Master of Arts in Theological Studies
The Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MATS) satisfies a variety of broad academic and vocational purposes. It can be suited to the pastor, layman or beginning academic as an entry level Master's Degree in theology. It is often geared toward individuals seeking an introductory graduate degree in religion for service in a supportive role in their local congregation. Depending upon the school, the program can vary from as little as 36 semester/54 quarter hours up to 48 semester/72 quarter hours typically. It may or may not include a thesis, capstone or summation. Frequently, it is a classwork only degree.
Programs of Study
The degree may take several differing forms such as: M.A.T.S. (General theology degree non-specified) Biblical Studies Systematic Theology Old Testament New Testament Historical Theology Christian Apologetics
The Master of Arts in Theological Studies is a degree recognized by accrediting agencies such as the ATS (Association of Theological Schools), TRACS (the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools), the ABHE (Association for Biblical Higher Education) and other accrediting bodies. It is classified as a Category D: Basic Program Oriented Toward General Theological Studies by the ATS (Association of Theological Schools).
While requiring only about 1/2 to 2/3 of the credit hours that are required of a M.Div (Master of Divinity), it is generally considered equal as a prerequisite for entering advanced degree programs such as for an STM (Master of Sacred Theology) or doctoral studies. That said, the student will likely be required to know (or learn remedially) Greek, Hebrew, Latin, German or another modern language in order to enter an advanced degree program if they haven't learned these yet.
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