The mission of Dallas Theological Seminary is to
glorify God by equipping godly servant-leaders
for the proclamation of His Word and the
building up of the body of Christ worldwide.
The Master of Theology degree is designed to produce competent Bible expositors who are qualified to serve God effectively as pastors, missionaries, or leaders in other areas of vocational Christian ministry.
*Note: This curriculum plan is intended for new students only. Current students should refer to the degree requirements available from the Advising Center.
To enable students to:
To enable students to evidence an increasing likeness to Christ as manifested in love for God, love for others, and the fruit of the Spirit.
Admission requirements and application procedures for the ThM are the same as for all programs of study at the Seminary. There is an eight year time limit on completing the ThM program.
Transfer credit of up to 60 semester hours is allowed toward the ThM degree from accredited graduate theological schools. (See Admissions for more information.) Consult the Registrar’s office for specific information on transfer of credit.
Students entering DTS with a strong background in Bible or theology from an approved Christian university, Bible college, or parachurch ministry may apply for the accelerated ThM program. In place of core courses in the ThM curriculum, accelerated ThM participants take six advanced standing courses (AS101–106). This results in a curricular reduction of the ThM by up to 30 credit hours.
For more information about the accelerated ThM program visit www.dts.edu/advancedstanding.
The prescribed Master of Theology curriculum involves not only extensive preparation in Hebrew, Greek, Bible, and systematic and historical theology, but also preparation in pastoral ministries, Christian education, missions, and ministry leadership. ThM students enroll in Spiritual Formation groups during their first four consecutive fall and spring semesters at either the Dallas campus or the Houston Campus.
Out of the required 120 credit hours in the ThM curriculum, 96 credit hours are predetermined in the curriculum. With the remaining 24 credit hours beyond this core, students are given the flexibility to pursue areas of ministry emphasis and choose electives based on vocational intent and interests.
As part of the 96 core credit hours, all students participate in a 3-hour internship. During the internship, students will complete a portfolio. When students declare their ministry emphasis (no later than at the completion of 60 hours), they should start planning for their internship experience. Students, with an emphasis in the Department of Media Arts and Worship, should consult that department to clarify their apprenticeship requirements.
ThM students are responsible for demonstrating competence in research by satisfactorily completing either (1) a ThM thesis in an academic department of their choosing or (2) a 2-hour research seminar (RS102).
To provide greater opportunity for learning, students may also take up to five courses for credit beyond the 120 hours required for the degree for only a modest fee to cover the cost of materials. Consult the Registrar’s office for more information and limitations on this special program.
Students in the Master of Theology (ThM) program are required to take MinistrySafe's Sexual Abuse Awareness Training.
Because Dallas Seminary values character and spiritual maturity, ThM students are required to register for and participate in Spiritual Formation groups each of their first four consecutive fall and spring semesters at either the Dallas campus or Houston Campus.
In the Spiritual Formation curriculum, small groups of five to seven students focus on identity, community, integrity, and delity. The groups also provide an atmosphere for prayer, fellowship, and the integration of learning with ministry. Students participate with the same group during four consecutive semesters; therefore, they should arrange their schedules so they meet on the same day and at the same time each semester. Spiritual Formation is a noncredit, transcripted experience. For all degrees on which is required, Spiritual Formation and completion of half of the student’s DTS course work are the primary prerequisites for internship eligibility.
The Agape Project is an initiative that gives feet to the seminary’s commitment to the concept Teach Truth. Love Well. The Agape Project provides opportunities to put into practice compassionate ministry in often-overlooked settings. ThM students are required to complete two Agape assignments prior to enrolling in their Internship.
Agape assignments are embedded in courses throughout the curriculum and enhance the learning outcomes of those courses. Some courses require Agape assignments, while other courses offer them as optional. Agape assignments require students to engage in an approved ministry setting in the community for approximately 15 hours over the term of a 3-hour course. A reflection paper will also be written. Assessment for the Agape Project will take place at the beginning of the student’s ThM program and again during the student’s ThM Internship. For more information, contact the Associate Director of the Agape Project.
Of the 120 semester hours of coursework required for graduation, a minimum of 48 must be taken in residence at the Dallas campus or at the Houston Campus. All work leading to the degree must normally be completed within eight years from the time a student begins the program.
Extension beyond the eight years requires approval by the Credits Committee. Reinstatement to the program after withdrawal requires Admissions Committee action and may subject the student to additional requirements for the degree.
