Research Th.M. Thesis Process

The point of a Research Th.M. Thesis is for a student to produce a significantly longer research and writing project than the M.Div. allows, largely in preparation for Ph.D. studies. The thesis should be 15,000-18,000 of text (excluding footnotes and bibliography) and be based on original research and follow the SBTS Style Manual. The thesis will not require an oral defense. Its acceptance and grade will be based on the RDS Grading Rubric and will be the grade given for the “Thesis Writing” course. The completed thesis will be published digitally through UMI. If a student desires a bound copy this can be arranged for a fee. Th.M. students who write a high quality thesis will be encouraged to revise this for publication as an academic article.

Research Th.M. Thesis-Specific Coursework/Requirements:

Semester Registered Thesis Writing Course Meetings with Thesis Advisor Work Produced
1st None 1 1-page thesis proposal

 

2nd 81050 2 5000 word portion of thesis

(Style Reading Due)

3rd 81060 3 15,000-18,000 word completed thesis

(Final Draft Due)

The “Thesis Research” (81050) and “Thesis Writing” (81060) classes are independent study courses contracted with the student’s Th.M. Advisor during the 2nd and 3rd semesters of their program.

  • 81050 – By the end of the course the student will produce 5,000 words of their thesis project to be evaluated and graded by the Thesis Advisor. Additionally, this 5,000 word project will be given a Style Guide evaluation by the style reader. The style reading must include the front matter, bibliography, and one substantial chapter of the thesis. This reading is submitted with the proper forms to the RDS office and on the Writing Center website.
  • 81060 – The student’s thesis will be completed during this course. This 15,000-18,000 word submission must be uploaded to the appropriate assignment portal in the Canvas course and for a style reading on the Writing Center website. NOTE: In order to graduate, the final thesis must be completed and turned in for evaluation by October 15 (Fall graduation) or March 15 (Spring graduation). This draft must be approved by the advisor on submission and accompanied with the proper forms found on the Thesis process page website.
  • All submissions need to be in the Dissertation/Thesis template. This template can be found on the writing center’s website.

Research Th.M. Style Reading (Due Semester Before Graduation)

  • In order to complete your thesis and graduate, the first step to initiate is to submit a chapter of your work along with your front and back matter for a style reading. You will need to submit this chapter in three places:
    1. A hard copy to the RDS office (Norton 157). Modular students can submit their style reading to 5th and Broadway for printing
    2. A PDF of their style reading to the appropriate assignment portal for the class (ThM Research and Writing 81050)
    3. A PDF to the style reading submission portal on the writing center’s website
  • The Style Reading Approval Form and the Style Submission Checklist must be turned in at this time. The Style Reading Approval Form lists what documents you should include with your submission.
  • The style reader reviews these in the order in which the Doctoral Studies Office receives them so you may not get your reviewed chapter back prior to when your defense draft is due, depending on when you submit it.
  • Note: The style reading is due at the end of second semester of the program.

Research Th.M Full Draft Submission (Due Semester of Graduation)

  • In order to complete your thesis and graduate, the second step is to submit a complete draft for a style reading. This draft needs to be approved by your advisor and must include all front and back matter. You will need to submit this draft in three places as well:
    • A hard copy to the RDS office (Norton 157). Students can submit their style reading to 5th and Broadway for printing.
    • A PDF of their style reading to the appropriate assignment portal for the class (ThM Research and Writing 81060)
    • A PDF to the style reading submission portal on the writing center’s website
  • The Full Draft Submission Form and Style Submission Checklist must be turned in at this time. The Style Reading Approval Form lists what documents you should include with your submission.
  • The style reader reviews these in the order in which the Doctoral Studies Office receives them so you may not get your reviewed chapter back prior to when your defense draft is due, depending on when you submit it.
  • Note: The full draft is due by March 15th for Spring graduation or October 15th for Fall graduation. If these dates fall on a weekend, the draft is due by the next business day.

 

Modular Th.M. Thesis Process

In the Modular Th.M. students must enroll in a thesis course each fall and spring semester throughout the program (81450, 81460, 81470, 81480, and 81490). The point of a Modular Th.M. Thesis is for a student to produce a significantly longer research and writing project than the M.Div. allows, largely in preparation for Ph.D. studies. The thesis should be 15,000-18,000 of text (excluding footnotes and bibliography) and be based on original research and follow the SBTS Style Manual. The thesis will not require an oral defense. Its acceptance and grade will be based on the RDS Grading Rubric and will be the grade given for the “Thesis Writing” course. The completed thesis will be published digitally through UMI. If a student desires a bound copy this can be arranged for a fee. Th.M. students who write a high quality thesis will be encouraged to revise this for publication as an academic article.

