Master of Arts (Christian Studies) (MACS)*

The program leading to the Master of Arts degree with a major in Christian Studies (MACS) is designed to provide a graduate-level biblical and theological foundation for various kinds of Christian service. This degree is designed primarily for lay leaders who desire training for more effective ministry within their church or organization. The MACS may also provide supplemental training for those engaged in parachurch ministries or those in support positions with missions agencies or churches. Those who are seeking full preparation for vocational ministry should apply for admission to one of the professional degree programs.


Biblical Studies 24
BE101 Bible Study Methods and Hermeneutics 3
BE102 Old Testament History I 3
BE103 Old Testament History II and Poetry 2
BE104 Old Testament Prophets 3
BE105 The Gospels 2
BE106 Acts and Pauline Epistles 3
BE107 Hebrews, General Epistles, and Revelation 3
BE109 Ruth, Psalms, Jonah, and Selected Epistles 3
NT113 New Testament Introduction 2
Theological Studies 21
ST101 Theological Method and Bibliology 3
ST102 Trinitarianism 3
ST103 Angelology, Anthropology, and Hamartiology 3
ST104 Soteriology 3
ST105 Sanctification and Ecclesiology 3
ST106 Eschatology 3
HT200 History of Doctrine 3
Ministries, Communication, & Research 9
RS101 Orientation and Research Methods 1
RS103 Summative Research Project 1
PM101 Spiritual Life 2
PM102 Evangelism 2
Communications Course 3
Additional Hours 8
Spiritual Formation (4 semesters) 0
Electives 8
62 Hours
complete 100% online

The MACS degree is based on the principle that any follower of Christ will benefit from advanced training in biblical and theological studies, becoming a more effective minister of the gospel wherever they serve.


Jennie Allen equips women to serve others.

Tom Nelson serves on the DTS Board of Incorporate Members.


Online and Distance Education

The MACS can be completed by taking courses online or at one of our eight locations. View a sample of an online class.

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Program Goals

All students in the MACS program will be able to:

  • demonstrate a general knowledge of the Bible, including a synthetic understanding of the major books;
  • evidence an understanding of the historical development of theology, a knowledge of premillennial theology, and an ability to support their theological views and apply them to contemporary issues;
  • evidence an increasing likeness to Christ as manifested in love for God, love for others, and the fruit of the Spirit;
  • evidence an interest and involvement in the local church or other ministries with which they are associated; and
  • minister within a local church or other group by means of leadership skills, evangelism, and service.

In addition, to the above goals, students in the Chinese-language version of the MACS will also be able to:

  • design an effective strategy for Chinese ministry and
  • communicate biblical and theological knowledge to a contemporary Chinese audience.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements and application procedures for the MACS are the same as for all programs of study at the seminary (see the Admission section of this catalog). Students generally will not be admitted into this degree program without goals consistent with the ministries for which the program is designed to equip them.

Transfer of Credit

Transfer of up to 31 hours of credit is allowed toward the MACS program from accredited graduate programs in related fields of study. Students must have earned a grade of C or better (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) for a course to be considered for transfer. Transferability of credits earned
at Dallas Theological Seminary and transferred to another institution is at the discretion of the receiving institution. Consult the registrar’s office for information on eligibility for transfer credit.

Residence Requirements

While the MACS can be completed entirely online, all of the courses are also offered as classroom courses on the main Dallas campus and most of them at the seminary’s extension campuses. This is to enhance the learning objectives of certain subjects that may be better achieved through a live interactive setting as well as for those who prefer a traditional face-to-face format.

Not all of the MACS courses are offered in a live face-to-face format in Chinese. Some are offered live at the Dallas and Houston campuses, and 30 hours can be completed in face-to-face courses in Chinese at the seminary’s extension in Hong Kong. For more information on course availability in Chinese, contact the of ce of Chinese Studies.

Regardless of the mode of delivery (online or in face-to-face classes in Dallas or at an approved extension), at least fifty percent of the course work required for the degree must be earned through DTS.

All work toward the MACS degree must be completed within seven years from the time of initial matricula- tion. Extension of this time limit requires approval of the Credits Committee. Reinstatement to the MACS after withdrawal requires Admissions Committee action and may subject the student to additional requirements for the degree.

Spiritual Formation

Because DTS values Christlike character and spiritual maturity, MACS students are required to register for and participate in Spiritual Formation (SF) groups each of their rst four consecutive fall and spring semesters at either the Dallas campus or Houston Campus. Online MACS students or those who are not planning to be in residence in Dallas or Houston for four consecutive semesters must contact the EML department and apply for an alternative program for completing SF requirements.

