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Reclaiming Advanced Biblical Scholarship

Discernment. Clarity. Conviction. These are the principles that matter when it comes to academic excellence and biblical fidelity. As cultural darkness seeps into the life of the church and theological degrees become easier to obtain, the Master of Theology program provides the rigor you need to be an apologist for the truth.

Scholar

Specialize in an area of biblical or theological studies, gaining facility in its literature and scholarship.

Exegete

Employ a more refined skill set in Hebrew and Greek translation, exegesis, and interpretation.

Teacher

Implement the skills of communication and effective teaching through pedagogy courses.

Contributor

Show excellence in writing by demonstrating critical thinking, in-depth interaction, and thorough research.

Core Classes and Schedule

View Academic Catalog

The Master of Theology program offers four emphases: Old Testament, New Testament, Theology, and Bible Exposition.

Old Testament Emphasis

Year 1 - Fall Year 1 - Spring Year 2 - Fall Year 2 - Spring
Intro. to Academic Research Philosophy of Pedagogy Practice of Pedagogy Advanced Research Methods
Exegesis of Genesis 1-11 Exegesis of John 2 Seminary of Soteriology Advanced Hebrew Grammar
Seminar in Eschatology Biblical Aramaic Exegesis of Zechariah Theo. German (PhD track) or OT Directed Study (Non-PhD track)
Old Testament Issues Advanced Hebrew Readings Akkadian (PhD track) or Winterim Course (Non-PhD track)

New Testament Emphasis

Year 1 - Fall Year 1 - Spring Year 2 - Fall Year 2 - Spring
Intro. to Academic Research Philosophy of Pedagogy Practice of Pedagogy Advanced Research Methods
Exegesis of Genesis 1-11 Exegesis on John 2 Seminary in Soteriology Exegesis of Luke-Acts
Exegesis of Pastoral Epistles Criticism of Syn. Gospels Seminary in Eschatology Theo. German (PhD Track) or NT Directed Study (Non-PhD track)
NT Textual Criticism* Advanced Greek Grammar Theo. Latin (PhD track) or Winterim Course (Non-PhD track)

Theology Emphasis

Year 1 - Fall Year 1 - Spring Year 2 - Fall Year 2 - Spring
Intro. to Academic Research Philosophy of Pedagogy Practice of Pedagogy Advanced Research Methods
Seminar in Soteriology Exegesis of John 2 Exegesis of Zechariah Seminar in Theology Proper
Seminar in Eschatology Seminar in Dispensational Theology Seminar in Bibliology Theo. German (PhD track) or TH Directed Study (Non-PhD)
Readings in Historical Theology Readings in Systematic Theology Theo. Latin (PhD track) or Winterim Course (Non-PhD track)

Bible Exposition Emphasis

Year 1 - FallYear 1 - SpringYear 2 - FallYear 2 - Spring
Intro. to Academic ResearchPhilosophy of PedagogyPractice of PedagogyAdvanced Research Methods
Seminar in Bibliology*Exegesis of the Pastoral Epistles**Exegesis of Psalm 119*From Text to Exposition: Romans
Readings in Contemporary Hermeneutics*History of Biblical Interpretation, Fathers to ReformHistory of Biblical Interp., Post-Reform to PresentTheo. German* (PhD Track) or TH Directed Study (Non-PhD)
Readings in Contemporary HomileticsHistory of Biblical PreachingTheo. Latin (PhD track) or Winterim Course (Non-PhD track)

What it Takes Complete

2
Years to Complete
28-29
Required Units
4
Modular Sessions

Compare Master of Theology to our other Programs


Master of Theology

Degree Requirements

  1. Master of Divinity (or M.Div-equivalent M.A. of at least 72 credits)
  2. A consistent record of commendable Christian ministry experience

Career Outcomes

Qualification to fulfill a teaching position and pursue doctoral study, such as the PhD

Learning Outcomes

  1. As an advancing scholar, specialize in an area of biblical or theological studies, gaining facility in its literature and scholarship.
  2. As an advancing exegete, employ more refined skills in Hebrew and Greek translation, exegesis, and interpretation.
  3. As an advancing teacher, implement the skills of communication and effective teaching of course content.
  4. As an advancing researcher, demonstrate thoughtfulness, in-depth interaction, thorough research, and excellence in scholarly writing

Doctor of Ministry

Prerequisites

  1. Master of Divinity (or M.Div-equivalent M.A. of at least 72 credits)
  2. 3+ years of commendable pastoral ministry experience

Career Outcomes

Enhanced skills in sermon preparation and public exposition of Scripture

Learning Outcomes

  1. As an experienced biblical expositor, to add further understanding, quality, and depth to the exegetical skill needed in sermon preparation.
  2. As an experienced biblical expositor, to add further understanding, quality, and depth to the sermon content synthesis.
  3. As an experienced biblical expositor, to add further understanding, quality, and depth to the rhetorical eloquence.
  4. As an experienced biblical expositor, to demonstrate enhanced expository preaching skills in a culminating program project.

