Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology

Master of Theological Studies

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The Master of Theological Studies (MTS) program provides students with a solid philosophical and theological foundation and interpretive skills so that they can bring their professional experience into dialogue with the theological and historical tradition and mission of the Church. Students work in areas such as business, health care, education, social work, fine arts, the Church, and other related fields. Through the MTS program, they develop a stronger sense of confidence to bring faith to their professional lives.

A Program Like No Other

Not all MTS programs are alike – some are designed to prepare students for advanced doctoral studies; others for personal enrichment, or parish-based ministry. Our program is unique because it takes seriously the professional experience of its students, and weaves that experience into the ongoing philosophical and theological conversations of our community of scholars. Students also have access to the DSPT College of Fellows, a group of Catholics distinguished in their professional fields who actively integrate their careers with the mission of the Church. 

The DSPT MTS degree requires completion of 48 semester units of coursework in the areas of theological interpretation and research, plus a final capstone project (designed in collaboration with the program coordinator). At the heart of the program is a series of four seminars which integrates philosophical skills for interpretation (hermeneutics) into theological and professional inquiry. Students must also complete all of the assessment portfolio requirements as described in the DSPT Student Handbook. Participants may enroll in the program on either a full-time or a part-time basis. The maximum time permitted for completion is five years computed from the date of enrollment in the program. Students are required to maintain a 3.0 grade point average.

Goals and Outcomes

Students in the MTS program are life-long learners who enjoy bringing contemporary issues into dialogue with the rich theological tradition of the Church. By the end of the program, students will:

  1. Bring interpretive skills gleaned from the philosophical, theological and/or biblical traditions of inquiry to bear upon a chosen field of theological study which is specifically chosen because it relates to their own profession and provides the focus for theological interpretation [Deep Learning] and will demonstrate the following outcomes:
    • the ability to interpret theological texts in a contemporary context;
    • a specialized knowledge in a particular area of theology which is relevant and useful to their primary profession;
  2. Understand how to engage in fruitful conversations with communities of the local Church, academy, or society. [Effective Leadership], and will demonstrate the following outcomes:
  • the capacity to identify key issues within their profession relevant to the contemporary Church, local academy, or society;
  • the capacity to formulate a meaningful response to the identified issue(s).

Required Areas - 48 units total

  • MTS Seminars - 12 units
  • Fundamental Moral Theology - 3 units 
  • Applied Moral Theology - 3 units
  • Scripture - 6 units
  • History - 3 units
  • Philosophy for Theology - 3 units
  • Philosophy Elective - 3 units
  • Systematic Theology - 6 units
  • Area of Specialization - 9 units

Capstone Project
The specifics of each project are determined according to the needs and design of each inquiry. Ideas for projects include a field study of a particular focused question or problem related to the student's primary work situation; a research analysis which integrates particular theoretical issues from the student's primary expertise with contemporary topics in the Church, etc. Each project should address the following questions:

     How can I bring these skills or this content into understanding and interpreting contemporary issues in Church and society?

     How will the integration of these skills or this content help me in my professional development?

Related Links


MTS resources

  • The best place for you to find details about the MTS program requirements is in section IV of the Student Handbook.
  • The Master of Theological Studies (MTS) has no requirement for GRE or foreign language proficiency. 
  • Applicants must have a bachelor's degree, plus a minimum of 2 years of professional experience in a specialized field.
  • MTS Program Requirement Checklist
  • MTS Course Layout


Aaron Anderson
Director of Admissions

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