The Master of Theology (ThM) degree goes beyond the standard MDiv to produce Bible expositors who are qualified to serve God effectively as pastors, missionaries, or leaders in other areas of vocational Christian ministry.
The DTS Master of Theology (ThM) offers a unique 4-year curriculum that takes ministry training of a traditional 3-year MDiv and infuses it with additional depth in Greek, Hebrew, and your chosen area of study.
The Master of Theology (ThM) program is composed of 120 credit hours, 91 of which are predetermined in the curriculum, with the remaining 29 credit hours devoted to a ministry emphasis based on vocational intent and interests.
BE5101 Bible Study Methods and Hermeneutics
BE5102 Old Testament History I
BE5103 Old Testament History II & Poetry
BE5104 Old Testament Prophets
BE5105 The Gospels
BE5106 Acts & Pauline Epistles
BE5107 Hebrews, General Epistles, and Revelation
NT5110 New Testament Introduction
HT5101 The Church to the Modern Era
HT5102 Church in the Modern Era: Europe and America
ST5101 Theological Method and Bibliology
ST5103 Angelology, Anthropology, and Hamartiology
ST5105 Sanctification and Ecclesiology
NT5101 Elements of Greek
NT5102 Elements of Greek
NT5103 Intermediate Greek
NT5104 Introduction to New Testament Exegesis
NT5105 Exegesis of Romans
OT5101 Elements of Hebrew I
OT5102 Elements of Hebrew II
OT5103 Hebrew Exegesis and Old Testament Introduction I
OT5104 Hebrew Exegesis and Old Testament Introduction II
Ministry and Communication
BC5101 Pastoral Counseling
EML5101 Introduction to Educational Ministries and Leadership
PM5101 Christian Life and Witness
PM5103 Expository Preaching I
PM5104 Expository Preaching II
PM5110 Capstone Preaching
RS5101 Orientation and Research Methods
WM5101 Introduction to World Missions
General and Emphasis Courses
Electives – 24 Credits
INT5130 ThM Ministry Formation Internship
RS5102 Senior Research Seminar
SF5100 Spiritual Formation
See the many ways students are prepared for a lifetime of fruitful ministry
Last Year Free
All ThM students who begin on or before Summer 2021 will receive full tuition for the final 24 required hours of their program.
Logos Bible Software
Every student at DTS receives a copy of Logos Bible Software customized with additional commentaries and resources, and DTS courses integrate Logos into assignments and learning.
Through our donors and Foundation, we are able to offer hundreds of scholarships to students every year.
Stories from our Community
God has allowed our ThM graduates to serve all over the world as pastors, missionaries, teachers, and leaders. Here are some of their stories:
Children’s Clothing Company Making a Difference
Pastor, teacher, author, speaker, and DTS Doctoral Grad, Dr. Tony Evans
Dr. Daniel Wallace Digitizes Ancient Manuscripts
Details about the program
Match your classes to your calling
The ThM allows students to choose a custom emphasis that aligns with their gifting and future ministry goals. The emphasis includes an internship and a research project and includes coursework chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor. You can choose from the emphases below or choose General Studies and craft electives around your goals.
This 12-hour emphasis is designed to equip students for the teaching ministry in a variety of educational contexts, including grade schools, institutions of higher education, and other formal and non-formal educational institutions. Elements of foundational education training, which include the exploration of learning theory, the practice of curriculum and course design and the investigation of prominent educational models, are combined with courses related to the students’ interests to equip them for leadership in a variety of educational environments. (Note: Most college, universities, and seminaries require an earned doctorate in the teaching discipline. Most seminaries and graduate schools also require an MDiv degree or, in some cases, the ThM/STM degree for admission to doctoral programs).
This emphasis is designed to enhance ministry by focusing on acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary for defending Christianity against its various opponents. In so doing, it equips students to respond effectively to intellectual challenges to their faith in a variety of ministerial settings. Courses in this emphasis will be selected in consultation with the department of theological studies.
