The program focuses on historical and constructive issues of religious and theological reflection, rather than ministry. Nevertheless, the seminary community affects both instruction and the process of theological reflection, providing an enriched human and personal context.
The MTS is closer to the Master of Arts (MA) than to the Master of Divinity. The program focuses intensely on issues of academic theology and the study of religion in general. However, in contrast with the MA offered in some graduate schools which specializes in a single area of religious studies, the MTS covers all areas of theological studies.
Students may develop an individually tailored curriculum within the general framework of the MTS requirements. Students may focus their studies in either “History, Scripture, and Tradition” or “Modern Religious Thought and Experience.” Normally a two-year program, the degree must be completed within six calendar years.
The program is also intentional about helping you discern your vocation. Plenaries, small groups, and a new professional development elective help shape your career aspirations. Examples of electives include Non-Profit Leadership and Management; Religion, Violence and Peacebuilding; Women in Religious Leadership; Teaching the Bible; and Youth Ministry: Unlearning Violence, Learning Nonviolence.
Candler’s MTS program enables students to “go as deep as they want” in a wide range of study areas. That means that students can design a program to fit their academic interests–up to two-thirds of the curriculum is customizable.
Upon enrolling, MTS students declare an area of focus: “History, Scripture and Tradition” or “Modern Religious Thought and Experience.” Regardless of their area of focus, there are some common requirements for MTS student:
MTS 505 (MTS Advising Groups): Fall semester, first year.
First-year students are required to enroll in a First Year Advising Group (MTS 505), which is composed of 10-12 first-year MTS students along with a faculty adviser and a second-year MTS peer advisor. The group assists entering students with orientation to Emory, Candler and in exploring vocational options for the degree.
Common Requirements(21 hours):
1. Core Courses (18 hours)
All students, regardless of their area of focus, are required to complete 9 hours of courses designated as “History, Scripture and Tradition” (typically designated as Biblical Interpretation, New Testament, Old Testament, Church History) and 9 hours of courses designated as “Modern Religious Thought and Experience” (typically designated as Systematic Theology, Ethics and Society, Religion and Personality, Sociology of Religion and World Religions). At least one course in World Religions must be taken by all MTS students. With the faculty adviser's approval courses in both areas of focus may be substituted by equivalent courses of study.
2. Professional Development Elective (3 hours)
Students are required to complete one 3-hour course from a list of approved electives (or one negotiated with the faculty adviser) that corresponds to their post-MTS vocational goals.
Area of Focus (18-21 hours):
MTS students take 18 additional hours related to their declared focus in either “History, Scripture and Tradition” or “Modern Religious Thought and Experience.”
1. Focus Courses (12 hours)
In addition to the 9 hours of Common Core Courses students will also complete 12 additional elective hours in their declared area of focus.
2. Research Methods Seminar (3 hours)
During the second semester of their first year, students will enroll in a Research Methods Seminar. The course will focus on research in the various fields of religious and theological studies by considering both theoretical and functional approaches to critical research and writing in the respective areas of focus.
3. Capstone Course (3 hours)
Students are required to complete a Capstone Course specific to their Area of Focus during their final or graduating semester. Completion of the Research Methods Course is a prerequisite for the Capstone Course. A component of the Capstone Course is the completion of an Integrative Paper or the MTS thesis.
For those writing the integrative paper, a paper topic is determined in consultation with the MTS director, the student's adviser and the Capstone Course instructor. The paper is normally 25 to 35 pages in length and integrates themes from the student's full course of study. The Capstone Course instructor and the MTS director will read the integrative paper and assign a letter grade. The minimum passing grade is B.
4. MTS Thesis Option (1-3 hours)
In addition to the Capstone Course students may enroll in up to 3 hours of elective credit for research and writing a master's thesis. To be permitted to write a thesis, a student, in consultation with his or her adviser, must obtain the approval of the MTS program director and must have at least a cumulative 3.50 grade point average at the end of the equivalent of two semesters (24 credit hours) of study at Candler. Following the approval of a thesis proposal and selection of a thesis director chosen in consultation with the MTS program director and the student's faculty adviser, the student may proceed to work on the thesis. Students who choose to write a thesis are expected to have done substantive course work with Candler faculty in the area in which they wish to write. A topic and a thesis director must be secured before MTS502, MTS Thesis elective, is begun.
