Master of Theology (ThM)

The Master of Theology (ThM) program is intended for advanced and specialized theological study beyond the basic degree level. Coursework is at the doctoral level, but the ThM is a much shorter program than the PhD program, and it does not require full-time study.

The Master of Theology is conferred conjointly by the University of Toronto and the student's college of registration. Six of TST's seven member colleges offer the conjoint ThM program (St. Augustine's Seminary offers basic degree programs only). See Choosing a College.

General Purpose

  • The conjoint ThM program is designed to deepen students' knowledge of theology and further their preparation for doctoral study or pastoral ministry.
  • The program provides an opportunity for advanced theological research to be used in preparation for some forms of teaching, and doctoral studies.
  • The program can also aid in the scholarly enhancement of the practice of ministry, and disciplined reflection on a specialized function in ministry.

Program Features

  • Students work in a collegial and collaborative context, while also developing skills and resources for independent study.
  • Although general program requirements and a few specific requirements of program areas are defined, the student has considerable latitude to design their own program in consultation with their faculty advisor.
  • Two program options are available and both can lead to further study at the doctoral level: coursework and a thesis, or coursework and an extended essay. See the Options 1 and 2 below under, “Program Structure”.


  • ThM program can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis; minimum one (1) year, to a maximum of six (6) years.

ThM students work in one of four program areas:

  • Biblical Studies - with two areas of concentration: Old Testament and New Testament
  • Historical Studies
  • Pastoral and Practical Theology - with five areas of concentration: homiletics, pastoral theology, religious education, liturgy, and Christian spirituality
  • Theological Studies - with four areas of concentration: systematic theology, philosophical theology/philosophy of religion, Christian ethics, and interdisciplinary studies. These fields of study are addressed in an ecumenical context and in relation to the wider world and to other religious faiths.

Two program options are available:

  • Option 1: A program of six advanced level semester courses, plus a thesis.  
    Four courses in an area of major interest and one course in each of two other areas (ancillary, if possible, to the thesis). Note: The Option 1 ThM program should be selected by students who wish to prepare for doctoral studies.
  • Option 2: A program of eight semester courses, plus an extended major paper. 
    Six courses are to be selected in the area of major interest, two in areas of minor interest. At least four of the courses must be at the advanced level; the major paper is related to one of the courses. Note: The Option 2 ThM program results in a "terminal degree" and does not provide the basis for entry into a TST doctoral program.

Also refer to the Conjoint ThM Program Handbook for detailed program and admissions information.

The following provides an overview of the admission requirements for the ThM program. For more detailed admission requirements, see Applying to the ThM Program, Step 1 - Meet Admission Requirements and the Conjoint ThM Program Handbook for admission and program information. 

The Admissions Committee will take into consideration:

  • grades in all previous post-secondary education with particular weight accorded to performance in the prerequisite degree(s) and in other recent programs;
  • the applicant's academic background in the stated area of interest;
  • the potential of the applicant for graduate study, as attested in the letters of reference;
  • the quality of the applicant's statement of intent;
  • the availability of qualified faculty resources in the applicant's proposed area of research;
  • evidence that the applicant is likely to complete the program.
Prerequisite Education
  • A baccalaureate degree, normally in Arts, from a recognized college or university* (or the applicant must provide evidence of having completed equivalent studies under a different educational system).
  • And a Master of Divinity degree or an academic masters degree in theological studies providing equivalent theological background of at least two years' duration (e.g., Master of Theological Studies, Master of Religion, Master of Arts in Theology ), with at least a high second-class standing (i.e., B+, CGPA 3.3/4.0) from a recognized institution.*

*All theological schools fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada are deemed to be recognized institutions.

Requirement for Students in Historical Studies
  • An applicant proposing to specialize in the history of Christianity must show evidence from her or his previous degree program(s) of adequate preparation in historical studies. See the ThM Program Handbook for more information.
Fluency in English

An applicant whose first language is other than English must provide evidence of the ability to comprehend, speak, and write English at the graduate level.

Research Language Requirements
  • Option 1 - For admission the areas of history, pastoral studies or theology, applicants must be competent in at least one language selected from among ancient or modern languages necessary for their research. Alternatively, applicants may be admitted on the condition that they will be able to demonstrate competence in at least one of these languages before entering the first year of studies.
  • Option 2 - For admission in the areas of history, pastoral studies or theology, there are no universally applicable language requirements. Instead, language requirements appropriate to the area of specialization are determined by the Graduate Degree Director of the student’s college of registration in consultation with the GCTS.
  • Biblical Studies - For both Options 1 and 2, proficiency in Biblical Hebrew is required for those proposing to specialize in Old Testament studies, and proficiency in Biblical Greek is required for those proposing to specialize in New Testament studies. To be credited with competence or proficiency in the required Biblical languages, students need to receive grades of at least B+ (77%) (or equivalent in other grading schemes). Students may also be admitted with competence in any combination of two of the following: Biblical Hebrew, Biblical Greek, or a modern research language.