Degrees

Master of Theological Studies (MTS)


The Master of Theological Studies degree is designed for students who want to explore the major areas of contemporary theology: Biblical studies, historical theology, and moral theology. The program serves the growing number of professionals engaged in theological and ministerial work in churches and schools and those simply interested in becoming better informed Christians and leaders within the community.

MTS Comprehensive Experience:

The comprehensive experience for MTS graduates requires both written and oral components. The written comprehensive requires three (3) essays chosen randomly out of five (5) comprehensive questions provided to the student. The Comprehensive (3rd) Graduate Seminar serves as the oral component. At the Comprehensive Graduate Seminar, the graduating students will give a synthesis presentation explaining their own faith journey through the program while emphasizing its contextual nature – the context of their own life and experience, the context of the history of Christianity and the major theological insights and movements, and the context of the Post-Vatican II Christian (and ecumenical/world religions) world today.

The MTS program can also be done at the undergraduate level to receive a Certificate of Theological Studies.

Master of Pastoral Studies (MPS)

The Master of Pastoral Studies degree program is designed for students who are interested, not only in studying theology, but are also in preparation for professional ministry, or enhancing their pastoral skills.  It combines courses in theological study with those in applied theology.  

MPS Comprehensive Experience:

The MPS comprehensive experience consists of a final pastoral Project and paper (normally done in conjunction with a Ministry Practicum (MIN 590).  Graduating students will present their final Pastoral Project and Paper at their Comprehensive (3rd) Graduate Seminar.  There are no written comprehensives for MPS students.

Admission Requirements for MTS and MPS

The MTS and MPS programs are open to all applicants who have earned a bachelor’s degree, in any field, with a grade point average of at least 2.5 on the 4.0 scale.

Required pre-requisite hours in theology or religion (6 hours) for the MTS or MPS may be completed after acceptance to the program.

Please see “conditional admission“ under Admission Standards for details about satisfying pre-requisite hours.

Required documents to be considered for admission include: 

Official copies of transcripts from all previously attended colleges or universities and documentation from any completed workshops, institutes, ministry formation programs, etc., that you would like to be considered in lieu of prerequisite course work hours. If your previous transcript(s) do not show 6 credit hours of work in theology, ministry, spirituality or religion. Information for current students is available in BadgerWeb.

Admission Standards

Students may achieve full standing through initial admission at one of three levels: unconditional, conditional or provisional. Unconditional status gives full standing upon entering the program, while conditional status and provisional status require the fulfillment of specific documentation and/or performance criteria.

Unconditional Admission

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Six hours of undergraduate theology, religious studies or an unquestioned equivalency.
  • An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Conditional Admission

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • An undergraduate GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Approval by the chair of theology.

Students admitted on a conditional basis must achieve a GPA of 3.0 or higher and/or the equivalent of six hours undergraduate theology before completion of their fifth graduate course. The undergraduate prerequisite may be fulfilled either by completing additional courses (audit, undergraduate or graduate) or by supplying documentation of course equivalencies, such as courses or workshops in a ministry formation program or catechetical institute.

Provisional Admission

Provisional status is granted to all students who have not yet completed their required documentation. Students may not register for more than six credit hours in provisional status. In addition to new degree-seeking students, non-degree and transient students as well as graduating seniors in good standing who have not yet completed their undergraduate degree are eligible to take up to, but not more than, six hours of graduate course work on this basis. In all cases, students are expected to submit required documentation within the semester.

Master of Arts in Theology (MA)

The Master of Arts in Theology degree program requires forty-five credit hours: thirteen graduate level courses and a research thesis. This degree allows for further concentration beyond the MTS degree in one particular area chosen by the student (e.g., Biblical, Spiritual, Moral, etc.) and includes an extensive research project concluding in a thesis paper (60-100 pages long).

For students completing their MTS in residency, nine additional hours of course work in the concentration area and a six-hour thesis must be completed.

Application to the MA program will be accepted only after successful completion of the MTS comprehensive exams. Formal admission to the thesis requires successful completion of the MA comprehensive examination. Reading competency in an appropriate foreign language is not a formal requirement for admission to the thesis. It is normally required for a Biblical thesis and is at the discretion of the thesis director for a thesis in other concentration areas.

Transfer students with an MTS or equivalent degree, such as an MDiv, from another college may also build on their degree to attain the MA, with a residency requirement (minimum hours taken through Spring Hill College) of twenty-one hours. Students with the MTS or equivalent transfer degree must complete all requirements for the MA degree within four calendar years of initial enrollment.

Admission Requirements For MA

Students may achieve full standing through initial admission at one of three levels: unconditional, conditional or provisional.

Unconditional status gives full standing upon entering the program, while conditional status and provisional status require the fulfillment of specific documentation and/or performance criteria.

Unconditional Admission

  • Completion of the MTS degree program at SHC, or an equivalent degree, such as a Master's in Divinity, from another regionally accredited institution.

  • A GPA of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale on MTS or equivalent master's degree.

Conditional Admission

  • Completion of the MTS degree program at SHC, or an equivalent degree, such as a Master's in Divinity, from another regionally accredited institution.

  • At the discretion of the graduate theology faculty, a student with a GPA between 3.2 and 3.5 on a 4.0 scale on MTS or equivalent master's degree may be considered for admission to the MA program.

Students admitted on a conditional basis must achieve a GPA of 3.5 or higher prior to progressing beyond six credit hours of coursework toward the MA.

Provisional Admission

Provisional status may granted to students who have not yet completed their required documentation. Students may not register for more than six credit hours in provisional status. In addition to new degree-seeking students, non-degree and transient students as well as graduating seniors in good standing who have not yet completed their undergraduate degree are eligible to take up to, but not more than, six hours of graduate course work on this basis. In all cases, students are expected to submit required documentation within the semester.

Graduate Theology Brochure

SHC GRADUATE THEOLOGY BROCHURE458.75 KB