Master of Theological Studies (MTS) - Princeton Theological Seminary

Master of Theological Studies

Prepare for a doctoral program, an education career, a specialized ministry role, or nonprofit work. The Master of Theological Studies (MTS) degree program invites you to sharpen your research skills, build a strong understanding of the theological disciplines, and continue your lifelong journey of faith and discovery.

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At a Glance

Application Deadline

January 15 – Final deadline – merit scholarship applicants, international applicants

April 15 – Final deadline – US citizens and residents


2 Years

On Campus

Is the Master of Theological Studies for Me?

Do you:

  • Want to dive deeply into a particular area of theological scholarship?
  • Hope to engage in training that prepares you for further research and PhD work?
  • Have a passion for exploring new perspectives and seeking God’s voice in all you do?

Designed for students who seek a foundational understanding of the classical theological disciplines, the MTS degree program combines a deep dive into an area of specialization with a strong focus on research skills. Graduate with the ability to draw on your faith to invest in the world’s flourishing.

What You’ll Study

As an MTS student, you complete 48 credits: 16 credits in core topics such as New Testament and Exegesis and Doing Christian Theology and 32 credits in electives and your area of specialization.

In your coursework, you develop a critical appreciation and foundational understanding of the classical theological disciplines, from Biblical Studies to Practical Theology to Religion and Society. You also gain a deep understanding of core concepts from your area of specialization and build strong research competencies, including analyzing sources, building bibliographies, and constructing arguments.

What You’ll Do

In addition to the required core coursework, choose a specialization that fits your specific calling. Find the flexibility to pursue your interests and take advantage of the seminary’s resources, including our active residential community, vibrant worship life, and world-class theological library. Along the way, deepen your relationship with your faith, investigate the critical questions of our time, and develop the skills you need to thrive.

MTS Program Details

You may choose an area of study from five specializations

  • Biblical Studies
  • History and Ecumenics
  • Practical Theology
  • Religion and Society
  • Theology

The MTS degree requires the completion of 48 credits:

MTS Core Curriculum (16 credits)

  • Orientation to Old Testament and Exegesis or Advanced Placement (3 credits)
  • Orientation to New Testament and Exegesis or Advanced Placement (3 credits)
  • Doing Christian Theology or Advanced Placement (3 credits)
  • Course in the History and Ecumenics Department (3 credits)
  • Course in Education and Formation (EF), Pastoral Care (PC), or Preaching (PR) (3 credits)
  • MTS Senior Seminar (1 credit) [fall of second year]

MTS Area of Specialization and Electives (32 credits)

  • Area of Specialization (18 credits)
  • Electives or Additional Courses in Area of Specialization (14 credits)

Sample Courses

  • The Theological Question of Liberation: New Studies in Constructive Theology
  • Concepts, Methods, and Themes in World Christianity
  • Evangelicalism and the Making of the Modern US
  • The Spirituality of War

To qualify for admission, you need to have an undergraduate degree (typically a BA or BS) from a school accredited by one of the accrediting agencies recognized by our faculty. To apply, please submit the following:

  • A completed admissions application
  • Unofficial transcripts from all post-secondary institutions previously attended
  • Three letters of recommendation: one pastoral endorsement, one academic, and one additional
  • Application fee of $50

Interviews are required for merit scholarships and are strongly recommended; learn more about our interview process, including when and how to schedule.

Outcomes with a Master of Theological Studies

The MTS degree gives you the tools to build a strong theological foundation, question concepts, search for vital answers, and explore new perspectives. By engaging in research opportunities and diving into your area of interest, you learn to address theological issues with creativity and depth—whether you plan to pursue further education or serve directly in ministry.

Next Steps

Prepare for a specialized career, a unique ministry, or a doctoral theology program. Request information about the Master of Theological Studies (MTS) degree, schedule a visit, or apply today.