Master of Theological Studies (MTS)

65

Credit Hours

2-3

Years to Complete

  • Residential
  • Hybrid

    The Master of Theological Studies (MTS) program empowers you to understand the Christian faith more deeply while equipping you for further academic study and careers enriched by a strong understanding of theology.

    Overview

    An engaging, academic approach to the riches of theology.

    The Master of Theological Studies (MTS) program empowers you to understand the Christian faith more deeply while equipping you for further academic study and careers enriched by a strong understanding of theology.

    Through the MTS program you will discover the depths of the Old and New Testaments, Greek language, Christian theology, and apologetics.

    Format Options

    Either in residence or Hybrid Format

    Residential students can complete their studies in two years at the Grand Rapids campus. They will be able to attend weekly chapels, participate in club activities, and interact with peers on a daily basis. The three-year distance learning MTS maintains the same high quality of education as our residential program. Taking approximately three courses per semester, distance learning students engage in a hybrid model of learning, completing much of their work online and traveling to campus twice a year for five-day intensives.

    Curriculum

    A Developmental Curriculum

    The Master of Theological Studies (MTS) is a flexible academic program designed to prepare you for further academic study or other careers that can be enriched by a strong theological education.

    The MDiv program has not only challenged how I think about the Word of God, but how I apply what I've learned in my own life, and the lives of those around me.

    Zack DeBruyne, MDiv '19

    Core Courses29

    1 Biblical Interpretation for Ministry

    An introduction to basic principles for interpreting the Bible in the Reformed tradition. This course initiates the student in the fundamental task of a doing a responsible and relevant interpretation of the biblical text. Thus, the course aims to familiarize us with the indispensable abilities to hear attentively the Word of God and obey it.

    3 Greek Fundamentals I

    Introduces students to fundamental elements of New Testament Greek grammar and basic function of the parts of a Greek sentence, and provides understanding of Greek morphology and its significance for exegesis.

    3 Greek Fundamentals II

    Introduces Greek grammar, vocabulary, and syntax (building on 301) and the reading of the Greek New Testament, with emphasis on the use of Bible software as well as the exegetical application of the genitive case, adverbial participles, and conditional sentences.

    3 Biblical Hebrew I

    This course begins preparing students to use biblical Hebrew in ministry by means of instruction in vocabulary, grammar, syntax, and elementary exegesis beginning with the basics of the Hebrew alphabet and pronunciation to the initial introduction to the Qal verb stem.

    3 Biblical Hebrew II

    This course continues preparing students to use biblical Hebrew in ministry by resuming the instruction in vocabulary, grammar, syntax, and exegesis that began in 301. In this course, students will learn the remaining Hebrew verb stems and continue to sharpen their exegetical skills.

    4 Formation Group

    3 Old Testament Narrative Literature

    Introduces students to Genesis through Kings, Chronicles, Ezra-Nehemiah and Esther as Christian Scripture, by means of a close reading methodology and theological analysis applied to books and selected passages in Hebrew.

    3 Old Testament Prophetic Literature

    Introduces the institution and nature of prophecy and an exegetical and biblical theological examination of selected prophetic passages, emphasizing the message of the prophets for the church.

    3 The Psalms and Wisdom Literature

    Provides basic knowledge of Hebrew poetry and literary genres of the Psalms and other books of the Writings, a close reading methodology of selected passages in Hebrew, and emphasis on the psalms of prayer, lament, thanksgiving in prayer, song, preaching and pastoral care.

    3 Systematic Theology I

    Analyzes themes in the doctrines of God, humanity, and Christ, focusing on their biblical foundations and the church’s wrestling with these themes.

    3 Systematic Theology II

    Examines the work of the Holy Spirit, salvation, the church, and the return of Christ and reign of God through studying Scripture, historical documents and contemporary thought.

    3 The Church in Historical Context I

    Surveys the story of God’s people from 100 – 1247 A.D., conversing with ancient and medieval brothers and sisters in Christ by reading and responding to their testimonies, theology and practices.

    3 The Church in Historical Context II

    Introduces the history of Christianity from the late Middle Ages to the present, with special attention to developments in North America. Focuses on how the church’s institutions, thought, and practice were shaped by and responded to their contexts in each of the eras and places under study.

    Additional Core Options20

    3 Bible Survey

    Prepares leaders in the church to be faithful and effective stewards of the Word by acquainting them with the basic content and principal theme of each book of the Bible; the historical, geographical, and cultural backgrounds to the Bible; its introductory hermeneutical principles; and its continuing relevance.

    3 Christian Theology in Reformed Confessions

    Introduces Reformed theology through a study of confessions, from the Reformation era (Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism, Canons of Dort) and the more recent past (Contemporary Testimony, Belhar Confession), and through the basic elements of the Reformed worldview grounded in this confessional theology.

    3 Christian Engagement with World Religions

    Introduces the global engagement of the Christian faith with major world religions, worldviews, and forms of spirituality, framed by a biblical-Reformed theology and philosophy of religion that examines religious experience, tradition and practice in the light of general and scriptural revelation, and a commitment to the universal common humanity of God’s image bearers.

    2 Apologetics

    Presents a Reformed approach to the rational defense and presentation of the Christian faith and engages crucial issues in apologetics: the existence of God, the credibility of Scripture’s witness to Jesus Christ, the problem of evil, challenges based on the natural and social sciences, and religious pluralism.

    3 Ethics and the Christian Life

    Studies Christian personal and social morality vital for being an obedient church leader and developing faithful communities of disciples.

    3 Research Methodology

    Develops research paper writing skills, and introduces basic research and Biblical methodologies. Students learn to analyze scholarly articles, write a 15-20 page research paper, meet with professors in the area of their specialization (biblical, theological, ministry) to finish the first draft, and then rewrite the paper.

