Basic Graduate Theological Studies (BGTS)


United’s BGTS program is designed for:

  • • Pastors in churches that do not require a master’s degree for ordination but who would like graduate training to enhance their ministries.
  • • Laypersons who desire greater knowledge of theological subjects in order to become more effective leaders in their churches.
  • • Those who hold a professional master’s degree and are seeking to enter the Order of Deacon in the United Methodist Church.

United Theological Seminary offers all the courses that meet The United Methodist Church’s requirements for Basic Graduate Theological Studies. For United Methodists seeking Deacon’s Orders, this coursework must be in conformity with the requirements of the United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry for the BGTS program.

The BGTS requires 27 semester hours of graduate theological study. The standards for admission are the same as for master’s degrees. This coursework is at the master’s studies level, and the standards for admission are the same as for master’s degrees.

Educational Requirements for Deacons

The United Methodist Church has opened four different educational paths for those seeking ordination as Deacon:

  • • Completion of the Master of Divinity degree.
  • • Completion of a master’s degree program from a graduate theological school, such as United’s MACM or MTS
  • • Supplementing a non-theological master’s degree with the BGTS
  • • For persons 35 years of age or older who are recommended by their conference Board of Ordained Ministry, completion of a bachelor’s degree and professional licensing program and eight semester hours of graduate credit PLUS the BGTS

Course Catalog and Planning Guide

Course Planning Guides are provided to assist you in mapping out your degree program at United. Explore the BGTS and CTS guide below.

2017–2018 BGTS and CTS Guide