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  Jul 24, 2017
 
 
    
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Academic Catalog 2013-2014 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Theology, Th.M.


Return to: Advanced Degree Programs

The purpose of the Seminary’s Master of Theology degree program is to provide the post-M.Div. student with an opportunity for advanced guided research under the supervision of a faculty member in a special area of theological study. Some students choose this program to enhance their academic qualifications for post-graduate or doctoral studies. Other students choose this program primarily to extend their preparation for ministry in a local church, on the mission field, or in other positions of denominational service. The Th.M. is designed to build leaders through personal mentoring by the faculty and by advanced study.

Each Th.M. student must select a Major Field of study (Biblical Studies, Theological Studies, or Applied Theology). Within the field of Biblical Studies students may specialize in Old Testament or New Testament. Within the field of Theological Studies students may specialize in Theology, Philosophy, Church History, or Christian Ethics. Within the field of Applied Theology students may specialize in Preaching, Evangelism, Missions, or Biblical Counseling. Students should be aware that elective course offerings may be limited with various disciplines.

The Th.M. Program has a regular and a thesis option. Admission requirements and the degree hours are the same for both options; however, the coursework differs. Students should consult with their potential Major Professor and/or the Director of the Th.M. program to determine which option best meets their academic goals.

Admission Requirements

Graduates of accredited colleges, universities, and seminaries who have earned the M.Div. degree or its equivalent may apply for admission to the program of studies leading to the Master of Theology degree.

Admission to this program requires facility with both biblical Greek and Hebrew. Facility is defined as transcript evidence of six hours of coursework of each language at a Master’s degree level with a minimum 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale). Students may request the substitution of an ancillary research language (i.e., German, Aramaic, etc.) for either Greek or Hebrew (but not for both) during the admission process. However, substitutions are rare will only be granted for research specific reasons.

M.Div. graduates from Southeastern will follow a simplified admissions procedure. Information regarding the simplified admission process, as well as simplified application forms, is available in the Admissions Office. Applications from non-Southeastern graduates will follow the steps below. Applications for admission to the Th.M. program should be made at least 60 days prior to matriculation.

Admission to the Th.M. program is based upon the following application elements: 

  1. A completed set of application forms, including the Church Recommendation form, Personal Statement, Spouse’s Personal Statement, Divorce form, Medical History, Immunization Record, and Th.M. Application form (and application fee). Applicants must also sign a copy of the “Southeastern Covenant.”
  2. A transcript showing the satisfactory completion of the Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent, with a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) for all Master’s level work is required for admission into the Th.M. program.
  3. Official transcripts are required from all graduate and undergraduate studies. Note that Southeastern students should already have these transcripts on file.
  4. Transcript or other evidence of satisfactory completion of all language requirements as described above.
  5. Five references (non-family): 1 pastor; 2 personal character references; 2 academic (at least one from the field of desired specialization, but not from a prospective Major Professor).
  6. A graded research paper from the M.Div. program or an equivalent demonstration of research skills and scholarly writing ability is required.
  7. Students for whom English is a second language should have a minimum TOEFL score of 100 (for the internet-based TOEFL) or 600 (for the paper based TOEFL). TOEFL scores must be less than 24 months old to be considered valid by the Seminary.
  8. Applicants must complete a Major Professor Request Form in which they designate a possible Major Professor and summarize their interest in the field concentration and their scholarly preparation for their desired specialization. Applicants may be approved only if there is a Major Professor available who agrees to work with the student in the desired discipline of major concentration. Applicants are required to meet with the desired Major Professor, in person, by phone, or other means, in order to discuss the student’s academic interests and planned course of study before completing the Major Professor Request Form.

The applicant must waive all rights to privileged knowledge of the decision making process leading toward admission. All references and other evaluative documents will be confidential. The decision of the Admissions Office regarding a student’s application to the Th.M. program, acting officially on behalf of the faculty, should be considered as final. However, an applicant who fails to be admitted may re-apply with the same application materials for the following year. A third application requires a complete update of all application materials.

Master of Theology


Degree Requirements


The Master of Theology degree is awarded based upon the satisfactory fulfillment of the following requirements. All Th.M. students should consult with their Major Professor to determine the appropriate classes and course sequence that will enable timely graduation. Note that Th.M. students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in order to graduate from the program.

  1. IND 8500 Bibliographical Research
    Ideally, candidates should complete IND 8500 Bibliographical Research in the first two months after admission.
  2. Concentration Electives
    Candidates take six hours of masters-level course work or Ph.D. seminars in their major field concentration.
  3. Free Electives
    Students are to take six elective hours of master’s level courses or Ph.D. seminars.
  4. IND 8580 & IND 8581 Guided Reading I & II
    Candidates work with their Major Professor to complete IND 8580 and IND 8581 Th.M. Guided Reading I & II. Guided Reading is designed to be completed prior to enrollment for Guided Research.
  5. IND 8582 Guided Research
    Students in the Th.M. program must complete an acceptable Guided Research project under the supervision of their Major Professor. The title, outline, and research methodology must be approved by the Major Professor at least by the beginning of the final semester prior to graduation, and the student’s final draft must be delivered to the professor no later than 45 days prior to graduation (see the Seminary Academic Calendar for official due dates). This research project is to be 40-60 pages in length and must follow Seminary standards in format and style, which is the most current edition of Kate L. Turabian, et al., A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations.