Students may be admitted to candidacy by action of the faculty for the Master of Theology degree in the fall or spring semester prior to the semester/ term of degree conferral or the semester prior to their participation in the Commencement ceremony after these requirements have been met: (1) a minimum grade point average of 2.0; (2) satisfactory progress toward meeting ThM Internship requirements, thereby evidencing ability and acceptability in Christian ministry; (3) evidence, to the satisfaction of the faculty, of proven Christian character and adherence to the following doctrines: the authority and inerrancy of Scripture, the Trinity, the full deity and humanity of Christ, the spiritual lostness of the human race, the substitutionary atonement and bodily resurrection of Christ, salvation by faith alone in Christ alone, and the physical return of Christ; (4) provision of a written statement of church involvement from the local church regularly attended while in seminary; and (5) provision of a reference form completed by a pastor or spiritual overseer.
Admission to candidacy is valid for one year. Students who postpone degree conferral beyond one year from original admission to candidacy or who postpone participation in the Commencement ceremony until the following spring will be required to reapply for admission to candidacy.
DTS believes that preparation for ministry takes place both in the classroom and in the field of service. It is vital to link theory and practice. Instead of learning only in the isolation of the classroom, DTS supports learning happening within the community of faith as the student ministers in a ministry context and reflects on that experience. ThM students now have the option of completing either the twelve credit hour Ministry Residency or a three credit hour Servant Leadership Internship.
Ministry Residency Servant Leadership Internship
Candidates for the Master of Theology degree must have completed 120 semester hours of coursework, including ThM Internship credits, with a grade point average of at least 2.0, and must evidence, to the satisfaction of the faculty, ability and acceptability in Christian ministry, proven Christian character, and adherence to the doctrines stated in the Admission to Candidacy section.
Diplomas (or certificates) will not be released, transcripts issued, or placement assistance provided unless all financial obligations to the seminary and/or student loan program are current.
Each student in the Master of Theology program must select a Ministry Emphasis from the following list prior to beginning their INT105 ThM Ministry Formation Internship. In addition to the 96-hour core curriculum (which includes a 3-hour internship that involves the production of a portfolio), students will customize the remaining 24 elective hours with respect to their ministry goals and areas of interest. Regardless of their Ministry Emphasis, students will take at least 9 of their 24 credit hours in the Ministries and Communication division. A faculty coordinator for each emphasis is available to meet with students. The requirements for each emphasis will vary based on student backgrounds and interests, but each department may require certain courses and hours for the emphases supervised by that department. Academic advising for all Ministry Emphases begins in the Student Advising Center in the Walvoord Student Center. Students may request an emphasis through CampusNet.
The Last Year Free scholarship will apply to the final 24 required hours of credit for Master of Theology (ThM) students enrolled in courses during the fall 2016 or spring 2017 semesters.
Dallas Theological Seminary believes our integrated 4-year Master of Theology (ThM) program offers deeper ministry preparation than a standard 3-year MDiv program. DTS is so committed to this model that we are offering every ThM student enrolled as of fall 2016 or spring 2017 free tuition when they reach their final 24 required hours.
DTS has been blessed with the incredible opportunity to offer a very limited number of full-tuition scholarships for incoming ThM students.
Scholarships will be awarded to incoming ThM applicants for the Dallas campus who have demonstrated excellent scholastic achievement, committed Christian service, and ministry potential. The strength of the application and the Admissions Committee's evaluation play a central role in the selection of the award recipients. Applying for the ThM program automatically enters you as applying for the full-ride scholarship as well.
The scholarships will be credited to the student’s account (as a semester-by-semester award) at the time of registration and will be applied toward tuition and fees.
You must apply for admission and be approved prior to being considered for the scholarship, so don't delay! Applicants must have been fully approved by the Admissions Committee by March 15 for consideration. Selection of the award recipients will be made by May 1 for the upcoming Fall semester. (Please note that International Students have separate scholarship opportunities and are not eligible for these specialized scholarships.)
We would be delighted to discuss this opportunity with you, so email Team Admissions or call (800-3-Dallas) anytime!
Note: These curriculum plans are intended for new students only. Current students should refer to the degree requirements available from the Advising Center.
Most classes in Washington, DC are “hybrid” which means they meet on campus for three Saturday-only sessions during a semester and supplement that in-person time with additional online video components. Language classes will follow a strategic sequence.
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