Master of Arts in Theological Studies (M.A.T.S.)

Flexible program offering—On campus, Online, or Hybrid.

The Master of Arts in Theological Studies (M.A.T.S.) fosters development of theological understanding as part of educational, professional, and spiritual growth. This two-year degree program is a general academic degree, providing balanced exposure to theological disciplines while allowing for focus on an area of interest.

The M.A.T.S. offers the same breadth as the M.Div., but with greater flexibility. M.A.T.S. students develop a final paper integrating their learning and are not required to complete an internship. The M.A.T.S. may also be pursued part-time, and with the option to study online, on campus, or a combination of the two. It is ideal for those looking to enrich personal or professional development through theological education.

This degree is designed for students who:

  • Are not seeking ordination, but wish to work in a church setting
  • Are ordained, but desire further academic work in theological studies
  • Wish to enhance their understanding of theological perspectives, religious practices, and/or principles of compassion to their vocations and professions



This program allows for concentration in a field of study to a greater extent than the M.Div. require­ments generally permit. The faculty and disciplines are organized into the following curricular areas:

  1. Biblical Studies
  2. History/Theology/Ethics
  3. Ministry/Spirituality
  4. Spiritual Care/Chaplaincy through the Shaw Chaplaincy Institute
  5. Or design your own!

Expand Your Interfaith Education at the GTU

SFTS is a founding member of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley, CA—America’s largest consortium of interfaith and interdisciplinary religious thought, study, and practice from around the world. Students have access to classes and resources from institutions ranging from the Institute for Buddhist Studies to the University of California, Berkeley.

Learning Outcomes

  • Know a selected theological discipline
  • Analyze and comprehend major questions in the field and alternative solutions to them
  • Formulate and effectively explain an original solution to a theological problem
  • Through Spiritual Care theory, practice, and research methods, learn to focus care on discovering and meeting the needs of those served

Degree Requirements

  • Two years full-time; up to four years part-time
  • 16 courses; 48 units


Bundle Your Academic Studies with  Vocational Training

What does ministry look like today? Progressive ministry takes many forms across many professions, from social services to business entrepreneurship. Bundle your theological degree with other School of Continuing Studies certificates—in Business, Counseling, Education, and more—to gain the skills for your ministry context. 

Customize your academic pathway with possibilities such as:

  • MATS + Nonprofit Management Certificate
  • MATS + Organizational Leadership Certificate
  • MATS + Spiritual Entrepreneurship Certificate
  • MATS + Mental Health & Spirituality Certificate



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David Altshuler, MDiv
Director of Enrollment
San Francisco Theological Seminary
University of Redlands  | Graduate School of Theology
415.451.2818 office


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