Memphis Theological Seminary’s vision of theological education for ministry engages students throughout their studies in the practice of ministry. The MTS curriculum integrates theological study with practical experience in a variety of ministry settings. Five different courses spread throughout the curriculum have practicum’s. Additionally, students are required to take at least one “immersion” course in which the classroom becomes the city, farms and rural churches, the courts and jails, or a place of hospitality for homeless persons. All of the faculty at MTS are experienced practitioners of ministry, ranging from congregational settings in both urban and rural areas to non-profit organizations to chaplaincies. They know how to connect seminary education with the practice of ministry.
Finally, at MTS we know that preparation for ministry is not only about the head, but also about relationship with God in a community of faith. Formation for Ministry, regular opportunities for worship, time for prayer in the chapel, and colloquies with visiting scholars and activists, ensure that students have the space to develop spiritually as they prepare for ministry. We are dedicated to educating students so that they are well prepared to have a lively pastoral imagination, open to challenges, ready for difficult days, and committed to serving God through service in the church and the broader community.
Below you will find descriptions of each program and a link to download the application. Click on the name of the degree for more information or click on Learn More for the course and degree requirements. Let us know how we can be a part of answering your call to ministry.
Master of Divinity
The Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree at Memphis Theological Seminary is the standard path to ordained ministry. Full time students can expect a minimum three-year program of study. Full time students who take the night track can expect a minimum of four years. The 84 hour program includes classroom instruction and hands-on experience through immersions and practicums. Its curriculum acquaints students with theological disciplines and encourages communal exploration in the life of the church, so that graduates will serve the church as leaders in greater faithfulness to God. LEARN MORE
Master of Arts (Religion)
The Master of Arts (Religion)(MAR) at Memphis Theological Seminary is designed for persons who want to prepare for further graduate study or acquire a general theological education not oriented toward ministry. The MAR is a 36 hour degree program. LEARN MORE
Doctor of Ministry
The Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) degree is available for ministers who have a Master of Divinity degree from an accredited seminary and who desire a higher level of competence in the practice of ministry. Designed to increase the ability of servant leaders to analyze and reform ministry and to empower constituents for discipleship in the world, it is the highest degree in the practice of ministry. LEARN MORE
Master of Arts Christian Ministry
The Master of Arts in Christian Ministry is designed to integrate biblical and theological studies with practical training for a specialized ministry. The degree offers students the opportunity to integrate theological reflection with the practice of lay professional ministry or other Christian service in various Christian organizations. This degree would help to prepare persons to serve as lay, deacon, or recognized ministers in a specialized form of ministry. It is not a degree for those preparing for pastoral leadership within a congregation. LEARN MORE
Master of Arts Youth Ministry
The Master of Arts in Youth Ministry degree at Memphis Theological Seminary is a 48-hour degree. It is a cohort experience, where students are grouped with 12-16 peers who will journey together as they learn about youth ministry and theology. Students will experience community and create relationships that will encourage them as they grow. A new cohort forms each year and joins two other cohorts already in years two and three of their residency to create a community of 36+ MAYM students. The courses rotate each year, allowing a student to complete the degree over six semesters (three years). LEARN MORE
Korean Doctor of Ministry
The Korean Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) degree is available for ministers who have a Master of Divinity degree from an accredited seminary and who desire a higher level of competence in the practice of ministry. Designed to increase the ability of servant leaders to analyze and reform ministry and to empower constituents for discipleship in the world, it is the highest degree in the practice of ministry. LEARN MORE
Addiction Counseling Certificate
This certificate program aspires to prepare Christians to offer competent counseling services to individuals, families, and groups who struggle with the effects of Substance Use Disorders. The program offers the number of hours that the Tennessee State Board of Alcohol and Other Drugs of Abuse Counselors requires for licensure as an Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor. Students who complete all six courses receive the Graduate Certificate in Addiction Counseling Studies. LEARN MORE
The Certificate in Wesleyan Studies is earned by competing 15 hours in courses carrying the Wesleyan Studies designation. This program is a great way to learn about the Methodist tradition and prepare for ordination or simply deepen one’s knowledge of the tradition. For non-degree seeking students these courses are part of a regular course load. For non-degree seeking students these courses can either be audited with some additional requirements, or taken fro graduate credit.
Netters Certificate in Ministry
The Dr. James L. Netters Certificate in Congregational Ministry is a certificate program designed for persons who are active in congregational life, but not interested in pursuing a Masters level degree. This certificate program aspires to prepare Christian leaders (lay and clergy) to offer competent leadership in congregational life. This program provides high-level theological education for associate ministers, Sunday school teachers, committee chairpersons and others who serve the church. LEARN MORE
Guest Students Have you ever wanted to sit in on a seminary class and gain some theological education but not worry about doing homework, taking exams, or writing papers? Guest students are welcome to “audit” any regularly offered class at Memphis Theological Seminary. If you have a desire to learn and to participate in theological education, but not as a credit earning student, you should consider this option. Guest students attend the scheduled classes, and learn alongside degree seeking students, but are not responsible for graded assignments. Some guest students may take a set schedule of classes and can earn a certificate, such as the Netters Certificate in Theological Education, or the Faith and Health Certificate. Guest students pay a $375 “auditors fee,” and are not eligible for financial aid. For more information about registering as a guest student, please contact the Office of Admissions.
Memphis Theological Seminary now offers a Night Track for our Master’s degree programs. The program makes it possible for a working adult to obtain their MDiv, MACM, or MAR while still maintaining their full- time job. Classes are offered Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings from 6-9 pm. A full time student may complete the MDiv in 4 years and the MACM and MAR may be completed in 3 years. Learn how you can become a student.
Rev. Melissa Malinoski
Director of Admissions
Melissa graduated from Bethel University in 1999 and from Memphis Theological Seminary in 2002. As an ordained Cumberland Presbyterian minister, Melissa has served congregations in Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. She is married to Rev. T.J. Malinoski. They are the parents of a son, Morgen and a daughter, Madeline.
We appreciate your interest in Memphis Theological Seminary. The MTS admissions staff is committed to supporting you in your theological journey. We are here to help you while you are discerning your call, considering degree and certificate options, and supporting you as you do ministry in the real world. At MTS we are committed to educating and sustaining men and women for ordained and lay ministry in the church and the world through shaping and inspiring lives devoted to scholarship, piety, and justice. Please don’t hesitate to ask how we can assist you along in your journey.
Rev. Felecia LaVant
Felecia completed her undergraduate degree in Sociology at Fisk University in 1982, and MDiv at Memphis Theological Seminary in 2014. She serves as an Associate Minister and the Director of Christian Education at Central Baptist Church, Inc. Felecia also volunteers with Manna House, a place of hospitality in the Catholic Worker Tradition. She is the proud mother of two adult daughters, Andraea and Alexandria.
Rev. Byron Forester
Byron is a graduate of Bethel University (1974) and of Memphis Theological Seminary (2007). He serves as pastor of Hopewell Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Benton Co. MS and as Coordinator of Ministries for West Tennessee Presbytery. He participates and serves in several ministries to people who are unsheltered. Byron and his wife, Michelle Brown have three daughters. They live five blocks from MTS.