L-Jennifer Hayes, R-Peggy Williams



Peggy Williams (MAR, ’14)
Cumberland Presbyterian

“I chose to pursue a Master of Arts(Religion)(MAR) at Memphis Theological Seminary for a broader insight into theology.  The ecumenical aspect of the school allowed me to study under professors from varying denominations and backgrounds.  Each class provided a unique experience to better equip me to serve as part of the laity in my church.  My journey at MTS encouraged me to get involved with organizations such as Grow Memphis and the Memphis Child Advocacy Center, as well as provided the knowledge of many other worthy causes.  My experience has enriched my understanding of theology and encouraged further study.”


*Click Here for your MAR Requirements Sheet*


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 degree curriculum seeks to accomplish the following:

1) Students will be able to understand, appreciate, and use a critical approach to biblical studies.

2) Students will be able to understand the historical development of Christian doctrine and to incorporate its ongoing significance for the life of faith

3) Students will gain insight into the way religion and cultural context shape one another.

4) Students will complete a thesis that demonstrates the development of a methodology, bibliography, and the use of critical research skills.

5) Students will complete a thesis that explores in depth a theological topic.


Core Requirements (15 credit hours)

Religious Heritage

NT 10000 Introduction to Interpreting the New Testament              3
OT 10000 Introduction to Interpreting the Old Testament                3
TH 10000 Christian Beliefs                                                                        3
CH 10000 Introduction to Church History                                             3
ET 20000 Introduction to Christian Ethics                                             3

Total Core Hours                                                                                      15

Electives/Specialization                                                                         15

Students must take 15 credit hours of electives, 9 of which must be in the area in which they seek to focus their thesis.

Integrative Seminar and Thesis                                                          6

Students must complete an integrative seminar during the second semester of coursework that will prepare them for completing their thesis. The Integrative Seminar will assist students in developing a methodology, bibliography, and theoretical foundation for their thesis. Students shall receive 3 credit hours for completing the Integrative Seminar and an additional 3 credit hours upon completion of the thesis.

Total Credit Hours for the MAR Degree                                           36

Additional Graduation Requirements:  MAR students are required to earn 6 Theological Colloquia credits and earn a minimum 2.00 cumulative grade point average.

MAR Thesis Requirements

The Thesis shall be between 50 and 75 pages, plus bibliography, and written in compliance with the current version of the MLA Handbook.  If the thesis is in an area of biblical study, the student must take 6 hours in the appropriate biblical language.  In developing a thesis topic, students must take 9 hours of courses in the area in which they are writing the thesis.

The VPAA/Dean will assign thesis advisors based on recommendations of the Integrative Seminar professor and in consultation with the student and faculty.  Readers will be approved by the VPAA/Dean in consultation with the student and faculty members.

The final draft of the thesis will be submitted to the reader no later than 45 days prior to the end of the semester.  Upon receipt of the final draft, the date of the oral defense will be scheduled.  Two corrected copies of the thesis will be submitted to the MTS library for binding no later than one week prior to graduation.

Admissions to the MAR(Religion)(MAR)

Students seeking admission to the MAR shall submit the following (in addition to any other standard requirements already in place for applications to the degree):

  1. Students shall have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.20 (on a 4.0 scale).
  2. Students shall submit an essay explaining why they wish to enter the MAR program, giving specific attention to the program’s purpose as a non-ministry degree.
  3. Students shall submit a 7-10 page academic writing sample that demonstrates their ability to write well and in a manner befitting Master’s level work.
  4. The admissions committee shall include full-time faculty members who assist with determining applicants’ suitability for the program.

Click here to send a message to Memphis Theological Seminary that says, “I’m ready!”  Begin your journey today.