Master of Theological Studies

The twelve courses listed comprise the degree Master of Theological Studies. Substitutions are subject to the approval of the Academic Dean. Substitution may be made if some of the courses listed below have already been taken Graduate transcripts of courses must be furnished. The curriculum, produced by some of the world's top biblical scholars and theologians in cooperation with The Institute of Theological Studies (ITS), serves persons who wish to explore disciplines within Christian theology.

Prerequisite

The Master of Theological studies requires a prerequisite 15 credit hours in Biblical Studies or Theology. Students seeking admission into the Master of Theological Studies degree program that do not possess a bachelor’s degree in Bible, theology, social or behavioral science, or the humanities, must complete the Bachelor’s core courses as a prerequisite to admission.

Objectives of the Program

The M.T.S. is especially suited for persons interested in some aspect of teaching and research or engagement in socio-religious issues. The program is designed to equip men and women for further study, research, or teaching.

Goals

The M.T.S. degree program has as its goals that students undertake a rigorous course of academic study that will provide an opportunity to explore foundational issues in Christian theology.

Program of Study

The program focuses on historical, systematic, and biblical theology. Professional ministry issues are not a focus of this program. Nevertheless, the program is designed to provide a theological foundation for ministerial service. The program consists of 12 courses, 3 semester credit hours each, for a total of 36 credit hours. There is no required thesis or research project.
A church leader wears many hats. In this course learners discover how to maximize productivity in the various functions of church leadership. The course examines the biblical foundation and practical functions of administrative leadership in churches and Christian organizations, and focuses on developing successful, biblical attitudes and skills among team leaders. Students will analyze basic leadership principles from secular and evangelical sources, analyzing them through a biblical/theological grid. (This advanced course is built on ITS course CE 501 Church Leadership and Administration. However, CE 501 is not a prerequisite for this course.)

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Credits: 3

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Charismatic theology is more than just a theology of spiritual gifts; worship, Bibliology, sanctification, and ecclesiology are also central. Learners will complete an historical and theological study of the origins and developments of Classical Pentecostalism, Charismatic Renewalism, and Restoration Movements, with emphasis given to theological backgrounds and trends. Lectures also analyze other related movements, including the "Jesus Only" Movement, the Vineyard Movement, and the Toronto Revival Movement. Throughout the course, the pros and cons of the various charismatic movements are presented so that students can make informed decisions on what a "victorious Christian life" entails.

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Credits: 3

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Church history is the heart of God and His story and His kingdom work on earth. This course explores the development of the Christian church from Pentecost to the present day. It covers key people and events that God used throughout history to bolster His Church and also those negative influences that infected her. The goal of the course is to use lessons from church history to advance the kingdom of God in life and ministry. (This course serves as a synthesized combination of ITS courses CH506 The History of the Church to the Reformation and CH507 The History of the Church Since the Reformation.)

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Credits: 3

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This course is a study of evangelism ministry with special attention paid to the context of a local church setting. Students will be encouraged to make specific applications of the lectures and assignments to the particular setting of their present or intended ministry (e.g., urban core, commuting suburban, rural, single professionals, ethnically diverse, and so forth). The course begins with a study of the biblical and theological foundations for evangelism. On this basis we will study methods of personal and group evangelism, how to equip laity to witness (and why most Christians don't respond to training seminars on evangelism), the use and development of church and para-church structures in evangelism (both on-going and special), the care of new converts and discipleship, and selected current issues in evangelism. Assignments focus on practical application of workable solutions for evangelism in the local church. Those in para-church ministries will find much to relate to their particular and often unique needs.

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Credits: 3

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Perhaps the greatest need in the Christian community today is Biblical leadership. Throughout the world, churches struggle with numerous issues because they lack relevant and effective leadership. A good leader possesses godly character, sound doctrine, and Biblical priorities. Yet today, there are differing views on several issues related to leadership, such as: What are the responsibilities and priorities of ministerial leaders and their work? Who is qualified for pastoral leadership? Can women serve as pastors? What should pastors expect in ministry?

