Master of Arts in Theological Studies
The MATS degree equips you for ministry leadership by deepening your understanding of the Bible, theology, and church history. Students typically pursue the MATS to enhance their ministries as leaders and teachers, for personal enrichment, or to prepare for further study.
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The MATS is available entirely online or through any combination of online and on-site coursework that suits your needs. You can complete the 48 credit hour degree requirements in about two years of full-time study.
The MATS equips you for ministry leadership in the following ways:
- Concepts: Interpret the Bible and draw on the Church’s theological and historical heritage as you apply the Bible’s message to faith, life, and ministry in contemporary contexts.
- Bible. Learn to interpret and apply the Bible in the light of its linguistic, literary, historical, and theological setting.
- Heritage. Learn to utilize the Church’s theological and historical heritage as you apply the Bible’s message.
- Context. Learn to identify, evaluate, and critically engage scholarly literature, viewpoints, and methods in your research.
- Competence. Serve the Church effectively using skills required in your particular calling, especially communication, caring for others, leadership, and administration.
- Communication. Learn to clearly and effectively present the results of your research both orally and in writing.
- Care. Learn to deal respectfully with diverse viewpoints and those who hold them.
- Administration. Learn to plan, manage, evaluate, and improve your research and writing.
- Calling. Identify, develop, and use your abilities to advance the Church’s mission to worship and serve Jesus Christ.
- Character. Demonstrate integrity in your research, writing, and personal lives.
Typical MATS program outline:
Foundational (3 hours)
PM 502 Christian Vocation and Transformation
Bible (15-18 hours)
BI 501 Bible Survey*
BI 502 Principles of Exegesis (required of first-year students)
OT 501 Old Testament I
OT 502 Old Testament II
NT 601 New Testament I
NT 602 New Testament II
*BI 501 Bible Survey is required of first-year students who have not passed the Bible Challenge Exam. Students who complete the exam may use the 3 hours for an elective in Bible or Theology/Church History
Theology (12 hours)
ST 601 Systematic Theology I
ST 602 Systematic Theology II
ST 603 Systematic Theology III
History (9 hours)
CH 501 Early and Medieval Church History
CH 502 Reformation & Modern Church History
HT 560 Reformed Spirituality (or CE 551 Spiritual Formation)
MA 700 Capstone Project or Thesis (3 hours)
Free Electives (3-6 hours)
Students interested in using the MATS as preparation for further study (i.e., ThM, PhD) should take biblical Greek or biblical Hebrew for their elective hours and are encouraged to write a thesis as the culmination of the degree.