Practice without Preaching
By Mary J. Loftus
A retooled Master of Theological Studies (MTS) program debuts next fall at Candler School of Theology, allowing some students to explore theology and religion without preparing for ordained ministry.
The two-year program is especially suited for those who plan to teach, do research, or engage in social issues, says Steven Kraftchick, associate professor in the practice of New Testament interpretation and director of general and advanced programs at Candler. Journalists, attorneys, teachers, and others whose work requires an understanding of the role of religion and theology in public life could also benefit from the program, he says.
The new curriculum has several broad focus areas—history, scripture, and tradition; and modern religious thought and experience—and allows flexibility in course selection. “Students will be able to employ their own creative energy for exploration while maintaining a clear focus within the curriculum,“ says Dean Jan Love.
An increased emphasis on collaboration within Candler and across Emory, plenaries, and a professional development elective will help students shape career goals. Interdisciplinary study is encouraged, and joint degrees in public health, law, and business are available.
The MTS degree program started in 1972 with around a dozen students; today, it has about seventy, comprising 15 percent of Candler’s student body.