Teach God’s Word to the Next Generation

Among the 60 hours of courses Bethel University offers in the Master of Arts in Theological Studies are Biblical studies, church and ministry, theology, ethics, and society. A rich assortment of electives is also available. Besides preparing students for advanced graduate and ministerial training, the M.A.T.S. lays a strong foundation for ministry and leadership.

Our Master of Arts in Theological Studies (M.A.T.S.) degree online will prepare you to live out your calling as a minister or pursue higher education. With our online MA of Theological Studies degree program, you will gain a deeper understanding of biblical and theological concepts to provide Christ-centered leadership in the 21st century.

Our fully online ministry program offers the ultimate flexibility for working adults. With six start dates per year, you’ll have the opportunity to complete your degree at your own pace. The program can be completed in as little as a year and a half.

Accreditation & Membership

Bethel University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to grant bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The Higher Learning Commission is one of six regional accrediting agencies in the United States. Institutional accreditation evaluates an entire institution and accredits it as a whole. Bethel is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).

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Program Details

Next Start Date: 06/30/2024
Credit Hours: 60
Cost/Credit: 365
Transfer Credits: Up to 30*
Est. Completion Time: 2-4 Years
Accreditation: HLC

Course Requirements

Bethel’s online MA in Theological Studies degree (MATS) combines a rigorous curriculum with opportunities towards deep spiritual growth. The program consists of 60 credit hours, including 27 hours in required courses and 33 hours in electives of your choice.

  • Required Courses (27 Credits)

    • BBST 531: Interpreting the New Testament (3)
    • BBST 532: Interpreting the Old Testament (3)
    • CHMN 516: Spiritual Formation (3)
    • CHMN 522: Dynamics of Multicultural Ministry (3)
    • THES 523: History of Christian Thought (3)
    • THES 531: Systematic Theology (3)
    • THES 534B: Biblical Theology Seminars – Old Testament Theology (3)
    • THES 534C: Biblical Theology Seminars – New Testament Theology (3)
    • THES 535/536: Christian Apologetics/ Philosophy of Religion (3)
  • Related Course Electives (33 Credits)

    • CHMN XXX: Select a minimum of 3 credit hours (3-15)
    • BBST XXX: Select a minimum of 3 credit hours (3-15)
    • THES XXX (1-15)
Program consists of:


Total Courses
Earn your degree faster by transferring credits.
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Admission Requirements

Candidates for Bethel’s online MA in Theological Studies will need to submit the following:
  • Online graduate application
  • Official transcripts for any undergraduate or graduate work. Students must hold a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, and must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher**
  • Biographical sketch of 300 words covering your history, personal religious faith, why you are taking graduate studies, and why you selected Bethel University
  • Three Graduate Reference Forms. These must be from your pastor or qualified spiritual mentor, a former professor or teacher, and another person who is not your relative.

** Students with less than a 2.5 GPA may be granted conditional admissions with the program director’s approval.

Tuition and Fees

Bethel has long been touted for its value. We were ranked No. 2 on Washington Monthly’s Best Bang for the Buck-Midwest list, listed as one of the 50 Best Value Christian Colleges, and have made it to the top tier of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Regional Universities-Midwest” list for fifteen consecutive years.

*Fees are charged per semester unless otherwise noted. Depending on transfer credits, the number of semesters required for completion will affect total cost.

*Transferring any graduate-level credits must be petitioned with the department for approval.

Payment Plan

Bethel University has a monthly installment plan available through Nelnet Campus Commerce. Enrollment can be completed online by accessing the student billing link through MyBethel or by calling 800.609.8056. Students will be charged an enrollment fee of $40.

Total cost with max. transfer credits:


View Tuition & Aid

Financial Aid

Bethel University is committed to ensuring that all our students receive an affordable education.
We offer financial aid based on need, and military benefits and are proud to offer extraordinarily competitive tuition rates.
FAFSA Information
To learn more about your financial aid options or submit a FAFSA, please see our Financial Aid page.
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Transfer Credits

Bethel is committed to helping you make the most of your previous educational experiences. Visit our Transfer Credits page to learn more.
Transfer Your Credits

Career Outcomes

You can choose from a variety of careers in religious studies when you earn an online MA in Theological Studies (MATS).  Here are just a few. Career information taken from United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov).

  • Non-profit Work/Ministry

    Social and community service managers coordinate and supervise programs and organizations that support public well-being.

  • Pastoral/Church Ministry

    Pastors work as the leaders of their churches. Their responsibilities may include overseeing administrative functions, preaching to their congregations, building relationships between the church and their community, conducting ceremonies such as weddings or funerals, and other related duties. These individuals make a median annual salary of $57,321.

  • Bible Teacher/Professor

    Teach courses in philosophy, religion, and theology. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

Benefits of Learning Online

An online degree can open doors to your career while allowing you to study in a convenient, affordable format.
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Learn more about this program and other online academic opportunities at Bethel. Once you complete this form, here’s what you can expect from us:
  • A friendly phone call. We’ll contact you within 24 hours, ready to answer all of your questions.
  • Personalized treatment. You’ll get immediate access to your own dedicated and knowledgeable enrollment counselor. They’ll ask you more about your goals at Bethel, and walk you through everything you need to know to apply.

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