This course identifies Biblical answers to crucial leadership questions from three of Paul?s letters, 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus, which primarily address issues of pastoral leadership and ministry. In his twenty lectures, Dr. John Stott walks his listeners through an exegetical analysis of Paul's words to Timothy and Titus. He shares valuable insight from the historical background and an investigation of the Greek New Testament. Dr. Stott covers such topics as how a congregation should appoint leaders, the role of women in the ministry, the primary function of a minister's work, and how to deal with false teachers while remaining true to "sound doctrine."

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Credits: 3

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The most compelling and important story in history is the story of Christ. In this course, learners complete a chronological and synthetic study of the Gospels' accounts of Christ's birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension. The course focuses on the time, place, circumstances, and people involved in the events of our Lord?s ministry. From the Incarnation to the Ascension, students will grasp a fuller understanding of Christ's words and works, especially in light of Old Testament prophecy and cultural context. The goal of the course is that Christ will impact learners' lives as He did those first generation followers, leading them to worship and serve Him as they minister to others.

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Credits: 3

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Correct theology is inseparable from correct living. The New Testament epistles reinforce this concept as they demonstrate both the why and how of Kingdom living. This course surveys the New Testament epistles and the Book of Revelation, examining both the introductory issues and the basic content each book. Students will wrestle with significant and challenging passages by exploring the major issues and then interacting with specific passages through inductive Bible study. The goal of the course is to gain an increased commitment to and capacity for applying these portions of God's Word to the world and Christian living today.

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Credits: 3

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How important are songs in the life of Israel and the Church! In this course learners study the Book of Psalms, giving attention to the various forms of the Psalms and their function within the historical experience of Israel. The course begins by focusing on the formulation and interpretation of the psalms. Students then examine in detail the various types of psalms: lament, royal, pilgrimage, wisdom, messianic, and psalms of descriptive praise. Dr. Waltke gives sermonic treatment of selected psalms with application for today's Church.

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Credits: 3

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The Old Testament may be the central problem of theology. The problem is this: How do the people of God today relate to the people and teaching of the Old Testament, and how do they apply that teaching to life and ministry? While wrestling with this issue we must ask other important questions, such as, "How does the Old Testament relate to the New?" or "What is the main purpose of the Old Testament?" Stated practically, "What principles of the Old Testament should I be actively obeying?"

This course considers such important questions by examining the foundational theology of the Old Testament as applied to the New Testament and the Church. The course identifies the focal point for the Old and New Testaments, and includes discussions on continuity and discontinuity between the Testaments, saving faith, the people of God, law, worship, atonement, the Kingdom of God, the Messiah, the inclusion of the Gentiles, and the New Covenant. Throughout the course, Dr. Kaiser shows how Old Testament theology is vital to contemporary Christian living.

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Credits: 3

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How do you view reality? What is the source of your knowledge? Do you live what you believe? Such are the questions that a worldview answers. This course examines the nature and function of belief structures, and the value of developing and living a distinctly Christian life. The course develops a Christian worldview from a redemptive history model of Biblical theology, which is then clarified using the philosophical categories of metaphysics, epistemology, and axiology. Learners will gain an understanding of modern and postmodern thought and how to critique them biblically, and are encouraged to develop and apply a Christian worldview to life and ministry.

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Credits: 3

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For good or for bad, philosophy has played a pivotal role in the development of theology and culture. In this course, learners examine the major trends in contemporary theological thought in light of their philosophical contexts. The course begins with a review of the major developments in Western thought prior to Hegel, and then explores the theologies of Hegel, Kierkegaard, Barth, Bultmann, and Tillich. The course culminates in the "Death of God" theologies of Paul Van Buren and Thomas Altizer. The course enables learners to evaluate contemporary, non-evangelical theologies and to recognize their impact on everyday life.

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Credits: 3

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God has one unified, global purpose for all He does. This course introduces the exciting biblical, historical, cultural, and strategic dimensions of His plan. It addresses key issues: the basis of and necessity for world missions, and the status of and plan for world missions. Students are introduced to the basics they need to pursue missionary training or to help lead their local church in its global ministry.

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Credits: 3

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