Master of Arts

Theological Studies

Become better equipped for a focused ministry of teaching and research.

Gain the academic background and skills needed for sound theological work in church, missions, or academic contexts. In the Master of Arts Theological Studies (MATS) program, students choose a concentration in either Old Testament, New Testament, or theology. They then complete either a reading, thesis, or specialization track within their concentration. This allows you to customize the way you learn to suit your career and ministry goals.

The MATS program is also well-suited for students who wish to go on to doctoral study in Old Testament, New Testament, or theology. MATS graduates have gone on to study at universities such as McMaster University, McGill University, and the University of Edinburgh.

Flexible and customizable

The choice of reading course, thesis, or specialization tracks allow you to tailor your studies to fit your career and ministry goals.

Learn together

Learn not only from your professors, but also your peers. Briercrest Seminary attracts students from various ministry contexts and walks of life, making for eye-opening class discussion and rich community events.

Doctoral preparation

The MATS is a perfect step towards doctoral studies. Learn from professors who will help you along on your academic journey. Our graduates have gone on to universities such as McMaster, McGill, and the University of Edinburgh.

  • Overview
  • Requirements

The Master of Arts (Theological Studies) (MATS) is designed to provide the academic background and skills needed for engaging in advanced theological studies. The program seeks to provide the spiritual, intellectual, biblical, historical, and theological tools for sound theological research and teaching. The program is designed for students who wish to become better equipped for a focused ministry of teaching and/or research either in church, mission, or academic settings. The MATS is also well-suited for students who wish to go on for doctoral programs in Old Testament, New Testament, or theology.


  1. Articulate and apply an evangelical theology that demonstrably arises out of Scripture and finds expression in all areas of life and ministry.
  2. Be equipped for serving the local church and its global mission.
  3. Demonstrate growth as a disciple of Jesus Christ.
  4. Demonstrate both depth and breadth of scholarship in the chosen area of concentration.
  5. Give evidence of their capacity to implement theological scholarship in a teaching and/or ministry context.
  6. Articulate a spirituality of scholarship that describes their approach to integrating academic learning into personal formation.
Credit Hours: 60

I. Core (12 credit hours)
In consultation with the program coordinator, students will choose one course from each of the following disciplines:
Personal Formation for Ministry *
New Testament
Old Testament
Theology Elective **

II. Theological Studies
BLST 717 The Former Prophets
   OR BLST 719 The Latter Prophets
BLST 721 Studies in the Gospel of Matthew
   OR BLST 722 Studies in the Gospel of Luke
THEO 761 The Patristic Fathers
Concentration requirements: ***
   BLST 602 Introduction to Biblical Interpretation
   OR Hebrew Language (9 credits)
   OR Greek Language (9 credits)

III. Research
RD 701 Theological and Ministry Research
RD 808 Thesis ****
RD 806 Reading Course

IV. Electives
Concentration electives ***
Communication elective (for thesis and reading tracks)
Specialization electives: 12 credit hours of guided electives for specialization track, or 3 credit hours of open electives for thesis and reading tracks

V. Non-Credit Requirements
RD 700 Experiential Integration
PRT 800 Learning Portfolio and Interview
THEO 891 MATS Comprehensive Exam

* Must include one of the following: CM 600 Spiritual Formation for Ministry; CM 601 Philosophy and Foundation for Ministry; LE 605 Personal and Service Development.
** If a student does not have sufficient background in theology, he or she should take THEO 601 Christian Theology Overview.
*** See Program Sheets for track and concentration details.
**** Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.50 and have the approval of the program coordinator in order to qualify to write a thesis.  Students who do not qualify or wish to opt out of the thesis must include RD 806 Reading Course (in the area of their concentration) and two electives (6 credits) typically in the area of their concentration.

Program Sheet(s)


Keith Bodner
Keith Bodner PhD
Affiliate Professor of Old Testament
Dale Dawson
Dale Dawson DTh
Adjunct Faculty in Theology
Carl Hinderager
Carl Hinderager PhD
Professor of New Testament
Joel Houston
Joel Houston PhD, FRHistS
Program Coordinator
Associate Professor of Theology
David Miller
David Miller PhD
Associate Professor of New Testament and Early Judaism
Wes Olmstead
Wes Olmstead PhD
Professor of New Testament
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The way Briercrest Seminary set up the distance learning was convenient for my life circumstances, and never hindered the amount of learning and community I would have experienced being on campus full time.
Mary-Lynne Eggink