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Master of Divinity
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Master of Theology
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PhD in Intercultural
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PhD in Biblical
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Master of Theology

A student who holds the Master of Divinity degree, or first graduate theological degree providing equivalent theological background (including the requisite biblical languages), may apply for admission to the degree of Master of Theology (ThM). The program requires 32 credits.

The ThM program is designed for the student to advance his or her knowledge of a major field of theological research, particularly through the acquisition of, and practice in, the methods and tools of theological research. The student will advance his or her preparation for pastoral ministry, teaching ministry, or for more advanced graduate study. The following four concentrations are offered: Biblical Interpretation and Old Testament, Biblical Interpretation and New Testament, Biblical Theology and Systematic Theology.

The ThM program emphasizes the integration of, and reciprocal influence of, hermeneutics, exegesis, biblical theology and systematic theology. ThM students study in the modular courses of the PhD in Biblical Interpretation and Theology.

The minimum length of time to complete the ThM program is two academic years of full-time study. Normally a student requires an additional year to complete the summative examination and then the thesis.

Student Learning Goals

Upon completion of the ThM, students will:

  1. Explicate their chosen field and associated fields with breadth and depth of knowledge.
  2. Produce a scholarly work that makes an original contribution to the student’s specialization.
  3. Explain and interpret passages of Scripture directly from the original languages of the Bible.
  4. Demonstrate further preparation for pastoral ministry, teaching ministry, or more advanced graduate studies.

Degree Components and Requirements

 

Core Components (20 credits)
BNT 901 New Testament Use of the Old Testament 4
BOT 902 Literary Methods 4
BTH 903 Hermeneutical Frameworks 4
BTH 905 Biblical-Theological Models and Methods 4
BTH 906 Biblical Theology of the Holy Spirit 4
 
Reading Courses (4 credits)
Choose one of the following:  
  BOT 930 Readings in the Old Testament and Theology  
  BNT 930 Readings in New Testament and Theology  
 
Summative Exam
 
Electives (Choose 2 classes* or Thesis Course) (8 credits)
Choose two of the following or Thesis course:  
  BTH 943 History of Pentecostal Theology 4
  BTH 922 Special Topics in Biblical Theology 4
  BTH 931 Global Hermeneutical Models 4
  BTH 941 Epistemology and Christianity 4
  BTH 942 Integration of Theology in the Arts and Sciences 4
  BTH 921 Post-Biblical Jewish Hermeneutics and Writing 4
  BTH 945 Field Experience 4
  BOT/BNT 925 Biblical History and Archaeology 4
  BOT 941 Studies in the Prophetic Writings 4
  BOT 942 Studies in the Psalms and Wisdom Literature 4
  BOT 943 Studies in the Pentateuch and Historical Books 4
  BNT 941 Studies in the Synoptic Gospels and Acts  4
  BNT 942 Studies in the General Epistles 4
  BNT 943 Studies in the Writings of John 4
  BNT 945 Studies in the Writings of Paul 4
  BNT 949 Life and Writings of Paul (Study Tour) 4
  THE 941 History of Biblical Exegesis and Theology I 4
  THE 942 History of Biblical Exegesis and Theology II 4
  THE 943 Special Topics in Theology 4
       
  BTH 901 Thesis 8


*Two 4-credit elective courses, each with requirement for a major, and advanced seminar paper.

Program Schedule

A one-week, residential modular format for the course work is provided to facilitate in-service professionals. Courses are offered in February (one week), June (two weeks), and October (one week). One course may be taken per week. Additional trips to Springfield may be required for study and mentoring purposes.

Admission Requirements

  1. A Master of Divinity degree from an accredited institution, or accredited first graduate theological degree (MATS or equivalent).
  2. One-year each of biblical Hebrew and Greek; and second year of either Hebrew or Greek.
  3. GRE; TOEFL score of 585 if primary language is other than English.
  4. Writing sample that demonstrates graduate-level research and writing skills.
  5. A 2,000-word vocational essay, describing vocational history and goals.
  6. Three completed letters of recommendation.

