Mastering Theological English program overview

Mastering Theological English (MTE) is a rigorous language program that equips you to study theology at Westminster. If you qualify for admittance but have a TOEFL score below the minimum required for admission, the successful completion of MTE can fully qualify you to enter WTS.

MTE I is for students accepted to Westminster’s MDi and MAR programs. Students with TOEFL scores of 68–87 iBT are eligible for MTE I.

MTE II is for students accepted to Westminster’s ThM program. Students with TOEFL scores of 85–99 iBT are eligible for MTE II.

GRAMMAR WARM-UP

Grammar Warm-up begins with brief grammar activities illustrated with Bible verses, introducing terminology and reinforcing important principles.

THEOLOGICAL ENGLISH

The Theological English class applies reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills to theological topics. Lessons contain lecture and discussion, analysis of theological reading selections, language learning activities, and tasks. Students practice speaking and writing about theology.

SPECIAL GUEST LECTURES

Lectures on selected theological topics will give students a taste of the subject matter they will encounter in their Westminster coursework.

INTEGRATED SKILLS

Reading, writing, listening, and speaking are the focus of the Integrated Skills classes. We use readings, lectures, practical exercises, and personalized feedback to strengthen the student’s knowledge of advanced English, focusing on accurate use.

CRITICAL READING

This class will help students recognize, analyze, and use theological argumentation.

GRAMMAR WARM-UP

Grammar Warm-up begins with brief grammar activities illustrated with Bible verses, introducing terminology and reinforcing important principles.

INTEGRATED SKILLS

Reading, writing, listening, and speaking are the focus of the Integrated Skills classes. We use readings, lectures, practical exercises, and personalized feedback to strengthen the student’s knowledge of advanced English, focusing on accurate use.

THEOLOGICAL ENGLISH

The Theological English class applies reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills to theological topics. Lessons contain lecture and discussion, analysis of theological reading selections, language learning activities, and tasks. Students practice speaking and writing about theology.

CRITICAL READING

This class will help students recognize, analyze, and use theological argumentation.

SPECIAL GUEST LECTURES

Lectures on selected theological topics will give students a taste of the subject matter they will encounter in their Westminster coursework.

ADVANCED LISTENING AND SPEAKING IN THEOLOGY

Students build advanced listening skills by working through ThM lectures and academic discussions. They also study pronunciation, interpersonal communication, and grammar in speech so that they can participate in and lead seminar discussions.

ThM Seminar

Our seminar classes simulate actual ThM classes. Sudents engage with theological ideas at the ThM level in the areas of systematic theology and biblical studies, preparing them to interact with professors and other students in the ThM program.

WORKSHOPS

Workshops give students additional opportunities to practice and receive feedback on their language skills.

ADVANCED READING AND WRITING IN THEOLOGY

Students build advanced reading speed and comprehension skills by working through increasingly complex reading selections typically assigned in ThM classes. Students also advance their writing skills by analyzing the rhetorical patterns and grammar used in apologetic, systematics, biblical studies, and church history. 

Advanced Grammar

Students improve grammatical accuracy and complexity in theological speech and writing through analysis, practice, and feedback.

ADVANCED LISTENING AND SPEAKING IN THEOLOGY

Students build advanced listening skills by working through ThM lectures and academic discussions. They also study pronunciation, interpersonal communication, and grammar in speech so that they can participate in and lead seminar discussions.

ADVANCED READING AND WRITING IN THEOLOGY

Students build advanced reading speed and comprehension skills by working through increasingly complex reading selections typically assigned in ThM classes. Students also advance their writing skills by analyzing the rhetorical patterns and grammar used in apologetic, systematics, biblical studies, and church history. 

ThM Seminar

Our seminar classes simulate actual ThM classes. Sudents engage with theological ideas at the ThM level in the areas of systematic theology and biblical studies, preparing them to interact with professors and other students in the ThM program.

Advanced Grammar

Students improve grammatical accuracy and complexity in theological speech and writing through analysis, practice, and feedback.

WORKSHOPS

Workshops give students additional opportunities to practice and receive feedback on their language skills.

