Setting a strong foundation for real-world life and ministry.
Degrees and Programs at
The General Theological Seminary offers theological degrees and certificate programs. Theological degrees form and educate students for lay and ordained ministries, while certificate programs provide an opportunity for focused, yet short-term study. Courses completed for a certificate may be applied to an M.A. or M.Div. degree, should an individual decide to continue their education.
Degrees in Ministry Education
Designed to form and educate students for lay and ordained ministries.
Master of Divinity
The primary focus of the Master of Divinity curriculum at GTS is to educate and form students for the vocation of ordained ministry. GTS invites students preparing for ordination from all denominations to apply to the Master of Divinity program; historically, 90% of students at General Seminary have been Episcopal and Evangelical Lutheran.
Master of Arts in Spiritual Direction
The Master of Arts in Spiritual Direction (M.A.SD) from General Theological Seminary's Center for Christian will provide students with practice oriented preparation for ministries of spiritual direction. This track also provides substantial academic grounding in Christian theology, history, scripture, and practice.
Master of Arts in Ministry
The Master of Arts in Ministry (MAM) degree will form and educate men and women for diverse vocations in the Church and the World. This ministry-oriented master's degree is designed for students interested in a variety of vocational goals, from ordained parish ministry to non-profit leadership. Whether responding to a call from God, exploring their vocation, or coming to Seminary with a clear desire to serve others, graduates of General's Master of Arts in Ministry will be able to ‘hit the ground running’ and make a difference in today's world.
Degrees in Theological Study
For students who want to bring either a deeper theological perspective to daily life and work (M.A.) or to pursue advanced research and teaching (S.T.M.).
Master of Arts
The academic Master of Arts degree is designed for students who wish to bring a theological perspective to daily life and work, or who are interested in preparing for lay ministries in the church. While not designed as a degree to prepare students for ordained ministry, as with all of General's academic programs, education and formation go hand-in-hand with the academic M.A. program.
Masters of Sacred Theology
This program enables students who already hold a first theological degree to pursue advanced, specialized study in theological fields of their choice. The program is kept small and select to ensure that graduate students receive individual attention in designing and carrying out their courses of study, and to allow greater direct contact between students and the faculty members with whom they work.
Students pursuing the academic M.A. program specialize in one of four areas:
- Anglican Studies: This concentration is designed for students who wish to deepen their knowledge of and experience with the Anglican tradition. Students with this concentration must successfully complete 15 credits in courses that include: church history, systematic theology, ethics, ascetical theology, liturgics, church and society, and mission and world Christianity.
- Ascetical Theology: This concentration is designed for students who wish to focus on the academic study of spirituality as an emerging field within the theological academy. Students with this concentration must successfully complete 15 credits in courses from the CTS/AT (Christian Spirituality and Ascetical Theology) curriculum, in addition to CTS2. Students who wish to pursue Christian Spirituality for the purpose of becoming a spiritual director are strongly encouraged to pursue the professional M.A. in Spiritual Direction.
- Biblical Studies: This concentration is designed for students who wish to gain a deeper understanding of the texts of the Old and New Testaments within their original historical context (where possible), their canonical context, the reception of these text by the church, and the various ways they may be understood today. Students with this concentration must successfully complete 15 credits from the Biblical Studies curriculum in addition to the six credits required in the Foundation Curriculum. This should normally include courses in Greek and Hebrew language.
- Theological and Historical Studies: This concentration is designed for students seeking an ecumenical focus in church history and theology. Fifteen credits are required in courses in the areas of church history, systematic theology, ethics, liturgics, church and society, or mission and world Christianity. Students pursuing this concentration are especially encouraged to use courses offered within the New York Theological Consortium to foster exposure to faith traditions beyond Anglicanism.
Certificate & Diploma Programs
Certificate & Diploma Programs
The Seminary's Certificate Program is designed for persons who wish to pursue focused but short-term study in one of five concentrations: Anglican Studies, Ascetical Theology, Biblical Studies, and Historical and Theological Studies. The certificate is part-time, non-residential and designed for lay women and men seeking to learn in a specific area. All courses (a minimum of 18 credits) must be completed at General Seminary.
Courses completed for a certificate may be applied to an M.A. or M.Div. degree, should an individual wish to continue at General Seminary or another institution. Students may apply for the Certificate program after successfully completing one course at General Seminary as a part-time non-degree student.
Certificate in Spiritual Direction
In spiritual direction, a practice with ancient roots, one person offers intentional, experienced spiritual companionship to another, or a group of others. Spiritual directors provide confidential, trustworthy spaces in which people are invited to explore their doubts, longings, and faith experiences. In a Christian context, spiritual directors may offer their spiritual directees guidance in prayer, spiritual practices, and baptismal discipleship in the world.
Spiritual direction is about growth in relationship to God rather than about solving problems or fixing things. Despite the title, a spiritual director is less likely to “direct” than to listen, ask questions, reflect, suggest, or share resources. In particular, the director and directee listen together for the ways the Spirit might be leading the directee.
Combining academic and experiential learning, the General Theological Seminary offers a certificate in spiritual direction.
Diploma in Anglican Studies
Many students chose to come to General Theological Seminary to benefit from our unique educational and formational contexts as part of their ‘Anglican Year’. For such students, General offers an 18-credit Diploma in Anglican Studies. This program is intended for students who have completed their initial theological education elsewhere and do not seek a further degree, the Diploma in Anglican Studies provides an opportunity to increase knowledge of Anglican tradition and The Episcopal Church while participating in General Seminary's community life. Students often enroll for the Anglican Studies Diploma at the request of a sponsoring diocese prior to ordination.
Part-time students who are not seeking a degree are known as General Learners. These students may register for courses for credit or as auditors. Information about such courses is available online at www.generallearners.com.
Some courses require General Learners to obtain instructor's permission to register. Also, General Learners are not eligible to enroll in courses offered at other educational institutions under any cross-registration agreement.
A General Learner who successfully completes a course for academic credit may count credits earned towards a General Seminary degree, should the student later matriculate.