’s private property. We affirm the ministry of congregations and encourage students to have a meaningful connection with a particular setting for ministry — to observe, to offer their contribution, to learn, to critique when necessary, and to grow.

We value ministry. We recognize that callings differ. At the same time, we do not encourage the kind of specialization that would keep us apart or make us competitors. There should be a connection and a coherence about Christian ministry, which is why we don’t have a separate major for every one of its forms. In the same way, we work on building character more than crafting charisma, and we value the cultivation of wisdom more than the collection of techniques.

We value education. We help students draw on deep wells that will sustain their work rather than encouraging the strategy of scrambling for resources to “plug in” to their program. We embrace and explore critical questions, and we encourage students to question certainties that are reached prematurely.

We value you. At graduation, we would much rather shake the hands of people who have been changed by important questions from various fields of knowledge rather than to wave goodbye to tourists who had a nice time and are leaving with a few items they picked up along the way. We consider a student’s whole academic career — and their other educational experiences — to be part of their preparation for ministry. We encourage them to view life itself as a learning opportunity.

Seminary Admissions Checklist

We strive to offer a smooth process for applying for Seminary study. Here are the steps to the next part of your journey and calling!

1.   Fill out the Online Application for Graduate Programs in our School of Theology and Christian Ministry

2.   Ask (3) references to fill out our Online Reference Form

  • (1) Pastor/Church Leader
  • (1) Professor/Employer
  • (1) Personal

3.   Order Official College Transcripts from ALL COLLEGES WHERE YOU'VE EARNED A BACHELOR'S/MASTER'S DEGREE.

Email your transcript(s) to: AU.DocumentAGS@anderson.edu 

Mail your transcript(s) to:

Anderson University
Attention: AGS Processing
1100 E. 5th Street
Anderson, IN 46012

4.   Submit School of Theology Essays

5.  Submit your Application Fee