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Home > Academics > Degree Programs > MTS Degree

MTS Degree

Purpose 

The purpose of the 48 semester-hour Master of Theological Studies (MTS) degree program is to develop broad theological understandings for general education purposes.

The MTS degree program has two distinct tracks:

  • Track I: General Theological Studies is designed for persons who seek through an engagement with contemporary biblical, theological, and historical studies to become better educated about important religious and ethical issues in our religiously plural world and/or to serve as more effective lay leaders in church and society.

  • Track II: Pre-doctoral Theological Studies is specifically designed for persons who are preparing for further academic coursework in other institutions of higher education leading to a research doctorate in a specialized discipline of Religious Studies.  

Program Goals 

Upon completing the MTS program, students will be able to:

  • Act as responsible biblical interpreters critically informed by current historical, literary, and theological scholarship in the field of biblical studies.

  • Articulate substantive issues in Christian theology in a manner that takes into account a liberative hermeneutic responsive to key themes in biblical exegesis and Christian history.

  • Articulate understandings of individuals, groups, and cultures that are informed by conversation between the theological disciplines and critical studies in arts, culture, and the sciences.

  • Demonstrate an ability to conduct advanced research by

    • In Track I, producing an integrative paper that engages in critical reflection on an interpretive issue or set of issues that has emerged in her or his course work with relevant biblical, theological, ethical, historical or cultural materials as articulated in the previous goals; or

    • In Track II,  producing a master’s thesis that presents a sustained argument on a particular interpretive issue or set of issues with relevant biblical, theological, ethical, historical or cultural materials as articulated in the previous goals.

Request more information on this program here, or visit the Phillips Catalog. For questions, please contact Josh Linton at (918) 270-6463. 


For most denominations, the MTS. standing alone, does not include either a sufficient number of hours or an adequate emphasis on ministerial formation and practice to meet the requirements for denominational certification or ordination.  

The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS) has determined that this degree is not designed to prepare students for ministry.

Joe Bessler
MTS Student Advisor
(918) 270-6448


​"The Master of Theological Studies, offered in two distinct tracks, enables students interested in the study of various theological disciplines to choose both the level of study and areas of interest appropriate to them. Whichever of the two tracks one pursues, each will broaden and deepen one’s appreciation for the good work of thinking theologically."

Phillips offers Christian graduate theological education in service of intelligent, just, and
compassionate religious and civic communities. We welcome students to a safe space for truth-seeking conversations about the Bible, Jesus, and faithful living. Courses are available on campus and online for certificate, diploma, MDiv, MAMC, and MTS programs, and on campus for the DMin program.

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