Master of Arts in Theological Studies




The main mission of Beeson Divinity School is “to prepare God-called individuals to serve as ministers in the church of Jesus Christ." Thus, Beeson Divinity School focuses on the Master of Divinity degree (M.Div.), the most-recognized broad-based preparatory degree for professional ministry. However, the M.Div. degree does not fit the objectives of a smaller number of students the divinity school faculty wishes to serve. These include the following:  

  1. Individuals who want to deepen their understanding of the content of the Christian faith so they can integrate the Christian faith more effectively in professional vocations and volunteer ministry settings.  Such individuals may include those wishing to take a divinity degree in conjunction with a primary graduate degree taken in another school of the university.
  2. Individuals already serving in permanent positions in ministry settings in financial and other managerial roles who wish to gain a better understanding of the content of the Christian faith. 
  3. International students who have received ministerial training in their home country whose governing body wishes them to study in the United States.   

Thus, the divinity school offers the MATS degree to aid individuals in  learning the basic biblical, historical-doctrinal, formational, and missional contents of the Christian faith.  See the degree objectives listed below.  

The number of students in this program may include 10% of the student body.  Full-time students in this program are eligible to receive Beeson scholarship aid.  The faculty does not consider this degree suitable as a prelude to Ph.D. studies or for what is traditionally considered formal ministerial preparation, so students will not be accepted to this program for these purposes.  Click here to find out why.

M.A.T.S. Curriculum (40 Credits)

  • DVBF 501  Biblical Interpretation (3)
  • DVBF502  OT Theology (3)
  • DVBF503  NT Theology (3)
  • DVHD501  Patristic and Medieval History and Doctrine(3)
  • DVHD502  Reformation History and Doctrine (3)
  •  DVHD601  Modern History and Doctrine(3)
  • DVHD602  20th Century History and Doctrine (3)
  • DVOT Exposition or DVOT 731-732 (3)
  • DVNT Exposition or DVNT 731-732 (3)
  • DVMS5XX Missions (3)
  • DVSF501  Spiritual Formation (3)
  •  DVTH701  Faith and Vocation (1)  (Pre-requisite: DVHD601 and DVBF503 )
  •  Electives (6) 


Sample 2 Year Plan

 Fall Year 1 Credits      Spring Year 1  Credits
 Biblical Interpretation*  3    Spiritual Formation I  3
 Patristic and Medieval H&D  3    Reformation H&D  3
 Old Testament Theology  3    New Testament Theology  3
 Semester Total  9    Missions  3
 *must be taken in the first semester      Semester Total  12
 Fall Year 2      Spring Year 2  Credits
 Old Testament Exposition  3    New Testament Exposition  3
 Modern H&D  3    20th Century H&D  3
 Elective  3    Elective  3
 Semester Total  9    Faith and Vocation**  1
       Semester Total  10
       **must be taken the semester the student plans to graduate  

Sample 2.5 Year Plan

        Spring Year 1  Credits
       Biblical Interpretation*  3
       New Testament Theology  3
       Missions  3
       Semester Total  9
      *must be taken in the first semester  
 Fall Year 2      Spring Year 2  Credits
 Patristic and Medieval H&D  3    Reformation H & D  3
 Old Testament Theology  3    New Testament Exposition  3
 Spiritual Formation I  3    Elective  3
 Semester Total  9    Semester Total  9
 Fall Year 3      Spring Year 3  
 Modern H & D  3    20th Century H & D  3
 Old Testament Exposition  3    Faith and Vocation**  1
 Elective  3    Semester Total  4
 Semester Total        
       **must be taken the semester the student plans to graduate