Degree Programs

Master of Sacred Theology


The Master of Sacred Theology program provides opportunity for concentrated study in a given area of theological inquiry for those who have completed a first theological degree. The degree program promotes advanced understanding in a particular theological discipline, increases knowledge and competency for ministry in all of its variety, and provides a foundation for further advanced study. The degree requires 27 credits, including a thesis and thesis defense. Normally undertaken part-time, the degree may be completed within one year if taken full-time. Courses are available on both campuses in various formats: residential, hybrid, intensive, and online. If the degree is not completed within six years, the student must petition the faculty for continuance in the degree program.

Mission Statement

The STM program of United Lutheran Seminary offers those with a first professional theological degree the opportunity to engage in advanced work in an aspect of, or an area within, theological inquiry in service of the church and the world.

Learning Outcomes

  • 1. Unifying – Developing advanced skills in academically rigorous research that contributes to bringing people together in the diverse unity enabled by the Triune God
    1. Actively articulates diverse perspectives, including from biblical and theological disciplines, and scientific, ecumenical, and interfaith points of view
    2. Clearly documents awareness of perspectives of marginalized in research, writing, and application
    3. Advocates consistently for the development of a shared vision in groups of diverse learners
  • 2. Learning – Developing advanced skills in lifelong critical thinking, research, and application through the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit
    1. Demonstrates excellent problem-solving abilities within a concentration and general competence across theological disciplines
    2. Clearly articulates critical and constructive engagement with a living theological tradition, and capacity to engage that tradition with academic integrity
    3. Evidences advanced abilities to interpret historic religious traditions, including their sacred scriptures, historical development, and cultural forms, engaging contextual analysis
    4. Shows capacity to complete an extensive thesis on a topic of significance
  • 3. Serving – Developing advanced skills and confidence in participating in academic communities, with teaching and leading as appropriate for an advanced degree graduate
    1. Presents a clear and consistent message in public leadership, grounded in the risen Christ, across contexts
    2. Shows high level abilities to use tools necessary for academic inquiry in one’s fields
    3. Evidences advanced skills to address the systems that cause and perpetuate marginalization and division, including drawing upon biblical, theological and other academic disciplines


  1. A bachelor’s or equivalent degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  2. A Master of Divinity degree or another master’s degree in a theological discipline earned in a program that requires at least 60 semester hours or the equivalent. The granting institution must be fully ATS- or regionally accredited. Normally, a grade point average of 3.0 or better is required.
  3. Successful completion of at least 21 credits, including at least 12 in an area of concentration. No more than 9 credits can be earned via transfer credits.
  4. Thesis and Thesis Defense (6 credits)

See the STM Manual for details concerning this program.