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ThM in Theology

School of Theology, Center for Advanced Theological Studies

The ThM prepares graduates for vocations as leaders in ecclesial and paraecclesial institutions and organizations devoted to serving the church in the world.

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Marianne Meye Thompson

Faculty and Concentrations

Center for Advanced Theological Studies (CATS) ThM students declare a major concentration in one of the following areas: New Testament, Old Testament, and Theological Studies. “Theological Studies” is defined integratively, with students working in Christian ethics, church history and historical theology, liturgical theology, public theology, political theology, practical theology, systematic theology, and theology and culture.

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Residential and Hybrid Study

Students studying in the Theological Studies concentration may complete their work either in residence on Fuller Seminary’s Pasadena campus or in a hybrid format.

For the ThM in Theology (Theological Studies concentration), hybrid coursework is expected in at least one term and in as many as two terms. Each hybrid course requires participation in a five-day seminar involving face-to-face instruction; these seminars are later completed through distance-learning. Additional coursework for the program is completed through synchronous and asynchronous seminars and courses.

ThM coursework for the New Testament concentration and the Old Testament concentration is not available in a hybrid format, and must be completed in residence on Fuller Seminary’s Pasadena campus.

Veli Matti Karakainen

Before You Apply

The ThM degree enables qualified graduates in theology to broaden and deepen their theological knowledge and competencies beyond the MDiv level. The ThM prepares graduates for vocations as leaders in ecclesial and paraecclesial institutions and organizations devoted to serving the church in the world. Although completion of the ThM may serve some graduates in their preparation for further graduate studies, this degree is designed as a self-contained terminal degree.

Graduates from the ThM program should evidence:

  • A substantive understanding of the discipline of their field of theological study appropriate for advanced academic study in the service of the church
  • The capacity to formulate research questions and to use research methods and resources appropriate to the discipline, with a focus on scholarship that advances theological understanding in the service of the global church
  • Capacities for the cultivation of theologically reflective practices of Christian discipleship
  • Hospitality toward diverse theological approaches and positions––traditional and emerging––characteristic of the church catholic
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Applying for Admission

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Applicants must have a first theological master’s degree with a foundation in biblical languages (either an MDiv or Fuller’s MA in Theology, or its equivalent, from an ATS-accredited school), and a cumulative graduate grade point average of 3.5 or above. Applicants wishing to have their transcripts assessed concerning this requirement should contact the Office of Admissions for details.

To be considered for admission, applicants must submit an online application, essay responses, writing sample, three academic references, official transcripts from all prior post-secondary study, and GRE scores (taken within the last five years). Applicants for whom English is a second language must provide test scores from an approved English language proficiency exam. Some requirements vary by concentration and/or research area of interest. Learn more about Fuller’s ThM admission requirements.

Note: In light of COVID, the GRE has been made optional for Fall 2021 applicants to the ThM Theology program. Applicants who do not submit GRE scores will not be penalized. 

APPLICATION DEADLINES

Online application opens: August 1
Application and file completion deadline: January 2
Notification date: March 15

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Degree Completion Requirements

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

  • 36 quarter units of coursework
  • Competence in a research language in addition to the biblical languages (Hebrew and Greek)
  • 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 a way comparable to a paper published in a professional journal. 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 program with this requirement completed may take biblical language courses as part of their ThM course work.

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