The Advising Center wants to help you make informed decisions as you progress toward graduation. Please select your degree from the menu to the left or click on your degree below for degree-specific resources and tips.
|Degree||Total Hours||Fully Online (RV or LS)||Real-Time Courses||Degree Plans|
|Master of Theology (ThM)||120||16†||ThM 2020-21|
|MA in Biblical Counseling (MABC)||90||10†||MABC 2020-21|
|MA in Chaplaincy and Ministry Care (MACP)||79||Yes||4||MACP 2020-21|
|MA in Apologetics and Evangelism (MAAE)||69||Yes||4||MAAE 2020-21|
|MA in Christian Education (MACE)||66||Yes||4||MACE 2020-21|
|MA in Christian Leadership (MACL)||66||Yes||4||MACL 2020-21|
|MA in Media Arts and Worship (MAMW)||66||Yes||4||MAMW 2020-21|
|MA in Cross-Cultural Ministries (MACM)||64||Yes||4||MACM 2020-21|
|MA (Biblical Linguistics) (MABEL)||62||*||MABEL 2019-20|
|MA (Christian Studies) (MACS)||62||Yes||0||MACS 2020-21|
|Master of Arts (TS, OT, NT majors) (MA)||60||*||MA 2020-21|
|Master of Biblical and Theological Studies (MBTS)||36||Yes||0||MBTS 2020-21|
|Master of Sacred Theology (STM)||32**||*||STM Degree Worksheet (2020/2021)|
|Certificate of Graduate Studies (CGS)||30||Yes||0|
† The ThM requires 48 hours (i.e. 16 3-hour courses) of real-time courses and the MABC requires 30 hours (i.e.10 3-hour courses). ThM and MABC students may need more courses than the number listed above to meet the credit hours required for their degree.
* These degrees require advanced and specialized courses that may not be available by video conference and only offered on-campus. Students should plan to relocate near the Dallas campus (MABEL and MA) or near a DTS campus for the specific electives selected in the student’s major (STM).
** The STM hours reflects students demonstrating proficiency in Greek and Hebrew. Additional hours may be required.
Real-time degree requirements (previously “face-to-face” or “residential credit”) for each degree are listed above. Courses that previously counted toward face-to-face or residency also meet real-time requirements. Directed learning courses are completed by students outside a real-time learning community and instruction from a professor.
|Course Types||Definition||Course Sections|
Courses where professors and students physically meet in a location.
Campuses: Dallas, Houston, DC
Extensions or Mobile Locations: AR, AU, FW, EU, GA, GB, HK, IN, NA, NC, NP, SA, PGI/PI, PL, PX, WA, WL
Immersive Studies: MW52**
Ministry Residency: EML5801 & EML5802
|Video Conference (Online)||Courses with weekly video conferencing sessions between professors and students.|
RV or LS
(Previously: VC, VA, VG, etc.)
|Directed Learning Courses|
|Traditional Online||Courses mostly composed of pre-recorded online videos and forum interaction (may have limited video conferencing sessions)||OL|
|Independent Studies||Students work one-on-one with a faculty member remotely or on-campus.||**5901|
|Special Topics||Students participating in special conferences, training, or programs.||**5905|
|Internship or Apprenticeship||Students integrate their classroom training with ministry experience.||INT5*** or MW5102|
|Spiritual Formation (Credit)||Students meet with a mentor or fellow students focusing on identity, community, integrity, and fidelity.||SF5201-5204 or SF5215, SF5220, SF5225, SF5230|
|Research Courses||Students research and write on a topic relevant to their degree, academic interests, or ministry direction.||EML5950, RS5101, RS5102, RS5103, or **5902 (Thesis)|
Students may earn a second Master’s degree by adding additional hours to one’s current or previously completed degree. Students should keep the following points in mind:
|Degrees||Minimum Hours Required||Time Limit|
|2-year MA + 2-year MA||90||7|
|2-year MA + MACP||105||8|
|2-year MA + MABC||115||8|
|2-year MA + ThM||145||9|
|ThM + MACP||150||10|
|ThM + MABC||155||10|
Students are required to meet the degree requirements set forth in the catalog in which they first began taking classes in a Master’s degree. If students reclassify, then he/she will be required to meet the degree requirements prescribed in that catalog. Each catalog covers one academic year (Fall-Summer). Because degrees can change from year to year, students are expected to know the requirements in their catalog and confirm courses and graduation plans with their academic advisor.
Each degree has a time limit identifying when students must complete all degree requirements. This time limit begins from the first class a student takes at DTS. Example: If a MACL student begins in Fall 2020, he/she has a 7-year time limit that ends in Summer 2027.
Some degrees require students take a certain number of courses in real-time (online or at a DTS location). The current real-time requirements and time limits are posted on the Degree Overview Chart. While not all degrees require real-time courses, students are encouraged to take BE, ST, or electives in real-time to make stronger connections with fellow students and faculty. If students reclassify to another degree, these real-time courses will help meet those requirements.
While the degree requirements will be the same for students in the same degree entering at the same time, each student’s degree completion plan will look different. The Advising Center wants to equip students to craft a personalized degree plan from the degree-specific advising pages linked above and other resources on our website. Each student’s life commitments, ministry direction, and financial situation are unique and need to be considered when developing a degree plan. Students should develop a plan that allows them to finish all requirements at least one-year prior to their degree time limit. Example: If a student’s time limit ends in Summer 2025, then the student’s degree plan should have the final class in Summer 2024.
Each catalog and degree-specific page has a general plan students may use in a preliminary fashion. These plans do take into account prerequisites but students should check the schedule page for any prerequisites needed in their degree or possible elective selection. Advisors are available to review a student’s degree plan by email or by appointment.
Advisors and students may have a clear and wise plan that takes into account life, finances, ministry, family, etc. However, we may need to revise and revisit these plans. It is best to meet with an academic advisor once a year to review your existing plan and identify your next steps. Or, your yearly advising meeting may be to revise your current degree plan or consider other degree options due to clarification regarding future ministry. Some students may need to take a Leave of Absence (LOA) when he/she does not plan to take a class, internship, or Spiritual Formation (SF) in a fall or spring semester.
We recognize these changes may be difficult. Academic advisors are available to help students evaluate their current degree plan, clarify future ministry direction, and identify possible next steps.