Graduate School of Theology

The Graduate School of Theology is not just a school, it’s a community. We are a community of learners and disciples, curious about our faith and history, committed to becoming the hands and feet of Christ in our world.

While we are not here to give you all the answers or tell you what to do, we are here to teach you how to ask good questions; how to be curious and virtuous in your pursuit of knowledge. We are here to show you the skills of ministry and scholarship, and offer you models of success and mentors to help you in your journey. We want you to learn how to listen and learn from those different from you and with whom you may disagree. Most of all, we want you to take what you learn here, and practically share it through word and action to a hurting world.

ACU's faculty of Christian scholars and professionals are the foundation for student success. Each faculty member is an expert in their field, and at building supportive relationships with ACU students.

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Graduate Programs

Not just a school but a community

The mission of the Graduate School of Theology (GST) is to equip men and women for effective missional leadership for ministry in all its forms and to provide strong academic foundations for theological inquiry. We intend our mission statement to reflect our commitment to foster students' desire to minister to congregations, to initiate new ministries, to participate in public service, and to serve the academy all for the sake of the world. The GST strives to fulfill this grand vision by being attentive to the following overarching principles:

  • Spiritual Life: Students will pursue a life within God, yielding to God's will as they display transparency and integrity before God and others. They will cultivate disciplined habits that enable the godly transformation of thought, character, behavior, and relationship. And they will welcome opportunities to grow and work diligently as they pay attention to the rhythms of their spiritual life.

  • Wisdom: Students will seek and practice the skills and intellectual virtues necessary for disciplined, resourceful theological reflection. They will critically reflect on the theological resources (e.g., biblical studies, theology, church history) and perceptibly attend to the circumstances of the contemporary context in order to interpret faithfully and enact or prescribe appropriate responses.

  • Community: Students will demonstrate a compassionate and generous spirit towards others by inhabiting a life of godly service and justice within the world. They will be able to conduct their life within a community of shared accountability, respect, and support. They will display a healthy connectedness with the church and as they discern a clear picture of their vocation. And they will exercise mature, competent, and contextually appropriate leadership.

  • Mission: Students will exhibit ardent convictions concerning the redemptive mission of God and offer compelling testimony regarding the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They will skillfully interpret cultural contexts and engage in theologically resourceful acts that embody the mission of God in contextually appropriate ways. And they will express their work in relation to the mission of God and Gospel vocation.

Hear from GST faculty and students here.

Statement of Institutional Effectiveness

The GST delineates five program Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) for all its degrees in order to assess the seminary’s effectiveness. The MDIV degree has an additional five SLOs. The MAGS, MACM, MA, and DMIN each have additional SLOs respectively (listed on their program pages).

View student learning outcomes data here.

Christian Scriptures
Graduates will have knowledge of the content and theological shape of the Christian Scriptures
  1. Comprehends the full range of biblical materials
  2. Exercises sound critical exegetical practices
  3. Critically evaluates scholarly views and traditional readings and applies them constructively in the interpretation of biblical texts
  4. Exhibits theological discernment in the identification, evaluation, and synthesis of fundamental biblical themes
Christian Tradition
Graduates will have knowledge of the major theological content, structures, and procedures of the Christian tradition
  1. Analyzes and evaluates the key facts of the Christian tradition
  2. Synthesizes a coherent understanding of the Gospel and the church’s mission
  3. Comprehends the major theological loci of the Christian tradition and their interconnectedness with Christian faith and practice
  4. Critically evaluates the fundamental theological differences among major Christian traditions
  5. Analyzes and evaluates theological claims, formulations, and expressions in terms of their biblical, historical, philosophical, scientific, moral, and experiential dimensions

Graduates will demonstrate competency in languages appropriate for their degree

Graduate will have clarity in professional identity
  1. Provides a discerning, coherent accounting of one’s internal and external vocations and motivations to pursue ministry or other related fields
  2. Focuses one’s attitudes, behaviors, and disciplines to live in accordance with one’s professional identity
  3. Expresses a clear understanding of the relationship between one’s professional identity and the life and mission of the church in the world
  4. Honestly and critically evaluates one’s own functioning in a professional role
Graduates will have facility in critical thinking, analysis, and in oral and written communication
  1. Skillfully gathers information, critically analyzing, synthesizing, and applying it
  2. Critically analyzes arguments and evaluates claims
  3. Applies appropriate methodology in formulating coherent theological proposalsIn written and oral communication makes clear, concise proposals and constructs coherent arguments
  4. In oral and written communication conveys ideas accurately and is consistently understandable in diverse settings and for various audiences


The Graduate School of Theology is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools, an organization of more than 250 graduate schools that conduct post-baccalaureate professional and academic degree programs to educate persons for the practice of ministry and for teaching and research in the theological disciplines. The following degree programs are approved: M.Div., M.A. in Christian Ministry, M.A., D.Min., M.A. in Global Service. For information about our provisional admission policies click here.

