Master of Arts in Theological Studies

Do you feel called to enrich your understanding of theology in an academic setting? Are you interested in doctoral programs in theology or religious studies in the future? Saint Paul School of Theology offers a Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MATS) degree that can help you achieve these goals and more.

The MATS program is offered online, hybrid, or in-person at either our Kansas or Oklahoma campuses. Learn more about our two unique locations and plan a visit!

What is a MATS Degree?

A Master of Arts in Theological Studies, or MATS degree, is a master’s level theology degree designed primarily for individuals interested in continuing their education by earning a doctorate degree or entering a PhD program. A MATS program is both spiritually and biblically grounded, advancing research, creativity and faith. This makes it ideal for those who wish to strengthen their theological foundation in Christian history and tradition.

Students who pursue a master’s in theological studies may already be involved in their church in some capacity, whether it be as laymen or spiritual leaders. However, due to the program’s focus on research and academia, students with less ministry experience also find the program an excellent fit. Through exploring theological scholarship, students in a MATS degree program build faith-based knowledge that empowers them to contribute to and advance the study of theology at the academic level.

Students interested in the practical application of theological concepts, such as working as a minister, pastor, deacon or chaplain, may find the Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Christian Ministry or deacon studies program a better fit.

Why Choose Saint Paul for Your Master’s Degree in Theology?

  • 2-Year Completion: Our MATS program can be completed in just two years, putting students a step closer to pursuing graduate studies in theology or related fields.

  • Online and on-campus learning options: Choose an online, hybrid or on-campus learning format through our Flexible Learning EXperience (FLEX) course system that allows students to be in charge of how they receive their theological education. Online learning makes the program more accessible to many students and enables them to learn on their own time and in their own home. 

  • Customizable curriculum: In the Master of Arts in Theological Studies program, students are able to tailor their education to their interests through the selection of elective courses. The Thesis project gives students the opportunity to engage with scholarship in a meaningful way, providing space for students to explore their interests more deeply.

  • Dedicated faculty: Saint Paul’s faculty and ministry practitioners dedicate themselves to our students’ educational and spiritual development, helping us create an environment where high-quality education is the standard and academic life is rooted in faith.

  • Student services: The Disability Services Office provides students requiring accommodations with the support they need to have the best educational experience possible. Saint Paul also offers counseling resources to enrolled students, such as a counseling subsidy and a list of approved credentialed agencies and practitioners.

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MA in Theology Courses

At Saint Paul School of Theology, our MATS courses are highly academic and provide the perfect educational foundation for students wanting to enter a PhD program in a theological field. During the first year of the program, students take introductory classes in Bible, Theology and History. 

Second-year courses focus on completing electives in the student's area of study, research and thesis writing. Students engage in significant scholarship work on a selected research topic, including at least one historically marginalized perspective. 

Students enrolled in the MATS degree program taking hybrid courses at Saint Paul are enrolled in online classes but are expected to attend on-campus sessions during FOCUS week each semester. With the exception of FOCUS week, students complete coursework in an online format.

Student Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the degree, students can:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the biblical, historical and theological studies of Christianity;
  • Explain and evaluate significant scholarship, including at least one historically marginalized perspective, on a selected topic in a defined area of study; and
  • Effectively communicate their research and contribution to the selected topic.

Degree Requirements

The online master’s degree in theology requires 38 credit hours. The MATS requirements include a focused, in-depth analysis of a topic in the context of broader theological disciplines and a summative evaluation. Students take a core of required courses and several electives related to the student’s chosen focus of study, culminating in a capstone project.

Learn more about the theology degree requirements.

Admission Requirements

For acceptance to the master’s in theology online program, students must provide the following:

  • Proof of bachelor’s degree completion
  • Minimum GPA of 2.5 or higher (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Proof of English proficiency (international students)
  • Completed application

If you are interested in Saint Paul’s Theological Studies master’s degree program but still have questions, we are here to help you. Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information. Our admissions office can provide you with the answers you need to determine if this program is right for you.

Paying for Your Theology Degree

Determining the options for funding your education is an important step in preparing for your graduate program. Saint Paul can connect you with federal financial aid options and also offers a number of endowed scholarships, including named endowed scholarships, endowed end-of-year awards and full tuition scholarship fellowships.

Start a new spiritual, educational journey at an affordable cost through the Each One, Reach One Scholarship. This scholarship allows every admitted degree-seeking student who plans to enroll at Saint Paul to receive a scholarship of 50% off of tuition for the duration of their degree program—all you need to do is apply to get started!

To learn more about the cost of the MATS program, visit the Tuition and Fees page.

Career Outcomes

Our theological studies program has prepared countless students for continued theological education and service within the church. Graduates from Saint Paul School of Theology find employment in a variety of fields and are leaders who rely on their faith to guide them through life’s challenges. Our students may achieve careers as:

  • Chaplains or clerics
  • College or university professors
  • Missionaries
  • Religious studies educators
  • Theological researchers
  • Youth workers


Saint Paul’s Master of Arts in Theological Studies program is fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools.

Engage With Saint Paul School of Theology

There are many ways to encounter and engage with us, including through events and lectures. These opportunities bring theological scholars and faith leaders directly to students, providing them with valuable networking, collaboration and educational opportunities.

Deepen Your Understanding of Theology in Our MATS Program

At Saint Paul School of Theology, you thrive in an environment built for you to reach your goals in both your faith and academic pursuits. Our rigorous online Master of Arts in Theological Studies program prepares you to think critically about Christian history and tradition, contribute to theological research and advance your studies in a doctoral or PhD program.

Earn your degree online, in person or in a hybrid format. Request Information today!