Modular Th.M. Thesis-Specific Course Requirements

Semester Registered Thesis Writing Course Meetings with Thesis Advisor Work Produced
1st 81450 – Thesis Proposal 2 500 word thesis proposal
2nd 81460 – Thesis Writing I 2 2,000 word portion of thesis completed
3rd 81470 – Thesis Writing II 2 5,000 word portion of thesis completed (Style Reading Due)
4th 81480 – Thesis Writing III 2 10,000 word portion completed
5th 81490 – Thesis Writing IV 2 15,000-18,000 word completed thesis

(Final Draft Due)

Students will meet with their thesis fellow once during the semester and then with their thesis advisor when they are on campus for their seminar. Students will submit their work in Canvas two weeks before arriving on campus.

  • The 15,000-18,000 word thesis will be completed during the 81490 course. This 15,000-18,000 word submission must be uploaded to the appropriate assignment portal in the Canvas course and for a style reading on the Writing Center website. NOTE: In order to graduate, the final thesis must be completed and turned in for evaluation by October 15 (Fall graduation) or March 15 (Spring graduation). This draft must be approved by the advisor on submission and accompanied with the proper forms found on the Thesis process page website.
  • All submissions, except for Thesis Proposal, need to be in the Dissertation/Thesis template. This template can be found on the writing center’s website.
  • Use this template for the Modular Th.M. Thesis Proposal.

Modular Th.M. Style Reading (Due 3rd Semester)

  • In order to complete your thesis and graduate, the first step to initiate is to submit a chapter of your work along with your front and back matter for a style reading. You will need to submit this chapter in three places:
    1. A hard copy to the RDS office (Norton 157). Modular students can submit their style reading to 5th and Broadway for printing
    2. A PDF of their style reading to the appropriate assignment portal for the class (ThM Research and Writing 81470)
    3. A PDF to the style reading submission portal on the writing center’s website
  • The Style Reading Approval Form and the Style Submission Checklist must be turned in at this time. The Style Reading Approval Form lists what documents you should include with your submission.
  • The style reader reviews these in the order in which the Doctoral Studies Office receives them so you may not get your reviewed chapter back prior to when your defense draft is due, depending on when you submit it.
  • Note: The style reading is due at the end of third semester of the student’s program.

Modular Th.M Full Draft Submission (Due Semester of Graduation)

  • In order to complete your thesis and graduate, the second step is to submit a complete draft for a style reading. This draft needs to be approved by your advisor and must include all front and back matter. You will need to submit this draft in three places as well:
    • A hard copy to the RDS office (Norton 157). Students can submit their style reading to 5th and Broadway for printing.
    • A PDF of their style reading to the appropriate assignment portal for the class (ThM Research and Writing 81490)
    • A PDF to the style reading submission portal on the writing center’s website
  • The Full Draft Submission Form and Style Submission Checklist must be turned in at this time. The Style Reading Approval Form lists what documents you should include with your submission.
  • The style reader reviews these in the order in which the Doctoral Studies Office receives them so you may not get your reviewed chapter back prior to when your defense draft is due, depending on when you submit it.
  • Note: The full draft is due by March 15th for Spring graduation or October 15th for Fall graduation. If these dates fall on a weekend, the draft is due by the next business day.

 

Final Thesis Submission (Research and Modular)

  • SBTS Th.M. students must submit an electronic copy of their final thesis formatted as a PDF to Proquest/UMI. This electronic copy will also be placed within the seminary’s institutional repository. Details about electronic submission, creating PDFs, pricing and other information are available on the library website.
  • If students would like to purchase additional bound copies of their thesis, they may do so when they submit electronically.
  • Students will pay all fees associated with their dissertation through the Proquest/UMI dissertation submission interface. Final submission and payment of fees must be paid prior to graduation.
  • Students are responsible for ensuring that electronic copies of the final thesis are properly ordered according to the Dissertation Page Order Guidelines. Theses will be bound as received from the student, so any mistakes in page ordering made by the student will persist in the electronic and bound forms of the thesis.
  • SBTS Th.M. graduates are required to submit to UMI’s publishing agreement as a part of the electronic submission process.