Master of Theology (Th.M.)

The Master of Theology program is designed for students to fulfill one or more of three goals:

  • Enhancing the practice of ministry through advanced study of a particular theological or pastoral discipline.
  • Scholarly examination of a specific aspect of the Christian religion/traditions or function of Christian ministry.
  • Preparation for more advanced study at the doctoral level.

Students may choose to focus within one of the following broad divisions:

  1. The Biblical Witness.
  2. The Heritage & Context of Christianity.
  3. The Interpretation of the Christian Witness.
  4. The Theology & Practice of Ministry.

Students who successfully complete this program will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate advanced understanding of their stated area of focus.
  2. Identify and evaluate the primary methods of research in the stated area of focus.
  3. Formulate useful research questions and develop research strategies in the stated area of focus.

Requirements for Admission:

The successful completion of an Association of Theological Schools-accredited degree at the master’s level requiring at least 2 years of full-time study or the equivalent credential from an institution outside the U.S. and Canada. Academic ability, as shown by a minimum GPA of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) in a previous master’s-level program, is required.
More information about Perkins Admissions

Requirements for Graduation

Course Requirements

The Th.M. program requires 24 term hours.  Given the open nature of the inquiry that students in the Th.M. program will pursue, there are no explicitly required courses.  The student will prepare a Plan for Study establishing the parameters of study for the degree program, including a specific area of focus and courses to be taken, to be approved before final enrollment.  These courses will meet the following guidelines:

  • All courses will be at the 7000 level or above.
  • At least two courses will be at the 8000 level.
  • One course may be a directed reading course.  This course will require a minimum of one research paper of at least 5,000 words.

Th.M. candidates must maintain a B (3.0) grade point average in order to continue in the program and graduate.

Students may choose one of two options to fulfill the requirements of the program:

  1. A thesis of 12,500 to 18,750 words (50-75 pages) on a topic related to the Plan of Study.  If the thesis option is chosen, an approved thesis proposal is required to proceed after the completion of 12 hours of course work.  Preparation of the thesis will count 3 hours toward the completion of the degree.
  2. A portfolio that includes written and other material submitted in fulfillment of their course requirements.  The material chosen must represent all the courses taken and cover all aspects of the approved Plan for Study.  The portfolio must include at least two research papers of not less than 5,000 words (20 pages) each.


The school will review theses and portfolios in aggregate to assess the overall success of students in the program and to identify areas where instruction and other aspects of the academic experience can be improved.


In order to facilitate the needs of applicants, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will serve as initial reader of the Plans for Study of applicants.  S/he will assist successful applicants in covenanting with a final advisor and thesis supervisor as needed.

Thesis Supervision and Review:

The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will arrange for orientation of thesis advisors.