Graduation Requirements

To satisfy graduation requirements for the ThM degree, the participant must:

  1. Satisfactorily complete all ThM program requirements.
  2. Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0, including no more than one C. (A participant cannot graduate with a C- on his or her transcript. A participant must retake the course, at his or her expense, in order to earn a grade higher than C-.)
  3. Be in good standing at the seminary (see Academic Status)

Financial Information

The tuition for this program is $700 per credit hour ($2,800 for a 4-credit course). The tuition charge will cover the following costs: course cost, thesis fees (if the student chooses that option), and graduation fees. The tuition charge will not include the following costs: textbooks, costs of travel, housing and meals, editing, directed research fees, continuation fees, extension fees, or tuition costs for courses taken at other institutions and transferred into this program.

Financial Aid

ThM students are eligible for loan deferment. The program does qualify for VA benefits and federal Title IV aid and private student loans. There are limited grants and scholarships available. Contact the university’s Student Financial Services Office for more information.

Miscellaneous Fees

    1. An application fee of $75 will be charged.
    2. Readmission Financial Policy: if a participant withdraws from the program and later desires to return, his or her financial obligations will be as follows:
      • The program readmission fee of $15 will apply.
    3. Unclassified Student Course Fee: the fee for students from outside the AGTS program taking our elective classes will be charged at 115% of the current tuition rate.
    4. Unclassified Student Audit Fee: the fee for students from outside the AGTS program auditing our classes will be charged at 25% of the current tuition rate.
    5. Program Continuation Fee: for the 5th year--$500; for the 6th year--$1,000; and for the 7th year--$1,500. A special petition to the Department and the Dean is required for continuation beyond the seventh year.

Lodging, Meals, Transportation

It is up to the student to make his or her own travel and living arrangements while attending classes.

Master of Theology Program Design

Core Courses (20 credits. All courses are 4 credits each.)

BNT 901 – Core 2 – New Testament Use of the Old Testament
An examination of quotations and allusions from the Old Testament by the New Testament authors. Engages in comparative analysis of Hebrew OT texts, LXX translations, and NT quotations,
emphasizing Jewish hermeneutics and perspectives that influenced the NT era. Special attention will be given to the Christological paradigm of the NT authors as it shapes their understanding of the OT.

BOT 902 – Core 4 – Literary Methods
A detailed analysis of the major genres of Scripture and their various genre-specific literary conventions used in the communication of ideology (e.g., OT narrative, prophetical, wisdom, NT narrative, epistolary, and apocalyptic literature). Particular focus will be given to genre-specific exegesis (including an introduction to sub-genres, e.g., hymns of the NT, parables, prayers, speeches in Acts, and other rhetorical forms) and unpacking the meaning of texts according to their own “reading contracts.” Some attention will also be given to higher critical methods and their philosophical underpinnings.

BTH 903 – Core 1 – Hermeneutical Frameworks
An exploration of the influence of paradigms underlying exegetical, theological, and interpretive approaches to Scripture. Attention is given to the influence of diverse global Pentecostal contexts on interpretation. Includes discussion of the role of presuppositions and pre-understanding in biblical interpretation. Covers selected issues in philosophical hermeneutics.

BTH 905 – Core 3 – Biblical-Theological Models and Methods
A comparative analysis of differing approaches to biblical theology, particularly as those models influence perspectives on continuity, unity, and diversity in Scripture. The redemptive-historical model  is examined in detail, and redemptive-historical methods are applied to selected biblical-theological motifs. Special attention is given to understanding the Bible as the grand narrative of redemption.

BTH 906 – Core 5 – Biblical Theology of the Holy Spirit
A detailed analysis of the redemptive-historical unfolding of motifs related to the person and work of the Holy Spirit. Explores the OT hope for the outpouring of the Spirit and the NT fulfillment of that hope in Christ and his church. Special attention is given to the development of a broader biblical theology with the Spirit as the organizing center. 

Reading Courses (4 Credits)
Choose one of the following, based on area of specialization:

BOT 930 Readings in Old Testament Introduction and Theology
A readings course designed to cover in-depth the introductory issues and history of theology for the Old Testament. Must be completed during the semester in which the student enrolls in the course.

BOT 930 Readings in New Testament Introduction and Theology
A readings course designed to cover in-depth the introductory issues and history of theology for the New Testament. Must be completed during the semester in which the student enrolls in the course.

Elective Courses or Thesis (8 credits)
Choose two of the following, based on area of specialization, or the 8-credit thesis course.

