The Master of Theology degree program aims to develop each student with an informed, critical approach to a chosen field of study through graduate courses, mastery of languages and a thesis.
You must have a previous graduate-level theological degree from an accredited theological school. This could be a Master of Arts (in theological studies), Master of Divinity, or Bachelor of Divinity degree (or its equivalent).
Luther Seminary and its faculty aspires through its Th.M. program to assist students in achieving the following learning outcomes:
- Students will develop a global knowledge base at the Th.M. 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 Th.M. 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
The current areas of degree concentration are:
- Bible (Old or New Testament)
- Congregational and Community Care (Clinical Pastoral Theology)
- Congregational Mission and Leadership
- History of Christianity
- Mission and World Religions
- Pastoral Theology and Ministry (Composite degree concentration involving courses in congregational and community care, congregational leadership, children and youth ministry, educational leadership, preaching, and worship)
- Systematic Theology/Ethics
The Th.M. program is normally completed in two years. Students must complete a total of six courses, one language examination, a thesis proposal, and a thesis. Of the six courses, at least four must be taken in the area of concentration; two courses may be taken as electives. Students in the Th.M. program are required to complete degree requirements within five years. For a complete overview of degree requirements, please see the course catalog.
Prior to submission of the thesis proposal, and normally during the first year of the Th.M. program, students are required to pass one written examination in Latin or a modern research language (French, German, or Spanish) other than the student’s native tongue.
Students wishing to be examined in a language other than those listed above must petition for permission to do so. International students whose native language is other than English may choose to meet the language requirement by passing an examination in English composition.
After completing course and language requirements, Th.M. students prepare a thesis proposal in consultation with a faculty advisor. The thesis proposal must be approved by the faculty division and the Advanced Theological Education Office before students may begin the thesis writing process.
The Th.M. 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.
Transfer of Credit
Up to three courses, not applied toward another degree, may be transferred to the Th.M. degree from previous work at Luther Seminary (including its satellite centers) or other accredited institutions. Transfer of this credit requires approval of the Advanced Theological Education office. View and print the graduate petition form here.
If you do not find the information you are looking for here, contact one of Luther Seminary’s staff members dedicated to working with Th.M. students:
Advanced Theological Education