ThM in Theology
Before You Apply
The Master of Theology (ThM) degree is designed to enable qualified graduates in theology to broaden and deepen their theological knowledge and competencies beyond the Master of Divinity (MDiv) level.
This goal is achieved by providing an opportunity to take a limited number of courses in areas not previously taken, and also to pursue studies at an advanced level in a field of specialization in one of the following areas:
- Christian Ethics
- Church History/Historical Theology
- New Testament
- Old Testament
- Practical Theology
- Theology (Systematic Theology)
- Theology and Culture
- Worship and Preaching
The ThM degree is designed as a self-contained terminal degree and may be viewed as a complement to the DMin degree. Whereas the DMin program focuses on competence in the practice of ministry (church growth, counseling, preaching, management, etc.), the ThM degree provides an opportunity for pastors and others to pursue advanced study in theological disciplines.
Graduates from the ThM program should evidence:
- A substantive understanding of their theological discipline appropriate for advanced academic study in the service of the church
- The capacity to formulate research questions and to use research methods and resources appropriate to the discipline, with a focus on scholarship for research and publication
- Capacities for the cultivation of theologically reflective practices of Christian discipleship
- Sympathetic and respectful understanding of positions held by diverse scholars
Prerequisites for the ThM:
- Applicants must have an MDiv or equivalent, or an MA similar to Fuller’s MA in Theology with a Biblical studies emphasis, from an institution accredited by the Association of Theological Schools, with an overall GPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.
- ThM applicants should be competent in at least one biblical language (or depending on the concentration chosen, two languages). Language competency is demonstrated through the successful completion of at least 8 quarter units (6 semester credits) of coursework in each language. Admitted ThM students may demonstrate biblical language competence through biblical language coursework taken as part of the ThM program. [ThM applicants who wish to specialize in Old Testament, New Testament Theology, Church History, or Historical Theology must have completed no less than 8 quarter units (6 semester credits) each of Biblical Hebrew an New Testament Greek prior to admission.]
- Applicants must have taken the Graduate Record Examination within five years preceding the date of application. Preference is given to those whose verbal score is in excess of 160 and analytical writing score in excess of 5.
- Applicants whose first language is not English must provide an official record of scores earned on the Test of English as a Foreign Language ( TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System ( IELTS) test. Only test scores earned within two years preceding the submission date of the applicant's current application will be acceptable. TOEFL overall scores of at least 100 (internet-based) or 600 (paper), or IELTS overall scores of 7.0 meet the minimum English language entrance requirements.
- Admission is determined in part on the basis of the applicant’s submission of a major writing sample, ca. 7000-10,000 words, completed within three years of the time of making application, in the field of proposed study. This essay will be evaluated in terms of clarity of its thesis, ability to sustain an argument, critical engagement with pertinent primary and secondary sources, and professional presentation.
- Certain concentrations may have additional requirements.
- Applications and all required documentation must be received by Fuller’s Office of Admissions by January 2.
The ThM degree is awarded upon successful completion of the following:
- 32 quarter units of coursework
- ThM thesis
With careful planning, the coursework may be completed in one calendar year of full-time study or its equivalent. The thesis is designed to demonstrate the student’s competence in his or her area of concentration by dealing with a specific topic in away comparable to a paper published in a professional journal. Competency in at least one biblical language (or, depending on the concentration chosen, two languages) to the level required by the Fuller MDiv degree is also required. Students who do not enter the program with this requirement completed may take biblical language courses as part of their ThM course work.