BNT 941 Studies in the Synoptic Gospels and Acts
Exegetical study of selected Gospels and salient biblical-theological motifs.

BNT 942 Studies in the General Epistles
Exegetical study of selected books and salient biblical-theological motifs from the general epistles.

BNT 943 Studies in the Writings of John
Exegetical study of selected books and salient biblical-theological motifs in the Johannine corpus.

BNT 945 Studies in the Writings of Paul
Exegetical study of selected epistles and salient biblical-theological motifs in the Pauline corpus.

BNT 949 Life and Writings of Paul (Study Tour)
Exegetical studies in the epistles of Paul and his major themes while re-tracing the travels of Paul though western Turkey, Greece, and Rome. The course will thus immerse the student in the Greco-Roman culture in which the Apostle lived as well as in his writings. The epistle under consideration will vary at the discretion of the instructor. This course requires travel expenses in addition to program tuition.

BOT/BNT 925 Biblical History and Archaeology (offered also with Study Tour option).
An exploration of Old and/or New Testament history and archeology. Special focus is given to the culture and literature of the ancient near east. This course requires travel expenses in addition to program tuition when the student selects the study tour option.

BOT 941 Studies in the Prophetic Writings
Exegetical study of selected books from the Prophets and salient biblical-theological motifs.

BOT 942 Studies in the Psalms and Wisdom Literature
Exegetical study of selected portions of the Psalms or Wisdom Literature corpus, and salient biblical-theological motifs.

BOT 943 Studies in the Pentateuch and Historical Books
Exegetical study of selected books, narratives, and salient biblical-theological motifs.

BTH 921 Post-Biblical Jewish Hermeneutics and Writings
Detailed examination of intertestamental primary sources necessary for specialized understanding of the rabbinic hermeneutical framework, methods of exegesis, and theological traditions.

BTH 922 Special Topics in Biblical Theology
This course will offer study in areas of special interest in the discipline of biblical theology. Course content is determined by the instructor.

BTH 931 Global Hermeneutical Models
Investigates the hermeneutical paradigms, and their implications for biblical exegesis and theology, of various cultures and traditions in the majority world. Particular focus is given to the contextual theology that results from these models. The particular model and culture may vary at the discretion of the instructor.

BTH 941 Epistemology and Christianity
This course will focus on various problems of epistemology as they relate to the Christian faith and biblical hermeneutics. It will seek to demonstrate the necessity of a consistent Christian epistemology, developing principles necessary if one wants an adequate account of knowledge. Major individuals covered include Plantinga, Polanyi, and Van Til. Topics covered include foundationalism, coherentism, and the justification of knowledge. Some attention will also be given to presuppositional apologetics as part of a fully orbed epistemology.

BTH 942 Biblical Worldview in the Arts and Sciences
This course investigates the integration of biblical teaching with various disciplines in the arts and sciences. Emphasis is given to how various worldviews permeate theory and practice across disciplines.

BTH 943 History of Pentecostal Theology
Considers significant contributors and contributions to the development of Pentecostal doctrine from diverse global contexts. The parameters and focus of major historical debates within the Pentecostal theological tradition will be discussed.

BTH 945 Field Experience
Students will engage in an intensive cross-cultural ministry experience that involves teaching graduate or undergraduate students preparing for ministry, researching and writing on the cultural context in which this experience takes place, and serving in a context that is a cultural and geographical challenge--not simply a diverse audience. Field Experiences must be approved by the Bible and Theology Department. This course requires travel expenses in addition to program tuition.

THE 941 History of Biblical Exegesis and Theology I
This course covers the exegesis, hermeneutical methodologies, and the understanding of the Bible from the period of the early church to the fall of Constantinople in 1453.  Selected church fathers, theological movements, and the church councils will be considered.

THE 942 History of Biblical Exegesis and Theology II
This course covers the exegesis, hermeneutical methodologies, and the understanding of the Bible from the fall of Constantinople in 1453 to the present.  Selected influential exegetes and theologians, and theological movements will be considered.

THE 943 Special Topics in Theology
This course will offer study in areas of special interest in the disciplines of historical and systematic theology. Course content is determined by the instructor.

BTH 901 Thesis (8 credits)

 

 

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