Master of Sacred Theology

The Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.) degree provides the opportunity to gain further mastery in a chosen area of theological study. Students will attain and apply the skills needed for scholarly research in a theological discipline at an advanced level. The S.T.M. program is intended for those who may wish to prepare for graduate study at the doctoral level or for various forms of teaching, to enhance their scholarly understanding of ministerial practice, or to engage in disciplined reflection in an area of ministry. Applicants for admission should have a M.Div. degree or a first graduate theological degree providing equivalent theological background.

Graduation from the School of Theology follows the successful completion of all requirements for the specified program of study and the approval of the degree by the Senate of the University upon nomination by the faculty of the School of Theology.

A Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.) student, who has successfully completed all prescribed work, has completed all non-credit degree requirements when applicable, and who has a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.00 is eligible for the award of the degree of Master of Sacred Theology.

Master of Sacred Theology (General Track)

The Master of Sacred Theology (general track) is offered primarily during the summer months. Work for the degree may be completed in one year (summer session and two consecutive academic year terms); the degree must be completed within six years from matriculation. A student who experiences extenuating circumstances which prevent him/her from finishing in six years may petition the Advanced Degrees committee to allow one or two additional years for completion. A continuance fee may be required.

All coursework done during the academic year to be counted towards the S.T.M. must be done at an advanced level. Students must arrange with their professors to undertake extra work, and the work is to be assessed at a level beyond that of an M.Div. student. The extra work undertaken in the course is to be documented with the School of Theology's Office of Academic Affairs.

Requirements for the Degree

Students must complete a minimum of thirty semester hours of academic credit with a grade point average of 3.00 or higher. Six of the hours must be in the form of a thesis. The student, working in consultation with a thesis supervisor from the faculty of the School of Theology, will develop a proposal and write a thesis demonstrating scholarly competence, and pass an examination covering the area of the thesis and major specialization.

Thesis and Candidacy

The student will be required to complete a thesis demonstrating scholarly competence.

After the completion of twelve credit hours, the student will submit a written statement requesting candidacy and the thesis proposal. In preparation for the thesis proposal and candidacy request, the student will consult with the director of the Advanced Degrees Program about the general subject of the thesis. The director will work with the student to choose a supervisor for the preparation of the proposal. The supervisor will be a member of the teaching faculty of the School of Theology, and will serve as the first reader. Guidelines are provided for writing the thesis proposal, and the thesis itself.

To be granted candidacy, the student must have at least a 3.00 average in his/her degree work already completed, must have his/her thesis proposal approved, and must show progress made toward meeting his/her goal as stated in the application. The student will develop the thesis proposal with the guidance of his/her chosen supervisor, and following the supervisor’s approval will present the proposal to the Advanced Degrees Program committee. The Advanced Degrees Program committee will review each student’s candidacy request and thesis proposal and either approve them, ask the student to address concerns and resubmit a revised proposal, or reject candidacy.

Upon approval of a thesis proposal, the committee will select, or approve the student’s request of, the second reader. The committee will consider the thesis subject and the potential reader’s expertise, workload, and availability (The first reader is the supervisor for the thesis.) Readers are ordinarily faculty of the University. On occasion, an outside scholar with particular expertise in the thesis subject may be contracted as a reader. The student is responsible for obtaining this person’s verbal agreement, but no formal invitation may be extended except by the director.

The normal paradigm is two classes in each of four summers and registration for thesis hours after the fourth summer. A student may choose to finish sooner by registering for the thesis hours in January after the fourth summer in order to graduate in May of that year.

Examination

An oral defense covering the area of the thesis and major specialization is also required. This may be accomplished in person, by conference call, or Skype, as circumstances may demand.

A final, library copy of the thesis is submitted to the assistant to the director of the Advanced Degrees Program for binding. Final submission must take place by April 1 for graduation the following May. Formatting requirements are available from the assistant.

Non-credit Graduation Requirements1

Safeguarding God's People Workshop
Safeguarding God's Children Workshop
Cultural Diversity Workshop

Master of Sacred Theology (Anglican Studies Track)

The Master of Sacred Theology in Anglican studies program provides the opportunity to acquire fuller mastery in that field and is suitable for those previously ordained in another denomination who plan to be ordained in the Episcopal Church. Applicants for admission should have a M.Div. degree or equivalent prior to enrollment.

A Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.) student with a concentration in Anglican studies requires one year of full-time study. This is done during one summer and one academic year. The thirty semester hours are achieved with six hours in a summer session, twenty-four hours in the academic year, and include a thesis for six hours of credit.

All coursework done during the academic year to be counted towards the S.T.M. must be done at an advanced level. Students must arrange with their professors to undertake extra work, and the work is to be assessed at a level beyond that of an M.Div. student. The extra work undertaken in the course is to be documented with the School of Theology's Office of Academic Affairs.

Requirements for the Degree

Once accepted, the director of the Advanced Degrees Program will advise students on their course of study, which will include some or all of the Diploma of Anglican Studies (D.A.S.) core requirements. Typically, students take the following courses during the academic year:

Academic Year
CHHT 501Episcopal Church History3
or CHHT 551or Anglican History from the Reformation to the Windsor Report
HOML 510Advanced Preaching3
LTCM 507Singing the Word3
LTCM 511History of Christian Worship3
LTCM 521Pastoral Liturgics: The Prayer Book of the Episcopal Church3
MNST 511Pastoral Theology I: Theology and Practice of Pastoral Care3
MNST 512Pastoral Theology II: Pastoral and Parish Leadership3
THEO 503Foundations of Christian Spirituality3
THEO 521Systematic Theology II3
Summer Term
THEO 595Master of Sacred Theology Thesis6
Total Semester Hours33

Thesis and Candidacy

The student will be required to complete a six-hour thesis demonstrating scholarly competence in the area of Anglican studies.

The process is described above, under the description of the general S.T.M. The thesis generally cannot be completed while doing the course work for the degree, so the time from matriculation to graduation can take two years, due to submission deadlines for May graduation. The school can provide certification of requirements completed to diocesan officials prior to the granting of the degree.

Examination

An oral defense covering the area of the thesis and major specialization is also required. This may be accomplished in person, by conference call, or Skype, as circumstances may demand.

A final, library copy of the thesis is submitted to the assistant to the director of the Advanced Degrees Program for binding; final submission must take place by April 1 for graduation the following May. Formatting requirements are available from the assistant to the director.

Non-credit Graduation Requirements1

Constitution and Canons (Title IV) Workshop
Safeguarding God's People Workshop
Safeguarding God's Children Workshop
Cultural Diversity Workshop
Education for Ministry Experience
Chapel participation, as scheduled