ThM in Theology

Before You Apply

The Master of Theology (ThM) degree is designed to enable qualified graduates in theology to broaden and deepen their theological knowledge and competencies beyond the Master of Divinity (MDiv) level.

This goal is achieved by providing an opportunity to take a limited number of courses in areas not previously taken, and also to pursue studies at an advanced level in a field of specialization in one of the following areas:

  • Christian Ethics
  • Church History/Historical Theology
  • New Testament
  • Old Testament
  • Philosophy of Religion/Philosophical Theology
  • Practical Theology
  • Theology (Systematic Theology)
  • Theology and Culture

The ThM degree is designed as a self-contained terminal degree and may be viewed as a complement to the DMin degree. Whereas the DMin program focuses on competence in the practice of ministry (church growth, counseling, preaching, management, etc.), the ThM degree provides an opportunity for pastors and others to pursue advanced study in theological disciplines.

Graduates from the ThM program should evidence:

  • a substantive understanding of their theological discipline appropriate for advanced academic study in the service of the church, and
  • the capacity to formulate research questions and to use research methods and resources appropriate to the discipline, with a focus on scholarship for research and publication.

 Prerequisites for the ThM:

  • Applicants must have an MDiv or equivalent, or an MA similar to Fuller’s MA in Theology with a Biblical studies emphasis, from an institution accredited by the Association of Theological Schools, with an overall GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Applicants must demonstrate competency in at least one biblical language to the level required by Fuller’s MDiv.
  • Applicants must have taken the Graduate Record Examination within five years preceding the date of application. Minimum entrance requirements are a verbal score of 600 and a writing score of 5.0.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must provide an official record of scores earned on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Only test scores earned within two years preceding the submission date of the applicant's current application are acceptable. TOEFL overall scores of at least 100 (Internet-based) or 600 (paper), or IELTS overall scores of 7.0 meet the minimum English language entrance requirements.
  • Admission is determined in part on the basis of the applicant’s submission of a major writing sample, ca. 7000-10,000 words, completed within three years of the time of making application, in the field of proposed study. This essay will be evaluated in terms of clarity of its thesis, ability to sustain an argument, critical engagement with pertinent primary and secondary sources, and professional presentation.
  • Certain concentrations may have additional requirements.
  • Applications and all required documentation must be received by Fuller’s Office of Admissions by January 2.

Academic Information

The ThM degree is awarded upon successful completion of the following: 

  • 48 quarter units of coursework
  • ThM thesis
With careful planning, the coursework may be completed in one calendar year of full-time study or its equivalent. The thesis is designed to demonstrate the student’s competence in his or her area of concentration by dealing with a specific topic in away comparable to a paper published in a professional journal. Available concentrations include Old Testament, New Testament, church history, historical theology, theology, Christian ethics, philosophy of religion, philosophical theology, practical theology,theology and culture, and worship and culture. Competency in at least one biblical language (or, depending on the concentration chosen, two languages) to the level required by the Fuller MDiv degree is also required. Students who do not enter the programwith this requirement completed may take biblical language courses as part of their ThM course work.