Trust the theological studies program endorsed by religious institutions and highly rated by students.
Designed for working professionals and recent undergraduates alike, this two-year academic program is offered by the Franciscan School of Theology in partnership with the University of San Diego. It is ideal for those pursuing careers in religious education, parish support, or ministry, as preparation for further academic work, or for those looking to incorporate a knowledge of faith into their existing profession.
The MTS degree program is based in the Franciscan Catholic tradition: a joy-filled faith study that promotes a heart of service, solidarity, and compassion, as well as using faith studies to enact positive change in communities from local to global.
Applications for admission are accepted on a rolling basis. A decision will be recommended by the Review Committee within one week of your application being submitted.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to regulations from the Department of Education, FST at USD is only accepting applications from residents in specific U.S. states and territories for enrollment into our 100% online degree programs. Please check our State Authorization Status List for the states and territories from which we can enroll residents in our 100% online degree programs. Programs are only considered to be 100% online degree programs if they have no physical presence (classes, fieldwork, or otherwise) in those states or territories.
Ideal Program Candidates
Whether you are an aspiring educator who wishes to teach theology or a mental health counselor seeking to reach patients on a deeper level, our program is designed to accommodate a broad spectrum of career goals and interests. Successful applicants possess a strong desire to approach their career or pursuits from a compassionate place informed by faith. While a prior understanding of the Catholic tradition is helpful, it is not necessary.
Students of the MTS program are:
Parish, church, campus/college ministry
Educators and teachers
Military personnel or veterans
Individuals looking for something more
Individuals looking to integrate their faith into their respective careers
At a Glance
The MTS-Franciscan Theology degree is designed for working professionals. You focus on one -7 week- class at a time, and it is completely asynchronous.
The Franciscan School of Theology welcomes all students who wish to explore deeper meaning in their lives or careers, no matter their backgrounds. Requirements for applicants to the Master of Theological Studies – Franciscan Theology are as follows:
Must have at least a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university or the equivalent from a non-US school*.
GPA 2.8 or Higher
Must submit a completed application (See below for more details)
Application Fee $45 (connect with an advisor to have your application fee waived)
*Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Vice President for Academic Affairs when compensatory factors are present.
Your complete application must include the following:
$45 application fee (connect with an advisor to have your application fee waived)
Statement of Purpose (see below)
Official transcripts from all institutions of higher education previously attended*
Letters of Recommendation (see below)
Resume or Curriculum Vitae
International students must submit additional elements including but not limited to:**
Financial Declaration Form
TOEFL score of 85 or more
*Students who wish to transfer credit from other institutions please connect with your enrollment advisor.
**If you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, please connect with your enrollment advisor.
Statement of Purpose
Your statement of purpose should do the following:
Explain why you have chosen to apply to the MTS-FT degree at the Franciscan School of Theology
How does this degree work fit into your academic and/or professional story?
Briefly explain your theological perspectives and the role the MTS-FT degree program could play in its further development.
Applicants are asked to address all three points. An acceptable statement of purpose should be between 500 – 700 words. When writing your response, please remember that this is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your writing skills and academic readiness.
Letter Of Recommendation Requirements
The Master of Theological Studies – Franciscan Theology (MTS – FT) degree involves academically rigorous coursework.
The program requires a minimum of one letter of recommendation from an academic reference who can speak to your capacity for academic work. Otherwise, two letters of recommendation are required. These could include a letter from a work supervisor.
Letters should address the applicant’s capacity for graduate-level reading, writing, and critical engagement with the material.
Recommendations should address both academic and personal qualities, with a focus on one’s academic capacity as an applicant. Please tell your recommenders to watch for an email request from email@example.com
Once you have saved an electronic recommendation, an email request will automatically be sent to the recommender on your behalf. Please advise your recommender to look for this email in their inbox, as well as their spam or junk-mail folder, as emails do occasionally get filtered out.
Financial aid is available through the Federal Direct Loan Program, open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
USD also offers interest-free payment plans.
USD also makes it possible for employers to pay your tuition.
Applying to a graduate program can be complicated – which is why we are here to help answer your questions and even pay for your transcripts! If you have questions regarding the application, contact one of our enrollment advisors who will be able to answer your questions and assess your situation. Our enrollment advisors will also assist you with ordering and tracking your transcripts.
Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. You can apply and start in any semester (spring, summer, or fall). Ready to apply?
Special Note: please anticipate that some colleges and universities can take 2 – 3 weeks to prepare and send official transcripts. Your application package is not complete until all official transcripts are received.
Below is a list of significant dates regarding the registration process, payment deadlines, and other important academic and program deadlines.