Master of Theology

Purpose

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.

Entrance Requirements

Prerequisites

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. One year of Greek, one year of Hebrew, and one additional semester of syntax in either Greek or Hebrew must be completed with a minimum grade of B-.

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).

Application Deadline

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.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Theology consists of a 24-25 hour non-thesis or thesis track curriculum.

Non-Thesis Track 
Graduate Research Seminar  2 hrs 
Masters Electives  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  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 Theology are:

  • Old Testament
  • New Testament
  • Theological Studies
  • Ethics and Philosophy
  • Pastoral Ministry
  • Preaching

One Ph. D. research seminar (4 hours) is allowable by permission from the professor of record for all concentrations except Old and New Testament. The Old Testament concentration requires a minimum of two Hebrew/Aramaic texts courses (2 hours) and the New Testament concentration requires a minimum of two Greek texts courses (2 hours). Old Testament majors may complete Greek texts courses and New Testament majors may complete Hebrew/Aramaic texts courses, but only a total of four hours applies to the Th. M. program. The Ph. D. research seminar option for all other concentrations should be taken mid to end of curriculum. All students must complete 24-25 hours for the degree.

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, Old Testament and New Testament majors may choose to focus part of their concentration hours on Biblical Backgrounds. Faculty supervisors approve course selections each semester.

All courses must be completed with a B- or better.  No course with a grade below B- will count toward the degree.

Non-Thesis Track

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 5001).

Thesis

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. The thesis supervisor is assigned in consultation with the program supervisor and the Associate Dean of the School of Theology.

The Graduate Research Seminar must be taken prior to Thesis Writing. Guidelines for thesis submission may be obtained from the Office of the Associate Dean of the School of Theology. The student should work closely with the thesis supervisor throughout all stages of thesis work.

Time Limitations

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

Transfers

Up to six hours may be transferred into the Th.M. from an accredited M.Div. Transferred courses must be in the major selected for the Th.M.

Additional Information

For additional information about the Master of Theology, contact Dr. Mark Taylor, Associate Dean of the School of Theology:

by mail at: Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
P.O. Box 22696, Fort Worth, Texas, 76122
by email at MTaylor@swbts.edu,
or by phone at (817) 923-1921 ext. 6950.