Degrees

Master of Divinity (MDiv)

The Seminary offers the MDiv degree, a full and balanced preparation for the pastoral ministry. Completion of the degree typically requires at least three academic years of full-time study and one summer internship. Ordinarily, the MDiv degree should be completed within 10 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 113 quarter hours in required courses and 22 hours in elective courses, no later than the spring quarter of your final year;
3. A cumulative GPA of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale);
4. At least 45 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. A minimum of 90 quarter hours, extending over at least six quarters, must be completed no later than the spring quarter of your final year;
2. A minimum of 63 quarter hours in required courses and nine hours in elective courses must be completed;
3. At least 18 hours of study in the area of concentration beyond core courses must be completed: Doctrinal and Historical Studies, 18 hours of combined study in Systematic Theology and Church History; Biblical Studies, 18 hours of combined study in New Testament and Old Testament Studies; Biblical Counseling, 12 hours in counseling beyond the core requirement, and 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 45 quarter hours taken at the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary;
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.

Learn more about this program in the DMin Handbook.

* 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

Graduate Theological Studies Diploma

The Graduate Theological Studies Diploma is intended for those who desire graduate-level courses for credit but do not desire a full degree program. These courses may be applied toward one of our master's degrees in the future, if you would like to continue your education. This program is especially designed for part-time students, but can be completed in one year of full-time study. Ordinarily, the GTSD should be completed within six years. It is designed to prepare teachers and further equip ministers for more effective service in their local church. The Seminary offers this diploma to men and women who wish to deepen their understanding of the faith and enhance their usefulness to the church. The requirements for this 45 quarter hour program focus on Biblical Studies, Systematic Theology, and various aspects of practical theology. 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.

Program Requirements and Course Sequence

Evening Classes

The Seminary offers many courses, both required and elective, in the evening. Each required course is offered in the evening during a five to eight year time span, benefiting students living in the greater Pittsburgh area who are in a season of life where they can only take evening courses. Combined with taking a few distance learning courses, taking evening courses provides the opportunity for students to earn their MDiv with few daytime courses. With the exception of two one-week intensive courses, an MTS degree can also be earned through evening classes. Students interested in a counseling concentration in both the MDiv and the MTS program will require some daytime class attendance. A Graduate Theological Studies Diploma may also be earned in the evening.

Biblical Counseling

At RPTS, we believe that learning about biblical counseling involves more than just classroom exposure. Our courses include opportunities to learn, observe, and practice - all with a view of applying Scripture and giving hope. Biblical Counseling concentrations are available in the MDiv, MTS, and DMin programs.

Beyond their counseling coursework, students will observe live counseling, participate in role play, and counsel others under the supervision of Professor Keith Evans. Students can also apply these counseling opportunities toward certification requirements for the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). For a list of counseling courses for 2020-2021, visit the BCI homepage.

As a certified training center for ACBC, the Biblical Counseling Institute (BCI) also offers an online fundamentals training course in Biblical Counseling. In addition, our Applied Theology for the Church program, includes online resources for those who desire to learn more about biblical counseling in their own context, at their own pace. These resources do not require that you apply to RPTS as a student. Call the BCI office at 412-731-3000 for more information.

Please visit the BCI playlist on the Seminary's YouTube page for videos on general general biblical counseling and from previous counseling conferences hosted by RPTS.

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.


 

Distance Learning

RPTS allows up to 45 credit hours taken through distance learning courses to be applied to the MDiv degree. Transfer credits count against the total number of allowed distance credits for 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. With the exception of two one-week intensive courses, the MTS degree (Biblical Studies and Doctrinal and Historical Studies concentrations only) may be fully earned through distance learning courses. Also, the Graduate Theological Studies Diploma 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.

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 distance learning requirements:

Technical Requirements

  • • Internet-enabled device (PC, MAC, iPad, tablet, etc.).
  • • High speed internet access. All course materials are delivered through the Seminary’s Moodle learning platform. 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 and Vimeo, as all of our lectures are delivered through private links embedded into Moodle. You will not be able to view lectures if you cannot access YouTube or Vimeo. If you can watch a video on YouTube or Vimeo 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.
  • • Students must complete the RPTS new-student online orientation process. 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

The Seminary offers the Doctor of Ministry, the Master of Divinity, and the Master of Theological Studies degrees, which are approved by the Department of Education of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and is approved to offer the following degrees: the Doctor of Ministry, the Master of Divinity, and the Master of Theological Studies degrees, along with comprehensive distance education. The Commission contact information is:

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