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School of Theology and Ministry

Which Degree is for Me?

school of theology and ministry

As a school of theology and ministry, all of our degree programs engage the intersection of theory and practice. Your experiences, interests, and goals will likely align with one program more than the others. If you continue discerning that another of our programs is a better fit, during the application process or once you enroll, you can work with the admissions office to switch programs -- the process is typically easy.

Below is a helpful comparison chart that distinguishes our three master's programs. If you still have any questions about choosing the right program, the admissions team is here to answer any questions you might have as you discern and apply.

degree programs

Descriptions of each program are located below the chart.

Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry (M.A.)

Master of Divinity (M.Div.)

Master of Theologial Studies (M.T.S.)

See a full listing of all STM degree programs here

comparison chart





Program of Study (Outline of program requirements)
M.Div. Program of Study
M.A. Program of Study
M.T.S. Program of Study
Years to Complete
3 years   2 years 2 years
Number of Credits 82 credits (76 number of course credits, 6 number of supervised ministry credits) 48 credits (43 number of course credits, 5 number of supervised ministry credits) 48 credits (48 number of course credits, 0 number of supervised ministry credits)
Elective Courses* 6 Electives 3 Electives 8 Electives
*There are also choices for courses within each required area
Program Highlights

Thorough grounding in Scripture, Church history, historical-systematic theology, moral theology, pastoral studies

6 credits of supervised ministry (Summer CPE, International Programs, Prison Ministry, Parish Ministry, etc)

4 one-credit modules

Synthesis exams in the third year

Balance of theological, ministerial, and spiritual formation

Can be completed through a combination of online and on-campus coursework

Pastorally grounded thesis project integrating your studies
Half of the 48 Credits are theology core, the remaining half are electives

Up to nine credits in ancient or modern languages can be applied to the degree

Optional research thesis for credit
Dual Degree Options   M.A. / Master of Social Work

M.A. / Master of Arts in Counseling

M.A. / Master of Business Administration

M.A. / Master of Science in Nursing
Online Options   Summer Hybrid Model  
Prerequisites for Admission One year of full-time, post-collegiate ecclesial ministry or equivalent

Four undergraduate courses in philosophy
Spiritual Formation Required:
Spirituality Portfolio created in consultation with advisor to outline spiritual formation
Spiritual Formation Plan created in consultation of advisor and Spiritual Formation for Ministry Course (1 credit)
Spiritual Formation can be taken as an elective
Common Careers Ecclesial ministry in a parish, high school, university, or diocese

Social justice and non-profit agencies

Doctoral Work

High School teaching

Hospital and Prison Chaplaincy
Parish ministry and religious education

High school or university ministry

High school teaching

Hospital chaplaincy

Prison ministry
Doctoral studies

High school teaching

Diocesan administration

Nonprofit careers


Program Descriptions

Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry (M.A.)

The M.A. prepares you for ecclesial roles in campus ministry, parish ministry, health care, or social service settings. You may choose a standard ministry track, religious education track, or Hispanic ministry track within the program. A contextual education placement and a spiritual formation for ministry course augments the academic course of study. Learn more about the M.A.»

Summer Hybrid M.A.
The program can be completed through a combination of online and summer on-campus courses. Learn more about the Hybrid M.A.»

Dual Degree Programs
You can also pursue the M.A. as a dual degree, combining it with an M.S.W., M.A. in mental health counseling, M.B.A., or M.S. in nursing. BC STM's unique dual degree programs encourage students to bridge faith with the coursework and field placements of their specific program, while simultaneously challenging them to integrate theology in their future vocation or ministry. Learn more about our dual degree programs»

Master of Divinity (M.Div.)

The M.Div. provides a comprehensive theological and practical foundation in preparation for the ordained priesthood or for full-time lay ecclesial ministry in the Church. The program is cohort-based: women and men, lay and ordained, work and study side by side, developing the tools and perspectives needed for leadership roles in ministry today. Learn more about the M.Div.»

Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.)

The M.T.S. exposes students to the various disciplines of theology -- the degree is flexible and can be focused on a specific area of theology if you are planning on pursuing future studies or have a particular intellectual interest. Because it balances coursework in general theological literacy and competence with an expansive set up electives, students often pursue the M.T.S. to enrich their professional lives or to prepare for work with religious or other nonprofit organizations. Learn more about the M.T.S.»