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 major 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.
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 Greek and Hebrew. A student who has not developed exegetical competence in Greek and Hebrew may complete prerequisite language courses before beginning work toward the degree. Twelve hours of Greek and nine hours of Hebrew must be completed along with a B- average.
Applicants declare a major by submitting a 15-20 page research paper in the area of intended study.
International applicants must complete the 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. Students who do not complete the internet-based TOEFL must also complete the TSE (Test of Spoken English).
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 Master of Theology consists of a 24-hour curriculum including: the Graduate Research Seminar (2 hours), one Ph.D. Reading Seminar (4 hours), three advanced master's electives (4 hours each) in a chosen major, Thesis Research (2 hours), and Thesis Writing (4 hours). A student may complete a 26-hour non-thesis track Th.M. by taking two additional advanced master's electives and by passing a comprehensive exam in the major. Majors available in the School of Theology are:
Students may take courses related to but outside of their specific concentration. For example, a Theological Studies major may take a course in Pauline Theology offered by the Biblical Studies Division, and a New Testament major may take a course in Christology offered by the Theological Studies Division. Additionally, New Testament and Old Testament majors may choose to focus part or all of their concentration hours on Biblical Backgrounds. Preaching majors may take exegetical courses in Greek and Hebrew. Faculty supervisors approve course selections each semester.
The student must complete the Graduate Research seminar and begin the Ph.D. Reading Seminar during the first fall semester of course work. It is not possible to begin the Ph.D. Reading Seminar in a spring semester.
In addition to the normal requirements for each advanced master's elective, the student earns an additional hour of credit through research-based assignments as directed by the professor.
All courses must be completed with a B- or better. No course with a grade below B- will count toward the degree.
Students pursuing the non-thesis track must pass a comprehensive exam in the chosen major. The comprehensive exam will be registered in the final semester (THMTH 5000).
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 interpretive judgment. The thesis must address a topic in the student’s major.
Students pursuing the thesis track select a thesis supervisor prior to registration for Thesis Research. The Graduate Research Seminar and Thesis Research must be taken prior to Thesis Writing. Guidelines for thesis submission may be obtained from the Office of the Associate Dean for Master's Programs. The student should work closely with the thesis supervisor throughout all stages of thesis work. Evaluation of the thesis includes an oral exam.
All requirements, including the thesis, must be completed within three years of entrance into the program.
No courses may be transferred into the Th.M.
For additional information about the Master of Theology, contact Dr. Mark Taylor, Associate Dean for Master's Programs:
by mail at: Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
P.O. Box 22696, Fort Worth, Texas, 76122
by email at firstname.lastname@example.org,
or by phone at (817) 923-1921 ext. 6950.