The Shepherds Institute (SI) is a one-year master’s program comprised of five key components designed around a robust model of biblical discipleship.


SI students include men and women from all backgrounds who desire a stronger foundation in order to magnify God’s glory in the local church, workplace, community, and home.


The one-year program is offered through Shepherds Theological Seminary located on the campus of The Shepherd’s Church in Cary, NC.



Master of Theological Studies – The Master of Theological Studies (MTS) is a fully accredited 42-hour master’s degree program providing graduates with an advanced understanding of the Bible and theology. The twelve-month intensive format is designed as a cohort program and utilizes 1-week modular courses. (Student)

Israel Initiative – The Israel Initiative is Shepherds Theological Seminary’s commitment to get students to the Holy Land for a 2-week study course at minimal cost. The trip is an intensive course covering the history and geography of Israel—Old Testament to New Testament. (Student + Spouse)

Route 66 – Route 66 is a chronological, verse-by-verse study of the entire Bible in one academic year. It meets Monday through Friday from 6-7:45 a.m. and is designed to ensure students know the Bible, not just about it. (Student + Spouse)

Heart Study – A rigorous, intentionally intrusive, Christ-centered discipleship program that applies the truths of God’s Word to every aspect of life. Students and spouses work each week through devotional materials addressing issues from the futility of man, to addictions, purity, anxiety, love for one another, and many more. (Student + Spouse)

Authentic Community – Students and their families complete the full one-year program as a cohort. They study the Bible, experience outdoor adventures, travel to Israel, grow together, serve in a local church, and often live with fellow students throughout the year. Staff members help facilitate a transformational community and provide personal mentoring for each student. (Student + Spouse)


Life is full of seasons that define our lives. How would your life be impacted if you set aside one year to study God’s Word, experience authentic community, grow in discipleship, and earn your master’s degree in theological studies?

Shepherds Institute of Shepherds Theological Seminary in Cary, NC, offers this life- changing opportunity. No matter what career you may pursue, your primary calling is to both be a disciple and make disciples of Christ. Whether you plan to pastor, teach, write computer code or perform surgery, men and women of all professions are invited to join this foundational program and dedicate one year of your life to prepare for the rest of your life.

Our mission is to impact the world for Christ by equipping servant leaders for life and ministry by strategically shaping both intellect and character through biblical scholarship and personal mentoring.


One Calendar Year

Whole-Family Discipleship

Outdoor Program

Access to World-Class Scholars

Local Church Embedded


The first time someone suggested I consider attending seminary, my response was an unequivocal, “No Thanks.” I planned to work in the business world, serve in my local church, and leave the deep theological topics to my pastor. Seminary was for the professionals, certainly not for me. My convictions changed in the fall of 2010 when I heard about a new one-year program called The WEST Institute—the Laramie, Wyoming teaching site of Shepherds Theological Seminary. That one year was perhaps the most pivotal year of my life. 

The time in the classroom gave me both a foundation in God’s Word and the tools to rightly interpret and apply it. The authentic community surrounded me with others on a similar spiritual path. And the intentional discipleship challenged me to put into action the truths I was learning in the classroom. The overall result was a life truly transformed.

It has been my joy to work with the one-year program since 2011. I have watched God work in the lives of others just as He worked in my life. Graduates with the MTS degree have gone on to become school teachers, doctors, engineers, pastors, missionaries, counselors, and stay-at-home moms. Although their professions may vary, they are all using their seminary training to minister to their churches and those around them. When the opportunity was presented to bring all we had learned at The WEST Institute to Cary, NC, my wife and I jumped at the opportunity!

I am excited to serve as the Director of Shepherds Institute and to see the lives of men and women changed by the Word of God. I would invite you to prayerfully consider joining us for a year dedicated to the study and personal application of God’s Word. No matter your season of life or your career plans, I believe your primary calling is to know God and to make Him known. Shepherds Institute exists to equip you to fulfill that goal. 


Yours for Lives Changed by God’s Grace,


Jimmy Carter, MACM, MDiv

Director, Shepherds Institute

Shepherds Theological Seminary