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Master of Theological Studies (for Ministry)

Reflect on theological questions through the lens of pastoral ministry with the University of Dallas Master of Theological Studies.

“The M.T.S. is helping me draw on the 2,000 years of Catholic Church history and apply it to ministering to a 21st century community. Theology is faith seeking understanding. You already have faith; now you find the understanding.”

- Michelle Stone, MTS ‘15

The master's degree and graduate certificate in theological studies are designed to equip you for the pastoral application of theological knowledge and can be completed fully online or on campus.

To meet the diverse needs of our church and our students, the M.T.S. offers a concentration in Biblical Theology which requires a specific set of electives. Students can also choose to complete the degree without a designated concentration, using their elective courses to study any theological or ministerial area of interest.  

Master of Theological Studies Degree Requirements

Master of Theological Studies students combine the ministry core curriculum (21 credit hours) with elective courses and concentration requirements  (15 credit hours) to complete 36 total credit hours of course work.  

Core Curriculum Courses

  • TMIN 5311 . Graduate Proseminar. Required of all first-year students.  It is designed to introduce new students to the world of graduate studies in theology and pastoral ministry, and to assist them in undertaking graduate level work successfully.  Students will be led through the whole process of writing for theological studies, from reading comprehension to theological analysis, from first draft to final paper.   Proseminar is offered only in the Fall semester, with both on site and online options. 
  • TMIN 5310. Foundations of Catholic Biblical Interpretation. This course’s content and structure are suggested by a description of the Bible by the Second Vatican Council: the words of God expressed in human language (DV 13). Therefore, it will deal, first, with the concepts of Revelation, Transmission-Tradition, Inspiration, Biblical Truth and the Canon, which traditionally express the Church’s belief in the divine origin of the Bible. Second, it will deal with the nature of the Bible as a human document, linked to a culture rooted in specific coordinates of space and time. Finally, it will review the development and nature of modern scientific methods and approaches of biblical interpretation, together with the Church’s reactions to and positions on these methods and approaches in the last 100 years. 
  • TMIN 5330. Systematic Theology. This course engages students in structured reflection on the Christian communal experience of faith and how that faith is understood, expressed, and lived out in the Catholic tradition. It invites dialogue among students and with the formative elements of Catholic tradition to consider theological method (i.e., How do we do this work properly?), doctrinal clarity (i.e., What does our formative tradition teach?) and pastoral practice (i.e., How do theology and pastoral realities influence one another?). Topics of special focus include revelation and faith, God, the Trinity, Christology, Christian anthropology, and the theology of the church, including Mary and the saints.
  • TMIN 5350. Moral Theology. A critical survey of fundamental moral theology, this course includes the distinctiveness of Christian morality, conscience formation, natural law, moral norms, and decision-making. It provides an entree into special moral theology, which includes bioethics, environmental ethics, healthcare ethics, sexual ethics, and social ethics.
  • TMIN 5360. Liturgy and Sacraments. This course offers a critical survey of the history, theology, and liturgical celebration of the sacraments according to the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, with special attention given to the role of the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (R.C.I.A.).
  • Scripture Elective. Students are required to complete one elective course of the Old or New Testament as offered by the Theology department.
  • TMIN 73XX Capstone.   Students complete the capstone course in their final semester. The capstone involves a research paper on a focused topic of the student's choosing, especially one related to their chosen field of pastoral service.  The paper will allow students to demonstrate the ability to assess ministerial need or practice, think critically and theologically, integrate the theology appropriate to a particular ministry, plan and execute a ministerial and/or research project, and evaluate ministry in the field. 

    A  detailed application and  proposal, approved in writing by the graduate ministry faculty, is required prior to registration, and a final Capstone presentation must be made to the graduate faculty.   

Elective Courses

Students may choose the additional five electives to complete their MTS degree. Upon approval by a faculty advisor, students may complete courses offered by the College of Business or the Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts . Course selection can depend on the student's interests and goals for the program. 

Some suggested elective courses include:

  • TMIN 5340 Church History
  • TMIN 5370 Theological Reflection
  • TMIN 5380. Introduction to Pastoral Care. 
  • TMIN 6310. Torah                                                                                           
  • TMIN 6315. Prophets                                                        
  • TMIN 6320. The Gospels.                                                                                     
  • TMIN 6333. Pastoral Aspects of Canon Law.                                                       
  • TMIN 6335. Ecclesiology.   
  • TMIN 6345. History of Spirituality.
  • TMIN 6360. Liturgical Leadership.
  • TMIN 6370. Ministry in the Church.
  • TMIN 6371. Pastoral Administration.
  • TMIN 6373. Homiletics and Pastoral Proclamation
  • TMIN 6375. Catechetics and the Development of Faith.


Biblical Theology Concentration

Biblical Theology Concentration

This concentration combines foundational theology courses  with an intellectually rigorous approach to scripture. The degree requires 36 credit hours of course work, broken down in the following way:

  1. Core courses: 21 credit hours
  2. Scripture elective courses: 12 credit hours 
  3. Elective: 3 credit hours

While many other options are available for the four elective Scripture courses (12 credit hours), at least one must be an Old Testament course and one must be a New Testament course. Here are a few elective courses which qualify: 

  • TMIN 6310. Torah.
  • TMIN 6315. Prophets.
  • TMIN 6320. The Gospels
  • TMIN 6325 . Pauline Literature
  • See other graduate-level Scripture offerings in the Theology department

University of Dallas Master of Theological Studies

Fully Accredited. Ready to Serve.

The Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts ministerial graduate programs are fully accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and in accordance with the USCCB's standards for certification and accreditation.  

SACS

The University of Dallas is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to award Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D. degrees.

USCCB

The ministerial graduate programs, in content and form, are designed to ensure that successful students will be prepared to enter the ministerial workforce having met the standards set by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Commission on Certification and Accreditation, and the National Certification Standards for Lay Ecclesial Ministers.

The master's in pastoral ministry - youth ministry program is specifically designed to educate leaders based on the U.S. Catholic Bishops' pastoral plan, "Renewing the Vision - A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry." It also correlates with the national competency-based standards for certification as developed by the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry in conjunction with the USCCB.

Memberships

The Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts is a member of the Association of Graduate Programs in Ministry and the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education.

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