The Master of Theological Studies degree is available only through the Teaching Sites of Shepherds Theological Seminary. This 41 hour degree combines the highest quality of academic studies from the resident faculty of Shepherds via streaming live or on-demand, or by DVD while at the same time featuring the personal guidance of the respective directors and pastoral personnel at the Teaching Sites themselves.

The MTS 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.

In addition to the courses listed below, the MTS student is required to pass a two hour comprehensive examination in Bible, systematic theology, and historical theology. Students may pass the exam with a high pass, pass, or low pass. There will be an opportunity to retake the exam after two weeks, and if necessary, two weeks after that, for those who fail.

Upon completion of this degree, students will be prepared to accomplish the following:

  • To interpret Scriptures accurately from the perspective of historical-grammatical hermeneutics, understanding a text in relation to the teaching of Scripture in all of its parts.
  • To articulate and defend the great doctrines of inerrant, authoritative, and sufficient Scripture with an appreciation of the erudition of former generations of Christian thinkers.
  • To serve both the body of Christ and society through contributions in ministry and scholarship.
  • To exemplify Christ-like service in both private and public contexts.


Accreditation standards require that at least 50% of course credits are earned from courses at Shepherds main campus. This standard has implications for course planning, especially where transfer credit is involved. Questions regarding residency should be referred to the Registrar.

Course Requirements

BE 501Old Testament Studies I: Pentateuch and Former Prophets3
BE 502Old Testament Studies II: Latter Prophets and Writings3
BE 504Hermeneutics and Biblical Research3
BE 511New Testament Studies I: Matthew to Acts3
BE 512New Testament Studies II: Romans to Revelation3
BE 513History and Geography of Israel*3
BE 613Life of Christ3
TH 501Systematic Theology I3
TH 502Systematic Theology II3
TH 503Systematic Theology III3
TH 601Systematic Theology IV3
HT 501Historical Theology I: Pentecost to Reformation2
HT 502Historical Theology II: Post-Reformation to Modern Church2
PT 581Mentored Practicum2
Total Required Credit Hours41
*If a student decides not to take advantage of the study trip to Israel, he may take electives in the place of this course. However, since electives are two credit courses, the student will need to choose two electives, increasing the total number of credits to 42.