Degree Options

Certificate of Theological Studies

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At Lutheran Brethren Seminary, we are eager to serve men and women sensing a call to pursue theological education in order to serve more effectively as a layperson. The Certificate of Theological Studies (CTS) is a non-degree program that offers the student a wonderful opportunity to experience the equivalent of one year in seminary in order to develop a deeper understanding of his/her faith and to explore God’s leading in his/her life for future ministry.

Candidates for the Certificate of Theological Studies might include the following: adult learners who are interested in full or part-time study, those preparing specific local or overseas cross-cultural mission assignments, or college students who wish to attain theological and biblical grounding for future study or vocation. In addition to the required core courses, the CTS offers many choices in biblical and theological electives with emphases in Lay Ministry, Bible and Theology, and Mission. If full-time study is possible, a student may complete a CTS program in one year.

As with all other programs at LBS, CTS courses are taught at the graduate level. If a student should later be admitted to an LBS degree or diploma program, all of the credits earned in the CTS may be applied.

Diploma in Christian Ministry

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The Diploma in Christian Ministry is designed to prepare mature students who sense a call later in life to serve within the Church of the Lutheran Brethren or in other church bodies or mission organizations but do not have the Bachelor’s degree which is prerequisite for the Master of Divinity Degree (see p. 21, Non-Degree Applicant). The Diploma in Christian Ministry provides an opportunity for students who have completed 32 general education credits as prescribed to complete a program of ministry training without receiving a formal academic degree.

The General Education prerequisites are required in the belief that they are needed for the student to have the basic skills to benefit from this course of study leading to being prepared for Christian ministry.

The student will follow essentially the same course of study as prescribed for the Master of Divinity degree.

Should a graduate of the LBS Diploma ever subsequently complete an accredited college baccalaureate degree, the Diploma degree may be exchanged for either an M.T.S. or M.Div. degree, upon the recommendation of the faculty, provided that 1.) Diploma credits have not been used in another degree program; and 2.) all of the academic requirements stipulated in the current LBS catalog for those degrees are satisfied.

Master of Theological Studies Degree

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The Master of Theological Studies (MTS) is designed for personal enrichment for lay ministry and for various church staff positions. Although this degree is not designed for pastoral ministry, it can be used in a variety of church ministries. The MTS is a two-year (full-time is 14-18 credits per semester) graduate program that results in the conferring of a master’s level degree. A bachelor’s degree is required for entrance into the MTS program.

The MTS degree is granted to seminary students upon the completion of 60 credits with a grade point average of not less than 2.0 and upon the recommendation of the faculty.

Master of Divinity Degree

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The Master of Divinity Degree is a graduate degree in theology which prepares one to serve within the Church of the Lutheran Brethren, in other church bodies, and in mission organizations. This degree assumes a Bachelor of Arts or Science Degree. The Master of Divinity Degree is granted to seminary students upon the completion of the following academic requirements and upon the recommendation of the faculty:

  1. The baccalaureate degree earned prior to registration in
  2. 90 credits in Seminary with a grade point average of not less than 0 (2.0= C grade), meeting all the departmental course requirements.