This emphasis is designed to enhance ministry by concentrating on the geographical, cultural, and archaeological background to the Scriptures and the contribution such make to a proper understanding and application of the Bible.
This emphasis is designed to equip students for the task of Bible translation. Most courses in this emphasis are offered by the Dallas International University (DIU). DIU is located at the International Linguistic Center in south Dallas and is associated with Wycliffe Bible Translators. Because of the unique nature of the Bible translation ministry and the needs of translators on the field, 18 semester hours of courses are required to complete the Bible Translation emphasis.
This emphasis is designed to enhance ministry by focusing on the development of a biblical theology. Biblical theology is that exegetical and synthetic study of a biblical text, texts, or section of the Bible that seeks to determine the theological meaning of that portion as it was written and then to explain what that theology means for today.
This 15-hour emphasis seeks to develop skill in the teaching role of educators at the K–12 and higher education levels. This will be accomplished with selective, but advanced exploration of learning theory, designing course syllabi and other materials, and investigating several prominent Christian school models. Skills will be further developed and honed through modular courses that build on previous study with a view to simulated practice and laboratory experience.
This emphasis is designed to enhance ministry with people affected by disability through theological, biblical, and practical understanding. The study equips the student to constructively engage the issues and implications of ministering with persons affected by disability.
This emphasis is designed to equip students for ministry in schools or other educational institutions. Elements of foundational education training are combined with courses related to the student’s ability to equip students for leadership in an educational institution at the elementary, secondary, or higher level.
This 12-hour emphasis is designed to equip students for educational ministry and leadership in a local church or parachurch ministry organization. It includes training in foundational education and courses related to the student’s ability to design, direct, supervise, and evaluate various aspects of a ministry program.
Evangelism and Discipleship
This 12-hour emphasis is designed to equip students to do the work of evangelism and to develop disciples. It combines advanced courses taught in Bible Exposition, Theological Studies, Pastoral Ministries, Christian Education, and World Missions and Intercultural Studies departments.
Exposition of Biblical Books
This 9-hour emphasis is designed to enhance ministry by concentrating on developing expositional skills (understanding and application) by studying specific biblical books.
This option is designed to provide a more generalized ministry preparation course of study for students whose ministry goals are less settled, who want to incorporate elements from multiple courses in various departments, or whose specialized ministry goals are not addressed by the above ministry emphases. Courses and the internship in this emphasis will be selected in consultation with the faculty advisor based on the student’s unique ministry experience and goals. Students considering this emphasis should consult with the faculty advisor before taking electives
Hebrew & Cognate Studies
This 9-hour emphasis broadens skills necessary for advanced work in Hebrew exegesis through introduction to cognate Semitic languages, further development of Hebrew reading ability, and an emphasis on research methods.
This 9-hour emphasis is designed to enhance ministry by helping students to advance in their understanding and practice of a proper approach to the application of Scripture.
This 9-hour emphasis is designed to enhance ministry by focusing on the development of the Christian faith through historical study of its classic sources. This study equips the student to communicate faithfully the teachings of Scripture in continuity with historic orthodoxy in various ministerial settings.
This 9-hour emphasis, designed to prepare students for pastoral ministry that is centered on biblical exposition, helps students develop their personal preaching styles across multiple biblical genres. Courses in this emphasis will be selected in consultation with the Department of Pastoral Ministries.
This 13-hour emphasis is designed to equip students for evangelistic, church planting, discipleship, and educational ministries in intercultural situations in North America and abroad. It provides training in cultural adaptation, effective mission strategies, religious and cultural contexts, and leadership development. Students may consult with WMIS department professors to construct the most appropriate courses for the ministry context they anticipate.
This 9-hour emphasis is designed to enhance the student’s ability to provide organizational leadership in a variety of ministry settings by offering additional training in areas such as leadership dynamics, change and resistance in leadership, personal and organizational leadership development, and team leadership.
