Master of Theology (ThM)
AVAILABLE ON CAMPUS, WITH ONLINE OPTIONS
The Master of Theology (Th. M) program is a 124-unit course of instruction which is well suited for students who plan to pursue doctoral studies, wish to teach in an academic institution, and want to be more effective preachers and teachers of God’s Word. By taking a full-time load of 6 units each trimester, the program can be completed in five years. Course availability, student load, adherence to student advisement, how soon the student completes the capstone thesis requirement, and other factors may extend or shorten the anticipated completion timeline.
The curriculum leading to the ThM degree is designed to help students develop a high level of competency in academic research by sharpening their exegetical and theological skills beyond the MDiv or its equivalent in preparation for:
1. Advanced study in a doctoral program such as Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Theology (ThD).
2. Teaching ministry in institutional settings where doctoral-level credentials are not required; and
3. More effective teaching and preaching ministries in local church settings.
Upon successful completion of the Master of Theology program students will be able to:
1. Recite the general knowledge of the Old and New Testaments including the themes and a synthetic understanding of the major books.
2. Explain the historical development of Christian theology and philosophy.
3. Methodologically evaluate major theological views in the light of biblical theology and defend premillennial theology.
4. Demonstrate ability in the level of competency to exegete Greek and Hebrew texts of the Bible.
5. Summarize a biblically based philosophy of Christian education and the role of the teacher.
6. Be prepared for advanced theological education.
Basic admission requirements and application procedures for the Th.M. program are the same as for all graduate programs at SCS (see Admissions section of this Catalog), with the following exceptions.
- The evaluation for admission to the Th.M. program includes a review of the applicant’s college transcript (or equivalent) coursework and any related graduate work to ensure the appropriate academic preparation necessary to pursue the Th.M. degree. Transcripts of this work must show a grade point average of at least 3.0 on a scale of 4.0.
- Applicants who have completed a graduate degree in biblical or theological studies may be admitted to the Th.M. program with a degree plan outlining what courses and how many units will be required for the completion of their degree. Applicants who are determined to be deficient in their previous course work may be admitted to the program on a conditional status subject to their completion of identified deficiencies.
The program is designed to be completed in five years. However, some students may require additional time, especially if remedial coursework is necessary. All coursework including thesis writing must be completed within ten years, beginning on the date of the student’s first registration for ThM courses at SCS. If the candidate cannot complete the program within this time frame, the candidate must make a written request for an extension to the Dean of Bible and Theology; failure to do so will be considered as withdrawal from the program.
Writing and defending a thesis is the capstone project for the ThM degree through which the student evidences a high degree of scholarly competence and research. The thesis must advance knowledge in the respective concentration and/or in methodology and possess quality expected of academic publishing. The prospective ThM candidate will demonstrate research that contributes to the wider body of knowledge pertaining to Bible, theology and/or history in one of the four concentrations for ThM thesis project, and must obtain approval of the thesis subject by their advisor as early in the program of study as possible:
Focus on research pertaining to any one of the 39 books of the OT, displaying a scholarly method in advanced Hebrew (or related languages), grammar, readings, and exegesis. Research will include interaction with both Christian and non-Christian primary and secondary sources.
Specialize in research pertaining to any one of the 27 books of the NT, displaying a scholarly method in advanced Greek grammar, syntax, exegesis, and New Testament text critical issues.
Concentration in one of the various fields of study: Biblical Theology, Systematic Theology, or Historical Theology (including themes related to theological systems). Scholarly exegesis, handling of primary resources, and responsible representation and charitable critique of opposing views will characterize the research conducted and finished product.
Ancient Jewish and Greco-Roman Studies
Specialize in ancient Jewish and Greco-Roman non-canonical sources or historical study that relates to biblical studies: DSS, LXX, Second Temple literature (Apocalyptic, Apocryphal, pseudepigraphal texts, Josephus, Philo, Tacitus, Pliny, etc). Scholarly exegesis, handling of primary resources, and responsible representation and charitable critique of opposing views will characterize the research conducted and finished product.
Once the thesis subject is approved, the following two-step process begins.
- The student registers for RS-891 Thesis Project 1 and prepares a thesis proposal which is comprised of a tentative title, a thesis statement, a prospectus (no more than six pages) that defines need, goals, and methodology of the research project, and a preliminary bibliography.
- The student registers for RS-892 Thesis Project 2 and writes the thesis under the supervision of the advisor. Once the thesis is determined to be complete, the student defends the thesis before the thesis committee.
Each candidate for the Th.M. degree must meet the general graduation requirements and:
- Complete 124 units of the prescribed curriculum and any remedial coursework
- Take at least 97 of the required 124 units through the Th.M. program at SCS
- Complete the program curriculum with not less than a 3.0 GPA; and 4. Complete a thesis evidencing a high degree of scholarly competence.
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Degrees that get you where you want to go
Southern California Seminary is more than just another Bible seminary, offering generic degrees in Ministry and Theology. We hold ourselves to the highest standards of biblical study and truth. Our distinctives cumulatively make our institution unique among biblical seminaries in a day and age where the Word of God is not taken at face value, and core doctrines are being diluted.
