The ThM is an intensive one-year course of study that focuses on one area of interest. Typically, ThM students focus on Bible, preaching and worship, pastoral care, theology and ethics, or religious education.
Students must complete the following to qualify for a ThM:
English language competency is critical for the ThM degree, so the skills of students whose first language is not English are tested in two ways:
Dr. Steven J. Kraftchick, director of the ThM program at Candler, offers a few thoughts for students considering this degree. Dr. Kraftchick is Director of General and Advanced Programs and Associate Professor in the Practice of New Testament Interpretation. His research and writings focus on Pauline thought and language theory, particularly metaphor theory and its role in theological thinking.
Who is the ideal ThM student?
The master of theology is ideal for someone who has been out of school for a few years and who has had some ministry practice but is now ready to come back school to enhance a particular area of interest. The program also is popular with students who are preparing for a PhD.
What are examples of the interest areas ThM students pursue?
Our students pursue advanced study in Candler's major areas of focus. These include Biblical Studies, History and Interpretation of Christianity, Christianity and Culture, and Chruch and Ministry.
What is the ThM Seminar?
The Seminar is a four-hour course designed to help students develop reading, writing and critical thinking skills and prepare a major research paper.
I teach the Seminar, and in the first third we focus on a theme to get students thinking. For example, we recently examined liberal theology, where students learn to negotiate traditional theology in contemporary settings. This was a big “Aha!” moment for them.
During the second third of the course, students begin developing their individual projects. This includes presenting their ideas and writing a thesis statement, bibliography and introduction.
During the final segment of the seminar, they present their projects at various stages; their classmates are the respondents. The final product is typically a substantial research paper of about 35 pages.
What are examples of other courses I might take?
There are dozens of courses available, but here are a few examples: Parables of Jesus, Islamic Moderism, John Wesley's Ethics, and the Theology of Karl Barth.
How many ThM students are at Candler each year?
We currently have 22 ThM students. Just over half are from South Korea, with the rest from the United States and representing a variety of Christian denominations.
What is the history of Candler’s ThM program?
Candler started the ThM more than 20 years ago to encourage enrollment by non-U.S. students. Thomas Thangaraj, D.W. and Ruth Brooks Associate Professor of World Christianity, Emeritus, was the first director.