Master of Theology

The Master of Theology (Th.M.) prepares students who hold a M.Div. degree for advanced theological research in a specific field or discipline as students prepare for further graduate study at the doctoral level, teaching, the scholarly enhancement of ministerial practice, or disciplined reflection of a specialized function in ministry.

Th.M. students will:

  • Demonstrate the capacity to engage in doctoral studies through advanced course work in theology or ethics at the 500 level
  • Research, write and defend a 30-50 page thesis that addresses a credible research problem
  • Pass an oral examination on the thesis and the discipline of theology and/or ethics
  • Demonstrate knowledge of one ancient or one modern language for research purposes

Requirements for the Degree

The degree is awarded upon successful completion of coursework, including the thesis, an oral examination on the thesis and the discipline, and knowledge of one ancient or modern language for research purposes. The Th.M. degree program can be completed in one year of full-time study or on a part-time basis.  You must complete the degree six years after matriculation.

Required Courses and Distribution of Courses

Seven courses at the intermediate and advanced levels are required with the following distribution.

  • I-478 Research Methods
  • 400-level course in theology / ethics
  • 400-level course in theology / ethics
  • 500-level course in theology / ethics
  • 500-level course in theology / ethics
  • 500-level Thesis Project plus Oral Examination
  • Modern or Ancient Language Reading Class

Concentration for Th.M. Studies in Theology and Ethics

Research and teaching in the theology and ethics field support two concentrations including the following topics.

Theology Concentration:

  • Reformed theology and ethics
  • Theology and eco-justice
  • Theology and science
  • Intercultural theology
  • Interfaith theology

Ethics Concentration:

  • Bioethics
  • Christian social ethics
  • Race theory and justice
  • Peacemaking
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Admission Requirements

Applications, including materials and fees, are only accepted online.  The deadline to apply is May 1.  Complete applications include:

  • One sample of academic writing (4 – 7 double-spaced pages of text) that provides evidence of critical thinking skills, for example, the ability to craft a theological or ethical argument about an issue open to multiple informed responses.
  • A current C.V. or resume.
  • For all applicants whose first language is not English, regardless of nationality, evidence of competency in English: TOEFL score (620 or higher).  A score of 725 or higher is required if the electronic version of TOEFL is used.
  • A brief (1-2 double-spaced pages) proposal for an independent research project to be undertaken with a McCormick faculty advisor.
  • Two letters of academic reference from a faculty advisor, thesis advisor, or professors with whom applicants have pursued a course of studies at the masters level in theology and / or ethics.
  • GPA of 3.5 and above on a 4.0 scale (B+ or higher in letter grades).
  • A face-to-face or video interview with a faculty member.

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