Master of Theological Studies


1. Objectives

The M.T.S. program is designed to offer a general introduction to Greek Orthodox theology through the introductory graduate level study of church history, dogmatics, ethics, scripture, patristics and canon law.  It is a first degree in theology and differs from the Master of Theology (Th.M.) in that the latter normally requires three years of previous graduate theological education prior to admission. The M.T.S. provides basic competency in New Testament Greek through six semester hours of classroom study. Specialized competency in areas of academic interest is available for students through elective course work at Holy Cross and the Boston Theological Institute. In addition to four semesters of full-time academic study, students are afforded the opportunity to participate in the integral religious life of the Holy Cross community in the context of daily worship and personal spiritual guidance. The M.T.S. program does not provide the educational nor pastoral requirements necessary for priestly ordination.  Those seeking ordination in the Orthodox Church are directed to the M.Div. program.

2. Program Learning Outcomes

Students enrolled in the Master of Theological Studies program are equipped to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a broad familiarity with Orthodox theology and history as expressed in the various fields of church history, dogmatics, ethics, scripture, patristics and canon law.
  2. Demonstrate basic competency in New Testament Greek.
  3. Articulate a concentrated understanding of the Orthodox religious heritage and cultural context of one of the basic areas of theological education:
         a. biblical (Old and New Testaments)           
         b. historical (church history and patrology)
         c. systematic (dogmatics and ethics)
         d. practical (liturgics, canon law, and pastoral theology)
  4. Think theologically and critically about the Orthodox Christian tradition both historically and within contemporary church and society.

3. Admission Requirements

Holy Cross welcomes applications from qualified applicants to the M.T.S. program. In addition to regular admission requirements, applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university. No prior preparation in theology or religious studies is necessary.  However, prospective students who do not have a bachelor’s degree in the humanities are encouraged to have read broadly in the areas of Orthodox theology, religion and philosophy. 

4. Degree Requirements

Students in the M.T.S. program are expected to complete two years of full-time residency and study. Students must complete this two-year course of study with an average cumulative grade of C (2.0) or better. The program consists of sixty (60) credit hours of course work, which includes 15 required courses (45 credits) and 5 elective courses (15 credits). Given the high number of required courses, students are encouraged to adhere as closely as possible to the following two-year sequence of courses:

Fall Semester

First year

  • Church History I  3
  • New Testament Greek I  3
  • Old Testament Introduction 3
  • Patrology   3
  • Elective     3

Total: 15 credits

Spring Semester

First year

  • Church History II  3
  • New Testament Greek II  3
  • New Testament Introduction 3
  • Dogmatics I    3
  • Liturgics   3

Total: 15 credits

Second year

  • New Testament Exegesis  3
  • Dogmatics II   3
  • Dogmatics III    3
  • Ethics    3
  • Elective    3

Total: 15 credits

Total Credits   60

Second year

  • Old Testament Exegesis  3
  • Canon Law   3
  • Elective   3
  • Elective   3
  • Elective     3

Total: 15 credits