The M.T.S. program provides training for participants to reflect theologically on the role of the church in contemporary society and to develop skills necessary for effective ministry within local churches, mission agencies or para-church ministries. The courses in this program are designed to produce theological and research competencies in three major areas of study: Biblical Studies. Theological Studies, and Leadership Studies.
- Gain exegetical skills in understanding the content of Scripture through its form, context, structure, and vocabulary.
- Identify the basic issues involved in the exposition of Scripture including the cultural and historical background of the text.
- Apply skills to use Scripture in a variety of life and church circumstances: polity, apologetics, homiletics, Christian ethics, doctrine, and mission.
- Examine the development of Christian life and thought in their historical contexts.
- Compare and evaluate prominent theological systems and movements in recent centuries.
- Discuss the major theological loci in sensitivity to biblical revelation, doctrinal developments in history, and contemporary contextual changes.
- Cultivate the dimensions of spirituality b exploring the disciplines of the spiritual life, the process of faith formation and the nature of ever-deepening moral life.
- Develop the leadership roles of the minister (clergy and lay leader) as preacher, educator, caregiver and administrator in the life of the local church or para-church ministry.
- Examine the larger cultural and social environment in which the church carries out its global mission.
The Master of Theological Studies program is year-round with courses offered during the spring, summer, and fall semesters. Courses are generally offered one night a week for eight weeks, with one additional Saturday session per course.
Professor Heuser teaches a variety of religion courses in graduate and undergraduate programs. He is a consultant and retreat facilitator for congregations, nonprofits, and mission agencies as well as an adjunct professor at Fuller Theological Seminary, the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, Northwest University, and other programs in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Before beginning his teaching career, Roger served as a pastor for twelve years in the Chicago area.
Roger co-authored with Norman Shawchuck the newly revised edition of Leading the Congregation: Caring for Yourself While Serving the People (2010, 1993), and Managing the Congregation: Building Effective Systems to Serve the People (1996), both published by Abingdon Press. Other publications include Leadership and Team Building, and Caregiving Leadership, both published by CMR Resources. Roger also serves as a consultant editor of the peer-reviewed journal, Transformation: An International Dialogue on Mission and Ethics.
Dr. Petersen teaches courses in the graduate program in inter-cultural studies on subjects relating to world missions, having lived and served on the mission field for many years. He is also the founding director of CINCEL, VUSC’s Costa Rica Study Center that prepares students for work on a variety of levels within Latin America by intense language study, cultural immersion and significant issues related to the mission field. Dr. Petersen has also co-authored a number of books with fellow VU faculty including The Globalization of Pentecostalism: A Religion made to Travel (World Council of Churches); Called and Empowered: Global Mission in Pentecostal Perspective (Hendrickson) both co-authored with Murray W. Dempster and Byron D. Klaus. He is also the editor of Transformation An international Dialogue on Mission and Ethic, a magazine with worldwide distribution, published by The Oxford Center for Mission Studies.