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

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.  Prerequisite courses must be completed with at least a B-.

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).

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-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:

  • New Testament
  • Old Testament
  • Church History and Historical Theology
  • Systematic Theology
  • Christian Ethics
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Preaching
  • Pastoral Ministry

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.

Non-Thesis Track

Students pursuing the non-thesis track must pass a comprehensive exam in the chosen major.

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.

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.

Time Limitations

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

Transfers

No courses may be transferred into the Th.M.

Additional Information

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 thm@swbts.edu,
or by phone at (817) 923-1921 ext. 6960.

Established 1908 Fort Worth, Texas