The completed thesis, normally 60 to 90 pages in length, is evaluated by the thesis director and a second faculty member, and is subject to approval by the MTS director. The thesis must demonstrate original research in a limited subject area. Students may receive up to six hours of credit for the thesis (letter grade only) through MTS502 and the Capstone Course. The thesis must be submitted by the deadline announced by the director of the MTS program (usually during the first week in April). The thesis must be taken for a letter grade and the minimum passing grade is a B. Students who do not complete a thesis but have completed all courses are required to register for MTS999R (MTS Library Use) during the semester they plan to graduate.
Additional Electives (6-9 hours)
Elective hours may be drawn from courses throughout Candler, Emory University, and the Atlanta Theological Association pending approval of the faculty advisor. The number of elective hours required depends upon the election of the thesis or integrative paper within the area of focus.
|Total Credit Hours for the MTS Degree|
|First year Advising Sessions:||0 hours|
|Common Requirements:||21 hours|
|(History, Scripture and Tradition - 9 hours; Religious Thought and Experience - 9 hours, including at least 3 hours in World Religions; Professional Development Elective - 3 hours)|
|Area of Focus:||18-21 hours|
|(12 hours in Area of Focus; Research Methods Seminar - 3 hours; Capstone Course - 3 hours; Thesis, if elected - up to 3 hours)|
|Additional Electives:||6-9 hours|
Black Church Studies
A theoretical and practical exploration of the black church tradition and its role in contemporary society.
Faith and Health
An interdisciplinary study of health and health promotion practices as they intersect with various religious or spiritual traditions.
Human Rights (Emory Graduate Certificate)
Combines the resources of Emory University with the applied programs of our professional partners, including CARE USA, The Carter Center, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among others, for an interdisciplinary approach to human rights scholarship and training.
Religious Education Ministries
Equips students for ministries related to teaching and learning in faith communities, schools, and wider society.
Women, Theology, and Ministry
In-depth study of the impact of gender on church and society and specific focus on issues relevant to women in theology and ministry.
For more information about certificates, please visit http://candler.emory.edu/academics/certificates/index.cfm.
A joint Master of Theological Studies and Master of Business Administration (MTS/MBA) is offered in cooperation with the Goizueta Business School. This program allows the MTS and MBA degrees to be earned in three years instead of the usual four to attain the degrees separately. Candidates for the joint-degree program must apply to and be accepted by both Candler and Goizueta. The schools maintain independent application procedures. Typically, the first year is spent at Candler and the second year is spent at Goizueta. The student must register and pay tuition for three semesters in Goizueta and three semesters in Candler but may take courses in either school. All requirements are the same as a traditional MTS student but with fewer elective hours.
Candler offers a joint Master of Theological Studies and Juris Doctor degree in conjunction with Emory’s School of Law. The MTS/JD is a four-year degree, one year shorter than if the degrees were pursued separately. Applicants apply to Candler and Emory Law School separately, and if accepted to both schools, can enroll in the joint-degree program. The School of Law requires that all applicants take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).
A joint Master of Theological Studies and Master of Public Health (MTS/MPH) is offered in cooperation with the Rollins School of Public Health. This program allows the MTS and MPH degrees to be earned in three years instead of the usual four to attain the degrees separately. Candidates for the joint-degree program must apply to and be accepted by both Candler and Rollins. The schools maintain independent application procedures. Typically, the first year is spent at Candler, the second year at Rollins, and the third year at Candler. All requirements are the same as a traditional MTS student. In order to meet degree requirements for the MPH, the student must complete a minimum of 32 to 35 hours at Rollins, including the practicum and special studies project or thesis. Specific MPH degree requirements depend on the department. Rollins offers the dual-degree program in seven departments (Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Environmental and Occupational Health, Epidemiology, Global Environmental Health, Global Epidemiology, Global Health, and Health Policy and Management). MTS/MPH dual-degree students may complete the MPH special studies project or thesis in conjunction with the MTS integrative paper or thesis.
A joint Master of Theological Studies and Master of Arts in Bioethics (MTS/MA) is offered in conjunction with the Laney Graduate School and the Center for Ethics. This degree allows students to earn both the MTS and MA-Bioethics in two years rather than in the usual three. Candidates for the joint-degree program must apply to and be accepted by both Candler and Laney. The schools maintain independent application procedures. Typically, the first year is spent at the Center for Ethics and the second year at Candler. In order to meet degree requirements for the MTS, students must complete a minimum of 18 hours at Candler, including either the MTS Thesis (MTS502) or MTS Integrative Paper (MTS503). In addition, students enroll in the joint interdisciplinary seminar offered by Candler and the Center for Ethics. Joint degree students also enroll in ES501 and in a seminar that address issues of life, death, and/or health and theology (e.g., NT629). The MTS professional elective will be fulfilled by BIOETH601, the Bioethics Service Learning Practicum.