    3 Major Research Paper (First Degree)

    First degree students who wish to write a major research paper on a subject of interest may ask a professor to supervise a paper. Papers may be either 2 or 3 credits. A two-credit paper will be approximately 20 pages and a three-credit paper will be approximately 30 pages.

    Elective Courses16

    Course Maps

    Flexible Formats

    • Sample Two Year Residential Program

      YearFallJ-TermSpring

      Year One

      Biblical Interpretation for Ministry (1)

      Biblical Interpretation for Ministry

      Course Code
      705
      Category
      Analysis Course
      Credit Hours
      1
      Description

      An introduction to basic principles for interpreting the Bible in the Reformed tradition. This course initiates the student in the fundamental task of a doing a responsible and relevant interpretation of the biblical text. Thus, the course aims to familiarize us with the indispensable abilities to hear attentively the Word of God and obey it.

      Greek Fundamentals I (3)

      Greek Fundamentals I

      Course Code
      302
      Category
      Literacy
      Credit Hours
      3
      Description

      Introduces students to fundamental elements of New Testament Greek grammar and basic function of the parts of a Greek sentence, and provides understanding of Greek morphology and its significance for exegesis.

      Biblical Hebrew I (3)

      Biblical Hebrew I

      Course Code
      301
      Category
      Literacy
      Credit Hours
      3
      Description

      This course begins preparing students to use biblical Hebrew in ministry by means of instruction in vocabulary, grammar, syntax, and elementary exegesis beginning with the basics of the Hebrew alphabet and pronunciation to the initial introduction to the Qal verb stem.

      Formation Group (4)

      Formation Group

      Course Code
      Category
      Credit Hours
      4
      Description

      History or Theology Course (3)

      Elective (2-3)

      Electives

      Electives

      Course Code
      Category
      Credit Hours
      Description
      Greek Fundamentals II (3)

      Greek Fundamentals II

      Course Code
      410
      Category
      Literacy
      Credit Hours
      3
      Description

      Introduces Greek grammar, vocabulary, and syntax (building on 301) and the reading of the Greek New Testament, with emphasis on the use of Bible software as well as the exegetical application of the genitive case, adverbial participles, and conditional sentences.

      Biblical Hebrew II (3)

      Biblical Hebrew II

      Course Code
      321
      Category
      Literacy
      Credit Hours
      3
      Description

      This course continues preparing students to use biblical Hebrew in ministry by resuming the instruction in vocabulary, grammar, syntax, and exegesis that began in 301. In this course, students will learn the remaining Hebrew verb stems and continue to sharpen their exegetical skills.

      Formation Group (4)

      Formation Group

      Course Code
      Category
      Credit Hours
      4
      Description

      History or Theology Course (3)

      Core Option (2-3)

      Elective (2-3)

      Year Two

      Bible Course (3)

      Core Option (2-3)

      Core Option (2-3)

      Core Option (2-3)

      Elective (2-3)

      Formation Group (1)

      Electives

      Electives

      Course Code
      Category
      Credit Hours
      Description
      Formation Group (4)

      Formation Group

      Course Code
      Category
      Credit Hours
      4
      Description

      Bible Course (3)

      Core Option (2-3)

      Core Option (2-3)

      Elective (2-3)

      Elective (2-3)

      Formation Group (1)

      Stories

      Called to Serve

      Past graduates have applied their learning to a variety of ministry-based opportunities. Here are some of their stories:

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      Finances

      Calvin Seminary Supports Students

      Calvin Seminary offers a wide range of scholarships and other financial assistance.

      In fact, in recent years, nearly $1.5 million in scholarship funds were awarded annually. For information on ways to make seminary more affordable, visit the Tuition and Aid webpage.

      Application Requirements and Deadlines

      For the MTS Program

      A significant number of our students have not formally studied religion and theology prior to attending seminary. Students come from a range of educational backgrounds, from the sciences to the arts and humanities.

      Admission Requirements


      General:
      The Registrar’s Office, with oversight from the Admissions and Standards Committee, will examine the academic, professional and ministry background of each applicant. If it is determined that an applicant would benefit from further study in a particular area, a learning plan will be developed which could include specific seminary electives or additional courses from another academic institution.

      MTS Specifics: Typically a bachelors degree (or its equivalent) from an accredited institution and have a grade point average of 2.67 (B-) or higher is required. Due to special circumstances, an applicant without a bachelor's degree may be considered, as is allowed by the Association of Theological Schools.

      A strong liberal arts education provides an excellent foundation for graduate level theological education. A liberal arts education shapes well-rounded, intellectually and culturally astute graduates. Therefore, it is recommended that a candidate’s baccalaureate preparation consist of courses in the liberal arts, including English, philosophy, history, literature, social science and natural science.

      For more details on admission requirements for the Master of Theological Studies program, please review the MTS section of the Academic Catalog.

      Non-native in English: Applicants who are non-native in English must submit official TOEFL exam results as a part of their application for admission. A minimum internet-based total score of 80 with a score of 23 in the writing section is required. Use Calvin Theological Seminary's institutional code 1096 to order scores.

      International Student Admissions: For information on international student application requirements, visit the international student information page below.

      Admission Deadlines

      Use the chart below to find out when your admission materials are due for a particular term. The due dates below are when all materials are due by (the application, recommendations, transcripts, etc). These dates are for both residential and distance hybrid students alike.

      Application Material Deadlines

      Fall Semester (September - December)

      July 1: North American Applicant Deadline
      June 1: International Student Deadline
      March 1: Apply for this date to be considered for first round of scholarship awarding. Note: if you miss this date it doesn't necessarily mean you won't receive a scholarship, but you may miss the first round of awarding.

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