Master of Theology

Master of Theology (Latin: Theologiae Magister, abbreviated MTh, ThM, or MTheol[1]) is a post-graduate degree offered by universities, divinity schools, and seminaries.[2] It can serve as a transition degree for entrance into a PhD program or as a stand-alone terminal degree depending on ones particular educational background and institution of study. In North America, the ThM typically requires at least 2–3 years of prerequisite graduate study for entrance into the program, typically a Master of Divinity or equivalent.


The Master of Theology often includes one or two years of specialized advanced and/or doctoral level studies in theological research (i.e. counseling, church history, systematic theology, etc.). Depending on the institution, it may or may not require comprehensive examinations and a research thesis, but is required to produce "learning outcomes that demonstrate advanced competency in one area or discipline of theological study and capacity to conduct original research in that area."[3]

North America[edit]

In North America, the Association of Theological Schools requires a Master of Theology, or the equivalent Master of Sacred Theology, to be the minimum educational credential for teaching theological subjects in its accredited seminaries and graduate schools.[4] The Association of Theological Schools classifies both degrees as "Advanced Programs Oriented Toward Theological Research and Teaching."[3]

The Master of Theology often functions as a terminal level degree, dependent upon one's particular educational route or institution of study. Some institutions award a Master of Theology en route to a Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Theology.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Master of Theology (MTheol), Qualifications". University of Otago. 5 May 2019.
  2. ^ "Approved Degrees". Association of Theological Schools. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  3. ^ a b Degree Program Standards (PDF). Association of Theological Schools. 2015. p. 41.
  4. ^ "Which Degree? MDiv vs. MA vs. ThM". Seminary Comparison. 25 April 2017. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  5. ^ "Doctor of Philosophy". SBTS. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Retrieved 18 January 2018.