Th.M. Summary


Upper-Level M.Div. Courses or Ph.D. Seminars - 12 Hours


  • Concentration Electives 6 semester hrs.
  • Free Electives 6 semester hrs.

Advanced-Level Requirements - 12 Hours


  • IND 8500 - Bibliographical Research 3 semester hrs.
  • IND 8580 - Th.M. Guided Reading I 3 semester hrs.
  • IND 8581 - Th.M. Guided Reading II 3 semester hrs.
  • IND 8582 - Th.M. Guided Research 3 semester hrs.

Total Hours - 24 *


Up to 12 credit hours in Ph.D. seminars taken as part of the Th.M. degree may be transferable into the Southeastern Ph.D. program. Please contact the Office of Ph.D. Studies for further information.

*Students who fail to complete IND 7580  Th.M. Guided Research in one semester (or students who do not wish to enroll in an academic course in a given semester) must enroll in IND 8000 Th.M. Continuous Enrollment, which is 3 credit hours. Credit hours for IND 8000 Th.M. Continuous Enrollment are not counted toward graduation.

Master of Theology (with Thesis)


Degree Requirements


The Master of Theology (with Thesis) degree is awarded based upon the satisfactory fulfillment of the following requirements:

  1. IND 8500 Bibliographical Research
    Ideally, candidates should complete IND 8500 Bibliographical Research in the first two months after admission.
  2. Courses and Seminars
    A candidate must complete 12 semester hours of study in upper-level M. Div. courses and/or doctoral seminars. At least six semester hours must be taken in Ph.D. seminars. Additionally, students must complete at least 9 of their 12 course and seminar hours in their field concentration. Th.M. students may not take more than nine semester hours in a single semester and no seminars may be taken prior to satisfactory completion of IND8500 Bibliographical Research. The Director of the Th.M. program may grant exceptions to these rules upon the request of the Major Professor.
  3. Thesis
    The candidate must prepare a thesis on an approved subject within the major field concentration, following the most current edition of Kate L. Turabian, et al., A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. A full prospectus, including a proposed subject and a plan of research for the thesis, must receive initial approval by the Major Professor. After initial approval the Major Professor will submit the prospectus to the Th.M. Office, and it will then be given to the second reader. The prospectus will then be returned to the student for corrections. The Director of the Th.M. program, together with the Major Professor and the second reader, will form the prospectus approval committee. Once the prospectus has received final approval, the student may commence work on the Thesis under the supervision of the Major Professor.
  4. Deadlines
    At least 45 days before the candidate expects to receive the degree three “final draft” copies of the Th.M. thesis must be submitted to the candidate’s Major Professor who will then submit two of these copies to Th.M. Office. The thesis will then be read and evaluated by the Major Professor and two other faculty readers. Following an oral examination, 4 copies, in final form, must be delivered to the library 15 days prior to graduation for binding. These deadlines are final; thus, failure to meet deadlines may delay a student’s graduation from the Th.M. program. Please consult the seminary academic calendar for official dates and deadlines.
  5. Oral Examination
    Upon completion of the thesis, the candidate’s work will be evaluated by an examining committee composed of the Major Professor and the two faculty readers. Normally these will be professors within the candidate’s major field or with whom the candidate has studied in the Th.M. program. In this exam, the candidate will be expected to defend the thesis and to demonstrate academic competence in the area of specialization. Final approval will be determined by a majority of the committee.

 

Th.M. (with Thesis) Summary


Th.M. Courses - 15 Hours


  • IND 8500 - Bibliographical Research 3 semester hrs.
  • Ph.D. Seminars 6 semester hrs.
  • Upper-level M.Div. Courses or Ph.D. Seminars 6 semester hrs.

Th.M. Thesis - 9 Hours


  • IND 8590 - Th.M. Thesis 9 semester hrs.

Total Hours - 24*


Up to 12 credit hours in Ph.D. seminars taken as part of the Th.M. degree may be transferable into the Southeastern Ph.D. program. Please contact the Office of Ph.D. Studies for further information.

*Students who fail to complete IND 8590 Th.M. Thesis in one semester (or students who do not wish to enroll in an academic course in a given semester) must enroll in IND 7000  Th.M. Continuous Enrollment, which is 3 credit hours. Credit hours for IND 7000  Th.M. Continuous Enrollment are not counted toward graduation.

Note on Continuous Enrollment


Candidates for the Th.M. degree are required to maintain continuous, full-time enrollment until the degree is completed. Fees will be charged each fall and spring semester, including those semesters during which the Guided Research takes place. Continuous Enrollment is maintained by enrolling for at least one three-hour (3) component of the Th.M. program each fall and spring semester, including during the research stage of the program. Students who fail to complete their research after one semester of enrollment in IND 8582 Th.M. Guided Research, IND 8590 Th.M. Thesis, or students who do not wish to enroll in an academic course in a given semester, can maintain continuous enrollment by enrolling in, and paying for, IND 8000  Th.M. Continuous Enrollment.

Missionaries under full-time career appointment by the Southern Baptist International Mission Board, as well as active duty, deployed military personnel, may receive special consideration regarding the continuous enrollment policy. Students who are appointed by the IMB will need to send an approved copy of the letter of confirmation from the IMB to the Th.M. Office in order to request an exemption from this policy. Deployed military personnel should consult with the Th.M. Office regarding continuous enrollment waivers.

Return to: Advanced Degree Programs