The Grand Rapids Theological Seminary approach to education prepares students for ministry by developing their academic knowledge and ministry skills. As part of this process all GRTS classes fall under one of four main areas: Bible, Theology, Counseling, and Ministry. Each degree program at GRTS is designed to meet specific goals through a carefully constructed range of classes. Integrating these classes into a theology of ministry that builds upon expertise in interpreting Scripture contributes to the goal of authentic ministry that is culturally appropriate.
GRTS is a community that deeply values a commitment to applying academic training to real-world issues. Seminary provides a service for the church by training and equipping those who are called to ministry. Students come to seminary from many different walks of life and at different stages of life. Together students and faculty share an emphasis on growing in knowledge and skill in the classroom and in practical ministry training. The Ministry Residency program at GRTS is one example of this commitment to integrate theological training with ministry experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: Do you offer evening classes?
A: We offer a variety of course offerings in both the morning, afternoon and evening. Our classes start as early at 8:30 a.m. and as late as 6:20 p.m. We have block scheduling, which means that your class is only one day a week, making it easier for you to balance a work schedule. (The only exceptions are our Tuesday/Thursday Greek and Hebrew classes.) We do not currently offer any weekend classes but we do have two-week intensive courses in early January and during the summer months.
- Q: How long will it take me to complete my degree?
A: If you enroll on a full-time basis (11 credits or more per semester), you will take two to three years to complete your degree, depending on which degree you are pursuing. If you enroll part time, you will have up to five years to complete your degree. You will need to make an appeal to the academic dean if you do not plan to complete your degree within five years, but it is possible if you demonstrate that you are actively and consistently moving forward in the program.
- Q: Do you have online and distance courses?
A: Yes! A growing number of our courses are available online. You can take up to 8 online courses during your program here. There is also the option to consider the two fully online degrees offered through Cornerstone University in Ministry Leadership and Biblical Studies, which are Higher Learning Commission accredited.
- Q: Are there ministry opportunities available as a part of the degree curriculum?
A: Yes. GRTS partners with over 70 local and regional churches and ministries to provide students with a ministry residency. The ministry residency is for students in the Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Christian Formation programs. Hundreds of other churches are available for spiritual formation and ministry service. There are also many local sites where Master of Arts in Counseling students can fulfill their practicum and internship for professional licensure.
- Q: How does your Master of Arts in Counseling degree differ from counseling degrees offered at other institutions?
A: Upon successful completion of our degree, you will be eligible for your Limited Licensed Professional Counselor (LLPC) in Michigan and most other states. Our curriculum includes a 39-credit counseling concentration as mandated by the State of Michigan, with an additional 24 credits in Bible and theology and 9 credits in a cognate of your choice. This integrated approach provides you with excellent counseling skills, biblical interpretation skills, theological and ministry exploration, and the foundation for state licensure. Many other schools offer "Christian" counseling programs, but you will find a significant difference in the amount of Bible and theology you complete at GRTS. We want you to be the most well equipped to help hurting people find hope in a broken world.
- Q: What educational background do your professors have?
A: GRTS professors are experts in their chosen field of study having spent many years studying and researching. The vast majority of GRTS faculty have earned doctorates from north American and UK universities. Four of the full-time faculty have masters degrees from GRTS. For more detailed information on each faculty member please see our faculty page or the GRTS academic catalog.