Master of Arts (Theological Studies)


Homo religiosus (the religious human) is the individual who is curious about and seeks to know more on the theological and religious issues of today. If you are this type of person and open to new ideas and perspectives, Central’s 36-hour Master of Arts (Theological Studies) degree provides a path for exploration and engagement. In a world where theological and religious perspectives matter on both the local and global level, the MA(TS) provides a foundation for discernment, thoughtful navigation, and engagement on critical issues.

The goals of the MA(TS) are for an individual, who has an undergraduate bachelor’s degree, to gain Master’s level knowledge in general theological studies and to provide skills for professional research and communication. In the process of achieving these goals, the MA(TS) allows for a student to focus his or her studies upon a particular emphasis. Two specific emphases are available: (1) Biblical Studies and (2) Peacemaking/Reconciliation. In both of these emphases, a student selects three electives of three hours each for a total of nine hours. The culmination of the MA(TS) is a either a Capstone Project or a Thesis.

Online Format

The MATS program incorporates some of the latest technologies related to pedagogy. Central’s Master of Arts (Theological Studies) program can be completed 100% online.* We use video-conferencing to facilitate synchronous class sessions on Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday evenings (central time zone) in which students interact with the professor and fellow students. Each class meets one night per week. Students near the site where a class is being offered can join the professor in the room for class time if they would like, but most students attend the synchronous sessions virtually from around the United States. These synchronous sessions are paired with asynchronous learning activities that offer students flexibility to pursue their studies on their own time.

It is never easy to balance seminary studies with family, work, church, and other obligations. Students have to make sacrifices in order for it to work, but Central’s evening synchronous session schedule and online format make it possible for most students to maintain their full-time jobs while earning their Master of Arts (Theological Studies) degree.

*International students must attend classes in person.


The goal of the Master of Arts (Theological Studies) is for professional research or personal educational enhancement.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Acquisition of general knowledge in the field of theological studies
  2. Critical reasoning, research and writing skills
  3. Creation of a Thesis or a Capstone Project


36-hour MATS Program Outline:

First Year

First Term
F-FM501         Foundations for Seminary Studies (1 hours—4 weeks)
MA505            Dynamics of Theological Thinking (2 hours—8 weeks)
C-CH501         Christian Heritage I (3 hours)

Second Term
F-TH511          Constructive Theology I (3 hours)
I-IN501           Biblical Interpretation (3 hours)

Third Term
F-ET521            Christian Ethics (3 hours)
I-HB511            Hebrew Bible I (3 hours)

Second Year

First Term
I-NT521            New Testament I (3 hours)
MA521              Research Skills [Preparation for Capstone/Thesis] (3 hours)

Second Term
ELECTIVE ONE [in Peace Studies/Biblical Studies] (3 hours)
ELECTIVE TWO [in Peace Studies/Biblical Studies] (3 hours)

Third Term
ELECTIVE THREE [in Peace Studies/Biblical Studies] (3 hours)
MA506           Capstone Project (3 credits)
MA507           Thesis   (3 hours)

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