Thesis - Master of Theology degree

The M.Th. thesis is intended to demonstrate the student's ability to pursue research in the area of concentration.  The thesis is not necessarily an original contribution to scholarship, but it may not simply duplicate existing scholarship on the topic. 

Normally, it shall not exceed 100 word-processed pages, excluding front matter, bibliography, and appendices.

The thesis must be prepared in accord with:

  1. the requirements of The Luther Seminary Writing and Style Guide or the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association; or

  2. the publication guidelines of another scholarly manual or journal that is chosen by the student in consultation with his or her advisor, and that is presented by petition to, and approved by, the Graduate Theological Education Advisory Committee.

    If choosing option two, the student, at the time the thesis is submitted, shall also submit a style sheet of the manual or journal style that is to be followed. Such a style sheet shall include the proper formatting for references, footnotes and/or endnotes, and bibliography.


  • In all cases, a sample of two word-processed chapters with properly formatted notes and bibliography is submitted to the GTE technical reader no later than February 1 of the year in which the degree is granted.

  • The completed thesis is submitted to the Office of Graduate Theological Education by March 1 of the year in which the degree is to be granted. The student is required to submit copies in sufficient number for the thesis adviser and each reader.

  • After receiving the completed thesis, the thesis adviser arranges with the student and the readers for an oral examination before April 1 of the year in which the degree is to be granted.

  • After successfully completing the oral thesis examination, the student submits by April 15 a final, typographically perfect copy of the thesis for approval by the Graduate Theological Education technical reader who examines it for conformity to the requirements of The Luther Seminary Writing and Style Guide. Editorial work to meet The Luther Seminary Writing and Style Guide requirements is the responsibility of the student.

  • After securing the written approval of the technical reader, the student submits two unbound, boxed copies of the thesis on 100% cotton paper to the Graduate Theological Education Office for binding by May 1 of the year in which the degree is to be granted. One copy is placed in the library and the other in the seminary vault. The binding fee for the thesis is included in the master of theology degree graduation fee.

Students who do not meet the deadlines in this section cannot be guaranteed graduation during the year in question.