Master of Arts (Theological Studies)

Master of Arts (Theological Studies)

The Master of Arts (Theological Studies) degree equips students to grow their basic competence in the classical theological disciplines into a dynamic theological understanding that is both theoretically rich and practically nuanced. The MA(TS) program includes basic studies in the Bible, theology, church history, and practical theology, alongside a specialization in one of these areas.


The Master of Arts (Theological Studies) is a two-year program requiring the successful completion of 52.5 credits fulfilling six primary components:

Foundation Courses (20 credits)

Departmental Gateways, Introductions, or Foundations in the following areas (18 credits)

  • Biblical Studies: Orientation to Old Testament and Exegesis, Orientation to New Testament and Exegesis
  • History and Ecumenics: World Christian History I, World Christian History II
  • Theology: Doing Christian Theology
  • Practical Theology: A Gateway Course in Education and Formation, Pastoral Care, or Preaching

Speech Communication in Ministry I and II (2 credits)

Additional Department Courses (6 credits)

  • One elective course in Theology
  • One elective Practical Theology Gateway Course in one of the two remaining areas of Education and Formation, Pastoral Care, or Preaching

Core Commitment Courses (9 credits)

  • A Life Together course
  • Two courses designated as fulfilling two of the following core commitments: Theological Imagination; Christian Leadership: Church, Religion, and Society; Renewal of Creation, Self, and Communities; Spiritual Practices of the Faith

Specialization Courses (15 credits)

Students may specialize in one of the five subfields: Biblical Studies, Theology, History and Ecumenics, Practical Theology, or Religion and Society

Field Education (2.5 credits)

Capstone Project

To view a sample degree design, click here.

Field Education

MA(TS) students take an Introduction to Field Education and Vocational Discernment course during their first year (.5 credit for the year). Students then engage in one field education placement (two credits) during the summer preceding their second year or during the fall and spring of the second year. Field education placements range from local to international locations.

Learn more about field education.

Capstone Project

All students in the MA(TS) program are required to complete a Capstone Project during the senior or final year. Courses designated as capstone courses have “capstone course” listed in the course description. A capstone course may be a one, two, or three credit course.

A capstone project is a constructive work in which students demonstrate integration, particularly with an eye toward implications for some form of ministry. A capstone project should be “integrating” in at least one of the following four ways:

  1. Cross-disciplinary (across theological disciplines)
  2. Interdisciplinary (between theology and other human sciences, natural sciences, literature, the fine arts, or any other field usually considered to be outside the central purview of theological study)
  3. Intellectual-personal (assimilating frameworks gained from theological study, the student’s personal beliefs, social location and practices, or self-perception)
  4. Theory-practice (e.g., preaching, teaching, pastoral care, congregational leadership, congregational formation, hospital and military chaplaincy, nonprofit ministries)

A capstone project is subject to the instructor’s approval and may take a variety of forms, including but not limited to the following: a final paper; an essay; a sermon or series of sermons; a lesson plan or unit of curriculum; or a video series posted on the internet. The course catalogue will indicate courses that are eligible to meet this requirement.

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Educating faithful Christian leaders.

Associate Rector at Trinity Church, Princeton, New Jersey

Nancy Hagner, Class of 2013

“Preaching is one of the most important things we do as pastors. You get to challenge people’s minds and hearts, as the gospel challenges all of us.”