Master of Theology

The Master of Theology degree program provides for continuing study through the discipline of academic excellence. It aims to develop in the student an informed, critical approach to a chosen field of study through graduate courses, mastery of languages and a thesis.

Luther Seminary and its faculty aspires through its M.Th. program to assist students in achieving the following learning outcomes:

  • Students will develop a global knowledge base at the M.Th. level appropriate to their concentration and field.
  • Students will develop information research skills appropriate to the field.
  • Students in Pastoral Care and Congregational Mission and Leadership undertaking thesis projects involving social scientific research will develop capacity at the MTh level to effectively utilize social scientific research methodology.
  • Students shall develop the capacity to think critically
  • Students will develop the capacity to write clearly and effectively. 

Current areas of M.Th. degree concentration include:

  1. Bible (either Old or New Testament)
  2. Congregational Mission and Leadership
  3. History of Christianity
  4. Pastoral Care (Clinical Pastoral Theology)
  5. Pastoral Theology and Ministry
    (A composite degree involving courses in religious education, homiletics, pastoral counseling, youth and family and church and society)
  6. Systematic Theology

Learn more about the Master of Theology degree at Luther Seminary. Several short topics are listed on this page (below). Here are links to additional important topics:

If you do not find the information you are looking for on these web pages, contact:

  • Paul Lokken, Associate Dean, Graduate Theological Education; 651-641-3203;
  • Katie Dahl, Associate Director, Graduate Theological Education, 651-641-3203;

Graduation Requirements

Graduation requirements include courses in the area of study and elective courses, language examinations,and a thesis. Graduation requirements for each student are stated in the catalog published in the year of the student's enrollment in the degree program.

Status and Candidacy

Resident M.Th. students, while completing course work and writing the thesis proposal and thesis, will normally be considered full-time students for two years. After the second year, students seeking certification of full- or half-time student status must do so in advance by petition, clearly justifying the request in writing. Status of half-time M.Th. students will be reported in the same way as M.Div. or M.A. students.

The student is admitted to candidacy for the M.Th. degree after the thesis proposal has been approved by the Graduate Committee. The M.Th. candidacy fee is due at this time.

Continuation Fee

Students in the Master of Theology degree program are charged a continuation fee of $250 per semester after two years of full-time study or completion of six courses. Students who have not met the six-course requirement will be charged tuition rather than a continuation fee for every semester they are enrolled in classes. Failure to pay the continuation fee, without a request for leave of absence, terminates status as a student at Luther Seminary.

Time Limit

Students in the M.Th. program are required to complete the program within five years of the beginning of the first semester of study following admission. Written consent of the thesis adviser and permission of the Graduate Committee are required to continue beyond this limit.

Academic Standing and Procedures

In order to remain in good academic standing, a student must receive a grade of B or better for work for which credit is given and satisfactorily complete all other requirements of the program as determined by the Graduate Committee. Unless otherwise noted, academic policies and procedures in the academic catalog also apply to the M.Th. degree.

Leave of Absence

A student in good standing may petition the Graduate Committee for a leave of absence. If the leave is granted, the student may resume study at any time during the period of leave without reapplying for admission. Leaves are not normally granted for more than one year.


Attendance at commencement is expected. Graduating students not intending to attend need to notify the Office of Graduate Theological Education and the Office of the Registrar in writing by May 1.

Post-Master of Divinity Special Students

Graduates of accredited theological seminaries may apply for post-Master of Divinity/post-Master of Arts special student status. This status permits the student to enroll in courses for graduate credit without being in a degree program.

If the student is later admitted to a degree program, courses taken as a post-Master of Divinity special student may be applied to that program by petition to the Graduate Committee.

No more than three courses taken while a special student may be applied toward the Master of Theology or Doctor of Philosophy degree programs.

Applications for post-Master of Divinity/Master of Arts special student status should be received by the Office of Graduate Theological Education at least 30 days in advance of the term in which admission is sought.