ThM Program Purpose
The Master of Theology (ThM) program is intended to provide advanced theological study in one discipline beyond what is normally provided at the MDiv level. Trinity’s ThM offers discipline concentrations in each of our eight departments (Church History, Counseling, Educational Studies, Mission and Evangelism, New Testament, Old Testament, Pastoral Theology, and Systematic Theology), or inter-departmental specialized concentrations developed in consultation with the departmental faculty (Chaplaincy, Ethics, Generational Ministry, Homiletics, Spiritual Formation, and others). The program can be completed in one year of study and includes 22 credit hours with a Capstone (comprehensive exam, major paper, or thesis depending on the department). Students work with department faculty in the selection of specific courses in their area of concentration.
Students graduating with a Master of Theology degree will be able to:
- articulate an understanding of biblical and theological constructs that form the foundation of evangelical Christian faith
- ground theological interpretations in the biblical text, historical developments, and/or contemporary context pertaining to the student’s area of concentration
- apply biblical and theological understandings to practical teaching and/or ministry experience
- demonstrate an ability to contribute to biblical, historical, educational, and/or theological studies in an increasingly global and culturally diverse world
- demonstrate academic proficiency in the student’s chosen area of concentration
- demonstrate a breadth of perspective and focused depth for further academic work in the student’s chosen area of concentration
MDiv and ThM Combinations at TEDS
MDiv and ThM course work may not overlap; however, students may take up to 9 hours of 7000 level (and above) courses not applied to their MDiv during their final year and apply those hours to their ThM requirements upon matriculating into the ThM program.
ThM Admission Requirements and Prerequisites
In addition to the general admission requirements described in the Admissions section of the catalog, the following further requirements are specific to the Master of Theology program:
- Possess an earned Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent from an accredited school that maintains academic standards similar to those of Trinity. (Master of Divinity equivalence is defined as an earned master’s degree, including at least 74 semester hours of graduate study in areas closely parallel to Trinity’s MDiv curriculum.)
- The applicant’s graduate grade point average for all graduate coursework completed must be a minimum of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
- Possess and demonstrate proficiency in the biblical and modern languages appropriate to work in the selected area of concentration. Students who have not completed their MDiv at TEDS must take the proficiency exam and obtain a passing score to be exempted from taking NT 5251. Students who have obtained a TEDS MDiv within the previous five years will be exempted from taking the proficiency exam.
- At the time of application, applicants will declare their area of concentration selecting from Church History, Counseling, Educational Studies, Mission and Evangelism, New Testament, Old Testament, Pastoral Theology, and Systematic Theology, or provide a statement relative to an inter-departmental Specialized Concentration (such as Chaplaincy, Ethics, Generational Ministry, Homiletics, Spiritual Formation, and others). Specialized Concentration applicants should review the Catalog curriculum and propose a Specialized Concentration from the curriculum. The proposed Specialized Concentration will be reviewed during the application process to ensure it can be supported by the curriculum and appropriate recommendations made. Accepted applicants will then consult with the assigned faculty department advisor to finalize their curriculum within the template below.
ThM Residency Requirement and Continuation
Residency requirement for the Master of Theology degree is that 18 hours of the ThM program must be completed through TEDS coursework.
ThM Statute of Limitation
All Master of Theology program requirements must be completed within five years of matriculation into the program. Petition to extend the statute of limitation may be made by a student to the Academic Exceptions Committee.
ThM Candidacy Requirements
Admission to the Master of Theology program shall be followed by achievement of candidacy for the degree. Program candidacy occurs when
A minimum of 9 hours in the program is completed with a minimum GPA of 3.0 after program admission. (Note: These hours must be completed after admission to the program concentration, not merely after matriculation into TEDS.)
All entrance deficiencies and conditions are removed.
Formal action has been taken by the faculty to grant candidacy for the degree.
ThM Graduation Requirements
The following requirements must be completed to earn the Master of Theology degree in each concentration:
- Complete the General Graduation Requirements for all master’s programs.
- Complete 22 hours of advanced graduate level coursework (normally 7000-8999 level if not a core requirement or capstone in another master’s program) in the area of concentration with a minimum cumulative grade point average for program coursework of 3.0, with no coursework graded below a “C” applicable to the degree.
- Complete a 2-3 hour Capstone which includes some combination of the following dependent upon the department:
- Pass the ThM Comprehensive Exam (— 7977) arranged by the Department. (1 hour)
- Complete one or two ThM Major Research Paper(s) (— 8980) as a part of advanced courses in the program, demonstrating evidence of competencies similar to those demonstrated in the thesis. Examine the Academic Handbook for details related to this capstone project. (1 hour)
- Research and write an acceptable thesis (— 8985) on an approved topic exhibiting the ability to do competent research, including use of the biblical languages and modern languages when appropriate, to think critically, and to communicate effectively in the area of concentration. (2 hours)
ThM Areas of Concentration and Curriculum
The ThM is a post-MDiv degree program. As such, coursework required to meet MDiv graduation requirements is not applicable to the ThM program. Specific coursework is developed in consultation with the department faculty. The criterion against which applicable coursework is defined is the intent of the program to provide advanced theological study in one discipline beyond what is normally provided at the MDiv level.
|Select 19-20 hours of concentration core 1,2,3||19-20|
|ThM Capstone 4,5,6|
|-- 7977 ThM Comprehensie Exam (required in CH, NT, OT, PT)||1|
|-- 8980 ThM Major Research Paper (may be repeated to total 2 hours)||1|
|-- 8985 ThM Thesis||2|
Advanced courses related to the concentration (normally 7000-8999 level)
Concentrations may focus on department-specific coursework (such as church history, counseling, educational ministry, missions, Old or New Testament, pastoral theology, systematic theology), or inter-departmentally specialized concentrations (bioethics, chaplaincy, church planting, ethics, homiletics, spiritual formation, etc).
Specific courses in the Concentration Core are developed from the Catalog curriculum in consultation with the department faculty. Generally this includes a research course.
See Capstone requirements by Department below
If a student elects to take additional Capstone hours, those may count toward the Concentration Core.
If all advanced courses have been completed without major papers, additional coursework is required to facilitate completion of this capstone option.
Capstone Requirements by Department
- CH Department – comprehensive exam AND two major papers or thesis (upon approval)
- CO Department – two major papers
- EM Department – comprehensive exam/portfolio, or two major papers, or thesis (as arranged with department)
- ME Department - two major papers or thesis
- NT Department – comprehensive exam AND two major papers or thesis
- OT Department – comprehensive exam AND two major papers or thesis
- PT Department – comprehensive exam/case study AND two major papers
- ST Department – two major papers or thesis
- Specialized Concentration– similar to above, as determined in application process.