A research-centric, advanced degree offered nationally by seminaries, universities, and divinity schools, the typical Master of Theology (Th.M.) degree gives qualified entrants — on many occasions those already having earned a Master of Divinity or Master of Theological Studies — the opportunity to prepare for their religious-based, doctoral-level work. That research aspect is key to the Th.M. degree; while the typical Master of Divinity Degree educates students on the practices and themes necessary to properly lead a congregation as a minister, pastor or priest, the Master of Theology degree is for those interested in building their career through the academic study of religion.
Career Outlook & Salaries with This Degree
Despite at least one distinct difference, a Master of Theology degree is often confused for the Master of Divinity degree. While the two may have similar religious underpinnings, the major difference between these two graduate programs lies in the likely career path for its graduates. Students seeking Mater of Theology degrees, in many cases, have already earned completed a Master of Divinity program of study, and approach the degree with due to a need for continuing study and research experience.
Job Responsibilities with This Degree
While a Master of Divinity might be more applicable to pastors in the early stages of their career, senior pastors and those with the goal of full congregational leadership might benefit from obtaining a Th.M. degree. Graduates of such a program might also find themselves in position to serve as a college professor or missionary — expanding on the research component and educating future theological scholars in the process.
Course Requirements and Prerequisites for Earning This Degree
The general expectation for most Th.M. program is that candidates will already hold some sort of theological degree from an accredited theological institution. A Master or Bachelor of Divinity degree, Master of Theological Studies degree, or comparable degree, are among those widely accepted. A language component is also common — including the study of Greek, Hebrew, or other biblical languages — during the program of study. Other coursework often focuses on biblical studies, history of the church, and practical application of theology.
Online Master of Theology Degree Programs
- Liberty University: Master of Arts in Theological Studies