Master of Theological Studies [MTS]

The Master of Theological Studies (MTS) Program was developed as an adjunct to the Master of Divinity (M.Div) Program for preparing second career men who are called to parish ministry.

Student applicants will typically be over the age of 30 and may have families. The program was designed to substantially reduce the prohibitive expense that would be incurred in moving their families to and from Fort Wayne in order to obtain a theological education.

With technology having advanced enabling seminary classes to be conducted using live video effectively (everyone sees and hears everyone else), we are now able to provide a quality seminary education using a high-speed internet connection to create a virtual classroom. The rising cost of on-campus study, combined with the increasing expense of moving families is mitigated.

Men who enroll in the MTS program will at some point apply to serve as a Vicar, pastor-in-training status. Upon the Clergy Commission’s recommendation, and subsequent approval by The AALC's Association Council, the Seminary student can begin serving as a Vicar in a congregation.

The Vicar approved for service to a congregation must complete the MTS program within seven years of beginning his course work. That means he must complete a minimum of four seminary courses each year.

The Vicar has an obligation in this partnership both to the Seminary and to the congregation. He serves the congregation, but he cannot neglect the seminary courses. This provides a tremendous opportunity to learn the best of the theological offerings, while also serving in the real world of the congregation. This partnership is critical for the Seminary Student.

The congregation which agrees to having an Vicar assigned to serve in the congregation is in partnership with both the Vicar and ALTS. The congregation carries the responsibility to see that the Vicar has the time and money to finish his studies. Thus, as he grows through his MTS studies, the congregation grows through receiving that additional training. The Vicar and congregation are yoked in the partnership in the Gospel until he finishes the MTS program.

At the end of that time, he will be ordained as a pastor in The AALC. At that point he may be called to another congregation.

Master of Theological Studies Curriculum

As with the M. Div. course of studies, the MTS curriculum includes four major areas of theological education: Exegetical, Doctrinal, Historical, and Pastoral theology.

The program consists of 28 courses, normally two hours/week for ten weeks. Courses during the year will be conducted by video conferencing; all students are expected to have access to high-speed internet and a video camera.

New Testament Greek is mandatory, and the student may meet that requirement by taking a class online or at an accredited college/university/seminary. Students are strongly encouraged to take Hebrew.

Master of Theological Studies Courses

Course length for the quarter courses is 10 weeks (2 hours/week).

All MTS students are strongly encouraged to attend the Fall Pastors’ Retreat each year. For those who have completed course work elsewhere (i.e. DELTO, SMP) appropriate credit will be given for the corresponding classes. Pastors in The AALC may participate if space is available, and must pay (audit) tuition and book costs.

Admission, Qualification, and Procedures

The requirements for entering the MTS degree program will ordinarily include having earned a Bachelor’s degree, fulfilling the prerequisite of completing a Koine Greek course, meeting the requirements for an Vicar designation, and serving a minimum of one year under supervised internship prior to graduation.

When applying include all college transcripts, additional training, and work history, as well three letters of recommendation (AALC pastor and congregation member).

To begin the application for admission process, please contact the ALTS Registrar.


American Lutheran Theological Seminary

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