Master of Theological Studies

Degree Overview

​Iliff’s Master of Theological Studies (MTS) degree offers you the flexibility to combine a study of theology, biblical studies, ethics, sociology, philosophy, religious studies, social change and a variety of other offerings into an integrated plan of study. The MTS is designed for those who would like to increase their personal understanding, to enhance and existing career path, or prepare for a doctoral degree.

Iliff’s flexible curriculum allows you the opportunity to customize courses to fit your goals. The MTS allows for study of a wide range of topics including:

  • Comparative Religious Traditions
  • Constructive Theology
  • Ethics
  • Exploration of Religious Traditions
  • Historical Development
  • Sacred Texts

The MTS program is a 72 quarter credit hour degree intended for your academic interests in interdisciplinary studies. It is an appropriate pre-doctoral program and provides a broad background in theological and religious studies.

Upon completion of a required number of courses, your MTS Program culminates in an interdisciplinary thesis, which is intended to be a focused, article-length original piece of academic research
demonstrating your ability to work across two or more identifiable disciplines.

As an accredited institution, financial aid is available to all who qualify.

The MTS draws on a broad variety of courses that are available in residential, intensive, hybrid and online formats. MTS required courses are offered online and students may complete the MTS program completely via distance (noting that all elective courses may not be offered online).

In addition, Iliff’s programs offer you the unique ability to demonstrate your effectiveness to future employers, since you may earn graduate certificates in specific areas of concentration while earning your degree and you can participate in Iliff’s signature course, Authentic Engagement™, demonstrating your ability to engage complex communities.

Joel Pace-Why the Iliff MTS degree? from Iliff on Vimeo.

Degree Curriculum

The curriculum is organized into one introductory interdisciplinary course, one each of a breadth and depth courses from six areas (see below), two professional formation courses, internship and consultation and guidance.

The interdisciplinary nature of the Master of Theological Studies degree provides maximum flexibility for students curious about a wide range of topics including:

  • Comparative Religious Traditions
  • Sacred Texts
  • Social/Contextual Analysis
  • Historical Development/Exploration of Religious Traditions
  • Constructive Theology
  • Theology and Religious Practices

Degree Requirements

A two-year program, the MTS degree requires at least 72 quarter credits. Students must meet the requirements as specified in the Master’s Student Handbook of their year of matriculation.

Requirements include:

  • MTS Colloquium (4 credits)
  • First Year Interdisciplinary Course (4 credits)
  • Other Courses as determined by your personalized learning plan (56 credits)
  • MTS/MA Thesis Proposal Seminar (4 credits)
  • Interdisciplinary Thesis (4 credits)

The program culminates in an interdisciplinary thesis which is intended to be a focused, article-length (6,000 words), original piece of academic research demonstrating the student’s: ability to work across two or more identifiable disciplines showing the ability to conduct academic research; depth and originality of thought; ability to articulate his or her research in appropriate academic discourse.

Degree Options

Course Delivery

The MTS draws on a broad variety of courses at Iliff that are available in residential, intensive, hybrid and online formats. The required courses for the MTS will be offered online and students may complete the MTS program completely at a distance (without traveling to Iliff), but not all elective course will be available fully online.

Certificate Options

Students may simultaneously earn graduate certificates while earning their master’s degree. In addition, Iliff’s unique signature course, Authentic Engagement™, can help students learn how to engage communities in any setting.

Students with an MDIV

The MTS degree may be completed in 40 quarter credits if the student has previously completed an MDIV degree from an accredited institution.

MTSMSW Cooperative Program

A cooperative arrangement between Iliff School of Theology and The Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver allows qualified students to pursue concurrently the Master of Theological Studies with the Master of Social Work degree. The cooperative degree program offers students the opportunity to apply theological learning to social service settings. Each school allows students to transfer a predetermined number of credits from one degree program into the other, which allows students to complete both degrees in a shorter amount of time. Details are listed in the Masters Student Handbook.

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