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Master of Theology (ThM)

The Master of Theology 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.

Overview

An unique degree for a lifetime of 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.

Customizable Emphasis

Choose from over 20+ emphases or create your own with electives and a final project crafted to build upon God’s calling on your life.

All 66 Books

Many seminaries only offer survey courses, but DTS’s curriculum immerses you in the entire biblical story.

Rich Community

At all of our campuses, our courses are designed to bring students into community with fellow students and godly mentors and professors who bring ministry experience and academic rigor.

Earn 12 hours in ministry

You can earn credit in your current role as you hone your skills on the job through the Ministry Residency program.

Curriculum

Go deeper

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.

120 Hours
BE
ST
L
MC
GEC
earn up to
12
hours in ministry
complete up to
67
hours online
Degree Available:
Dallas
Houston
DC
Ext Sites
Biblical Exposition 21
BE101 Bible Study Methods and Hermeneutics 3
BE102 Old Testament History I 3
BE103 OT History II & Poetry 2
BE104 OT Prophets 3
BE105 The Gospels 2
BE106 Acts & Pauline Epistles 3
BE107 Hebrews, General Epistles, & Revelation 3
NT113 New Testament Introduction 2
Systematic Theology 24
HT101 The Church to the Modern Era 3
HT102 Church in the Modern Era: Europe and America 3
ST101 Theological Method and Bibliology 3
ST102 Trinitarianism 3
ST103 Angelology, Anthropology, and Hamartiology 3
ST104 Soteriology 3
ST105 Sanctification and Ecclesiology 3
ST106 Eschatology 3
Languages 27
NT101 Elements of Greek 3
NT102 Elements of Greek 3
NT103 Intermediate Greek 3
NT104 Introduction to New Testament Exegesis 3
NT105 Exegesis of Romans 3
OT101 Elements of Hebrew I 3
OT102 Elements of Hebrew II 3
OT103 Hebrew Exegesis and Old Testament Introduction I 3
OT104 Hebrew Exegesis and Old Testament Introduction II 3
Ministries & Communication 19
BC101 Pastoral Counseling 2
EML101 Introduction to Educational Ministries and Leadership 3
PM103 Expository Preaching I 3
PM104 Expository Preaching II 3
PM105 Christian Life and Witness 3
PM292 Capstone Preaching 1
RS101 Orientation and Research Methods 1
WM101 Introduction to World Missions 3
General & Emphasis Courses 29
Elective 24
INT105 ThM Ministry Formation Internship 3
RS102 Senior Research Seminar 2
SF100 Spiritual Formation 0
Details

Program Goals

Educational Goals

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.

Spiritual Goals

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.

Ministry Goals

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 (AS101–106). This results in a curricular reduction of the ThM by up to 30 credit hours.

Stories

Men and Women using their ThM

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
Nika Spaulding Scripts Women’s Bible Study Curriculum
Pastor, teacher, author, speaker, and DTS Doctoral Grad, Dr. Tony Evans
Cornerstone University President Joe Stowell Guides Students
Christ Centered to The Core
Dr. Daniel Wallace Digitizes Ancient Manuscripts
Emphases

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.

Apologetics
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.
Bible Backgrounds
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.
Bible Translation
This emphasis is designed to equip students for the task of Bible translation. Most courses in this emphasis are offered by the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics (GIAL). GIAL 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.
Biblical Theology
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.
College Teaching
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.
Disability Ministry
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.
Educational Administration
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.
Educational Ministries
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.
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.
Hermeneutics
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.
Historical Theology
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.
Homiletics
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.
Intercultural 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.
Leadership Studies
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 artsrelated 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 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 & 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 & 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.
Philosophy
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.
Spiritual Formation
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
Systematic Theology
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.
Urban Ministries
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.
General Studies
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
Finances

Graduate from Seminary Debt-free

More than 90% of DTS students graduate without taking on additional debt. This is possible due to the generosity of our donors who make over 4 million dollars in scholarship available each year.

Last Year Free

All ThM students who begin on or before Summer 2019 will receive full tuition for the final 24 required hours of their program.

Full Ride

DTS offers a limited number of full ride scholarships to qualified men and women entering the ThM program.

Scholarship List

Through our donors and Foundation, we are able to offer 100s of scholarships to students every year. See the full list of scholarships.

Financial Aid Calculator

Visit our tool to calculate your costs and see how affordable seminary can be with scholarships, church support, and payment options.

Doctrine

What we believe

DTS faculty affirm our full doctrinal statement every year, while our diverse community of students are centered around these seven core doctrines of evangelical faith.

Bible
the authority and inerrancy of Scripture
Trinity
the Trinity
Hypostatic Union
Christ’s full deity and humanity
Gavel
the spiritual lostness of the human race
Resurrection
Christ’s substitutionary atonement and bodily resurrection
Salvation
salvation by faith alone in Christ alone
Return of Christ
the physical return of Christ
Admissions

How to get started

The deadline for fall applications as July 1, for spring is November 1, and for summer is April 1.

Application Steps

Start

1. Submit Application

Begin your online application today. It should take about 2 hours.

transcripts

2. Send Transcripts and References

Collect college transcripts and references from church and others.

Committee

3. Committee Evaluation

DTS will review your application and respond within 2-3 weeks.

Register

4. Register for courses

When you receive your acceptance letter, you can plan your first classes.

Admissions Criteria

Faith

You show evidence of saving faith in Jesus Christ in your application testimony, and you adhere to the 7 core doctrines.

Character

Your references speak to your character and dependence on the Holy Spirit for life and work.

Gifting

You are endowed with appropriate spiritual gifts and involved in Christian ministry.

Academics

Previous education has prepared you for graduate theological education.

Information

We’d love to send you more information

This form will enable us to email you with details about your campus and degree program and followup with additional information customized to your goals.

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