In the SF curriculum, small groups of ve to seven students focus on identity, community, integrity, and delity. The groups also provide an atmosphere for prayer, fellowship, and the integration of learning with life and ministry.

Because students participate with the same group during four consecutive semesters, they should plan their schedules so they may meet on the same day and at the same time each semester. SF is a noncredit, transcripted experience. The prerequisite for all required internships is SF100 Spiritual Formation (or an approved SF substitute).

Students in the Chinese-language MACS must contact the Chinese Studies Department concerning how to meet their Spiritual Formation requirement.

Accelerated MACS

Students entering the English MACS with a strong background in Bible or theology from an approved Christian university, Bible college, or parachurch ministry may apply for the accelerated program during the admissions process. In place of core courses in the MACS curriculum, accelerated participants take four advanced standing courses (AS103–106). This results in a curricular reduction of up to 12 credit hours. The accelerated program is limited to students taking courses on the Dallas campus.

For more information about the accelerated program visit

Course Requirements

Sixty-two semester hours of coursework are required as a minimum for graduation. Students may pursue this degree on a year-round basis or during summers. By taking about 12 hours of coursework each year or summer, students can complete the program in ve years or ve summers depending on scheduling needs.

Students who intend to complete the requirements for the MACS online, but do not have prior experience with online courses are not encouraged to take more than one course their first online semester.

All students in the MACS, regardless of language, are required to take 24 hours of prescribed Biblical Studies courses, 18 hours of prescribed Theological Studies courses, 2 hours in Spiritual Life, 3 hours in an approved communications course, and 2 hours in research for a total of 49 core hours.

MACS in English

In addition to the common 49 hours of core requirements above, all students in the MACS in English are required to take PM102 Evangelism for 2 hours and HT200 History of Doctrine for 3 hours. Of the remaining 8 elective hours, students in the English-language MACS must take at least 2 hours from the Department of Educational Ministries and Leadership and at least 2 hours from the Department of World Missions and Intercultural Studies.

MACS in Chinese

基督教研究碩士 In addition to the common 49 hours of core requirements above, students pursuing the MACS in Chinese are required to take WM340 Ministry in Chinese Contexts for 2 hours, WM545 Chinese Historical and Theological Trends for 3 hours, and EML101 Introduction to Educational Ministries and Leadership for 3 hours. For their remaining 5 elective hours, students in the Chinese MACS may choose courses suited to their interests and needs.

修讀基督教研究碩士課程的學生,除了 49學分的共同科目之外,必須修WM340 〈華人文化環處中的事工〉(2學分) ,WM545〈華人教會歷史/當代神學趨 勢〉(3學分),及EML101〈教會教育 進程〉(3學分)。其餘的5學分,學生 可以按其興趣及需要選修相當的中文課 程。

Degree Plan*

First Year

Fall Semester

BE101Bible Study Methods and Hermeneutics3
BE103Old Testament History II and Poetry2
ST101Theological Method and Bibliology3
PM101Spiritual Life2
RS101Orientation and Research Methods1
SF100-1Spiritual Formation1 

Spring Semester

NT113New Testament Introduction2
BE102Old Testament History I3
BE105The Gospels2
BE109Ruth, Psalms, Jonah, and Selected Epistles3
SF100-2Spiritual Formation1 

Second Year

Fall Semester

BE104Old Testament Prophets3
BE106Acts and Pauline Epistles3
ST103Angelology, Anthropology, and Hamartiology3
ST105Sanctification and Ecclesiology3
SF100-3Spiritual Formation1 

Spring Semester

BE107Hebrews, General Epistles, and Revelation3
HT200History of Doctrine3
Communications Course3
SF100-4Spiritual Formation1 
RS103Summative Research Project1
  1. Students have two calendar years (four consecutive fall/spring semesters) to complete the SF100 Spiritual Formation requirement. Students who register for SF100 need to keep in mind that the course is a four-semester-long course that will meet at the same day and time each of the four semesters. See the Spiritual Formation and Leadership department for more information.
  2. At least 2 hours of electives must be selected from the Department of World Missions and Intercultural Studies. If CE105 or CE450 is not taken, at least 2 hours of electives must be selected from the Department of Christian Education.

*Note: This curriculum plan is intended for new students only. Current students should refer to the degree requirements available from the Advising Center.

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