Degrees

Master of Divinity (MDiv)

The Seminary offers the MDiv degree, a full and balanced preparation for the pastoral ministry. Completion of the degree ordinarily requires at least three academic years and one summer internship. Courses applied to the MDiv should be completed within ten years. The following requirements apply to all MDiv degree candidates of the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary for graduation:

1. The completion of a minimum of 135 quarter hours, extending over at least nine quarters;
2. The completion of 111 quarter hours in required courses and twenty-four hours in elective courses;
3. A cumulative GPA of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale);
4. At least forty-five quarter hours of study at the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary; and
5. Enrollment at the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary at the time of completion of the course of study.

Degree Requirements and Course Sequence

* Because of the Biblical convictions of the sponsoring denomination of the Seminary regarding the qualifications of those who serve the church as ordained pastors, the Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree is restricted to men.

Master of Theological Studies (MTS)

The MTS degree is planned for those men and women who desire personal and/or vocational enrichment and training through theological education leading to a graduate degree. Completion of the course of study ordinarily requires at least two academic years. The following requirements for graduation apply to all MTS degree candidates of the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary:

1. The completion of a minimum of ninety quarter hours, extending over at least six quarters;
2. The completion of sixty quarter hours in required courses;
3. The completion of eighteen hours of study in the area of concentration beyond core courses: Doctrinal and Historical Studies, at least eighteen hours of combined study in Systematic Theology and Church History; Biblical Studies, eighteen hours in New Testament or Old Testament Studies; Biblical Counseling, twelve hours in counseling beyond the core requirement, with six hours in selected courses. (NOTE: Full-time students must declare their intended concentration upon matriculation.);
4. A cumulative GPA of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale);
5. At least forty-five quarter hours taken at the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary; and
6. Enrollment at the Reformed Presbyterian Seminary at the time of completion of the course of study.

Degree Requirements and Course Sequence

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

The Doctor of Ministry program is a professional degree designed to strengthen ministry in the Kingdom of God by providing advanced training for those who minister to and pastor the people of God. It is a program of study and research intended for ministry renewal, reinvigoration in Biblical and theological studies, integration of theological convictions with societal issues, and enhancement of the skills needed for effective Biblical ministry. It integrates advanced academic research in the various fields of theological study with the practice of ministry. Ordinarily, we expect the Doctor of Ministry Degree to be completed within six years.

The DMin program has a choice of two concentrations:

Strengthening Pastoral Ministry* - designed for ordained pastors who perform the full range of pastoral duties. This concentration focuses on advanced study in matters related to the doctrine, worship, and overall life and ministry of the Church.

Strengthening Counseling Ministry
- designed for pastors and others in the Church whose ministry has a significant focus on counseling. This concentration focuses on the skills necessary to understand and apply the Word of the Lord to the needs of people with broken lives and relationships, with advanced study in Biblical counseling rooted in a thorough knowledge of Scripture.

Degree Requirements and Course Sequence

* Because of the Biblical convictions of the sponsoring denomination of the Seminary regarding the qualifications of those who serve the church as ordained pastors, the Doctor of Ministry (DMin) Strengthening Pastoral Ministry concentration degree is restricted to men.

Programs

Ministry Diploma

This program is especially designed for part-time students, but can be completed in one year of full-time study. It is designed to prepare teachers and further equip ministers for more effective service in their local church. If you do not have a college degree, but give evidence of an ability to do graduate-level academic work, you may be admitted into the program. The requirements for this forty-five quarter hour program focus on Biblical studies, systematic theology, and various aspects of practical theology.

Program Requirements and Course Sequence

Biblical Counseling Certificate

This program is designed for individuals interested in receiving all of the counseling training available through RPTS, but who may not desire to obtain a Master’s level degree. The coursework includes all counseling practicums and classroom courses, as well as a number of systematic and practical theology courses. A Biblical Counseling Certificate will be awarded upon satisfactorily completing the required 45 credit hours. Please note, however, that due to the sequence of the classes and the practicums involved, the certificate usually cannot be completed in one academic year.

Program Requirements and Course Sequence

 

Servant of the Church Certificate

The Seminary offers a certificate to men and women who wish to deepen their understanding of the faith and enhance their usefulness to the church. This certificate requires completion of eight courses for credit, as follows: three courses in Pastoral Ministry; two in Systematic Theology; two in Biblical Studies; and one in Church History. Upon acceptance into this program, your advisor will discuss the available choices with you. A Servant of the Church Certificate, based upon the completion of the required number of courses, will be awarded to you upon satisfactorily completing this program. These classes may be applied toward one of our Masters degrees in the future, if you would like to continue your education.

