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    Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
    90 Warren St.
    Roxbury, MA 02119
    (617) 427-7293
    Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. M-F

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ThM in Applied Theology


Features and Benefits

  • Flexible modular approach for busy professionals
  • Graduates earn one year of advanced standing in one of four Doctor of Ministry programs at Gordon-Conwell (http://www.gordonconwell.edu/doctor-ministry/Advanced-Standing-for-ThM-in-Practical-Theology.cfm for more information)
  • An integrative approach opens the door for local students to take ThM electives at Hamilton or via other schools in the Greater Boston area through the Boston Theological Institute
  • Exposure to a wide range of theological curriculum and 24 hours of credits enables students who possess an MA to attain “MDiv equivalency” for admission to Doctor of Ministry programs
  • International students, GI Bill students, and others who need full-time registration may take an additional one-hour directed study with the program coordinator, Dr. Hood, in order to qualify for full-time status (7 hour minimum per semester)
  • Our diverse staff, faculty, and student body at the Boston campus provide a welcoming environment to learn and grow
  • The capstone of the course is a first article of theological research intended for publication in an edited volume in the Urban Voice series published by Wipf and Stock
  • The Th.M also serves as a bridge into PhD research in the USA or overseas


Interdisciplinary Theological Research

Our ThM in Applied Theology features the opportunity for interdisciplinary theological research with a practical dimension. Courses in Bible, history, theology, ethics and other areas will help students connect God’s truth to Christian life and ministry. At the beginning of their studies, students choose an area of ministry or Christian life that are informed by a variety of disciplines. Students may research independently and under supervision. Each course offers flexibility for students in the readings/research they elect to do, so that students can target particular areas of interest ranging from evangelism, shepherding/leadership, apologetics, preaching/teaching, ministry to the marginalized, family ministry, stewardship, sacraments, reconciliation, hospitality, etc. Students research as they progress through the program, exploring what the different disciplines might have to say about their particular area of interest.
For example, let’s consider a student who wishes to better understand evangelism in the 21st century global multicultural context. For each course, she asks, “How does this course impact the way I do evangelism today?” In church history she might investigate the herculean church planting efforts of Boniface and Patrick or the use of mass media by Luther’s followers, Aimee Semple McPherson, or George Whitefield. In biblical studies courses she could examine the glory of God as a motivating factor for God’s own actions as well as those of his people; redemption in Exodus as a paradigm for the NT gospel; the content of the “good news” in Isaiah and the NT; or the communication of the gospel across geographic and ethnic lines in Acts. In courses with a cultural orientation, her interest might lead her to consider challenges that arise to evangelism in the 21st century, such as the pervasive influence of secularism and other religions or the call in certain quarters to shift particular gospel emphases to accommodate cultural expression or cultural perspectives.
Or, imagine that a student chooses to study ministry to orphans and widows. As part of the requirements for each course, he selects independent reading from the area of study that is relevant for their final integrated project. In each course he considers the implications for his ministry, from the Old Testament (what do the OT laws teach us about God’s heart for the poor? What can we learn from the theological critique of the OT prophets?), New Testament (how did the church minister to the poor in Acts? Why did Paul’s collection for the poor dominate his travel plans (Rom 16)? What can we learn from the mercy ministry of Jesus, and how can we apply insights into New Testament community as a substitute family today?), systematic theology (image-bearing; personal and corporate dimensions of sin; the link between God’s grace and human effort), and church history (Chrysostom, Calvin, and Chalmers were doing this centuries before us—what can we learn from them?). He might also confront relevant theological questions raised by the fields of ethics, leadership, and cultural studies. He eventually incorporates what he has learned in an integrative final writing project, thus applying insights from across the theological curriculum to a particular sphere of ministry.
Admissions Deadline
January 13, 2018

Program Dates

Three residency sessions in Boston:
Spring 2018: April 30 – May 9
Fall 2018:  Dec 10 – 19 
Spring 2019:  April 29 – May 8
Reading and preparation for each residency session should be completed in the months leading up to the residency.
Non-residential courses:
Fall 2019:  Independent Research & Writing (may be delayed with permission)

Admissions 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 Arts or Master of Divinity degree with a 3.0 or higher GPA from an ATS accredited institution. Students with no degree but 60 seminary credit hours will be considered.
  • A short essay (less than 1200 words) describing:
  1. The student’s perspective on integrating theology and the real world;
  2. The area of practical research he/she wishes to research and explore through guided and independent research and writing; and
  3. Particular scholars or texts who have influenced the student’s perspective.

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 (ThM) degree.  Any Gordon- Conwell student already in a Th.M. degree program may transfer up to three courses (9 credits) as electives towards a ThM in Applied Theology. Those possessing a Doctor of Ministry degree from Gordon-Conwell may use their doctoral degree or earned credits as two electives (6 credits) towards a ThM degree.

Program Cost

There are eight three hour courses, and tuition for each course is approximately $1,995, plus books and modest program fees. Click here for more about Tuition and Fees. (Note: Costs can be offset when the Th.M is combined with a Gordon-Conwell Doctor of Ministry.) Students outside Greater Boston will need to arrange their own transportation, housing, and dining (“heavy snacks” and one meal are provided).