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Advising Center

Master of Theology (ThM) Advising

The Advising Center wants to help you make informed decisions as you progress toward graduation. ThM students often ask three questions:

1. How do I qualify for the Last Year Free (LYF) ThM scholarship?

Students who are in the ThM during the Fall 2016 or Spring 2017 semesters who meet the following criteria are eligible to receive the Last Year Free scholarship as they complete their final 24 credit hours:

  • In good standing with DTS
  • GPA is 2.5 or higher
  • Must take at least 6 on campus required credit hours at Dallas or Houston each session in which LYF scholarship is received (exception: final session)

In order to utilize the scholarship, students must submit the normal financial aid application via campus net for the semester in which they would like to scholarship to apply. The scholarship covers tuition only for courses required (including electives) for the degree program when they are taken on campus during the final 24 credit hours (hours 97-120) of the student's program. The only non-residential courses covered by LYF are the internship, thesis, and RS102. For more detailed information, please visit our LYF page.

2. How do I choose a ministry emphasis?

Select an emphasis that aligns best with your own gifts and ministry goals. A detailed list of emphases and their breakdown by credit hour can be found to the right.

Key Questions

  • How does the stated purpose of this emphasis strengthen my gifts and shore up my weaknesses?
  • What skills or concepts do I want to gain or master as a result of my study?
  • Do the internship requirements contribute to my ministry direction?
  • If I complete the required artifacts will they represent me well to future employers?

Formal Process

You can select an emphasis on your Student CampusNet page. From General Information, select Forms and Information and choose the ThM Emphasis Request Form.

A faculty advisor and an academic advisor will evaluate your request. They may want to meet with you. You may simply receive an email from the Advising Center reminding you of the requirements and inviting you for a response.

3. Should I write a thesis or take RS102?

All ThM students must complete an integrative research project:


A thesis is a two or three credit hour independent research paper on an approved topic under the supervision of two faculty advisors. Students are allowed three semesters to complete a thesis, and may apply to begin a thesis during fall, spring, or summer semesters. The ThM thesis must be related to a student’s emphasis.


RS102 is a one-semester, two-credit course which provides opportunity and guidance for the writing of a summative research paper on a topic connected with your ThM emphasis. RS102 is only offered during spring semesters at the Dallas or Houston campuses.

All students are encouraged to carefully evaluate which option will best prepare them for their planned ministry contexts. Some doctoral programs require a substantial thesis project for admittance while others request shorter RS102 length writing samples.

Please see the Thesis vs. RS102 handout to the right for more detailed information.

4. How can I meet the 48-hour residency requirement?

48 credit hours of the ThM degree must be completed at the Dallas or Houston campuses. See your residency requirement for more information regarding residency. DTS currently offers three options for completing the 48-hour residency requirement:

  1. Live in Dallas or Houston for the duration or the majority of the degree.
  2. Take courses in Dallas every summer for 7 years (10 weeks for 3 summers).
  3. Spend 15 months in Dallas. See Residency Schedule for details.

ThM Timeline

0 – 30 hours into the program
31 – 60 hours
61 – 90 hours
91 – 120 hours
Schedule an Advising Session ThM Degree Worksheet Pre/Co-Requisite Info ThM Emphases Thesis or RS102?Create Your Schedule


Department Information

Walvoord - 1st Fl
M--F: 8:00am-4:30pm