Reflect on theological questions through the lens of pastoral ministry with the University
of Dallas Master of Theological Studies.
“The school of ministry 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 practical 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. has 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 (22 credit
hours) with elective courses (15 credit hours) to complete 37 total credit hours of
course work. Additionally, students complete an annotated bibliography to help solidify and demonstrate their understanding of the theological knowledge
appropriate to professional pastoral leadership.
- RPS 6110. Graduate Proseminar. Required of all first-year students, this non-credit course is an introduction to
the fields and methods of theological study for ministerial formation. Registration
and active participation in all sessions constitute completion of the requirement.
Proseminar is offered only in the Fall semester, with both on site and online options.
Graded on a pass/fail basis.
- RPS 6311. 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.).
- RPS 6312. 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.
- RPS 6313. 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.
- RPS 6314. Church History. The focus of this course is on the development of an understanding of the church,
its ministry and spirituality through the early, medieval, Reformation, modern, and
contemporary eras. In particular, primary councils, movements, and church figures
- RPS 6317. Principles 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.
- RPS 6320. Theological Reflection. Forming a basis of spirituality for ministers, theological reflection is a discipline
designed to recognize God's activity within the context of ministry. Systematic reflection
on students' spiritual journey and experiences enter into dialogue with scripture,
church history, church teaching, current pastoral needs, and the lived faith experience
of the people of God.
- One (1) Scripture Elective. Students are required to complete one elective course of the Old or New Testament as
offered by the Neuhoff School of Ministry.
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 in addition to all courses offered by the Neuhoff School of Ministry. Course selection
can depend on the student's interests and goals for the program.
Some suggested elective courses include:
RPS 6315. Introduction to Pastoral Care.
RPS 6323. The Gospels.
RPS 6330. Ministry in the Church.
RPS 6331. Pastoral Administration.
RPS 6333. Pastoral Aspects of Canon Law.
RPS 6334. Liturgical Leadership.
RPS 6335. Ecclesiology.
RPS 6336. Catechetics and the Development of Faith.
RPS 6357. History of Spirituality.
RPS 6373. Homiletics and Pastoral Proclamation.
Theological Studies Capstone
Students complete the capstone course in their final semester. It provides an opportunity
for them to integrate previous coursework and reading with the knowledge and skills
required to address particular pastoral tasks effectively. The student will work seasoned
ministerial practitioners who will provide onsite supervision. Capstone projects require
the completion of a detailed application and written approval by School of Ministry
faculty supervisors several months prior to registration.
An annotated bibliography of texts related to the core curriculum of the Neuhoff School
of Ministry is a degree requirement (required for graduation) for the Master of Theological
Studies program. The goal of the annotated bibliography is to help students solidify
and demonstrate their understanding of the basic theological knowledge appropriate
to professional competency for pastoral leadership. The annotated bibliography consists
of a formal bibliographic entry for 25 approved texts that are followed by a description
of the thesis, argumentation, and significance of each text.
Students should begin working with their faculty advisor on the annotated bibliography
and obtain approval of the required works list early in their program. The final annotated bibliography is due by the 4th week of the semester a student
intends to graduate.
For details, contact your faculty advisor and view the Annotated Bibliography section
of the Graduate Student Resources webpage.
Biblical Theology Concentration
Biblical Theology Concentration
This concentration combines foundational theology courses in the Neuhoff School of
Ministry with an intellectually rigorous approach to scripture. The degree requires
37 credit hours of course work, broken down in the following way:
- Core courses: 22 credit hours
- Scripture elective courses: 12 credit hours
- Other elective courses: 3 credit hours
Required scripture courses include Old Testament and New Testament. While many other
options are available, here are a few elective courses which qualify:
- RPS 6323. The Gospels.
- RPS 6329. Torah.
- RPS 6337. Pauline Literature
Students can use the M.T.S. - Biblical Studies Curriculum Planning Worksheet to plan their course of studies.
Fully Accredited. Ready to Serve.
University of Dallas Neuhoff School of Ministry undergraduate and 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