Master of Theology


The most advanced theological degree at the master's level, the Master of Theology (Th.M.) allows students to gain a high level of competency in one concentrated area of study after completion of the Master of Divinity. The Th.M. enhances ministerial practice, preparation for doctoral studies, and further mastery of a specialized discipline.

Entrance Requirements

The student must have completed a Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent from an accredited seminary or divinity school with a minimum GPA of 3.0. The Th.M. assumes exegetical competence in Biblical Greek and Hebrew; however, a student who has not completed the prerequisite language courses may complete them during work toward the degree. If a student completes the Master of Divinity with a concentration in International Church Planting with 6 hours of field language, the 6 hours of field language satisfy the 2nd biblical language pre-requisite of the Th.M. Only the biblical language completed during the Master of Divinity in International Church Planting will be required for the Th.M.

International applicants must complete one of the following English Proficiency exams: TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) with a minimum score of 100 on the internet-based test or 250 on the computer-based test, or DET (Duolingo English Test) with a minimum score of 120 on the internet-based test, or IELTS (International English Language Test System) with a minimum score of 7.0 on the internet-based test.

Application Deadline

New applicants to the seminary should indicate the desire to pursue the Th.M. on application materials. Current Southwestern students should fill out a Continuing Studies form available in the Registrar's office and include an explanation of reasons for pursuing the Th.M.

All application materials must be submitted by the following dates:

Fall: July 15
Spring: December 15
Summer: April 15

International students must meet earlier deadlines as set by the Office of International Student Services. The Office of International Student Services may be reached at or (817) 921-8520.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Theology consists of a 24-25 hour (non-Thesis track) or a 24-25 hour (Thesis track) curriculum.

Non-Thesis Track
Graduate Research Seminar 2 hrs
Masters Electives in the chosen major 18 hrs
Masters Electives or Ph.D. Component 3 or 4 hrs
Summative Exam 1 hr
Total 24-25 hrs
Thesis Track
Graduate Research Seminar 2 hrs
Masters Electives in the chosen major 15 hrs
Masters Electives or Ph.D. Component 3 or 4 hrs
Thesis 4 hrs
Total 24-25 hrs

Majors available in the School of Evangelism and Missions are:

  • Evangelism
  • Missions
  • Islamic Studies
  • World Religions

All course work must be completed with a 3.0 or better. No course with a grade of below 3.0 will count toward the degree.

The student must complete the Graduate Research seminar during the first year of course work. Generally, the Ph.D. research seminar, if applicable, will be taken in the last year of the student’s course work.


The Th.M. thesis should demonstrate the student's ability to design a viable research project, pursue the research in relative independence, and write with clarity and force. An acceptable thesis should go beyond the description of data and include critical evaluation and interpretative judgment. The thesis must address a topic in the student's concentration. The latest edition of Turabian serves as the style guide for the thesis.

During the first year of study the student works with his or her thesis supervisor to complete a prospectus. The prospectus, not to exceed ten pages, must be approved by the thesis supervisor before the student begins to write the thesis. The approved prospectus must be submitted to the Associate Dean's office. The student must work closely with the thesis supervisor throughout all stages of thesis work.

The student must submit the thesis at least 60 days prior to the anticipated date of graduation. The thesis supervisor and second reader will evaluate the thesis and determine the grade (passing grades: B- and above). A student who receives a failing grade will have an opportunity to revise and resubmit the thesis during the following semester provided that the time limitation has not expired.

Time Limitations

All requirements, including the thesis, must be completed within three years of entrance into the program.

Transfer Course Credit

Up to six hours may be transferred into the Th.M. from a M.Div earned from Southwestern Seminary or an accredited institution. Transferred courses must be in the major selected for the Th.M.

A Th.M. graduate who pursues a Ph.D. in the School of Evangelism and Missions may apply one Ph.D. research seminar and a Th.M thesis, if applicable, to the Ph.D. degree.

Additional Resources

For additional information about the Master of Theology, contact the Associate Dean of the Fish School of Evangelism and Missions by phone at (817) 921-8642 or by email at