ThM in Practical Theology
The Master of Theology (Th.M.) is an advanced academic degree at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Boston campus. It prepares the next generation of men and women for excellence in leadership in the churches and ministries in the cities of the 21st century. The Th.M. program promotes ministry excellence in academic teaching, research, creative problem solving, strategic decision-making, and innovation in complex urban environments. Unlike the Master of Arts (M.A.) and Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree programs, the purpose is to empower students to possess a “fuller mastery of one discipline”, “scholarly enhancement of ministerial practice”, and “disciplined reflection on a specialized function in ministry”.
Degree Program Goals
- Increase competencies for practical ministry leadership for an urban church, mission agency, and/or parachurch ministry.
- Increase ability to integrate a Christian and Biblical worldview perspective in assessment, planning, performance, and evaluative analysis in specialized ministry.
- Increase ability to make meaningful and professional contributions and participate in an area of a specialized field of practical theology.
- Increase competence in scholarly research for advanced urban church and parachurch studies for an evangelical and prophetic ministry.
Th.M. and Doctor of Ministry Continuation
A Plan of Study: Two degrees in less than 5 years
& Advanced Standing
2 Years Plus
Doctor of Ministry: Residency
& Thesis Project Completion
The above chart illustrates how this plan of study works. Most participants will complete the Th.M. program after 18 months. Participants may then continue their studies by pursuing the Doctor of Ministry degree with a 1-year residency advanced standing. This option will only be open to those who have been accepted into the program upon completion of the Th.M. degree program.
Th.M. Program Courses
- Approaches to Practical Theology
- Methods in Practical Theology I
- Methods in Practical Theology II
- Three Research Electives in the Ministries of the Church
- Self-Directed Integrative Research
- Self-Directed Academic Writing
Eligible applicants include current M.Div. students, Doctor of Ministry graduates, and those who possess an M.A. or 60 hours of graduate theological studies. Participants include church and parachurch leaders who want to incorporate rigorous training with convenient in-ministry scheduling to allow for the maximum return on their investment while in ministry. Organizations and churches are able to ideally support professional development. Mid-career individuals who lead an organization, urban church, denomination, or mission agency or pursuing an academic professional doctorate degree are ideal for this program.
Admissions Office Requirements
Individuals seeking admission must submit the following materials:
- Complete an Admissions Application for the Boston Campus of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
- A Master of Divinity degree with a 3.0 or higher GPA from an ATS accredited institution, or a Master of Arts as a "first graduate theological degree, providing equivalent theological background, or its equivalent". Students with no degree but 60 seminary credit hours will be considered.
- A written case study prospectus for in-depth case study research based upon their ministry context prior to admittance into the program
- Experience in a church, mission agency, or para church organization
Transfer and or Shared Credits
Current M.Div. students seeking admission prior to their graduation date in a prior year will be granted advanced standing with up to 6 credits applied towards a Master of Theology (Th.M.) degree. Any Gordon- Conwell student already in a Th.M. degree program may transfer up to 9 credits as electives towards a Th.M. in Practical Theology. Those possessing a Doctor of Ministry degree from Gordon-Conwell may use their doctoral degree or earned credits as six electives and shared-credits towards a Th.M. degree. An audited elective course may be required for specialization.