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 graduate study for entrance into the program.[3]


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."[4]

North AmericaEdit

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.[3] The Association of Theological Schools classifies both degrees as "Advanced Programs Oriented Toward Theological Research and Teaching."[4]

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]


  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 "Which Degree? MDiv vs. MA vs. ThM". Seminary Comparison. 25 April 2017. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  4. ^ a b Degree Program Standards (PDF). Association of Theological Schools. 2015. p. 41.
  5. ^ "Doctor of Philosophy". SBTS. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Retrieved 18 January 2018.