The commission contact information is:
The Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools
10 Summit Park Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15275 USA
Telephone: 412-788-6505

Fax: 412-788-6510

  • Complaint Process
    What should I do if I have a complaint against a member institution?
    The Commission has a policy regarding complaints against member schools (see section XI of the Commission Policies and Procedures) Please note that complaints must be filed in writing and must provide evidence that the member school is in violation of a stated policy or accrediting standard or a membership criterion.



Curious about ways to help pay for your GST education?

Ways to Pay for a GST Education

The ACU Graduate School of Theology (GST) has a number of ways to help you pay for your education. Listed below are various forms of financial aid that can be awarded and applied for when attending the GST.

As always, we are glad to help answer your questions. Feel free to contact us at with any questions or concerns.


The GST offers scholarship assistance to residential master's students based on prior academic record, financial need and potential for ministry and further academic research. Scholarships are awarded on an annual basis and are re-evaluated at the end of each school year. Scholarship awards are made as applications are completed, and the amounts are determined based on the strength of each application. To apply, complete and submit the GST
Scholarship Application form found on the Graduate Financial Aid web page.

For Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) students, merit- and need-based scholarships are available. To apply, complete the D.Min. scholarship application.

Student Loans

  • Federal Direct Loans
    • The Federal Direct Loan program consists of unsubsidized loans and is awarded regardless of demonstrated need.
  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan (GRAD PLUS)
    • This loan can be used to supplement other financial aid, such as the Federal Direct Loan. Repayment of this loan begins within 60 days after the entire loan has been disbursed. The GRAD PLUS Loan is subject to in-school deferment but it is not automatic. Deferment can be granted by the lender after providing proof of at least half-time enrollment.

Note: To qualify for federal aid, students must be enrolled at least half-time in the semester for which they are seeking aid. For master's programs, full-time enrollment is defined as 9 credit hours per semester and half-time as 6 credit hours. For the D.Min. program, full-time is defined as 6 credit hours per semester and half-time as 3 credit hours.

Graduate Assistantships

A number of Graduate Assistantships are offered at Abilene Christian University on a competitive basis.
Graduate Assistants (GA's) fall into three categories according to major responsibilities: academic support, including clerical work; research; and teaching.

Upon employment, GA's are given a letter clearly stating responsibilities, remuneration and the expectations of the department and of the professor to whom they are assigned. In the GST, GA's are required to work 7.5 hours a week and are paid an hourly wage.

ACU Employee Tuition Benefit Program

This benefit program applies to all full-time and half time employees at ACU and is designed to help employees, and their immediate family, obtain additional education. ACU employees, their spouses, and children are eligible to receive a discount on their tuition.

Church Match Scholarship

Church congregations may send up to a $500 scholarship per academic year for a full-time master's student (9 hours for graduate students) to ACU, and the funds will be matched. The congregation must send the scholarship check with the completed Church Match Scholarship form (inquire at the GST for this form). This scholarship is available for Fall and Spring semesters only, and forms should be sent with the scholarship check from the congregation between June 1 and September 1 for the Fall semester, or between December 1 and February 1 for the Spring semester.

The Fund for Theological Education

The Fund for Theological Education offers fellowships for first and second year seminary students, which you can find through the FTE Fund Finder. For more information, and links to the applications, visit the FTE website.

Loretta and V.W. Kelly Scholarship

Students who graduate from ACU with their undergraduate degree and stay at ACU to receive their graduate degree may be nominated by an ACU Faculty or Staff member for the ACU Alumni Association’s Loretta & V.W. Kelly Scholarship. 

The Crutcher and Vickie Scott Foundation Scholarship

Students who are currently a minister at an Abilene area church can apply for this scholarship. Applicants must submit an application and two recommendation forms in order to be considered for this scholarship.

Lynn and Carolyn Anderson Endowed Scholarship

This endowed scholarship provides additional funds to D.Min. students as a way of supporting ministers in the ongoing practice of ministry. Dr. Lynn Anderson was a member of ACU's inaugural D.Min. cohort in 1987. His and Carolyn's remarkable ministry to congregations and to ministers is honored by gifts from the Anderson family and many others. Awards are based on character, academic ability, and financial need, and are used to encourage and promote diversity in the program when applicable.