The Master of Theological Studies Program (MTS)


The Overall Purpose of the Master of Theological Studies Program 
The Contemplative Habit of “Faith Seeking Understanding”

The chief aim of the MTS program at Holy Spirit College is to impart to degree candidates a basic understanding of each area of Catholic sacred theology (for example, Scripture, creation, Christology, sacraments, ecclesiology). By working toward fulfilment of the degree requirements, students are able to cultivate a contemplative habit of prayerful study under the guidance of faculty members dedicated to transmitting the authentic Catholic intellectual tradition. Through the practice of “faith seeking understanding,” students will acquire a stable and unified foundation from which they may then proceed to conduct study in the specialized areas of theological inquiry.


Goals of the Master of Theological Studies Program

The MTS program at Holy Spirit College is an academic program rather than a professional program. In accordance with the academic nature of this degree, the College has established a number of general academic goals which it strives to help students meet. 


(1) Broad Understanding with Historical Depth

A primary goal of the MTS program is for students to attain survey-level knowledge of the various theological disciplines comprising Catholic sacred theology. Such knowledge will include familiarity with a wide range of topics and also be historical in depth. For any theological doctrine or topic discussed in coursework, students will understand the development of that doctrine as well as how that topic interrelates with other theological areas of research. Familiarity with doctrinal interrelation contributes toward the realization of the overall purpose of the program stated above, namely, that students develop a contemplative understanding how the various particular areas of theological inquiry are integrated in an organic whole. 


(2) Technical Proficiency with Communicative Flexibility

 A second goal is that students become familiar with the traditional vocabulary, distinctions, and technical notions employed in Catholic sacred theology, as well as with the contemporary issues and problems facing each area of sacred theology today. Students will be able to assess the meaning of such technical formulations in their historical contexts and re-express these theological judgments in a contemporary context informed by the intellectual issues and problems facing Christian theology today. 


(3) Scholarly Skills

 Finally, the program maintains the goal of helping students realize the unique vocation of the academic theologian (as distinct from the catechist), particularly through the development of the scholarly skills necessary for high-level theological research. 



Program Content

The Holy Spirit College MTS program exposes students to diverse theological content in all the major areas of theological research. The program is primarily academic in nature rather than professional. The summative requirement which is completed at the end of student work toward the degree serves to illustrate the academic nature of the MTS degree. This requirement involves either completion of a short research project or illustrating mastery of all coursework through completion of a comprehensive exam.


Location of the Master of Theological Studies Program

Courses for the Holy Spirit College MTS degree are offered primarily on the main campus of the College which is located at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in north Atlanta. At times, individual courses may be scheduled at satellite classroom facilities associated with other Catholic parishes in the Archdiocese of Atlanta. By pursuing graduate education in Catholic sacred theology in a traditional classroom setting, students at the College participate in a community of learning where faculty and students have regular opportunities for substantive and personal interaction. With approval of the academic dean, a student may also pursue a directed reading under the guidance of a faculty member in order to obtain credit toward the MTS degree. 


MTS Degree Requirements

Credit Distribution 

36 hrs. Total
27 hrs. Theology Core Courses
9 hrs. Electives


Other Degree Requirements 

Summative Requirement: Research Paper or Comprehensive Exam.