Media Arts and Worship
This 12-hour emphasis is designed to equip students to serve the Lord in media arts related positions as worship pastors, artists, writers, musicians, directors, and producers in a variety of vocational contexts. Students with an emphasis in the Department of Media Arts and Worship must complete MW102 Media Arts Apprenticeship in place of the ThM Ministry Formation Internship. Courses in this emphasis will be selected in consultation with the Department of Media Arts and Worship.
Ministry in Multi-Ethnic Communities
This 9-hour emphasis deals with selected topics related to multi-ethnic communities, whether in city centers, suburbs, or rural areas. It provides an opportunity for students to focus on leadership development, ethical responsibility, and scripturally-based ministry in diverse communities.
Ministry with Women
This 15-hour emphasis is designed to equip women to understand women as an audience and learners and how to teach, lead, mentor, shepherd, and care for women in a variety of contexts. The Ministry with Women emphasis falls under the oversight of the Department of Educational Ministries and Leadership.
New Testament Studies
This 12-hour emphasis is designed to prepare students to serve the body of Christ in a variety of church, parachurch, or academic ministries through additional studies in exegesis and other New Testament disciplines, such as textual criticism, lexical, historical, and literary analysis, use of interpretive tools, exegetical problem-solving, New Testament introduction, grammar, and syntax.
Old Testament Studies
This 9-hour emphasis is designed to enhance ministry by refining skills for Bible interpretation and exposition. It focuses on interpreting the Hebrew text, use of the Old Testament in the New Testament, theological and spiritual formation, and engaging contemporary culture.
Pastoral Care and Counseling
This 9-hour emphasis is designed to equip students for effective Christian counseling in a nonprofessional environment. Individuals interested in exploring nuances of pastoral counseling, pastoral care, and marriage and family ministry will be served well by this area of emphasis.
Pastoral Theology and Practice
This emphasis, designed to equip students for the multiple challenges of pastoral ministry in the local church, provides students with pastoral theology and a broad exposure to diverse pastoral skills. Courses in this emphasis will be selected in consultation with the Department of Pastoral Ministries.
This 9-hour emphasis focuses on developing and articulating a distinctively Christian philosophy. In so doing, it equips students to engage constructively the broader philosophical milieu in which they find themselves and to use philosophical reflection to serve Christ and His church.
This 9-hour emphasis is designed to enhance the student’s ability to guide others in spiritual formation in a variety of ministry settings by offering additional training in areas such as spiritual formation in historical perspective, spiritual formation in contemporary culture, and the practice of the spiritual disciplines.
This 9-hour emphasis is designed to enhance ministry by focusing on articulating the evangelical Christian faith through systematic study of its sources. This study equips the student to constructively engage the issues and implications of theology in various ministerial settings.
This 9-hour emphasis deals with particular issues arising from urban, culturally diverse ministry. It provides an opportunity for students to focus either on a single ethnic community or multi-ethnic, socioeconomically diverse context.
To enable students to:
- verbalize a general knowledge of the Bible, including a synthetic understanding of the major books
- evidence an understanding of the historical development of theology, a knowledge of premillennial theology, and an ability to support their theological views and apply them to contemporary issues
- demonstrate ability to exegete the Hebrew and Greek texts of the Bible
- evidence an understanding of the educational program of the local church and an awareness of the worldwide mission of the church
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.
To enable students to:
- communicate the Bible effectively
- demonstrate skills in various ministries
- lead a local church or other group by means of biblical exposition, leadership skills, evangelism, and service
Transfer and Accelerated Options
Transfer of Credit
Transfer credit of up to 60 semester hours is allowed toward the ThM degree from accredited graduate theological schools. Consult the Registrar’s office for specific information on transfer of credit.
Accelerated ThM (Up to 1 Year Off)
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 on the Dallas Campus. In place of core courses in the ThM curriculum, accelerated ThM participants take six advanced standing courses (AS5101–5106). This results in a curricular reduction of the ThM by up to 30 credit hours.