Master of Theology Program Overview

Westminster’s Master of Theology courses develop students to demonstrate a breadth of knowledge in their chosen field of study and related fields. The purpose of the ThM is to increase students’ knowledge of a major field of theological learning through the methods and tools of theological research. The ThM program will further students’ preparation for pastoral ministry, teaching ministry, and advanced graduate study. The ThM degree at Westminster Theological Seminary is offered in two fields: biblical studies and historical & theological studies.

Fields of Study

Two concentrations are offered in the biblical studies field: Old Testament and New Testament.

Coursework

Students in the Biblical Studies field will complete a total of eight courses: 3 core, 3 electives, and 2 capstone courses.

Students will also complete one course in theological bibliography and research.

Capstone

The capstone for ThM students in Biblical Studies field includes two courses within the student’s concentration, culminating with a major research paper in each course.

In order to take a course as part of the capstone, students must secure approval from the course instructor.

Greek/Hebrew Competency Exams

Admitted ThM students in the Old Testament concentration must demonstrate knowledge of Hebrew at an advanced MDiv level prior to matriculation. Students in the New Testament concentration must demonstrate the same level of expertise in Greek. Students’ level of expertise will be determined by completion of a competency exam.

Research Language

For research purposes, students will demonstrate a working knowledge of one of the following languages: French, German, Dutch, or ecclesiastical Latin. If another language is of particular value for a student’s studies, the field committee, upon request, may approve its substitution.

Fields of Study

Two concentrations are offered in the biblical studies field: Old Testament and New Testament.

Greek/Hebrew Competency Exams

Admitted ThM students in the Old Testament concentration must demonstrate knowledge of Hebrew at an advanced MDiv level prior to matriculation. Students in the New Testament concentration must demonstrate the same level of expertise in Greek. Students’ level of expertise will be determined by completion of a competency exam.

Coursework

Students in the Biblical Studies field will complete a total of eight courses: 3 core, 3 electives, and 2 capstone courses.

Students will also complete one course in theological bibliography and research.

Research Language

For research purposes, students will demonstrate a working knowledge of one of the following languages: French, German, Dutch, or ecclesiastical Latin. If another language is of particular value for a student’s studies, the field committee, upon request, may approve its substitution.

Capstone

The capstone for ThM students in Biblical Studies field includes two courses within the student’s concentration, culminating with a major research paper in each course.

In order to take a course as part of the capstone, students must secure approval from the course instructor.

Fields of Study

Three concentrations are offered in the historical and theological studies field: church history, systematic theology, and apologetics.

Research Language

For research purposes, students will demonstrate a working knowledge of one of the following languages: French, German, Dutch, or ecclesiastical Latin. If another language is of particular value for a student’s studies, the field committee, upon request, may approve its substitution.

Coursework

Students in the Historical & Theological field will complete a total of eight courses: 3 core, 3 electives, and 2 capstone courses.

Students will also complete one course in theological bibliography and research.

Capstone

The capstone for ThM students in the Historical & Theological field includes a master’s thesis on an approved subject within the student’s concentration.

Fields of Study

Three concentrations are offered in the historical and theological studies field: church history, systematic theology, and apologetics.

Coursework

Students in the Historical & Theological field will complete a total of eight courses: 3 core, 3 electives, and 2 capstone courses.

Students will also complete one course in theological bibliography and research.

Research Language

For research purposes, students will demonstrate a working knowledge of one of the following languages: French, German, Dutch, or ecclesiastical Latin. If another language is of particular value for a student’s studies, the field committee, upon request, may approve its substitution.

Capstone

The capstone for ThM students in the Historical & Theological field includes a master’s thesis on an approved subject within the student’s concentration.

Language Requirements

Admitted ThM students in the Old Testament concentration must demonstrate knowledge of Hebrew at an advanced MDiv level prior to matriculation. Students in the New Testament concentration must demonstrate the same level of expertise in Greek. Students’ level of expertise will be determined by completion of a competency exam. Following matriculation, students must demonstrate a working knowledge of one language for research purposes. Students in the biblical studies field should know either French or German. Students in historical and theological studies should know French, German, Dutch, or ecclesiastical Latin. If another language is of particular value for a student’s studies, the field committee, upon request, may approve its substitution.

Elective Courses

ThM students must complete six elective courses. While three courses must be in the students’ concentration, students may choose the remaining three elective courses from among any of the ThM/PhD courses. Students may take no more than two non-classroom courses (directed reading and independent study) as electives.

