Master of Theology (M.Th.)

Description 

This degree is designed for already credentialed and practicing ministry professionals (lay, religious, ordained) who wish to foster self-improvement and motivation in the pursuit of theological education as an end in itself or in preparation for doctoral studies. With a specialized focus upon a specific theological agenda, the M.Th. is ideally suited to the ministry professional who desires to update previous ministry training with particular attention to theological refinement. The residence sessions involve graduate-level course work and are coupled with the writing of the Master of Theology thesis.
 
This degree is a 30 credit program that may be completed in no less than eighteen months and no more than three years. 
 
  • 24 credits (8 courses)
  • 6 credits (thesis)

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Roman Catholic Deacons
 
An applicant who holds a bachelor’s degree and has completed a three-year diocesan-approved diaconal training program which has led to ordination as a Roman Catholic deacon may earn the GTF Master of Theology for Roman Catholic Deacons.
 
 
Admission Requirements
  1. Baccalaureate degree or equivalent validated by a transcript.
  2. Five years of accumulated experience in a cognate field of ministry (lay, religious, ordained).
  3. Completion of the Application Procedure.
Program Requirements
  1. Students are expected to thoroughly familiarize themselves with the Student Handbook of the year of their acceptance with a particular focus on their particular degree program.  Students are bound by the academic and financial requirements of the Handbook in use at the time of their acceptance.  The current Student Handbook, as well as past years’ Handbooks, can be viewed here
  2. Completion of eight Units of Study: 4 required from the Graduate Theological Foundation and 4 taken from the GTF or other approved educational institutions.
  3. Completion of the non-credit course, Research Methodology. This course is a prerequisite to beginning the master’s project.
  4. Completion of the Master’s Thesis of 35,000-40,000 words (140-160 pages) and submission of one electronic or hard copy including the Thesis Supervisor’s evaluation forms. 

All academic requirements must be met by March 1 of the intended year of graduation.
All financial requirements must be met by April 1 of the intended year of graduation.

Study Options 

This program requires the completion of eight Units of Study. A Unit of Study is defined as 40 contact hours of instruction and is equivalent to a 3-credit graduate-level course, one Unit of Clinical Pastoral Education, or 4 Continuing Education Units. 

Units of Study may be completed through the GTF, from other approved venues, or by using transfer credit.
 
The Study Options button on the GTF’s website under the heading Academics lists the course offerings of the GTF and provides information about the various methods of earning Units of Study for your degree.
 
NOTE: For Paper Guidelines, please Click Here.
 
Research Methodology
 
Research Methodology is a required course for all students completing a thesis.   The Research Methodology course requirement is explained here.
 
Transfer Credit
 
Any student wishing to have previously completed academic work evaluated for possible transfer credit or wishing to complete coursework through a venue other than the Graduate Theological Foundation for use as transfer credit toward a degree must contact the Office of the Registrar for approval. Students may use transfer credit to fulfill a maximum 50% of their Unit of Study requirements for this degree program.  Accepted transfer credit has the potential to decrease the total tuition paid by the student. Requests for acceptance of transfer credit are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. GTF transfer credit policy allows for a $600 tuition reduction per Unit of Study (3 graduate credits) fulfilled by transfer credit.
 
Selection of Faculty Thesis Supervisor and Nomination Procedure
 

Students select a faculty member of the GTF to serve as Thesis Supervisor. This enables the student to receive helpful and pragmatic evaluative feedback from a member of the faculty in the developmental process of producing the doctoral thesis. The role of the faculty Thesis Supervisor is responsive and suggestive. The faculty person is encouraged to limit feedback to pragmatically helpful hints and suggestions and not to attempt any censorship of the thesis. The exercise of discretion with respect to time demands is very important for both the student and faculty member. The faculty Thesis Supervisor must give final approval of the student’s work by submitting the Thesis Supervisor Report Form.

  • The student peruses the Faculty Details page and makes a selection.
  • The student completes the Faculty Thesis Supervisor Nomination Form 106 (Forms).
  • Academic Affairs provides the nominated faculty member with Form 106.
  • The selected faculty member notifies Academic Affairs of acceptance of student nomination.
  • Academic Affairs informs the student and faculty member of relationship approval and contact information is provided. 
Master’s Thesis
 

The master’s thesis is a research-based academic work of 35,000-40,000 words (140-160 pages), which addresses some topic, issue, or problem in the field of theological inquiry and demonstrates a grasp of the literature and philosophical/theological components required in the treatment of the selected topic. The master’s thesis must include a table of contents and bibliography of a minimum 20 sources, with annotations for the 10-12 key sources. The thesis must be written in 12 point Times New Roman (or comparable) font, and double spaced.

When the thesis in its final form has been reviewed and approved by the student’s Thesis Supervisor, it must be submitted to the GTF for final review. One copy of the master’s thesis must be submitted by email to the Office of the Registrar or in hardcopy by mail to the GTF’s general mailing address, by March 1 of the intended year of graduation.   Click here to fill out the form to request the email address of The Office of the Registrar.

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