The GTU Common MA is an academic degree conferred by the GTU with the recommendation of one of the member schools, such as San Francisco Theological Seminary. The Master of Arts program offers you the opportunity to pursue graduate level theological studies apart from preparation for a career in ordained ministry. You may choose to earn an MA as:

  • A preliminary to pursuing a doctoral degree.
  • A terminal degree for teaching at the elementary, secondary, or junior college level.
  • Theological preparation for counseling or community service, or to cultivate a personal interest in religious studies.
    Areas of Concentration

The MA program requires both a distribution of courses among various fields of theological study and a special emphasis on a single field, culminating in a thesis. Your academic advisor comes from the faculty of your affiliated school.

The SFTS faculty has approved the following areas of specialization for the SFTS/GTU MA:

  • Bible
  • Biblical Languages
  • Historical Studies
  • Systematic and Philosophical Theology
  • Religion and Personality Sciences
  • Christian Spirituality
  • Interreligious Studies

Through other schools and centers of the GTU, you also may also receive an MA in:

  • Art and Religion
  • Cultural and Historical Studies of Religions
  • Jewish Studies
  • Buddhist Studies

Concurrent MDiv/MA

Both the academic MA and the professional MDiv may be pursued concurrently at SFTS. MDiv students who wish to receive the two degrees simultaneously at the end of four or five years of study should apply for admission to the GTU MA program in their junior or middler year. Candidates for the joint degree must satisfy the distribution requirements for each program and spend a minimum of four years in full-time study, in addition to completing an internship. They pay two years of MDiv tuition and two years of MA tuition and are eligible for four years of financial aid and housing. (The needs of joint degree candidates who complete a full year internship in addition to four years of course work are considered individually.)


For full information about study at the GTU

please consult the Catalog of the Graduate Theological Union, available from:
2400 Ridge Road, Berkeley, CA 94709 | 510.649.2400 | 800.826.4488


For more information, please contact:

Kristin Dableo-Martel, Associate Director for Enrollment | 415.451.2831