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

Ideal for students who are preparing to pursue doctoral studies in religion or theology or who are looking to focus their degree on a particular area, the Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) emphasizes rigorous, personalized study of theology and its subdisciplines guided by the nation's largest theological faculty. 

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At a Glance

Conference Funding

Funding is available for all students to attend and/or present at academic conferences. 

Customized Degree

Tailor your theological study toward your area of interest with six elective courses and an optional thesis.

Language Courses

Prepare for doctoral studies by applying up to 18 credits in ancient or modern languages toward the M.T.S.

Library Resources

Our Theology and Ministry Library holds the largest collection of Catholic literature outside of the Vatican.

Interreligious Exchange

Take courses at 10 area schools through the Boston Theological Interreligious Consortium.

Faculty Support

Students may pursue directed readings with faculty members during the program's second year.

Thesis Option

One elective may be used to complete a 30–50 page thesis, under the direction of a faculty advisor.

Formation Opportunities

While not required, you are welcome to participate in all formation opportunities the school offers.

Our Faculty

Early Jewish and Christian Texts

Angela Kim Harkins

Liberation Theology

O. Ernesto Valiente

Moral Theology

Mary Jo Iozzio

The Early Church

Brian Dunkle, S.J.

MTS Formation Opportunities

students presenting research

Though the MTS does not have formation requirements, MTS students are welcome to participate in any schoolwide offerings, and also have a range of student- and faculty-led opportunities tailored for their particular hopes and needs. All offerings are optional. 


Our Students and Alumni

Our diverse community is made up of lay and religious men and women from around the world who represent a range of ages, interests, and experiences. Explore some of their stories.


Typically completed in two years of full-time study, this 48-credit program provides students with a thorough grounding in Scripture, Church history, historical-systematic­-practical theology, moral theology, and pastoral studies, as well as specialized study in their area of interest.

Biblical Studies

6 credits


Course AreaCredits
OT Core Narrative (or OT elective)3
Introduction NT (or NT elective)3


Christian Ethics/Moral Theology

6 credits


Course AreaCredits
General Knowledge* (choose 1 from list)3
Specific Interest3


*General Knowledge in Christian Ethics 

TMCE7004 Moral Dimension of the Christian Life               
TMCE7034 Critical Ethical Issues 
TMCE7164 Call & Response: Intro to the Moral Life           
TMCE8002 Fundamental Moral: Theological Ethics

History of Christianity or Church History

6 credits


Course AreaCredits
Narrative Survey (I, II, or III)3
Specific Interest3


Pastoral Studies

3 credits

Choose 1 course from list

Course No.Course Name
TMPS7279Conflict Resolution and Transformation
TMPS7054Intro to Liturgy
TMPS8122Canon Law of the Sacraments
TMPS7093Intro to Pastoral Care and Counseling
TMPS7278Socio-Spiritual Care
TMPS7277Mitigating Trauma


Other courses may fulfill this requirement as well, based on advisor approval.

Practical Theology

3 credits

Choose 1 course from list

Course No.Course Name
Spirituality & Justice: 20th Century Writings
Seminar in Practical Theology
Theological Anthropology and the Body 
Theology, Race, & Critical Race Theory
TMPT8137Public Theology, Politics, and Faith in the United States

Other courses may fulfill this requirement as well, based on advisor approval.

Systematic Theology

6 credits


Course AreaCredits
Ecclesiology, Christology, or Fundamental Theology (Choose 1)3
Specific Interest3



of 2022 M.T.S. graduates found placement within six months of graduation.


of CSTM graduates who applied to doctoral programs were admitted.

2023 Graduating Student Questionnaire (66% response rate)

Recent Placements

Ph.D. Student, Boston College Theology Department

Ph.D. Student, University of Notre Dame

Ph.D. Student, Fordham University

Theology Teacher, Arlington Catholic High School

Director of Young Adult Mobilization, Catholic Climate Covenant



Application Requirements



Spring 2024: November 15, 2023

Fall 2024 Priority Scholarship Deadline: January 11, 2024. Applications are still accepted after this date as space allows.

Application Form

Please note you can submit your application form once it is completed; you do not need to wait for all of your supplemental materials to arrive. We are able to schedule your interview once we have received your submitted application 

On the application form, applicants will have the opportunity to indicate interest in being paired with an CSTM alum from their program of interest to learn more about CSTM and provide support during the discernment process.