You have goals. Southern California Seminary can help you achieve them. Do you need a bachelor’s degree to help fulfill God’s call on your life? Do you need a master’s or doctoral degree to take the next step in your ministry or career? SCS has a program—either Online or On-Campus—designed to renew your mind and deepen your faith in Jesus Christ.
SCS is seeking students with a hunger for learning about God and a desire to dig deeper into the Bible. From your first visit until your graduation, we will strive to support you in your spiritual growth, and prepare you to minister in the 21st century.
ThM Core Curriculum
BIBLICAL STUDIES – 30 UNITS
- BH-501 HERMENEUTICS
- BH-505 METHODS OF INDUCTIVE STUDY
- BH-801 ADVANCED HERMENEUTICS (TRIMESTER)
- OT-511 OLD TESTAMENT 1: GENESIS – JUDGES
- OT-512 OLD TESTAMENT 2: RUTH – SONG OF SOLOMON
- OT-513 OLD TESTAMENT 3: PROPHETS
- NT-506 GOSPELS AND ACTS
- NT-507 PAULINE EPISTLES AND HEBREWS
- NT-512 GENERAL EPISTLES AND REVELATION
- NT-601 ANALYSIS OF ROMANS
THEOLOGY AND CHRISTIAN PHILOSOPHY – 33 UNITS
- PH-501 LOGIC AND RHETORIC
- PH-503 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY AND WORLDVIEWS
- PH-507 CHRISTIAN ETHICS AND LEADERSHIP
- PH-803 HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN PHILOSOPHY (TRIMESTER)
- HI-505 CHURCH HISTORY AND CANONICITY (TRIMESTER)
- PH-803 HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN PHILOSOPHY (TRIMESTER)
- TH-508 COMPARATIVE SYSTEMS OF THEOLOGY
- TH-611 THEOLOGY 1: THEOLOGY PROPER, BIBLIOLOGY, ANGELOLOGY
- TH-612 THEOLOGY 2: ANTHROPOLOGY, HAMARTIOLOGY, SOTERIOLOGY
- TH-613 THEOLOGY 3: CHRISTOLOGY AND PNEUMATOLOGY
- TH-614 THEOLOGY 4: ECCLESIOLOGY AND ESCHATOLOGY
- TH-805 ADVANCED THEOLOGY: THEORY AND PRAXIS (TRIMESTER)
BIBLICAL LANGUAGES – 24 UNITS
- BL-501 ELEMENTARY GREEK 1 (TRIMESTER)
- BL-502 ELEMENTARY GREEK 2 (TRIMESTER)
- BL-551 ELEMENTARY HEBREW 1 (TRIMESTER)
- BL-552 ELEMENTARY HEBREW 2 (TRIMESTER)
- BL-601 INTERMEDIATE GREEK 1 (TRIMESTER)
- BL-602 INTERMEDIATE GREEK 2 (TRIMESTER)
- BL-651 INTERMEDIATE HEBREW 1 (TRIMESTER)
- BL-652 INTERMEDIATE HEBREW 2 (TRIMESTER)
- BL-701 NT EXEGESIS 1 (TRIMESTER)
- BL-702 NT EXEGESIS 2 (TRIMESTER)
PRACTICAL MINISTRY SKILLS – 17 UNITS
- PM-505 SPIRITUAL GROWTH AND DISCIPLESHIP
- CE-506 TEACHING DYNAMICS
- MI-507 THEOLOGICAL FOUNDATIONS OF MISSIONS
- BC-510 FUNDAMENTALS OF CHRISTIAN COUNSELING
- PM-701 HOMILETICS 1 (TRIMESTER)
- PM-781 ACADEMIC INTERNSHIP 1 (TRIMESTER)
- PM-782 ACADEMIC INTERNSHIP 2 (TRIMESTER)
RESEARCH AND THESIS – 8 UNITS
- RS-501 GRADUATE RESEARCH & WRITING
- RS-801 ADVANCED RESEARCH & WRITING METHODOLOGIES (SEMINAR)
- RS-891 THESIS PROJECT 1 (TRIMESTER)
- RS-892 THESIS PROJECT 2 (TRIMESTER)
ELECTIVES OR AREAS OF CONCENTRATION – 12 UNITS
Southern California Seminary is more than just another Bible seminary — more than just another Christian College or Christian University. We hold ourselves to the highest standards of biblical study and truth. Our distinctives cumulatively make our institution unique among biblical seminaries in a day and age where the Word of God is not taken at face value, and core doctrines are being diluted.
Southern California Seminary’s mission is to bring glory to God by assisting local churches to equip believers of various cultures and languages to live and minister biblically based on the inerrant Word of God. This equipping includes building biblical knowledge, Christian character, and ministry skills—all at modest tuition.
Southern California Seminary is a private institution of higher education dedicated to teaching from the inerrant Word of God. Here you will learn about God from His book – the Bible. As a ministry of Shadow Mountain Community Church, under the leadership of Dr. David Jeremiah, SCS offers the highest quality of biblical education with a tuition that is refreshingly affordable.