Degrees & Programs


This was the intention of God in creation from the very beginning: To call each of us, individuals like you and me, to life. Welcome to Good News!

Master of Theological Studies (MTS)

The Master of Theological Studies (MTS) is a two-year academic program suitable for those interested in pursuing a career in teaching at the elementary, secondary, or junior college level; in church ministry; or as preparation for further academic work. MTS students demonstrate a focused knowledge in their chosen theological specialization, conduct research and communicate effectively in writing and speaking, interpret and apply theological knowledge, and construct a coherent, sustained theological.

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Master of Divinity (MDiv)

A three-year professional degree preparing students for Church ministry, the MDiv offers appropriate preparation for those intending to serve in lay or ordained ecclesial and service ministries. The curriculum provides an interdisciplinary education with a theological foundation, preparing students for careers in education and professional ministry grounded in the Franciscan tradition. Seminars, supervised field education, courses in pastoral ethics, and the cultivation of intercultural sensitivity are integral elements of this degree. A written and orally presented capstone project addresses practical theology in a particular ministerial context.

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Master of Arts (MA)

The Master of Arts degree in theology is an academically rigorous degree designed for students preparing for teaching at the secondary level or in two-year college programs. The M.A. also serves as an appropriate graduate research degree in preparation for a doctoral program.

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Concurrent MDiv and MTS Degrees

Students who wish to combine a focused theological study with their ministerial degree choose the Concurrent MDiv and MTS Degree. By combining programs, the two-year MTS and three-year MDiv can be completed in just four years. The goals of this program are the same as for the individual MTS and MDiv. Both MTS thesis and MDiv capstone project culminate the combined degree. On-Degree Programs.

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Non-Degree Programs

FST Offers a number of options for students who wish to advance their education without enrolling in a full degree program. These include certificate programs, individualized programs, and a special program just for alums.

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Personal Enrichment

Personal enrichment via lectures and continuing education at the Franciscan School of Theology offer affordable, high-quality instruction by some of the world’s foremost Franciscan scholars and educators. FST continuing education courses are open to the public and take place online. Many of the lectures are held on the USD campus or via Zoom and are recorded for viewing per our FST EDU1 YouTube Channel.


“The Franciscan Intellectual Tradition has many resources for our culture and our time. As we move into the third millennium, with all its challenges and opportunities, I look forward to helping students deepen their own appreciation for the tradition and to sharpen their pastoral skills for a world with many needs.”

Mary Beth Ingham, CSJ, PhD

Professor of Philosophical Theology

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