Houston Theological Seminary
Houston Theological Seminary is an evangelical and multi-denominational community, which exists as a graduate school within Houston Baptist University to provide a Christ-centered biblical education for the church and for the city. Drawing on our foundation in biblical studies, our goal is to bring together the best of missional and academic resources to further the Kingdom of God. We partner with Second Baptist Church Houston so our ministry classes are taught by those on the front lines. Students also have access to graduate level courses from other parts of the university, such as the business school, to supplement their theological education for the practicalities of modern ministry.
We offer a range of programs that bring together the life of faith, academic study, and the practice of ministry. Each of these programs emphasize different aspects so that you can tailor your educational path to match your personal goals and interests.
Master of Divinity (MDiv)– 72 hours. As a preparation for vocational ministry, our MDiv focuses on giving you the core skills needed to understand and apply the Bible in your particular cultural context. So, whether your classes focus on biblical, systematic, or practical theology, our goal is to help you integrate these so that your ministry is holistic—faithful to God’s word and relevant to our culture. Available residentially and online.
MA in Christian Leadership (MACL)– 36 hours. The MACL program is specifically designed to prepare you for the practice of ministry by giving you a grounding in the core elements of the Bible and Christian Theology. At the heart of the program, we have a number of classes that focus on honing your ministry skills. Our church-based partnership means that our professors are working on the front lines of ministry rather than just theorizing about it. Available residentially and online.
MA in Theological Studies (MATS)– 36 hours. The MATS program is specifically designed to ground you in the core elements of the Bible and Theology while give you opportunities for further specialization in Biblical Studies, Theology, Biblical Languages, and Entrepreneurial Leadership. It is especially designed to prepare you for further academic work at the graduate level. The program is offered fully online as well as in-person, with classes that meet once per week in-person in the evenings. Available residentially and online.
MA in Apologetics (MAA)– 36 hours. The MAA degree is intended to provide students with interdisciplinary training in apologetics so that they understand and engage with contemporary worldviews and culture in order to transform the world for Christ, as academics, as apologists, and as followers of Christ. Available residentially and online.
MA in Intercultural Studies (MAIS)– 36 hours. The MAIS program builds a foundation on biblical and theological training and then focuses directly on intercultural evangelism and missional training applicable to a wide range of contexts, including multicultural ministry. Graduates from the MAIS would be prepared for positions in the local church and the mission field. Available primarily online with residential options.
MA in Biblical Languages (MABL)– 36 hours. The MABL program gives you the ability to read the Bible in its original languages with an understanding of grammatical, semantic, rhetorical, exegetical and hermeneutical issues. Available residentially and partially online.
MA in Classics & Early Christianity (MACEC)– 36 hours. The MACEC program is an interdisciplinary degree, combining theology, history and philosophy. It provides ideal preparation for doctoral-level study in Second-Temple Judaism, biblical languages, classics, or study in the New Testament and early Christianity. Available residentially and partially online.
Come Study with the Authors
Our faculty are constantly writing for the church and the academy. We’ve published dozens and dozens of books, commentaries, essays, and journal articles.
We value the Bible here, as evidenced by the fact that we have one of the largest New Testament faculties among seminaries in the United States.
Personal, Seminar-Focused Classes
To foster personal relationships we cap our students per class at 20 so our average class only has 10-15 students. This allows you to really get to know other students and our professors. At the same time, we focus on integrating a seminar-style of education in these classes. We don’t simply lecture; rather, we assign interesting reading and hold discussions that train you to think for yourself. When you leave the program, you can then be confident in your own critical thinking skills as you study the Bible and train others to be disciples of Jesus.
Flexible and Accessible
Our programs are designed with the student in mind. While we have formal stipulations, we always invite students to propose substitutions so the degree program best fits their needs. Also, our we offer our classes residentially and online to fit the needs and pace of those who maintain active work, family, and church schedules. Most of our residential classes meet one night a week, though we have a full rotation of traditional day-time classes. With most programs fully online, non-residential students have access to the full range of coursework, and residential students can supplement with online classes at any time.
Theological study is not just a pursuit of ideas but is built upon your personal relationship with God and his body, the Church. As a formal part of the MDiv, SF classes are also electives for other programs. In those four semesters, students share life with faculty and other students while focusing on the classical spiritual disciplines of prayer, Bible study, community, etc. These courses are designed so that you have a holistic spirituality that informs and grounds your ministry.
Ministry Formation and Internships
Our ministry formation is guided by those actively in ministry and not just those who study these ideas theoretically. In particular, we have an innovative relationship with Second Baptist Houston so that their ministers provide the backbone for our ministry training classes. We also integrate case studies and other ministerial practice formation in our more traditional academic classes to keep them grounded in the life of the church. Also, we encourage students to participate in internships throughout your program so academics is never separated from practice.
We have a number of certificates in theological areas so you can gain specific competencies. Since we are embedded in the university, you also have the opportunity to draw from certificates from across the university campus that will let you focus in key areas for your ministry electives—e.g., Entrepreneurial Leadership (for church planting), Marriage and Family Studies (for pastoral ministry), and about 20 more.
Our goal is to make our teaching as accessible to the church as we can. As a result, we open most of our classes for anyone to take, even if they are not a seminary student. Check out the list of courses you can audit/survey.
Applying, Costs, Scholarships, and Financing
Learn more information about applying to HBU’s graduate programs.
For Admissions questions regarding Houston Theological Seminary, please contact The Graduate School.
To find the costs of the program, see the current year Graduate Tuition and Fees for the MDiv and MACL programs. Note: It is the same as the MATS tuition.
Important Deadlines: Your application file must be completed and Scholarship Application must be submitted by these dates to be considered for scholarships: Summer: April 1, Fall: July 1, Spring: November 1.
Students may take out loans to help finance the cost of their graduate education. To be eligible for federal loans, students must take at least 5 hours for a fall or spring semester or 4 hours in the summer.
There are a variety of ways to engage the Department of Theology: we’re on Facebook, we have a community blog, we offer an annual Theology Conference, and we have regular lectures by preeminent scholars as part of the A.O. Collins Lecture Series.
Second Baptist Campus, Woodway and West
In conjunction with Second Baptist Church Houston, Houston Theological Seminary will be offering classes at Second Baptist campuses. Enroll in a degree program or just survey classes to broaden your knowledge and ability to serve.
Through HTS, students take classes for graduate-level credit toward a Master of Divinity (MDiv) or a Master of Arts in Christian Leadership (MACL) degree. Dr. Ben Young will be serving as a liaison between HBU and Second Baptist Church, and will also be involved in the teaching of classes along with other church leaders.
A surveyor is someone who is taking a course in a not-for-credit capacity, simply for one’s own enjoyment and personal development. Please note that any courses taken as a surveyor will not count for credit in the future either. Find out about the current opportunities to audit/survey a class.