The majority of students who attend Palmer Theological Seminary of Eastern University are pursuing either a Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree or a Master of Theological Studies (MTS) degree. Admissions requirements for these two degrees are identical.
The Master of Divinity is the first professional theological degree for persons who expect to enter into some form of ordained ministry, including pastoral ministry. Several church denominations require the MDiv prior to ordination. However, men and women pursue the MDiv with a variety of professional and personal goals in mind. Those who study at Palmer full-time typically complete the MDiv degree in three years.
The Master of Theological Studies degree is designed mainly for students who are interested in theological studies with a variety of goals in mind, including getting theological grounding as preparation for careers in areas such as social work, parachurch ministry, Christian publishing, and public policy. Some who earn the MTS go on to pursue a PhD. Many MTS students simply want to become more informed and spiritually mature so that they can develop into more effective lay leaders.