Master of Arts Theological Studies
The M.A.T.S. degree program prepares students for a wide variety of work in religious institutions. The M.A.T.S. degree program includes exploring the traditional theological disciplines in its required curriculum in innovative ways.
The remainder of the program is elective courses. NBTS has suggested concentrations, but students, in consultation with a faculty mentor, will identify a personalized concentration of study and select courses that achieve the student’s educational goals. Electives will allow the student to create the program which best suits his or her needs.
Why pursue an M.A.T.S. at NBTS?
|Adaptive: Courses are offered days, evenings, and weekends in the traditional classroom format, as hybrid courses, or completely online.|
|Fast Completion: Only 48 credits – students can complete the program in two years.|
|Welcoming: Affirming of all persons desiring to study theology.|
|Innovative: Study with a faculty who offer innovative opportunities for learning and appreciate adult learners.|
|Justice Oriented: Attend a school with a heart for God’s people who believe justice is the demand of the Gospel.|
|Diverse: Learn with a diverse faculty and student body who will offer a variety of perspectives.|
|Flexible: Students select their path of study based on individual needs.
Examples of suggested concentrations
Biblical Studies Concentration: Required courses and 6 courses (18 credits) of Biblical Studies courses, and a Research Paper or Project/Additional Course. If seeking to continue to the Ph.D. level, students should take Hebrew and Greek as part of the concentration.
Theology and Public Policy Concentration: Required Courses, Christian Experience (IN520) and Witness, Contextualized Ministry and Public Faith (IN 521), and 4 courses (12 credits) of Theology, Bible, Ministry, or IN courses, and a Research Paper or Project and Course.
Ministry in the Church Concentration: Required courses, and Introduction to Pastoral Care, Introduction to Worship; Sermon Preparation, Transformational Leadership, 3 courses (9 credits) of electives, and a Research Paper or Project and Course. Individualized Concentration: Required courses and 18 credits (6 courses) developed in consultation with your faculty mentor.
|Module 1 – 15 credits of required courses +9 credits of electives (24 credits total)|
|Course Number & Name||
|OT510 Introduction to Old Testament||3|
|NT510 Introduction to New Testament||3|
|CH510 Introduction to Global Christianity I||3|
|CH 511 Introduction to Global Christianity II||3|
|IN511 Race, Class, & Gender IN311 Anti-Racism Workshop||3|
|MS001 Clergy Ethics Training [REQUIRED]||NC|
|Module 2 – 9 credits of required courses + 9 credits of electives + paper or project (24 credits total)|
|Course Number & Name||
|BS520 Biblical Research and Writing*||3|
|TH520 Foundations and Global Theology I||3|
|TH521 Foundations and Global Theology II||3|
|Thesis/Project Choose a path:||Path 1 – Thesis:||MT691 & MT692 M.A. Thesis||6|
|Path 2 – Project:||MT693 M.A. Project||3|
*May take this course in the first module if one bible introduction is already complete and student is enrolled in the second
The application deadline for a term is two months before the first day of classes each September and January. Applications received after the deadline will be considered for admission in the following semester. Each applicant must:
- Hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution with a grade point average of 2.5 or higher (4.0 scale).
- Official transcript(s) of all undergraduate and graduate work pursued to date are required;
- Complete a statement of purpose following the instructions on the application.
- Two letters of recommendation.
- Students with additional master’s credits may receive transfer credits (see the transfer credit policy).
- Photo ID (state issued driver’s license, state identification card, or Passport) to verify identity
- Additionally, International Students:
- Must submit transcripts of undergraduate degree programs that originate from an institution outside the United States or Canada be sent to a professional transcript service for a course-by-course evaluation.
- Demonstrate their proficiency in English (see English Proficiency Requirements);
- Apply to the US Government for an F-1 non-immigrant student entry visa.
- A select number of students can be admitted without a baccalaureate degree, see the requirements for non-traditional students.
Comparison: Master of Divinity & Master of Arts Theological Studies
Master of Divinity and Master of Arts Theological Studies students take the same introductory courses in Bible, History, and Theology, which provides a solid theological foundation. The Master of Divinity degree is a required degree for ordination or promotion in some denominations. You should check on the requirements for your denomination or church during the application process. Our admissions team can help you determine requirements. Many chaplaincy programs require the M.Div. instead of an M.A.T.S. or MA.
|Theses or project required||no||yes|
|Degree for ordination||Depends on the denomination||Depends on the denomination|