Master of Arts (MA)

The Master of Arts degree with majors is designed for persons anticipating advanced research in Old Testament, New Testament, or Theological Studies.


Accelerated Core 18
AS101 Seminar on Practical Theology, Hermeneutics, and Research 3
AS102 Seminar on Educational Process of the Church and World Missions 3
AS103 Seminar on Old Testament Books 3
AS104 Seminar on the New Testament 3
AS105 Seminar on God, Creation, Humanity, and Sin 3
AS106 Seminar on Salvation, Sanctification, and the Church 3
Theology, Languages, and Research 14
Spiritual Formation 0
ST101 Theological Method and Bibliology 3
ST106 Eschatology 3
XX103 Third semester Greek or Hebrew 3
XX104 Fourth semester Greek or Hebrew 3
XX902 Thesis 2
Academic Discipline 28
Electives 28
60 Hours
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Students in the MA program will be able to:

  • demonstrate a general knowledge of the Bible, including a synthetic understanding of major Bible books;
  • evidence a general knowledge of systematic theology from a premillennial framework and an ability to support their theological views and apply them to contemporary issues;
  • demonstrate specific knowledge in the discipline of their selected concentration in the program necessary for advanced research in that discipline;
  • evidence an increasing likeness to Christ as manifested in love for God, love for others, and the fruit of the Spirit; and
  • demonstrate involvement in their local churches and/or other ministries with which they are associated.

Admissions Requirements

The Admission requirements and application procedures for the MA are the same as for all programs of study at the seminary. However, due to the research nature of the MA, admission to the program will be limited to students who have a strong biblical, theological, and ministry-training background. It assumes students admitted to the program meet or exceed the seminary’s Accelerated Advanced Standing requirements. If such prerequisites are not met, leveling work will be required. For more information on the seminary’s Accelerated Advanced Standing Program requirements see or email

Students must submit their application and submit all items of their advanced standing application by July 1st for the fall semester and November 1st for spring admission. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered and students are encouraged to contact Admissions to discuss their options.

Transfer of Credit

Transfer of up to 30 hours of credit is allowed toward the MA 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. Consult the registrar’s office for information on eligibility for transfer credit.

Residence Requirements

While some of the MA courses may be completed online or at one of the seminary’s approved extension locations, the unique nature of the MA will require students to complete the majority of their course work in residence at the Dallas campus. Students in the MA degree program will work with the Advising Center and the department of their intended major on course requirements and scheduling.

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

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

Course Requirements

Sixty semester hours of coursework are required as a minimum for graduation. Students may also be required to complete additional leveling work in foundational biblical, theological, and ministry areas as well as in the biblical languages (Hebrew and Greek) if they have not had sufficient back- ground in these disciplines prior to admission. The amount of leveling work required will be determined as part of the admissions process for the degree.

Common Required Core

In addition to any required leveling work, students in the MA, will complete 32 hours of common prescribed courses indicated in the chart on this page, which include advanced Hebrew language study for Old Testament Studies majors or advanced Greek language study for New Testament Studies majors. The core requirements also include a 2-hour thesis in the student’s intended major. In addition to the common 32-hour core, MA students will complete 28 hours in their intended major (Old Testament Studies, New Testament Studies, or Theological Studies). All students in the MA will be required to pass comprehensive exams in their major.

MA Majors

Students in the MA will select a major in Old Testament Studies, New Testament Studies, or Theological Studies. The required thesis listed above in the Common Core for the MA will be written in the department of the student’s major. Students must also pass comprehensive exams in their area of major. Students may contact their major department for more information concerning the exams.

Spiritual Formation

Because DTS values Christlike character and spiritual maturity, MA students are required to register for and participate in Spiritual Formation groups each of their first four consecutive fall and spring semesters. (MA students who are not planning to be in residence in Dallas or Houston for four consecutive fall and spring semesters must contact the Educational Ministries and Leadership Department and apply for an alternative program for completing their Spiritual Formation requirement.)

In the Spiritual Formation curriculum, small groups of five to seven students focus on identity, community, integrity, and fidelity. 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. Spiritual Formation is a noncredit, transcripted experience.

Old Testament Studies

Required Major Courses (taken by all OT students)

Course # Course Name Hours
OT205Introduction to Old Testament Criticism3
Choose two of the following:6
OT302Historical Hebrew Grammar(3)
OT305Advanced Hebrew Grammar(3)
OT310Hebrew Reading(3)
Choose one of the following:3
OT315Old Testament Textual Criticism(3)
OT320The Septuagint(3)
OT400 Level Exegetical Studies electives (two)6
OT605Old Testament Backgrounds2
Total OT Major Required Hours20

Old Testament Studies Tracks

Ancient Near Eastern Studies8
OT606Seminar in OT Backgrounds 2
Choose two of the following:6
OT325Biblical Aramaic(3)
OT330Introduction to Ugaritic(3)
OT335Northwest Semitic Inscriptions(3)
OT360Introduction to Akkadian(3)
Old Testament Studies8
OT206Seminar in OT Criticism I3
OT207Seminar in OT Criticism II2
Choose one of the following:3
OT325Biblical Aramaic(3)
OT330Introduction to Ugaritic(3)
OT335Northwest Semitic Inscriptions(3)
OT360Introduction to Akkadian(3)
Total Old Testament Studies Major28

New Testament Studies

Required Major Courses (taken by all NT students)

Course # Course Name Hours
NT105Exegesis of Romans(3)
NT205Advanced Greek Grammar(3)
NT400The NT in Contemporary Culture(3)
NT410Daily Life in the First-Century City(3)
NT420Seminar in NT Literary Contexts(3)
NT430Seminar in New Testament Theology(3)
NT902New Testament Thesis—Additional Hour(1)
Total NT Major Required Hours19
NT Major Open-Elective hours (in consultation with NT advisor)9
Total New Testament Studies Major28

Theological Studies

Required Major Courses (taken by all TS students)

Course # Course Name Hours
HT101Church to the Modern Era(3)
HT102Church in the Modern Era(3)
HT200History of Doctrine3
ST295Systematic Theology Colloquium(3)
ST200 to ST500 Level Elective(3)
ST600 Level Elective(3)
Total TS Major Required Hours18
TS Major Open-Elective Hours (any HT/ST electives)9
Total Theological Studies Major28
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