Program Data

66
MTE Graduates
96%
MTE I Passing Rate
3.5
GPA for MTE II Graduates

What Our Alumni Say

“I strongly recommend MTE to anyone who wants to be successful in their theological studies. MTE is perhaps the only program of its kind, unique and distinct not only for its instruction in theological English, but also for its attitude toward the Bible and theology. In addition, MTE is academically rigorous and founded on excellent teaching. I believe that being able to study in the MTE program is one of the best blessings God has given me in my study abroad.”


— Uihyun Kim
ThM 2019, Busan, Korea

What Our Alumni Say

I dare say that MTE is like a boot camp designed for international students who desire to study at Westminster Theological Seminary. This is not merely another ESL program, rather, it is a synthetic “theological” English program, as its name suggests. In that sense, MTE will help you to improve your English as well as prepare you to jump into theological degree programs you pursue, such as the MDiv , MAR, or ThM. If I had another chance to go back to the time I applied for Westminster, then I would not hesitate to start with MTE in order to solidify my foundation for studying at Westminster as an international student.


— Brian Jin Ho Jung
MDiv, Anyang, South Korea

What Our Alumni Say

“MTE was one of the most intensive experiences of my life. We studied so much in a short period of time. Undeniably, our intensive routine of theory and practice was extremely important and improved significantly my skills in the English language. MTE was a fantastic combination of a comprehensive English training program and a comprehensive theological introduction.”


— Alberto Lima
MAC 2016, Fortaleza, Brazil

Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

How can I find out more about MTE?

We invite you to take a look at our MTE catalog and watch our introductory video.

What is everyday life like for an MTE student?

Brian is an MTE student who successfully graduated from Westminster’s MAR program and is now enrolled as a ThM student. Watch Brian’s story here. Also listen here to Roman, an MTE grad who is currently enrolled in Westminster’s MDiv program.

Financial Information

Is there a Westminster scholarship available for MTE students?

Yes, scholarships are available on a first-come, first-served basis for a limited number of students. Contact your admissions counselor for more information. Contact your admissions counselor for more information.

Is there a financial benefit for taking both MTE I and II?

Yes, students who successfully pass both MTE I and II will receive a Westminster scholarship from both MTE courses they complete, which results in extra savings. Contact your admissions counselor for more information.

How much is the MTE deposit? When is tuition due?
A deposit of $500 is required to ensure your place in MTE and will be counted toward the full balance of tuition. The full balance of tuition is due on the first day of MTE.

Admission

What if I don’t have a TOEFL score?

A TOEFL score is required for admission to MTE. Before applying for MTE, take the TOEFL and have your scores sent to Westminster. Westminster’s code number, 2976, should be noted on TOEFL registration materials.

What if my TOEFL iBT score is below 68?

The minimum TOEFL iBT score for admission to MTE is 68. However, you may retake the TOEFL and have your improved scores sent to Westminster. We also accept MyBest Scores.

What if my TOEFL score is old?

We will accept a TOEFL score up to two years old. If you took this test more than two years ago, you may retake the TOEFL and have your scores sent to Westminster.

MTE Academics

What document do I receive to show I have completed MTE?

You will be awarded a certificate of completion. In addition, the MTE course(s), which are noncredit, will be listed on your Westminster transcript.

How can I best study in order to pass the Qualifying Exam?

Passing the MTE qualifying exam is our most important measure of whether you have developed the level of advanced theological reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills required to succeed in your Westminster program. Prepare for that exam by (1) pledging 100 percent commitment to and participation in the MTE program because each week’s activities are designed to build your skills gradually in the areas tested; (2) using English nights and weekends as well as during the daytime in the MTE program.

What is the MTE I Progress Evaluation?

The purpose of the Progress Evaluation is to help students assess their strengths and weaknesses in English two-thirds of the way through the program, so that they can most efficiently improve their weak areas and prepare to do their best on the Qualifying Exam.  

What exams are given in MTE II?

A midterm exam will be given halfway through MTE II, and a Qualifying Exam will be given at the end of the course.

What is the MTE II Qualifying Exam?
The MTE II Qualifying Exam tests students in the areas of advanced theological reading, listening, speaking, and writing. The score on the Qualifying Exam, along with the student’s grade in the MTE II course and on final papers will be factored into the overall grade for MTE II. 

I have been accepted into one of Westminster master’s programs but not the ThM. Can I qualify for the ThM by completing MTE II?

No, you must apply and be accepted into the ThM program in order to take MTE II.