Built upon a foundation of spirituality and social justice, San Francisco Theological Seminary offers three leading master’s programs that may be tailored to meet your vocational goals, learning style, and family needs. Whether you choose a Master of Divinity, a Master of Arts in Theological Studies, or a common master’s degree in theology, your learning will encompass academic rigor and meaningful engagement with God’s purpose.
The Master of Divinity (MDiv) program is ideal for those seeking broad exposure to a variety of theological disciplines. The MDiv is the foundational degree for ministry and is required for ordination in many Christian traditions. This three-year degree program, if studying full-time, includes elements of spiritual, pastoral, and professional development through our innovative Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and field education programs.
The Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MATS) offers the same breadth as the MDiv with greater flexibility. This two-year degree program requires a certain number of electives in each of the theological disciplines and additional electives may be used to focus in a particular area. MATS students develop a final paper integrating their learning and are not required to complete an internship, though we are happy to assist in searching for a field education experience. The MATS may be pursued part-time, and with its flexibility, it is ideal for those looking to enrich personal or professional development through theological education.
Now Available Fully Online! Students in the new Online MATS program will benefit from the same rigorous, fully-accredited curriculum as their residential counterparts, and they will enjoy the additional advantages of remote access and flexibility — critical considerations for the working student who is committed to earning a degree, but has less time to devote to campus-based learning.
The Graduate Theological Union offers the Common Master of Arts (MA), and as an MA student, you may affiliate with San Francisco Theological Seminary for your studies. This two-year intensive program focuses in one particular theological discipline and draws on a close working relationship with a faculty advisor in your area of study. This is a good choice for those who plan to pursue doctoral studies or wish to fine tune scholarship in a specific area. A substantial, research-based thesis is required, as is basic competency in a modern foreign language for research purposes.
SFTS students have an opportunity to further customize their educational experience through a variety of academic concentrations and certificate programs available exclusively to masters students.