Program Requirements and Course Sequence

Missionary Training Certificate

This one-year program is designed to help prepare men and women who are called to serve on the mission field but do not need to earn a degree. The Seminary grants academic credit for foreign language study taken for credit at a local university; a wide range of languages are currently offered in the Pittsburgh area. If you have a college degree and sense God’s leading to prepare for missionary service, you may enroll in this program. If you do not have a college degree, but give evidence of an ability to do graduate-level academic work, you may also be admitted into the program. A Missionary Training Certificate, based upon the completion of forty-five quarter hours of study, will be awarded to you when you satisfactorily complete this program.

Program Requirements and Course Sequence

Evening Classes

The Seminary offers a full selection of its courses, both required and elective, in evening classes.  Each course is normally offered approximately every five years in the evening for the benefit of students who can only take evening courses.  Students with limited availability are encouraged to consider online courses as well.

Counseling

Biblical Counseling concentrations are available in the MDiv, MTS, and DMin programs at RPTS.  A Biblical Counseling Certificate is also offered. Beyond their counseling coursework, students will observe live counseling, participate in role play, and counsel others under the supervision of qualified counselors.  Students can also apply these counseling opportunities toward certification requirements for the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). 

As a certified training center for ACBC, the Biblical Counseling Institute (BCI) also offers an online training course in Biblical Counseling called Foundations of Biblical Counseling.  This course does not require that you apply to RPTS as a student.  Call the BCI office at 412-731-3000 if you have any questions or register here.

We also have online resources for those who desire to learn more about Biblical Counseling, who do not desire graduate credit or ACBC certification. Our Introduction to Biblical Counseling and our Marriage & Family Counseling courses are packaged together in the Foundations of Biblical Counseling option, and our Advanced Biblical Counseling course is also available.

Please visit the BCI playlist on the Seminary's YouTube page for videos by Dr. Scipione, along with videos from previous counseling conferences hosted by RPTS. To learn more about Biblical Counseling, the following course notes are available online from Dr. Scipione:

In addition to providing training for Seminary students, the BCI serves as a resource for those in the body of Christ in need of experienced counsel to address personal problems. To schedule an appointment with one of our counselors, contact the BCI at 412-731-3000.

Dr. George C. Scipione, Director

Mrs. Eileen Scipione, Counselor

Rev. Martin Blocki, Counselor

 

Distance Learning

RPTS allows up to 45 credit hours taken through Distance Learning courses to be applied to the MDiv degree. In exceptional circumstances, additional credit hours may be earned through Distance Learning courses on a case-by-case basis. The Registrar and Admissions Office have more information concerning this process. A full MDiv degree is not offered through Distance Learning. The MTS degree (Biblical Studies and Doctrinal and Historical Studies concentrations only) may be fully earned through Distance Learning courses. Distance Learning credits transferred to RPTS from other institutions will be evaluated by the Registrar on a case-by-case basis. The Seminary will not normally accept Distance Learning courses offered by non-accredited institutions. Students in the Missionary Training Certificate and Ministry Diploma programs may earn a majority of credits through Distance Learning on a case-by-case basis.

RPTS strongly encourages any students taking courses through Distance Learning to do so under the oversight of the leadership of their local congregation. All students who take Distance Learning courses for credit or audit must apply and be accepted to RPTS prior to beginning. Distance Learning courses are subject to a non-refundable content delivery fee and are generally only offered concurrently with the corresponding on-campus courses. You will find the quarterly schedules at the Students tab, which list the Distance Learning options for each quarter.

If you are considering studying as a Distance Learning student, keep in mind the following RPTS Distance Learning Requirements:

Technical Requirements

  • - Internet enabled device (PC, MAC, iPad, tablet, etc.)
  • - High speed internet access. All course materials are delivered through the Moodle online learning management system. No materials will be mailed, emailed, or otherwise distributed. Lectures are delivered as online video files. You must have, and maintain, an internet connection that is adequate to stream video.
  • - Access to YouTube, as all of our lectures are delivered through private YouTube links embedded into Moodle. You will not be able to view lectures if you cannot access YouTube. If you can watch a video on YouTube with your device, you can watch RPTS lectures.
  • - Webcam and microphone. Some professors will want to speak with you via teleconference. Most current laptops and tablets have a webcam built in.

Student Responsibilities

  • - Students must have the ability to navigate and use online resources such as email, our student web portal, and Moodle, along with the ability to manage passwords and order books online when necessary.
  • - Students must complete the RPTS new-student orientation process either on-site or online. Students must complete all coursework on time, as it is easy to get behind in a Distance Learning course. You must be self-motivated and stay on top of your workload.
  • - Distance Learning students must abide by all policies as found in the RPTS Academic Catalog and the Student Handbook.

Accreditation

RPTS is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada.

The following degrees are approved: MDiv, MTS, DMin

The Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada
10 Summit Park Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15275 USA

412-788-6505 (P)
412-788-6510 (F)

www.ats.edu

Statement of Educational Effectiveness