Interpret & communicate the Gospel

Theological Studies, MTS


You thirst for more knowledge. Go deeper in your study of Scripture, the Christian tradition and the Church today.

Our Master of Theological Studies (MTS) degree provides instruction across a broad range of theological disciplines. You will complete a core curriculum and then craft the remaining courses to fit your academic and professional goals.

You may use remaining electives to concentrate in one or more areas, such as:

  • Biblical studies
  • Christian theology
  • Church history
  • Pastoral care
  • Worship

Or, you may also craft a more broad-ranging curriculum without a particular specialization.

Faculty will teach, form and nurture you to ensure as a graduate you exhibit the following competencies.

  • A solid understanding of scripture, theology and church history.
  • An ability to interpret and communicate the Gospel that honors both the Christian faith and the contemporary multicultural world.

At Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSS), we believe that being Lutheran means being in a relationship with other denominations.

That’s why some of our students are Methodists, some are Baptists, and there are students from other denominations as well. Your questions and insights have a place here regardless of your denomination.

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Degree Requirements

Offered in Columbia, SC

The Master of Theological Studies (MTS) degree is a two-year program (48 credit hours) that provides instruction in a broad range of theological disciplines. Students complete a 27-hour core curriculum and then craft the remaining seven courses to fit their academic and professional goals. MTS students must also complete a summative exercise in which they utlize research and critical-thinking skills within a specific theological field. This track is open to students from all denominations. 

Program Admission Requirements

Visit Graduate Admission for the most current Program Admission Requirements.

  • Program Requirements
    General Electives: 21 Credit Hours
    Total Credit Hours: 48
  • Summative Exercise

    The completion of the MTS degree requires a concluding exercise that allows for summative evaluation of the student's work. Through this exercise, the student deomonstrates research and critical-thinking skills within a specific theological field. The exercise may be a thesis in the area of concentration, a comprehensive evaluation (oral or written), or another summative process of evaluation. Students wishing to complete a summative exercise in the field of biblical studies must complete one or more of the relevant biblical language requirements (BIB 503 or BIB 504) and integrate knowledge of the biblical language(s) into the exercise.

    Thesis Option: This is a capstone course of three credit hours that should result in a 30- 40 page paper in the area of specialization. This option is recommended for any MTS student who plans on further graduate work. Students should work with their advisors to have the thesis topic approved by the middle of the first semester of the second year. A thesis advisor will be determined based on the thesis topic. The thesis will count as one of the student's general electives.

    Written/Oral Comprehensive Examination: The focus of the exam will be the integration of theory and practice. The exam may be completed as a written take-home or oral exam. The coordinator of the two-year programs is responsible for the formulation of the exams yearly.

    Other options: Students may propose to the coordinator of the program an alternative to the above options that would be more aligned with the personal and professional goals of the student. This proposal is due to the coordinator by the middle of the first semester of the second year.

  • Degree Outcomes

    Graduates of the Master of Theological Studies program will:

    • Demonstrate theologically informed and self-reflective engagement of distinct human cultures and communities.
    • Demonstrate competencies necessary to cultivate anti-racist discipleship.
    • Analyze Christian scripture and traditions with reference to their original contexts.
    • Demonstrate research and critical-thinking skills within a specific theological field.

News & Events

Moss is nearing completion of his doctoral degree from Princeton Theological Seminary, and he will teach courses on practical theology, Black church studies and hip hop culture.

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The Rev. Dr. Mary Hinkle Shore, rector and dean of Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSS) on Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Columbia campus, has announced she will retire at the end of the fall semester following four years of outstanding leadership.

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