Academic Programs

New York Theological Seminary offers program options designed to best serve a diverse student body which reflects a variety of professional, vocational, intellectual, and personal goals.

At NYTS you can complete your certificate or master’s degree (except for the MPS offered inside Sing Sing), and most of your doctoral degree online:

[1] Delivery of the MPS in Sing Sing is an approved exception to Commission on Accrediting Degree Program Standard B, section B.3 .2.1.

Admissions

New York Theological Seminary (NYTS) is a professional graduate school whose primary mission is to prepare men and women for ministries in Christian churches and other religious institutions. Students are admitted without discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, or orientation, and represent a broad range of denominations, theological views, and cultural traditions. All candidates for degrees or certificates are expected:

  • to be able to articulate an understanding of their own particular call to ministry, recognizing that this is interpreted differently across the range of traditions represented within the Seminary.
  • to belong to a particular community of faith which has in some manner recognized or affirmed that calling.

Admission into the Master of Professional Studies (MPS) program is limited to candidates who are currently incarcerated within the New York State Department of Corrections system, and who meet additional eligibility requirements set by the Department of Corrections. For further information on admissions to the MPS, contact the Director of the MPS program at NYTS.

The Seminary has a rolling admissions policy for all master’s degree programs: Master of Arts in Pastoral Care and Counseling (MAPCC), Master of Arts in Religious Education (MARE), Master of Arts in Youth Ministry (MAYM), Master of Arts in Religious Leadership and Administration (MARLA), and Master of Divinity (MDiv). Applications are reviewed and interviews with prospective students are scheduled on a regular basis throughout the year. Once admitted, a student may register and begin attending classes in the next available semester. Interested candidates should know that the required courses in biblical studies and foundations of ministry are offered sequentially in fall and spring semesters, and are thus encouraged to complete their applications in time to begin the fall semester.

Admission to the Doctor of Ministry (DMin) program is generally in the fall, but may take place prior to the beginning of any particular track. For further information on admission deadlines to the D.Min., contact the Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program.

Master of Divinity Requirements

The Master of Divinity degree program is open to women and men who:

  • possess a BA, BS, or equivalent undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year college (applicants holding degrees or diplomas from another country may be required to provide a translated copy and to provide further information to help the admissions committee determine equivalency).
  • demonstrate evidence of an ability to do graduate level study, primarily assessed through the written answers to the application essay questions and through recommendations.
  • are able to articulate an understanding of their call to ministry in a manner that is appropriate to their own experience and faith tradition.
  • belong to a community of faith or have a specific ministry setting in which the applicant exercises responsibility.

Master of Arts in Pastoral Care & Counseling Requirements

The Master of Arts in Pastoral Care & Counseling degree program is open to women and men who:

  • possess a BA, BS, or equivalent undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year college (applicants holding degrees or diplomas from another country may be required to provide a translated copy and to provide further information to help the admissions committee determine equivalency).
  • demonstrate evidence of an ability to do graduate level study, primarily assessed through the written answers to the application essay questions and through recommendations.
  • are able to articulate in a manner that is appropriate to their own experience and faith tradition an understanding of their call to serve in the specialized area of pastoral care and counseling.
  • currently belong to a community of faith that recognizes or expects the applicant to exercise his or her calling to pastoral care and counseling; or be willing to work within such a community of faith, exercising her or his calling to pastoral care and counseling.

Master of Arts in Religious Education Requirements

The Master of Arts in Religious Education degree program is open to women and men who:

  • possess a BA, BS, or equivalent undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year college (applicants holding degrees or diplomas from another country may be required to provide a translated copy and to provide further information to help the admissions committee determine equivalency).
  • demonstrate evidence of an ability to do graduate level study, primarily assessed through the written answers to the application essay questions and through recommendations.
  • are able to articulate in a manner that is appropriate to their own experience and faith tradition an understanding of their call to serve in the specialized area of religious education.
  • currently belong to a community of faith that recognizes or expects the applicant to exercise his or her calling to religious education; or be willing to work within such a community of faith, exercising her or his calling to religious education.

Master of Arts in Youth Ministry Requirements

The Master of Arts in Youth Ministry degree program is open to women and men who:

  • possess a BA, BS, or equivalent undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year college (applicants holding degrees or diplomas from another country may be required to provide a translated copy and to provide further information to help the admissions committee determine equivalency).
  • demonstrate evidence of an ability to do graduate level study, primarily assessed through the written answers to the application essay questions and through recommendations.
  • are able to articulate in a manner that is appropriate to their own experience and faith tradition an understanding of their call to serve in the specialized area of youth ministry.
  • currently belong to a community of faith that recognizes or expects the applicant to exercise his or her calling to youth ministry; or be willing to work within such a community of faith, exercising her or his calling to youth ministry.

Master of Arts in Religious Leadership & Administration Requirements

The Master of Arts in Religious Leadership & Administration degree program is open to women and men who:

  • possess a BA, BS, or equivalent undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year college (applicants holding degrees or diplomas from another country may be required to provide a translated copy and to provide further information to help the admissions committee determine equivalency).
  • demonstrate evidence of an ability to do graduate level study, primarily assessed through the written answers to the application essay questions and through recommendations.
  • are able to articulate in a manner that is appropriate to their own experience and faith tradition an understanding of their call to serve in the specialized area of congregational or non-profit organizations.
  • currently belong to a community of faith that recognizes or expects the applicant to exercise his or her calling to leadership and administration; or be willing to work within such a community of faith, exercising her or his calling to congregational administration.

Doctor of Ministry Requirements

Applicants to the Doctor of Ministry degree program are required to have completed:

  • a Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree received from an institution that is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS), or
  • a graduate theological degree from an accredited school outside North America that in the judgment of the Admissions Committee meets the standard of an ATS-accredited school, or
  • the educational equivalent of an accredited MDiv degree in the form of one or more degrees received from an institution of higher education recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or a Canadian provincial quality assurance agency. MDiv equivalency is defined as 72 graduate semester hours representing both professional and academic learning, with at least 24 graduate credits completed in the combined areas of biblical studies, theology, history, and the arts of ministry. Candidates who hold an earned graduate degree in another field of study (e.g. social work, urban planning, law) but have not completed sufficient graduate theological studies will be encouraged to enroll in and complete an MA degree at NYTS in one of the specialized areas of ministry (MAPCC, MARE, MAYM, or MARLA) as appropriate to their particular track in the D.Min. In all cases the decisions of the Admissions Committee of the Doctor of Ministry program regarding equivalency are final. For further information on admission on the basis of educational equivalency, contact the Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program.

All applicants are expected to have completed a minimum of three years of ministry experience subsequent to the applicant’s first graduate theological degree. In considering exceptions to this expectation, the DMin Admissions Committee will consider the number of years of ministerial experience of the applicant prior to completing the MDiv, and the specific nature of the applicant’s ministry in the context of the religious community or faith-based institution to which the person is related.

All applicants must demonstrate a capacity for engaging in advanced academic research and writing appropriate for the doctoral level.

All applicants must be engaged in some form of professional ministry (ordained or lay) that can reasonably be expected to last for the duration of the degree. An applicant who may be engaged in non-traditional forms of ministry is required to present evidence that such practices are understood as ministry at least by the community of faith to which he/she belongs. Applicants do not need to be in ministerial positions for which they receive paid compensation.

 

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