Distance Education Options

If you'd like to study at DTS, but you don't live near one of our locations, this page has the information you need to stay in your current ministry and complete a degree through distance education.


Three programs can be completed entirely online with no trips to campus: the 30-hour Certificate of Graduate Studies (CGS), the 36-hour Master of Biblical and Theological Studies (MBTS), and the 62-hour MA in Christian Studies (MACS). All other degree programs have "residential" (i.e., face-to-face) requirements. The MA in Christian Leadership has the lowest residency requirements, only requiring 10 hours of on-campus course work.

Degree Time Limit Total
Locations Where Classes Count as “Residential”
CGS 5 Years 30 none 30 All locations, and can be completed completely Online
MACS 7 Years 62 none 62 Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Atlanta, Tampa, Knoxville, Washington, DC
MACL 7 Years 62 9+12 41 Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Atlanta, Tampa, Knoxville, Washington, DC
MABEL 7 Years 62 21 41 Dallas
MABC 7 Years 90 30 60 Dallas, Houston
MACE 7 Years 65 22 43 Dallas, Houston
MACM 7 Years 64 22 42 Dallas, Houston
MAMW 7 Years 67 23 44 Dallas
ThM 8 Years 120 40 80 Dallas, Houston
  • Residency Hours consist of hours completed face-to-face in a classroom at a location offering your degree. One important exception is the Ministry Residency Internship which does count as "residency" because it has a classroom component even though much of it may be completed at another location.
  • Non-Residency Hours are classes taken in a variety of formats—online and video- conferencing—or at a variety of locations that don’t offer select degree programs (e.g., if you're in the ThM program, classes in Austin count as "non-residency" according to our accreditors. But if you're in the MACL program that same class in Austin counts as "residence"). Non-residency also includes the following: thesis, applied research project, internship (with the exception of SL801 and SL802), advanced standing, transfer credit, and independent study.
  • † MA/CL - The MA in Christian Leadership degree only requires 10 hours of coursework on campus (which can be completed over winter or summer one week terms) when you also enroll in an 11-hour Ministry Residency Internship. The remaining 41 hours can then be completed online or at an extension campus.

Distance Learning Locations

Each of our six master’s-level extensions features classes taught by regular Dallas and Houston campus professors and offers complete MACL and MACS degrees. For the ThM and professional MA degrees, you can start online or at an extension campus and complete the remaining hours at the Dallas or Houston campuses.