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Master of Biblical and Theological Studies (MBTS)

The MBTS is a 36-hour degree designed for working professionals and laypersons who desire to be equipped to serve in the workforce, at home, and in the church.


Study the scriptures fully online 

The MBTS 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.

100% Online

You can complete the entire MBTS program entirely online from wherever God has called you. You can also supplement online courses with 3 or 5 day intensives at one of our campuses.

13 customizable elective hours

Choose from electives like Ministry to Children at Risk, A Christian View of Art, God and Evil, Theology & World Religions, and Role of Women in Ministry.


Ground yourself in God’s word

The MBTS gives you an overview of the entire Biblical story, introduces key theological concepts, and lets you choose from dozens of electives based on your interests and calling.

36 Hours
earn up to
Degree Available:
Ext Sites
Biblical Exposition 9
BE5101 Bible Study Methods and Hermeneutics 3
BE5201 The Story of Scripture: Genesis to Revelation 3
BE5505 The Kingdom & Covenants 3
Theological Studies 9
Other Theology courses 6
ST5101 Theological Method and Bibliology 3
Ministry & Research 5
PM5101 Christian Life and Witness 3
RS5101 Orientation and Research Methods 1
RS5103 Summative Research Project 1
Electives 13
Electives 13

Use our Degree Plan Worksheet resource to chart out your MBTS degree. For a description of courses offered, please see the catalog



This MBTS provides a flexible course of study for:

  • Business professionals or laypersons who desire a short program of seminary studies to equip them for effective ministry in the workforce, home, local church, or abroad
  • Missionary candidates who anticipate service in nonprofessional ministries whose mission board requires graduate study in Bible and theology
  • College graduates who want a shorter program of seminary studies as a supplement to their undergraduate work and are not planning on entering vocational ministry
  • Spouses of current DTS students who want to complete a program of graduate seminary studies

Program Goals

Students in the MBTS program will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a general knowledge of the Bible, including a synthetic understanding of the major books;
  • Evidence a general knowledge of theology;
  • Evidence an ability to biblically and theologically support their views on a specific contemporary issue;
  • Evidence an increasing likeness to Christ as manifested in love for God, love for others, and the fruit of the Spirit; and
  • Evidence an interest and involvement in the local church or other ministries with which they are associated. 

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for the MBTS are the same as for all programs of study at the Seminary. However, since the MBTS is primarily designed for individuals who desire to enhance their biblical and theological foundation for lay ministry in professional contexts, admission to the program will normally be limited to those who meet this purpose.

Transfer of Credit

Transfer of up to 12 hours of credit is allowed toward the MBTS program from accredited graduate theological schools. Students must have earned a grade of C or better (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) for a course to be considered in transfer. Transferability of credits earned at this institution and transferred to another is at the discretion of the receiving institution. Consult the registrar’s office for information on eligibility for transfer credit.

Residential Requirements

While the MBTS can be completed entirely online, all of the courses are also offered as classroom courses on the main Dallas campus and at all of 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.

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

Course Requirements

Thirty-six semester hours of coursework are required as a minimum for graduation. Nine hours are prescribed in Biblical Exposition courses, 9 are prescribed in Theological Studies courses, 4 are in Pastoral Ministries, and 2 are required for a summative research project. The remaining 13 hours are taken in free electives in courses of interest to the student.

The program normally requires a minimum of two years of study. Some exceptions to the two-year limit apply for those who have previous advanced theological study or prior extensive undergraduate studies in religion and/or other appropriate foundational areas, thus allowing some students to finish the program in as little as one year. Contact the Admissions Office or Advising Center for more information. Students may pursue this degree on a year-round basis or during summers. By taking only one course per term (fall, spring, summer), students can still complete the program in four years. All work leading to the MBTS must, however, be completed within six years from the time of matriculation. Extension of this limit requires approval of the Credits Committee. Reinstatement to the program after withdrawal requires Admissions Committee action and may subject the student to additional requirements for the degree.

MBTS in Chinese

Since courses necessary to complete the MBTS are also available in Chinese, interested students may earn the MBTS in Chinese through the seminary’s Chinese Online Studies program and by taking some courses in residence at the seminary’s Hong Kong extension. More information on the MBTS in Chinese and on online courses in Chinese is available in the Online Education section of this catalog under Special Programs and Sessions, in the Chinese Studies office, or on the seminary’s website at


Graduates serving around the world

God has given our graduates incredible gifts that they express in their places of work, in their homes, and the churches where they worship.

DTS Alum Alastair Howie’s Life Changing Decision
Children’s Clothing Company Making a Difference
Nate Bearfield’s Journey From The Kitchen to the Classroom
DTS Grad Kat Armstrong Creates Ministry for Young Professional Women

More scholarships, less debt

Over 90% of DTS students graduate without taking on additional educational debt. Learn how you can take advantage of payment plans, veteran’s benefits, and partner ministry discounts.

Payment Plans

Disburse your educational expenses over 3 months, 4 months, 5 months, 10 months, or 12 months. See more about our seminary payment plans.

Financial Aid Calculator

Visit our tool to calculate your costs and see how affordable seminary can be with scholarships, church support, and payment options.


What we believe

DTS faculty affirm our full doctrinal statement every year, while our diverse community of students are centered around these seven core doctrines of evangelical faith.

the authority and inerrancy of Scripture
the Trinity
Hypostatic Union
Christ’s full deity and humanity
the spiritual lostness of the human race
Christ’s substitutionary atonement and bodily resurrection
salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone
Return of Christ
the physical return of Christ

How to get started

The deadline for fall applications as July 1, for spring is November 1, and for summer is April 1.

Application Steps


1. Submit Application

Begin your online application today. It should take about 2 hours.


2. Send Transcripts and References

Collect college transcripts and references from church and others.


3. Committee Evaluation

DTS will review your application and respond within 2-3 weeks.


4. Register for courses

When you receive your acceptance letter, you can plan your first classes.

Admissions Criteria


You show evidence of saving faith in Jesus Christ in your application testimony, and you adhere to the 7 core doctrines.


Your references speak to your character and dependence on the Holy Spirit for life and work.


You are endowed with appropriate spiritual gifts and involved in Christian ministry.


Previous education has prepared you for graduate theological education.


We’d love to send you more information

This form will enable us to email you with details about your campus and degree program and followup with additional information customized to your goals.