Degree Programs

Degree Programs

Lexington Theological Seminary (LTS) offers an online model of theological seminary education. Graduate study at LTS provides students with a holistic approach to pastoral development in which the intellectual, practical and spiritual are fully integrated throughout the curriculum. Rooted in the local congregation, your education is primarily hands-on. Lexington makes it possible to answer your call where you live and work. It’s also affordable. More than half of our students graduate with no debt.

Note: Students wishing to take 12 or fewer credit hours for credit will need to apply as a Special Student. Contact the Office of Admissions for more information.

The Master of Divinity is a professional degree designed to help men and women preparing for Christian ministry. This degree is required for ordination by many denominations. The degree can be completed in three to four years of full-time study.

The Master of Theological Studies (MTS) is a program designed to prepare men and women for a wide variety of ministries including advanced graduate study in one of the theological disciplines. It introduces students to the main theological disciplines, provides opportunity for some specialization, and requires a thesis relevant to the student’s goal. It is designed to be flexible enough to accommodate preparation for a variety of vocational goals.

The Masters in Pastoral Studies program acknowledges the important role that the laity plays in the life and health of thriving congregations. The purpose of the Master in Pastoral Studies program is to prepare the laity for ministry at a congregational, diocesan, or parish level. The degree is designed in particular for lay persons who seek theological and biblical training to support the work of the Church, but who do not seek ordination. Graduates of this program will have a basic knowledge of scripture, contemporary biblical scholarship, the Christian tradition, theology, and for the Roman Catholic Studies track, sacramental and liturgical traditions. They will have skills in developing and executing programs of education, in administration of parish life, and in pastoral care and nurture of Christian communities.

The Doctor of Ministry program at Lexington Theological Seminary, a graduate professional degree, is designed to enhance pastors’ capacity to critically interpret and engage contemporary cultures as a means to give fresh expression to the gospel and to transform congregations for effective ministry in the twenty-first century. Designed on a cohort-based model, the degree provides significant learning in an on-going community of peers.

Certificate Programs

Some ministerial situations do not demand an academic degree but require that certain skills be demonstrated to qualify for the position or for commissioning. Additionally, a certificate can help an individual transition into a new career area, gain confidence and background in a particular skill or pursue a new area of interest. Certificate programs are intended to meet these diverse needs.

A certificate typically represents the successful completion of a designated number of contact hours. Tuition for certification programs is 50% of degree program tuition. Certificate programs do not qualify for financial aid.

Students may opt to take certification courses for credit at full tuition. Any student opting to take certification courses for credit must be accepted as a Special Student through the Admissions office. Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) or United Church of Christ students taking courses for credit can receive a 50% tuition scholarship reduction.

Auditing Courses

Anyone can audit courses at LTS. Auditors can take as many courses as they choose, although class size may limit their options. Persons who are interested in auditing one or more Seminary courses should contact Carol Devine, Director of Admissions: LTS Alumni are eligible to audit courses at a rate of 50% of the audit fee.

Special Students

A Special Student at Lexington Seminary can take up to twelve credit hours of coursework. These twelve credits are restricted to coursework at the module level. The Special Student can only take elective modules if given written permission by the Dean and the faculty member teaching the elective module. After taking up to twelve credit hours, the Special Student may choose to transfer into an LTS degree program, transfer into an LTS certificate program, transfer to another institution, or leave the institution with twelve hours on her/his transcript.

For Special Student applicants, a completed application will include:

  • Completion of the application form, with application fee.
  • In place of the essay, a Special Student should submit a statement regarding his or her anticipated course of study.
  • Receipt of one recommendation submitted electronically
  • This letter must come from a minister, educator or employer who knows the applicant well and can speak to the applicant’s preparation for seminary work.
  • Receipt of official transcripts in the Admissions office.

Continuing Education Programs

Lexington Theological Seminary understands itself to be a theological resource center for the church. Accordingly, both on-line and on-site education programs for clergy and laity offered through the Continuing Education Program are designed to enhance the life of the church while providing learning opportunities for diverse constituencies. Continuing Education Units of Credit as recommended by the Society for the Advancement of Continuing Education for Ministry (SACEM) are awarded for all programs upon request of the participant. Continuing Education Programs are not available for degree credit.

The Lay School of Theology (LST @LTS)

The Lay School of Theology at Lexington Theological Seminary is a series of Saturday classes taught by the LTS faculty for lay persons interested in learning more about the subjects taught at LTS. Each course meets from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at Lexington Theological Seminary and is also available online.

Creating Vital Congregations Webinars

Lexington Theological Seminary offers the Creating Vital Congregations webinar series to help equip pastors, church leaders and members alike with tools to address a wide variety of issues facing congregations today. The cost to register is $10 per log-in, with an unlimited number of participants for those who join online. Please register by 10 a.m. the day before the webinar. A link to the webinar will be emailed out the day before the webinar. Late registrants are not guaranteed live participation; a link to view recorded presentation will be available within one week of the presentation.

For information on any continuing education program contact Wilson Dickinson, (859) 280-1219 or