Master of Theology

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Program Snapshot

25 Credit Hours 7 Classes
1.5 Years to Complete
On Campus
Next Start Date August 5

Elevate your knowledge and prepare for further studies to serve the church.

The Master of Theology (ThM) allows students to engage in intensive study in further research. Whether you want further expertise in a specific area of study or want further preparation before PhD studies, the ThM is the degree for you. The ThM program offers the student an opportunity to gain greater mastery in an area of study than is normally possible at the MDiv level.

3 Reasons to Study Master of Theology at Southern


Choose your degree path

The Th.M. program at Southern Seminary allows students to pursue the degree path that best serves their long-term goals (whether pastoral, academic, or some combination).

Students can choose between any combination of advanced graduate-level and/or doctoral-level courses.


Flexible Modes of Delivery

Students can choose to study in 3 different modes of delivery.

Advanced graduate-level classes:

  • Online*, on-campus

Doctoral seminars:

  • On-campus, modular (when offered)

*Students will be required to come to campus for 1 foundational seminar at the beginning of the program.



Transfer Credit

Students who later pursue PhD studies at SBTS may also transfer 12 hours of ThM coursework (Foundations for Theological Studies, Graduate Research Seminar, and up to 2 PhD seminars) into the PhD program upon acceptance.

Available Concentrations

Each concentration is available in on-campus or online formats. Students will be required to come to campus for 1 foundational seminar at the beginning of the program.

  • Biblical Studies
  • Historical and Theological Studies
  • Philosophy and Theological Studies
  • Practical Theology

Advance your education while growing in your love for Christ.

Th.M. Program
Course Number Description Credit Hours
81020 Graduate Research Seminar 2
81260 Foundations for Theological Studies 2
44560 Supervised Research Experience 2
81900 Guided Mentorship 1
Advanced graduate-level electives and/or PhD seminars1 18
Total 25

Total Master of Theology: 25

  1. Th.M. students can choose between any advanced masters-level course or PhD seminar (pending approval) to complete the program.

Learning Outcomes

  • The student will be able to plan research in an area of specialization and, where appropriate, will relate the work to the larger context of theological study.
  • The student will be able to conduct research using standard scholarly tools and methods.
  • The student will be able to communicate the results of his/her research effectively.
  • The student will be able to demonstrate an advanced understanding of an area of specialization.

Frequently Asked Questions

Male student graduates

The Master of Theology is a doctoral-level program designed to give students the opportunity to gain greater mastery in an area of study than is normally possible at the M.Div. level.

The Th.M. also allows students to gain further preparation before Ph.D. studies.

Students can choose any combination of advanced masters-level electives or doctoral seminars.

You can view a list of available electives for ThM students here.

Applicants should have a MDiv or equivalent (72 credit hours minimum in specific disciplines) for all concentrations with the exception of Practical Theology, which requires an MA (61 hours minimum in specific disciplines).*

A master’s-level cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required.

If you lack the required hours of masters-level credit, you may submit a doctoral equivalency evaluation to the admissions office to find out if you qualify for SBTS ThM programs.*

For a complete listing of doctoral admissions requirements, see the “Admissions & Cost” tab.

*International transcripts must be evaluated by a NACES approved organization for both admissions consdiration and for equivalency requests.

The Admissions and Research Doctoral Studies offices process ThM applications continuously throughout the year. However, applicants should allow up to 4 weeks from the time all materials are submitted to receive decision letters and begin classes. Thus, we recommend targeting the following submission dates to ensure that students are able to register and begin classes in their desired term:

  • Fall Term – July 1
  • Winter/Spring Term – November 1
  • Summer Term – May 1

These dates are especially important for students who intend to take courses online, since online terms may begin earlier than on-campus semesters.


Admissions Prerequisites

To be considered for admission in our Th.M. program we require the following for applications:

  • An MDiv or equivalent (72 credit hours minimum in specific disciplines) for all degrees with the exception of Practical Theology, which requires an MA (60 hours minimum in specific disciplines).
  • Students who do not have an M.Div. but have other masters-level divinity credit, may submit a doctoral equivalency evaluation to the admissions office to find out if they qualify for SBTS ThM programs.
  • A minimum master’s level cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is expected.
  • International transcripts will require an official evaluation from a NACES approved organziation (World Evaluation Services is preferred).

*For more information about our equivalency standards, leveling options, or to request an equivalency review based on your master’s level work, please email

Application Requirements

  • All applicants must receive a reference from the local church where they are a member. Family members may not complete this reference. If you are the pastor of your church, please select another church leader (associate pastor, elder, deacon, etc) to complete the church recommendation. Recommendation forms are automatically emailed to references via our online application.
  • Two additional academic recommendations. We suggest that a professor or a business acquaintance who can speak to academic performance complete the 2 additional recommendations required for doctoral students.
  • Transcription from the educational institution or institutions that conferred any required degrees should be submitted to the Admissions Office. Contact the registrar or academic records office of your previous institution(s). They may e-mail the transcripts (directly or via 3rd party such as Parchment) to or mail copies to our physical address. Transcripts must come directly from schools either electronically or in sealed/unopened envelopes.
  • A graduate level research paper in the same field to which the applicant is applying must be submitted along with the application. You may upload this research paper directly onto the application.
  • $40 application fee – paid after application submission.

Application Deadlines

All application materials must be received by:

July 1 – Fall matriculation

November 1 – Winter/Spring matriculation

May 1 – Summer matriculation

Program Cost

$1,000 down payment, and remaining balance due equally over 18 months.*

Total CostMonthly Payment
Total cost for SBC students$8,960$442.22
Total cost for non-SBC students$15,231$790.61

*Program tuition shown is for the 2024-2025 academic year. Additional fees are subject to the current fee schedule.

Financial Aid

Southern Seminary does not offer fully-funded scholarships or grants for the ThM program.


In their own words

“I’m so grateful for Southern Seminary. The Lord used Southern to train my mind, shape my heart, and prepare my hands for ministry. My love for the Lord, his people, and his mission magnified because of his grace upon me during my on-campus days. I am indebted to the administration, faculty, and my classmates for their eternal impact on my life and ministry. This institution will always hold a significant place in my heart. ”

Ryan Cheung
Male student smiling in classroom


Contact Admissions

Phone: (502) 897-4200

Text: (502) 305-3554


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