Master of Theology

Degree Requirements

  1. Master of Divinity (or M.Div-equivalent M.A. of at least 72 credits)
  2. A consistent record of commendable Christian ministry experience

Career Outcomes

Qualification to fulfill a teaching position and pursue doctoral study, such as the PhD

Learning Outcomes

  1. As an advancing scholar, specialize in an area of biblical or theological studies, gaining facility in its literature and scholarship.
  2. As an advancing exegete, employ more refined skills in Hebrew and Greek translation, exegesis, and interpretation.
  3. As an advancing teacher, implement the skills of communication and effective teaching of course content.
  4. As an advancing researcher, demonstrate thoughtfulness, in-depth interaction, thorough research, and excellence in scholarly writing

Master of Divinity

Prerequisites

  1. Bachelor’s Degree
  2. A consistent record of commendable Christian ministry experience.

Career Outcomes

Qualification for pastoral, missionary, and Christian education ministries, as well as further graduate study.

Learning Outcomes

  1. As a future elder, pastor, missionary, or educator, comprehend the significant areas of biblical interpretation, biblical languages, Christian theology and pastoral ministry.
  2. As a future elder/pastor, construct a personal, biblical philosophy of ministry with application to the desired vocational goals.
  3. As a future preacher/teacher of the Scripture, synthesize the input of biblical languages, Bible backgrounds and theological constructs to preach and teach the Bible to varied age levels and abilities within any ministry context.
  4. As a future spiritual leader, exhibit the disciplines of holiness, prayer, leadership, and compassion required for ministry.

Master of Theology

Degree Requirements

  1. Master of Divinity (or M.Div-equivalent M.A. of at least 72 credits)
  2. A consistent record of commendable Christian ministry experience

Career Outcomes

Qualification to fulfill a teaching position and pursue doctoral study, such as the PhD

Learning Outcomes

  1. As an advancing scholar, specialize in an area of biblical or theological studies, gaining facility in its literature and scholarship.
  2. As an advancing exegete, employ more refined skills in Hebrew and Greek translation, exegesis, and interpretation.
  3. As an advancing teacher, implement the skills of communication and effective teaching of course content.
  4. As an advancing researcher, demonstrate thoughtfulness, in-depth interaction, thorough research, and excellence in scholarly writing

Doctor of Philosophy

Prerequisites

  1. Master of Theology
  2. A consistent record of commendable Christian ministry experience

Career Outcomes

Qualification for professorship, writing, and research

Learning Outcomes

  1. As a critical thinker, collect and analyze primary and secondary sources of information, critique interpretations of the evidence, synthesize the evidence for future scholarly contributions to the field of study, and draw and integrate implications for professional practice.
  2. As a theological exegete, apply exegetical skills to the biblical text, develop a theological critique of views related to the text, and connect the issue with its historical precedents.
  3. As a scholarly communicator, engage in quality written papers and oral presentations in colloquia for the purpose of disseminating personal scholarship to peer audiences as well as future readers and hearers of their work

Master of Theology

Degree Requirements

  1. Master of Divinity (or M.Div-equivalent M.A. of at least 72 credits)
  2. A consistent record of commendable Christian ministry experience

Career Outcomes

Qualification to fulfill a teaching position and pursue doctoral study, such as the PhD

Learning Outcomes

  1. As an advancing scholar, specialize in an area of biblical or theological studies, gaining facility in its literature and scholarship.
  2. As an advancing exegete, employ more refined skills in Hebrew and Greek translation, exegesis, and interpretation.
  3. As an advancing teacher, implement the skills of communication and effective teaching of course content.
  4. As an advancing researcher, demonstrate thoughtfulness, in-depth interaction, thorough research, and excellence in scholarly writing

Bachelor of Theology

Prerequisites

  1. A minimum of 30 semester units of undergraduate general education credits, with at least 3 of those credits in math
  2. A consistent record of commendable Christian ministry experience.
  3. Over 25 years old

Career Outcomes

Qualification for pastoral, missionary, and Christian education ministries, as well as further graduate study

Learning Outcomes

  1. As a future elder, pastor, missionary, or educator, comprehend the significant areas of biblical interpretation, biblical languages, Christian theology and pastoral ministry.
  2. As a future elder/pastor, construct a personal, biblical philosophy of ministry with application to the desired vocational goals.
  3. As a future preacher/teacher of the Scripture, synthesize the input of biblical languages, Bible backgrounds and theological constructs to preach and teach the Bible to varied age levels and abilities within any ministry context.
  4. As a future spiritual leader, exhibit the disciplines of holiness, prayer, leadership, and compassion required for ministry.

