In addition to its purpose for training pastors for the ELS, Bethany Seminary has also accepted students who do not desire to be pastors, but who are nonetheless interested in studying confessional Lutheran theology. To this end, a special course of study has been integrated into the seminary program to give interested laymen the opportunity to professionally learn Lutheran theology so they can be better leaders in their home congregations and in the synod at large. Those interested laymen seeking advanced training but not seeking ordination can earn a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Lutheran Theological Studies.
The M.A. program at BLTS requires completion of 40 credits of required courses and 6 credits of elective courses. In addition, the successful defense of a thesis paper is required. The applicant should have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university. He should be a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod or a congregation in fellowship with the ELS. The applicant, finally, should be a serious student of the Holy Scriptures. He should be well-versed in both the historical and doctrinal content of the Bible. For more information on the seminary’s MA degree, please consult the current seminary Catalog.