The Master of Theology program (ThM) is designed for students who wish to improve or deepen their preparation for ministry beyond the level reached by their MDiv degree or first graduate theological degree, or who desire to acquire a preparation for specialized ministries of the church. The ThM program is a one-year degree and candidates will choose to concentrate in one of the following areas (organized by their academic department/program):
Biblical Studies: Old Testament or New Testament
History: Church History or Mission, Ecumenics, History of Religions (MEHR)
Theology: Philosophy and Theology, Christian Ethics, or Systematic Theology
Practical Theology: Education and Formation, Pastoral Care, Preaching, or Worship Studies
Religion and Society
Applicants for the ThM program are required to have obtained a Master of Divinity degree or first graduate theological degree providing equivalent theological background such as the MA(TS) from an approved institution and evidence of aptitude for advanced theological study. The MDiv degree is required for admission to the concentrations in the area of Practical Theology.
A total of twenty-four credits is required for the ThM degree. If the candidate wishes to present a research paper or thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirement, it shall be assigned six credits. Courses ordinarily must be taken in the area of the department in which the candidate is specializing. However, the student may be permitted to take courses in other areas of the department, or in areas of other departments, if in the judgment of the faculty adviser these courses are related to the student’s field of concentration.
The candidate who seeks the degree without the presentation of a thesis is expected to pursue one or two courses that will require the writing of an essay or essays that give evidence of ability to engage in research, and to present his or her investigation in an acceptable literary and academic form. Each candidate will be assigned an adviser. Candidates will arrange their programs of study in consultation with their advisers, and in accordance with the programs developed for their chosen areas of study. As a rule, introductory-level courses may not be chosen for credit toward the ThM degree. In special cases, the student’s adviser may give permission for selecting such courses, provided the instructor will give special assignments in accordance with the requirements for the ThM degree.
The candidate must spend a minimum of one year in residence and should, within that period, normally complete all courses and the research paper or thesis (where applicable). Candidates must attain an average of 2.70 (B minus) or better in order to qualify for the ThM degree. In view of this restriction, they may not choose to have their work evaluated on a Pass/D/Fail basis.
“Preaching is one of the most important things we do as pastors. You get to challenge people’s minds and hearts, as the gospel challenges all of us. ”