Academic Degrees through the GTU
For those students who wish to prepare for careers in theological teaching or research, the Graduate Theological Union consortium, of which SFTS is a founding member, offers three academic graduate degree programs.

Master of Arts
The GTU Common M.A. is an academic degree conferred by the GTU with the recommendation of one of the member schools. The Master of Arts program offers the opportunity to pursue graduate level theological studies apart from preparation for a career in ordained ministry. Students may choose to earn an M.A. as a preliminary to pursuing a doctoral degree, as a terminal degree for teaching at the elementary, secondary, or junior college level, as theological preparation for counseling or community service, or to cultivate a personal interest in religious studies.

Areas of Concentration
The M.A. program requires both a distribution of courses among various fields of theological study and a special emphasis on a single field, culminating in a thesis. The school of affiliation provides the academic advisor and the primary thesis advisor from among its faculty. SFTS faculty has approved the following areas of specialization for the SFTS/GTU M.A.: Bible; Biblical Languages; Historical Studies; Systematic and Philosophical Theology; Religion and Society (Ethics); Religion and Personality Sciences, Christian Spirituality, and Interreligious Studies. Through other schools and centers of the GTU, an M.A. may also be pursued in Art and Religion; Cultural and Historical Studies of Religions; Jewish Studies; and Buddhist Studies.

Applications for admission to the program are reviewed by both the GTU and the applicant's chosen school of affiliation; tuition is paid to the school.  SFTS affiliates in the GTU M.A. program are eligible for financial aid and housing from SFTS in accordance with published guidelines

Joint M.A./M.Div.
Both the academic M.A. and the professional M.Div. may be pursued concurrently at SFTS. M.Div. students who wish to receive the two degrees simultaneously at the end of four or five years of study should apply for admission to the GTU M.A. program in their Junior or Middler year. Candidates for the joint degree must satisfy the distribution requirements for each program and spend a minimum of four years in full-time study, in addition to completing an internship. They pay two years of M.Div. tuition and two years of M.A. tuition and are eligible for four years of financial aid and housing. (The needs of joint degree candidates who do a full year internship in addition to four years of course work are considered individually.)

Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Theology
These two academic degrees are awarded in fields where the combined resources of the Graduate Theological Union and the University of California at Berkeley make it possible to offer advanced studies of the highest quality. The Ph.D. programs focus on theological studies in the context of university disciplines. The Th.D. programs emphasize theological studies in the context of the entire theological spectrum at the GTU.

Doctoral students are encouraged, but not required, to affiliate with a member school of the GTU in order to enjoy the benefits of the school's community life. SFTS affiliates are eligible for SFTS housing in accordance with published priorities and are invited to join in worship, classes, and other campus activities. Affiliation is automatic upon declaration of intent to do so in a letter addressed to the Dean.

For full information about study at the GTU, please consult the Catalog of the Graduate Theological Union, available from:

Admissions Officer
Graduate Theological Union
2400 Ridge Road
Berkeley, CA 94709
Tel. 510-649-2400 or 800-826-4488
or the GTU web site.

Fees & Financial Aid
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Educational Programs

Master of Divinity
Master of Arts in Theological Studies
Doctor of Ministry
Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)
Program in Christian Spirituality

Contact Information

San Francisco Theological Seminary
105 Seminary Rd
San Anselmo CA, 94960
Phone: 415.451.2800