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Master of Theology (ThM)

Degree Overview

Vocational Calling

To prepare students for further graduate study at the doctoral level; the scholarly enhancement of ministry; or some forms of teaching, research, or writing.

For further information, please contact:

  • Dr. Alan Bandy (Director of the Master of Theology Program, Program Coordinator)

ThM Purpose and Student Learning Outcomes

The ThM is an advanced research degree designed specifically for further academic preparation for pursuing a PhD. Applicants may choose to apply for a stand-alone ThM rather than a PhD, whether for personal academic advancement or in order to complete leveling work required to apply for the PhD program. 

If a future PhD applicant has nine or more hours of master’s-level prerequisite courses to complete, it would be beneficial to apply to the stand-alone ThM program to complete his or her leveling work. This degree includes twelve hours of upper-level master’s courses while also allowing the student to complete two PhD seminars, one reading seminar, and Introduction to Doctoral Research and Writing, all of which may transfer into the PhD if the student is accepted into that program after earning the ThM. 

A PhD applicant may be granted admittance to the stand-alone ThM program by the faculty rather than the PhD program. After completing the ThM, the student may reapply for the PhD program. 

Graduates of the Master of Theology program will be able to do the following:

  • Demonstrate an advanced understanding of a focused area or discipline in the context of general theological study

  • Formulate productive questions

  • Design, implement, and report research

Program Requirements

Degree Components



4 Upper-Level Masters Courses (3 hr each)


Introduction to Doctoral Research and Writing


2 PhD Seminars (4 hr each)


Reading Seminar


ThM Portfolio


Total Required: 27 hours

Admission  Requirements

  • Applicants must have completed the MDiv degree, the MA degree, or the first theological degree in the appropriate area of study from a theological institution accredited by an agency related to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

  • Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

  • The applicant must submit a research paper from the master’s program for review by the division. If no paper is available, the applicant should contact the appropriate Divisional Associate Dean.

  • The applicant must complete a criminal background check before the application can be considered.

  • Upon admission, the student will be given parameters regarding options for the Upper-Level Master’s Electives in the curriculum based upon the student’s transcripts and academic goals.

Program Issues

  • Normally, students would not take over 12 hours per semester. Exceptions must be approved by the Director of the Master of Theology Program.

  • Normally, a ThM student would take no more than one doctoral seminar at a time. Exceptions must be approved by the Director of the Master of Theology Program.

  • Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale to remain enrolled in the ThM program.

  • Continuous enrollment in the program is required.

  • The maximum time limit for completion of the program is 4 years.

  • For a student who completes the degree, the two research doctoral seminars completed with a grade of “B” or above, Intro to Doctoral Research and Writing, and the Reading Seminar may be eligible for doctoral program credit, should the student be admitted to a research doctoral program and if permission is granted by the Research Doctoral Admissions Committee.