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Master of Sacred Theology (STM)

Provides advanced training for those who have already graduated with a standard MDiv degree or its equivalent.

Overview

Prepare for advanced research or ministry training

The Master of Sacred Theology degree designed for those who have graduated from a standard three-year seminary program and desire an additional year of advanced studies in preparation for Christian service and advanced theological study including doctoral work.

Expert Professors

DTS professors bring ministry experience and the highest levels of scholarship together for a rich and engaging classroom and community experience.

Doctoral Preparation

STM graduates go on to study in a wide variety of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programs around the US and the world.

Curriculum

Two engaging areas of study

STM students can study in one of two God-glorifying options: the academic track or the ministry track.

Sample academic track courses include:

  • Hebrew Exegesis
  • New Testament Exegesis
  • History of Doctrine
  • History of Philosophy
  • Interpretive Progressive Revelation

Sample ministry track courses include:

  • Pastoral Theology and Leadership
  • Advanced Expository Preaching
  • Dynamics of a Christian Marriage
  • Theological and Psychological Foundations of Counseling
  • Spiritual Disciplines
Details

Purpose

The program leading to the Master of Sacred Theology degree is open to those who have graduated from a standard three-year seminary program and hold the degree of Master of Divinity or its equivalent. The STM is designed to provide opportunity for additional and advanced studies in the theological disciplines in preparation for Christian service and advanced theological study. Apply Now

Goals

Educational Goals

To enable students to:

  • demonstrate a more focused knowledge in select areas of Bible content
  • demonstrate the ability to exegete the Hebrew and Greek texts of the Bible
  • demonstrate an understanding of the historical development of theology and a knowledge of premillennial dispensational theology
  • evidence an increasing likeness to Christ as manifested in love for God, love for others, and the fruit of the Spirit
  • demonstrate an ability to communicate the Bible and/or theology effectively
  • write an acceptable summative research paper or thesis; and
  • demonstrate skills in various ministries (for Ministry Track only); or
  • be prepared for advanced theological education (for Academic Track only)

Spiritual Goals

To enable students to evidence an increasing likeness to Christ as manifested in love for God, love for others, and the fruit of the Spirit.

Ministry Goals

To enable students to:

  • communicate the Bible effectively
  • demonstrate skills in various ministries
  • lead a local church or other group by means of biblical exposition, leadership skills, evangelism, and service;and
  • be prepared for advanced theological education

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements application procedures for the STM program are the same as for all programs of study at the seminary with three exceptions: (1) students who desire to pursue studies toward this degree must present at the time of application approved college and seminary degrees or their respective academic and theological equivalents; (2) transcripts of this work must show a grade point average of at least 2.5 on a scale of 4.0; and (3) applicants must provide a research paper, in English, previously written at the master’s level that shows an acceptable level of competency in research and writing.

Each applicant’s evaluation for admission to the STM program will include a review of the applicant’s completed MDiv (or equivalent) coursework to ensure the appropriate breadth of preparation necessary to pursue the STM degree. Identified deficiencies must be completed in addition to the following program requirements. On acceptance, STM students will receive a preliminary degree plan outlining how many hours will be required for their program.

Course Requirements

The STM degree normally requires 32 semester hours of coursework. The requirements listed below allow the STM program to be customized individually to prepare students for their intended ministry goals.

Transfer of Credit

Transfer of up to six credit hours is allowed towards the STM degree from accredited graduate theological schools.  Only courses completed after the conferral of the MDiv degree, and in which a grade of C or better is earned, will be eligible for transfer.  Transferability of credits earned at this institution and transferred to another school is at the discretion of the receiving institution.  Consult the Registrar’s Office for further information.

Residence Requirements

Of the 32 semester hours of coursework required for graduation, 18 hours must be taken face-to-face. In most cases it will be necessary for STM students to be enrolled in a minimum of three semesters of study, which can include Summer School.

All work leading to the STM degree must be completed within six years from the time of matriculation. Extension requires approval by the Credits Committee. Reinstatement in the program after withdrawal requires Admissions Committee action and may subject the student to additional requirements for the degree.

Admission to Candidacy

Students may be admitted to candidacy by action of the faculty for the STM degree in the fall or spring semester prior to the semester/term of degree conferral or the semester prior to their participation in the Commencement ceremony after these requirements have been met: (1) grade point average of 2.5; (2) evidence, to the satisfaction of the faculty, of proven Christian character and adherence to the following doctrines: the authority and inerrancy of Scripture, the Trinity, the full deity and humanity of Christ, the spiritual lostness of the human race, the substitutionary atonement and bodily resurrection of Christ, salvation by faith alone in Christ alone, and the physical return of Christ; (3) provision of a written statement of church involvement from the local church regularly attended while in seminary; and (4) provision of a reference form completed by a pastor or spiritual overseer.

Admission to candidacy is valid for one year. Students who postpone degree conferral beyond one year from original admission to candidacy or who postpone participation in the Commencement ceremony until the following spring will be required to reapply for admission to candidacy.

Graduation Requirements

Candidates for the STM degree must have completed the required 32 semester hours of coursework with a grade point average of at least 2.5, and must evidence, to the satisfaction of the faculty, ability and acceptability in Christian ministry, proven Christian character, and adherence to the doctrines stated in the Admission to Candidacy section.

Diplomas will not be released, transcripts issued, or placement assistance provided unless all financial obligations to the seminary and/or student loan program are current.

Stories

Graduates 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.

Dr. Frank Glover’s Plans to Build Liberian Medical School
Jennie Allen Engages Women’s Hearts for Christ
Kyle Lance Martin Pursues City Transformation
Anita Carman in Women’s Ministry
Joe Parle on Urban Ministry
Helping Stagnant Believers Restart Their Growth
Finances

Graduate from seminary debt-free

Over 90% of DTS students graduate without taking on additional debt. This is possible because of the generosity of our donors who make over 4 million dollars of scholarship funds available every year. 

Scholarship List

Through our donors and Foundation, we are able to offer 100s of scholarships to students every year. See the full list of scholarships.

Financial Aid Calculator

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

Doctrine

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.

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

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

Start

1. Submit Application

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

transcripts

2. Send Transcripts and References

Collect college transcripts and references from church and others.

Committee

3. Committee Evaluation

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

Register

4. Register for courses

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

Admissions Criteria

Faith

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

Character

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

Gifting

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

Academics

Previous education has prepared you for graduate theological education.

Information

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.

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