Master of Theological Studies – Franciscan Theology


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For those who wish to align their faith with their career, a degree in Franciscan theology can provide a solid foundation to work or serve in a multitude of ways.

Whether you are thinking of working in a secular or religious profession, earning a theology degree can:

  • Open new career pathways, including ministry, public administration, education, healthcare, or international relations
  • Help you forge a deeper connection with your faith and find meaningful purpose in your work
  • Assist you in nurturing your heart of service and enacting positive change in local and global communities

Our MTS – Franciscan Theology program is not intended to prepare graduates for one specific career — instead, it is designed for those seeking to immerse themselves in the teachings of the Franciscan Catholic faith, no matter their background.

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Careers in Theology Module

Because a degree in theology helps students build such a wide range of skills, the career outlook for someone with a theology degree may look different depending on your individual goals.


If your vocation calls you to a life of faith, counsel, and service to others, a theology degree can be one step toward a career in ministry.


Whether you wish to teach theology, religious studies, or seek to have your faith inform another academic field, a theology degree can aid your education career.


As a healthcare professional, a theology degree can assist you in facing matters of life and death, existential questions, moral and ethical dilemmas, and high levels of stress.

Social Service

A theology degree can help you build the patience, empathy, understanding, and critical thinking skills needed for a secular life of service.


Whether you seek to work with a secular or faith-based non-profit organization, a theology degree can aid you in finding the perseverance and clarity to make a difference.

The Arts

If you wish to employ your creative talents to reach and inspire others, a theology degree can help you develop your gifts.


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Imagine diving deep into the Franciscan Tradition, with an awareness of God’s creation and beauty around you…all on your own time. Since this degree is completely asynchronous, you can log on any time in your time zone to access course materials: lectures, exercises, readings, interactive assignments, and more. This degree offers a significant academic exploration of what matters most. Imagine that.

I have been intimately involved in almost every aspect of this degree program from its inception, having both designed and taught a class. This has instilled great confidence in me concerning the MTS-Franciscan Theology degree. We have worked with renowned Franciscan scholars in order to bring the best of Franciscan education to you. We have also been aided by the University of San Diego to bring the best practices in online education to you as well. All of this allows us to offer a unique opportunity to attain a degree in Franciscan theology that you would have previously had to travel to Rome or San Diego to achieve. St. Francis said that the world is our cloister, now you don’t have to leave your place in the world to achieve this learning.

The MTS in Franciscan Theology program has been a wonderful experience for me. As a minister serving on the East Coast, it has been amazing to be able to work on a degree at a school with so many experts in the Franciscan world. And as a busy professional with a family, I am able to get my work done when it is convenient for me. Surprisingly, I’ve formed a comradery online with my classmates and my professors have been available for me whenever needed. I highly encourage anyone who is wanting to learn more about theology, experience the Franciscan tradition, and grow in their faith to take some time to learn more about this new program at USD.

As part of the University of San Diego’s role as a thought leader, we regularly publish blog posts about the role of faith, the modern world, the Catholic tradition, and thoughts on spirituality and service, as well as helpful resources and additional information sources.

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What Can You Do With a Religious Studies Degree?

What does a religious studies degree program entail? And what can graduates do with a degree in this subject? Read on to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do with a Master of Theological Studies?

Graduates with an MTS degree go on to teach, participate in community ministry, counsel others, assist in their parish, or apply their degree to any number of secular professions. You will find FST alumni working as educators, pastoral ministers, priests, counselors, campus ministers, social workers, nonprofit leaders, chaplains, missionaries, school administrators, liturgists, youth ministers, doctoral students, faith formators, human rights advocates, musicians, program directors, and in many other fields.

Do I need a theology master’s degree to teach?

Most religious secondary schools require teachers to hold an MTS, and some community and Bible colleges consider this degree the minimum requirement for instructors. Elementary schools typically do not require an MTS to teach. If you desire to become a professor at the university level, you will need to earn your PhD in the applicable field.

I am a layperson. Do I need to live a consecrated life to consider this degree?

No. Theological studies are generally of interest to religious individuals, but since theology is an inherently intellectual pursuit, anyone can benefit from an MTS program. Our students come from all walks of life, both lay and religious. Our Requirements Page gives more information about requirements for our degrees and non-degree programs.

How much can I make with a Master of Theological Studies?

Career options with an MTS degree are extremely varied, with compensation ranging anywhere from unpaid volunteer work to over $150,000 a year. Therefore, it’s difficult to give average salary expectations for those who hold an MTS degree, but most degree holders will experience an increase in earnings by mid-career.

How do I find the right theology program for my career goals?

As with any degree program, there are lots of factors that will help you narrow down your theology program choices. Consider what you’d like to do professionally, then connect with people currently in those careers and ask them about the academic track that helped them get there. If you’re leaning toward one theological studies program over another, talk to faculty and alumni to see if the program helps students reach their career goals.


Now that you’ve learned more about careers related to the Master of Theological Studies at the University of San Diego, a great next step is to start a conversation with an enrollment advisor who can answer all of your questions and offer more insight into this life-changing opportunity.