The Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MATS) program offers specialization in historical theology, systematic theology, or cultural engagement. The ability to work with key theological concepts and thinkers is central to the program. You will learn how to articulate and defend your ethical and theological system, study more about the history of Christian theology and spirituality, and respectfully engage theological and spiritual traditions other than your own. Graduates will also be experienced in the production of scholarly theological research projects. Pursuing your MATS will provide the opportunity to dig deeper into theology and Scripture in preparation for Ph.D. studies and/or faithful theological leadership in the Church.

Ways to study

Graduate | On-campus | Online

Course plan


Application deadlines

Deeply Rooted, Ready to Listen

This program specializes in the study of cultural engagement and biblical, historical, and systematic theology. MATS students grow in their ability to think theologically through the breadth of disciplines and depth of inquiry to foster lifelong, passionate scholarship that expands the Kingdom. Our faculty will inspire you to embrace your faith confidently and be free to explore difficult questions. We are here to strengthen your intellect and theological understanding.

Male Student Reading Book at Table in Library

Example Courses

The courses listed below are some of our featured core classes that will be a part of your educational journey here at MU. Take a look at each course for a small preview.

Doctrinal issues facing the church today. Evaluates theologies that differ from historic orthodoxy, cults, religions, and doctrinal issues that tend to separate evangelicals. Prerequisites: TH 507, TH 508

Historical development of the formulation of the major tenets of Christian theology with special attention to councils, disputes over orthodoxy, and significant theologians from the close of the New Testament to the beginning of the Reformation.

Examines theological issues of the Reformation and the subsequent development of Protestant theology to the end of the nineteenth century; investigating major movements within Protestantism and the emergence of Enlightenment themes.

This course is an analysis of Biblically informed, Christ-centered Trinitarian engagement in culture. The course highlights the Institute for the Theology of Culture: New Wine, New Wineskins’ paradigm and gives special attention to the postmodern cultural context.

Degree Requirements

Here you will find everything you need to know about what is required to successfully complete your degree.

Course Layout

Meet Your Professors

Faculty Headshot Brad Harper
Brad Harper, Ph.D.
Professor, Bible and Theology Director, Master of Arts in Theological Studies; Assistant Dean, School of Biblical and Theological Studies

Career Placement

As a graduate of the Theological Studies program, you will be well-equipped for careers in churches, nonprofits, and all types of businesses.

With your M.A. in Theological Studies, you will be prepared for roles, such as:

• Senior Pastor • Associate Pastor • Church Planter
• Evangelist • Church Leader • Entrepreneur
• Missionary • Teacher • Parachurch Ministry Leader

“After the MTS, you’ll walk into your Ph.D. program prepared because we cover so much theological ground here. It’s a well-rounded education because you hear different theological perspectives from people who hold those positions, which is very helpful for Ph.D. work. ”

Sara Mannen '18, Master of Theological Studies