Master of Arts (Pastoral Theology)

The Master of Arts (Pastoral Theology) is a two-year (36 semester hours) program of study that focuses on the core fields of Biblical Studies, Theological Studies, and Pastoral Studies.
You can earn the Master of Arts (Pastoral Theology) degree by taking semester-length courses online, via video conference, or on the Jacksonville, Texas campus. In addition, some courses for this degree can be earned in intensive on-campus (Motion) classes.

For whom is the (Pastoral Theology) Degree?

The Master of Arts (Pastoral Theology) program prepares you for roles that support ministerial leadership positions.

The program is excellent for those who are planning to function in the following vocational opportunities:

  • Associate Pastor
  • Church Administrator
  • Lay Leader
  • Bible Teacher

Goals for the Master of Arts in Theology Degree

Upon satisfactory completion of the Master of Arts (Pastoral Theology) program, you should be able to accomplish the following objectives:

  • Demonstrate interdisciplinary knowledge of biblical studies, theological/historical studies, and pastoral theology.
  • Evaluate and communicate biblical theological truths in the context of Christian ministry.

If you’re looking for a theological degree or seminary program that will equip you to support those in your church responsible for ministerial leadership or wanting to build on prior religious studies and experience, the Master of Arts (Pastoral Theology) program at BMATS could be exactly what you’re looking for.


BMATS is a member of the Baptist Missionary Association and a highly respected theological seminary in East Texas. Founded in 1956, BMATS has a rich history of providing quality education to ministers and academics throughout Texas and the rest of the United States.

Whether you plan to do schooling on campus or acquire your Master of Arts (Pastoral Theology) online, our accredited seminary will provide you with all the tools you need to minister with knowledge and confidence.

Please reach out for more information about the MAPT or any other theological studies in which you are interested.


Do you need a theology degree to be a pastor?

Each denomination has different educational requirements for its pastors. Some require a 90-hour MDiv degree. Others do not require any formal seminary education at all. Still, others have different requirements.  Baptist churches rarely have formal educational requirements, but many churches still expect their pastor to have a seminary degree.

Does BMATS offer an online pastoral degree?

Yes. At BMATS, we’re serious about our mission to equip students to be highly-qualified pastors who understand Scripture and can teach it in a relevant way.

Our goal is to provide the most flexible educational opportunities to ensure our students can pursue their calling to ministry with minimal barriers to entry.

If you’re looking for an online degree in pastoral theology, BMATS may be the school for you. We offer all courses for this degree both on campus and via distance education (i.e., online and by video-conferencing). At least three courses must be completed via live interactive classes.  These classes can be completed with video-conferencing classes that typically meet one night a week for three semesters and/or with week-long intensive courses usually held during the summer on the seminary’s main campus.

If I have a Master of Arts Pastoral Theological Studies, for what jobs will I qualify?

A master’s degree in pastoral theology will open many doors for you. While not everyone needs a degree to be a pastor or work at a church, a pastoral degree will still make you stand out as a candidate.

The Master of Arts (Pastoral Theology) program at BMATS can help prepare for a wide range of supporting ministry positions, such as an associate pastor, Bible teacher, children’s or youth pastor, and more.

Master of Arts in Pastoral Theology Requirements (36 Hours)

Fields of emphasis provide opportunities for students to complete studies in the areas of Old Testament, New Testament, Systematic Theology, Church History, and Applied Theology (Pastoral Studies). The curriculum requires 12 hours of Theological-Historical Studies, 12 hours of Biblical Studies, and 12 hours of Church Ministries.

The candidate for the Master of Arts (Pastoral Theology) must earn a minimum of 21 semester hours through BMA Seminary. Up to 15 semester hours of work may be transferred from an accredited institution toward the Master of Arts (Pastoral Theology) degree.

Biblical Studies (12 Hours)

  • OT 511 Old Testament Introduction and Survey I
  • OT 512 Old Testament Introduction and Survey II
  • NT 511 New Testament Introduction and Survey I
  • NT 512 New Testament Introduction and Survey II 

    Theological-Historical Studies (12 Hours)

    • TH 511 Systematic Theology I
    • TH 512 Systematic Theology II
    • CH 511 General Church History I
    • CH 621 Survey of Baptist Heritage

    Church Ministries (12 Hours)

    Required Course (3 hours)

    • PM 517 Theology of Disciple-Making

    Students may substitute PM 514 & EV 512 for PM 517 and one elective.

    Electives (9 hours)

    • RE 511 Church Administration
    • RE 513 History & Philosophy of Christian Education
    • RE 535 Advanced Christian Psychology
    • PM 521 Theology of Worship
    • Miss 511 Advanced History & Philosophy of Missions
    • Miss 514 Biographical History of Missions
    • Miss 521 Selected Topics in Missions
    • PM 511 Pastoral Ministry
    • PR 511 Expository Preaching
    • RE 511 Church Administration
    • RE 513 History & Philosophy of Christian Education

      The Degree requires a comprehensive exam to qualify for graduation.

      Students must choose three of the above courses or courses determined by the Dean to be consistent with the purpose and outcomes of the degree.

        Request More Information

        At BMATS, we want to provide our students with the most robust theological education. We aim to see you grow in your knowledge of Scripture and theology. That’s why we strive to offer one of the best Master of Arts (Pastoral Theology) programs in Texas at an affordable cost.

        Contact us today to request more information and find out if BMATS is the right school for you.