Master of Theology

The Master of Theology (Th.M.) is a post-M.Div./M.T.S. degree program designed for advanced study and academic research in a specialized area of the theological curriculum. It gives seminary graduates the opportunity to extend their education in a particular field or to prepare for doctoral-level work.

Areas of specialization include

  • Old Testament
  • Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Literature
  • New Testament
  • History of Christianity
  • Systematic Theology
  • Philosophical and Moral Theology
  • Pastoral Care
  • Pastoral Leadership
  • Preaching
  • Worship
  • Evangelism
  • Educational Ministry

Admission Requirements

  • A Master of Divinity, Master of Theological Studies, Bachelor of Divinity, or an equivalent degree, with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 (B).
  • Completion of the equivalent of Calvin Seminary's core courses in the area of specialization.
  • Transcript evidence of a minimum of two semesters of study each in Hebrew and Greek.
  • For students for whom English is a second language, a TOEFL score that meets Calvin Seminary's requirements.
  • Completion of all admission requirements before entering the Th.M. program.

Th.M. Program Curriculum

You can complete your program in the following way:

RequirementCredit Hours
One research methodology course (801T)3 credit hours
Three electives in the area of specialization9 credit hours
Two reading analysis half courses (1.5 credit hours each)3 credit hours
One of the following options: 
  One general elective in any department and 3 credit hours
  One major research paper in the area of specialization 3 credit hours
 OR
  A thesis in the area of specialization and 6 credit hours
  An oral examination based on the thesis
Total: 21 credit hours*
*Students specializing in Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Literature must complete the research methodology course, 5 electives in this area of specialization, and a 3-credit major research paper, for a total of 21 credit hours. If they choose to write a 6-credit thesis, they may either transfer in a qualifying course taken earlier or add another 3 hours to their program, for a total of 24 credit hours

A Specialized Program in Pastoral Care and Counseling involving clinical training accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education is also available. For the requirements in that program, please contact the Professor of Pastoral Care.

Courses in the Th.M. program will be one of three types:

  • 800-level electives with 36 hours of class time
  • 800-level electives with 24 hours of class time and 12 hours of individual research assignments
  • 500- and 600-level electives with a workload appropriate for Th.M. students and worth 3 credits

Note: Th.M. students may also register for Ph.D. courses (900-level electives) if they have established a GPA of 3.3 (B+) or better after one semester and if there is room in the course (Ph.D. courses are limited to 12 students).

Program Sequence

One Year Program

Fall SemesterJ-TermSpring SemesterMay Term
Major Research Paper Option
Research methodology course and 2 electives 1 reading analysis half course 2 electives and the writing of the major research paper 1 reading analysis half course
Thesis Option
Research methodology course and 2 electives 1 reading analysis half course 1 elective and the writing of the thesis 1 reading analysis half course

Two Year Program

Fall SemesterJ-TermSpring SemesterMay Term
Major Research Paper Option
Year 1
Research methodology course1 reading analysis half course2 electives1 reading analysis half course
Year 2
2 electivesMajor research paper proposalMajor research paper writing 
Fall SemesterJ-TermSpring SemesterMay Term
Thesis Option
Year 1
Research methodology course 1 reading analysis half course2 electives 1 reading half course
Year 2
1 elective and thesis proposal Thesis writingThesis writing

Elective Courses in the Master of Theology Program:

  • The Art of Hebrew Narrative
  • Biblical Aramaic
  • I and II Thessalonians
  • Theology of Calvin
  • Ecumenical Creeds and Reformed Confessions
  • Modern Panentheism
  • Human Suffering
  • Theology and Practice of Pastoral Ministry
  • Imaginative Reading for Creative Preaching
  • Theology of Worship and the Sacraments
  • Ministering Cross Culturally
  • Youth and Family Ministry
  • more...

Frequently Asked Questions

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Master of Theology

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