Application Form

Religious & International Applicants

Applicants who are Catholic diocesan priests or deacons or members of religious orders must submit a letter of approval and financial support from their bishop, major superior, or Provincial. Please select "Bishop/Major Superior" as the recommender type on the application form.

International Applicants

Application Fee

A non-refundable fee of $75 is required for every degree and non-degree application submitted.  

Payment Options

  • Pay by credit or debit card via the web. You can pay the application fee at the same time you submit your application form. However, if you do not pay the fee at the same time you submit your application, you can pay online at a later date through the Agora Portal. You must use your BC Username and password to log in.

  • Pay by check or money order made payable to Boston College, via regular mail.  Please include your check with a copy of your application form submission confirmation page and include your name and intended degree program.

Please note: The application fee cannot be refunded for any reason. If you qualify for a fee waiver, you should not pay the fee when you submit the application form. Fee waivers are granted to the following applicants: Jesuits, veterans, applicants currently completing a year of service or who are Pell Grant-eligible, and current CSTM students. Email the admissions office at to request a waiver.

Standardized Tests

The GRE is optional, but preferred. We especially recommend applicants submit scores if 1) they feel their undergraduate transcript is not indicative of their capacity for success in graduate studies, OR 2) they do not have a strong background in the humanities. We review all applications holistically. Applicants who choose not to submit GRE scores will not be penalized in the admissions process.

Applicants who do send GRE scores should have them sent directly from ETS. Our GRE code is 2508.

English Proficiency Exam

All applicants for whom English is not their native language must also provide TOEFL or IELTS test score results. Read more about special instructions for international applicants here. This webpage will also indicate under with criteria a waiver may be granted. Waivers must be approved in writing by the admissions office.


We require transcripts from all colleges, universities, seminaries, or theological schools that you have attended. Each transcript should contain a list of all coursework taken, grades/marks received, and, if applicable, degree granted and date of degree confirmation. If your college or university will send official transcripts electronically, they can be emailed to  Otherwise, transcripts must be mailed and be contained in a sealed, signed envelope. If the official transcript is not English, a translation should be provided with the official document. Please alert us if your transcript will be arriving with a different name than the one you are using on your application (e.g. your maiden name). Please note that a transcript is only considered official if received directly from the institution issuing it.

Please note that your application may be reviewed with unofficial copies of your transcripts. If you send unofficial copies, know that if admitted, you must sent official copies before you begin coursework. In addition, if you are currently finishing a degree, you must send a final, official version of the transcript upon graduating, and before beginning coursework at CSTM.

Mailing Addresses
For applicants using the U.S. Postal Service:
Boston College Clough School of Theology and Ministry
Simboli Hall
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

For applicants using FedEx or UPS:
Boston College Clough School of Theology and Ministry
Simboli Hall
9 Lake Street
Brighton, MA 02135-3841


M.T.S. applicants are required to submit three recommendations using the online application system. 

At least two recommenders should be familiar with the applicant’s academic background and potential. For applicants who have been out of school for a significant amount of time, recommenders should be familiar with the applicant's professional competence.

Applicants who are Catholic diocesan priests or deacons, or members of religious orders must submit a letter of approval and financial support from their bishop, major superior, or Provincial. This is in addition to the other three recommendations. Please select "Bishop/Major Superior" as the recommender type on the application form.

Please be sure that your recommenders are aware of the application deadlines and online process, and choose them carefully to ensure that they can write on your behalf in a timely manner.


The admissions office interviews all master's applicants. All interviews take place remotely.


The resume must be uploaded as part of the application.  It is helpful if you highlight relevant ministry, service, research, teaching, and leadership positions you have held.

Personal Statement

The personal statement must be uploaded as part of the application.  The personal statement should be three pages in length, double-spaced.

Your statement should address the following:

  • The academic, professional, and personal development that has motivated you to apply to CSTM. Include a sketch of your educational background and interests, any experience you have in ministry and/or religious education, and any other relevant professional and volunteer experience
  • Your understanding of theological education and/or ministry in the context of the Church’s mission, as well as the role and responsibilities of a minister and/or theologian today.
  • How you plan to apply your theological education
  • Given your experience, how you assess your principal strengths for theological education and/or ministry as well as your areas of needed development
  • If applicable, information outlining your specific area and field of academic interest, and how your previous academic, professional, and/or pastoral experience has prepared you for studies within that particular field

Please note that MTS students can submit an optional writing sample as part of their application.

Explore CSTM's hilltop home, Simboli Hall, virtually or in-person.