Course Capstone

The capstone for the biblical studies field includes two courses within the student’s concentration,culminating with a major research paper in each course. Including the core coursework requirement, biblical studies ThM students are required to complete a minimum of 8 courses in their chosen concentration. In order to take a course as part of the capstone, students must secure approval from the course instructor.

Core Courses

ThM students must complete six core courses. At least three of these courses must be in the students’ concentration. Students must also complete PT 421P Theological Bibliography & Research Methods within one year of matriculation. This course is offered on a pass/fail, non-credit basis without tuition charge.

Thesis Capstone

The capstone for the historical and theological studies field includes a master’s thesis on an approved subject within the student’s concentration. The thesis receives a letter grade and accounts for the final ten credit hours of the ThM degree.

Fields of Study

The ThM degree is offered in two fields: biblical studies and historical and theological studies. Each student must select a concentration within his or her chosen field. Two concentrations are offered in the biblical studies field: Old Testament and New Testament. Three concentrations are offered in the historical and theological studies field: church history, systematic theology, and apologetics.

Language Requirements

Admitted ThM students in the Old Testament concentration must demonstrate knowledge of Hebrew at an advanced MDiv level prior to matriculation. Students in the New Testament concentration must demonstrate the same level of expertise in Greek. Students’ level of expertise will be determined by completion of a competency exam. Following matriculation, students must demonstrate a working knowledge of one language for research purposes. Students in the biblical studies field should know either French or German. Students in historical and theological studies should know French, German, Dutch, or ecclesiastical Latin. If another language is of particular value for a student’s studies, the field committee, upon request, may approve its substitution.

Core Courses

ThM students must complete six core courses. At least three of these courses must be in the students’ concentration. Students must also complete PT 421P Theological Bibliography & Research Methods within one year of matriculation. This course is offered on a pass/fail, non-credit basis without tuition charge.

Elective Courses

ThM students must complete six elective courses. While three courses must be in the students’ concentration, students may choose the remaining three elective courses from among any of the ThM/PhD courses. Students may take no more than two non-classroom courses (directed reading and independent study) as electives.

Thesis Capstone

The capstone for the historical and theological studies field includes a master’s thesis on an approved subject within the student’s concentration. The thesis receives a letter grade and accounts for the final ten credit hours of the ThM degree.

Course Capstone

The capstone for the biblical studies field includes two courses within the student’s concentration,culminating with a major research paper in each course. Including the core coursework requirement, biblical studies ThM students are required to complete a minimum of 8 courses in their chosen concentration. In order to take a course as part of the capstone, students must secure approval from the course instructor.

Fields of Study

The ThM degree is offered in two fields: biblical studies and historical and theological studies. Each student must select a concentration within his or her chosen field. Two concentrations are offered in the biblical studies field: Old Testament and New Testament. Three concentrations are offered in the historical and theological studies field: church history, systematic theology, and apologetics.

Program Data

2-3
Years Completion
6-8
courses in theology or biblical studies
5
average class size

What Our Alumni Say

“The ThM was an exciting time of theological research and learning, and it made for an excellent transition into doctoral studies. Additionally, during the ThM, through the tutelage of Westminster faculty, I began to realize that serious theological inquiry is enjoined by the Lord and should be carried out in obedience to him, in service to his church, and at every point to his glory. ‘You are not pursuing a career, but a calling,’ one faculty member said. That changed everything for me.”


— Nathan Shannon
Professor of Systematic Theology at Torch Trinity Graduate University

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the time expectations for the ThM program?

The minimum length of time to complete the ThM program is one academic year of full-time study. Students who take two courses per semester complete the program in two-and-a-half to four years. Students may take up to six years to complete the program including any leave of absence or withdrawal period.

What scholarships are currently available to ThM students?

ThM students are eligible for the Church Partnership Grant, a scholarship for which Westminster matches the financial support of the student’s church, up to 33% of tuition. For more information regarding ThM scholarships, contact admissions@wts.edu.

What is the modular ThM program?

The modular ThM program offers courses in a week-long modular format for those who are unable to relocate. The general requirements for the residential ThM program apply to the modular program. Modules are typically offered two times per year, in January and from late July through August. Video and phone conferencing may be used for comprehensive oral examinations. Travel packages and meals are currently offered for all modules.