Master of Theology

Degree Requirements

  1. Master of Divinity (or M.Div-equivalent M.A. of at least 72 credits)
  2. A consistent record of commendable Christian ministry experience

Career Outcomes

Qualification to fulfill a teaching position and pursue doctoral study, such as the PhD

Learning Outcomes

  1. As an advancing scholar, specialize in an area of biblical or theological studies, gaining facility in its literature and scholarship.
  2. As an advancing exegete, employ more refined skills in Hebrew and Greek translation, exegesis, and interpretation.
  3. As an advancing teacher, implement the skills of communication and effective teaching of course content.
  4. As an advancing researcher, demonstrate thoughtfulness, in-depth interaction, thorough research, and excellence in scholarly writing

Diploma of Theology

Prerequisites

  1. o previous degrees required
  2. A consistent record of commendable Christian ministry experience
  3. Over 25 years old

Career Outcomes

Qualification for pastoral, missionary, and Christian education ministries, as well as further graduate study.

Learning Outcomes

  1. As a future elder, pastor, missionary, or educator, comprehend the significant areas of biblical interpretation, biblical languages, Christian theology and pastoral ministry.
  2. As a future elder/pastor, construct a personal, biblical philosophy of ministry with application to the desired vocational goals.
  3. As a future preacher/teacher of the Scripture, synthesize the input of biblical languages, Bible backgrounds and theological constructs to preach and teach the Bible to varied age levels and abilities within any ministry context.
  4. As a future spiritual leader, exhibit the disciplines of holiness, prayer, leadership, and compassion required for ministry.

Master of Theology

Degree Requirements

  1. Master of Divinity (or M.Div-equivalent M.A. of at least 72 credits)
  2. A consistent record of commendable Christian ministry experience

Career Outcomes

Qualification to fulfill a teaching position and pursue doctoral study, such as the PhD

Learning Outcomes

  1. As an advancing scholar, specialize in an area of biblical or theological studies, gaining facility in its literature and scholarship.
  2. As an advancing exegete, employ more refined skills in Hebrew and Greek translation, exegesis, and interpretation.
  3. As an advancing teacher, implement the skills of communication and effective teaching of course content.
  4. As an advancing researcher, demonstrate thoughtfulness, in-depth interaction, thorough research, and excellence in scholarly writing


Master of Theology

Degree Requirements

  1. Master of Divinity (or M.Div-equivalent M.A. of at least 72 credits)
  2. A consistent record of commendable Christian ministry experience

Career Outcomes

Qualification to fulfill a teaching position and pursue doctoral study, such as the PhD

Learning Outcomes

  1. As an advancing scholar, specialize in an area of biblical or theological studies, gaining facility in its literature and scholarship.
  2. As an advancing exegete, employ more refined skills in Hebrew and Greek translation, exegesis, and interpretation.
  3. As an advancing teacher, implement the skills of communication and effective teaching of course content.
  4. As an advancing researcher, demonstrate thoughtfulness, in-depth interaction, thorough research, and excellence in scholarly writing

Frequent Questions

How is the Th.M. curriculum structured?

In the 28-unit, modular Th.M. program, students are given the opportunity to select an Old Testament, New Testament, or theology emphasis.

Exams

There are four major exams pertinent to each discipline, embedded in corresponding courses. The exams serve as Ph.D. qualifying exams.

Capstone Project

Students will produce a thesis-equivalent portfolio under the guidance of a faculty advisor. At 150–200 pages, this capstone project is composed of at least six scholarly papers, which are intended to provide a multifaceted background for those who go on to pursue doctoral studies.

What does the modular format look like?

The Master of Theology’s modular format offers students more flexibility than a residential program. The majority of coursework is done at a distance, but intensive, on-campus courses are held each May and December. Students may take up to 3 modular courses per semester. The expected program length is 2–3 years.

The 18-week fall and spring terms are divided into three segments:

  1. The pre-module period involves 10 weeks of interactive learning facilitated through Canvas—our online learning platform.
  2. In-person courses at the Los Angeles campus are held for 1–3 weeks.
  3. After the in-person courses end, the term allows for an additional 5 weeks of supplemental learning facilitated through Canvas.
How do the Th.M. and Ph.D. programs complement each other?

The Master of Theology is a preparation degree for the Ph.D. program. Qualifying exams for the Ph.D. are incorporated into the Th.M. curriculum so that students are qualified to enter the doctoral program upon successful completion of the Th.M.

The Th.M. program is ideally completed in two-to-three years, and the Ph.D. program is completed in an additional two-to-three years.

The programs are designed as two halves of a whole. The Th.M. is the coursework that prepares students to write their dissertations in the Ph.D. program. During their Ph.D. studies, students will present a series of colloquia and a defense to the faculty.

If I continue with doctoral study at TMS, who will be my faculty advisor?

Students in the doctoral program will have three readers. The first is their advisor, who will be a member of the TMS faculty. The second reader is another faculty member, and the third is an outside reader from another like-minded seminary.

Advisors are assigned based on a student’s emphasis and the faculty’s availability. Upon application to the program, students may request an advisor. On occasion, a faculty member may also request to serve as advisor to a specific student.

Why TMS?

You wouldn’t trust a doctor who didn’t train at a hospital, who had never cared for an actual patient. In the same way, you shouldn’t entrust the care of your soul, or your family’s, to a pastor with no local church experience. You want someone who was trained in the church and trained by pastors.

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