The degree programs at Shepherds Theological Seminary equip students to excel in a wide range of ministerial opportunities. The various academic degrees provide specific disciplines of ministry for which God has uniquely gifted each student. Each of these programs couples academically challenging classroom study with mentorship by experienced ministers. This section describes in detail the specific requirements needed to enter and to complete each degree. A traditional Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree (minimum 120 semester hours) granted by an accredited institution is required to enter into any of the master’s degree programs.

Master of Divinity

The purpose of the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree is to prepare pastors, missionaries, and other Christian workers for a life of effective servant leadership responsibilities in congregations and other settings in accordance with Shepherds’ Doctrinal Statements.

Advanced Placement Master of Divinity

Master of Arts in Church Ministry

The Master of Arts in Church Ministry (M.A.C.M), as an initial professional degree, equips men and women for ministry in the local church, on the mission fields, and other settings. The M.A.C.M. degree is offered with majors in Biblical Counseling and Christian Ministry.

Master of Arts (Biblical Literature and Languages)

The Master of Arts (Biblical Literature and Languages) is designed for those students who seek a level of professional competence in the Bible and theology and are preparing for advanced degrees and teaching posts. This master’s program is suitable for educators, missionaries, and other servant leaders who minister apart from pastoral duties. The M.A. (B.L.L.) also prepares the student to enter directly into a doctoral program.

Master of Theological Studies

The Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) degree program has two purposes: (1) For the lay minister, to gain an advanced understanding of the Bible and theology in order to be qualified and able to serve the Lord more effectively in one’s local church or related ministries; (2) For those preparing for vocational ministry, to prepare for further graduate studies, especially the Master of Divinity program. Since Shepherds’ Master of Divinity program may be completed only on the Cary main campus, finishing the MTS at one of Shepherds’ Teaching Sites allows the student to complete about 45% of the M. Div. before he or she moves to the main campus.

Diploma Program

The STS Diploma program is intended to offer seminary training to students who do not have an undergraduate degree, or to those who seek a shorter program than the master’s degree programs. Upon completion of the program, students will obtain a non-accredited Diploma in recognition of their fulfilling the requirements described below. The grading scale to be used for students enrolled in the Diploma Program will be consistent with the scale used for accredited degree programs. Therefore, students who hold an undergraduate degree when they enter the Diploma Program, and successfully complete all course requirements for a grade, may transfer credits toward an STS accredited degree program in the future.

Credit Only Program

Some students are interested in engaging in a level of biblical knowledge gained in a seminary classroom but have not yet decided on a specific degree program, or wish to transfer semester credits to academic degree programs at other institutions. Shepherds will enroll these students for credit only and provide transcripts to document completion of all work. Please contact the Registrar’s office for details.

Audit Program

There are some who are interested in engaging in a level of biblical knowledge gained in a seminary classroom but are interested neither in seeking a degree, nor in gaining credit for a course. These students want to enjoy the theological resources of the Seminary in order to grow their relationship with God and to pursue work in the church. Our audit program meets this need.