Master of Sacred Theology

The Master of Sacred Theology degree (STM) emphasizes academic accomplishment, providing fuller mastery of an area or discipline of theological study than is provided at the MDiv level. It is course/seminar/research-oriented, offering a broad exposure to all theological disciplines as well as providing a more detailed examination of a particular discipline than is provided at the MDiv level through its requirements of a designated major field of study and of either a thesis or an integrative oral examination.

LTSP Mission Statement and Expected Learning Outcomes for the Advanced Level STM/PhD Programs

With the above program goals in mind, LTSP expects that graduates of the STM program will have the following Learning Outcomes, which are based upon the LTSP Mission Statement:

Centered in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia seeks to educate and form public leaders who are committed to developing and nurturing individual believers and communities of faith for engagement in the world

1       Centered in the Gospel of Jesus Christ
1.1  Demonstrate advanced level knowledge of biblical, historic and theological disciplines knowledge of biblical, historic and theological disciplines
1.2  Demonstrate advanced comprehensive understanding of one particular theological discipline understanding of one particular theological discipline
1.3  Demonstrate the ability to communicate learnings within appropriate publics (academic and ecclesiastical) learnings within appropriate publics (academic and ecclesiastical)

2       Educating and Forming
2.1    Demonstrate the ability to understand and explore the intersection of various theological disciplines
2.2    Demonstrate the ability to form productive questions and utilize appropriate research methods and skills
2.3    Articulating advanced theories and disciplines (through a written thesis)

3       Developing and nurturing individual believers and communities of faith
3.1   Demonstrate capacity for articulating theological resources in appropriate communal context
3.2   Demonstrate specific research and teaching skills
3.3   Demonstrate a commitment to theological scholarship

4       Engaging the world
4.1   Demonstrate the ability to engage broader academic discourses of the academy and church
4.2   Demonstrate that awareness and sensitivities to diverse cultural contributions and discourses in theological scholarship
4.3   Demonstrate an ability to integrate global, ecumenical and interfaith realities within scholarship

These Learning Outcomes will be measured according to the rubrics of the STM program.

STM MAJORS

Students will choose one of the following Majors:

Anglican Studies, Bible, Christian Education, Church History, Church and Society, Congregational Dynamics (with a focus on stewardship, evangelism, or administration), Homiletics, Inter-faith Studies, Liturgy/Worship, Lutheran Studies, Pastoral Care, Theology, and World Christianity (with a focus on history, missions, or theology)

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

In addition to the standard application elements listed in the catalog, admission to the Master of Sacred Theology degree program requires the following:

  • Master of Divinity degree or another master’s degree in a theological discipline earned in a program that requires at least 60 semester hours or the equivalent.
  • A cumulative grade-point average in the master’s level program of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Depending upon the major field selected, a working knowledge of one language in addition to English.

In order to ensure that all students are capable of utilizing the enhanced technologies that are incorporated into many of the seminary’s courses, as well as to facilitate communications with students through email communications and course Web sites, it is a requirement of students matriculating at LTSP that they have regular access to appropriately equipped computers and that they utilize their LTSP email account.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

Two tracks are offered. Students make an initial selection at the time of matriculation, but the initial selection may be revised at any time by submission of a new STM Program Guide.

With thesis. The program consists of eight units/courses of credit, of which half shall be in the candidate’s major (or related) field. No more than four courses will be permitted in transfer from other fully accredited graduate schools and then ordinarily only with advance permission. To be in good standing, a student must maintain an overall average of not less than 2.75, with at least a 3.0 average in his/her major field.

A thesis must be prepared under the supervision of a faculty advisor. The STM Manual includes detailed guidance for preparation of the thesis and iis available from the Director of Graduate Studies. The candidate shall defend his/her thesis before a faculty panel of two to three persons. The panel, after examining the candidate and his/her academic record, recommends to the Faculty whether the candidate shall be approved for the degree.

Both part-time and full-time study is available, the full-time program normally taking up to two academic years, the first in course work, the second in thesis preparation. All requirements shall be met within six years. Extensions of program beyond six years are possible with annual Faculty approval and payment of the annual extension fee. Note, however, that completed courses normally cease to be applicable to the degree after 10 years.

With integrative oral examination (no thesis). The program consists of 10 units/courses of credit, of which half shall be in the candidate’s major (or related) field. No more than four courses will be permitted in transfer from other recognized graduate schools and then ordinarily only with advance permission. To be in good standing, a student must maintain an overall average of not less than 2.75, with at least a 3.0 average in his/her major field.

Preparation for the oral examination occurs under the supervision of a faculty advisor. A detailed guide for this preparation is available from the Director of Graduate Studies. The candidate shall be examined by his/her faculty advisor and one additional member of the Faculty. The panel, after examining the candidate and his/her academic record, recommends to the Faculty whether the candidate shall be approved for the degree.

Both part-time and full-time study are available, the full-time program normally taking one and one-half academic years. All requirements shall be met within six years. Extensions of program beyond six years are possible with annual Faculty approval and payment of the annual extension fee. Note, however, that completed courses normally cease to be applicable to the degree after ten years.

 

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"Centered in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia seeks to educate and form public leaders who are committed to developing and nurturing individual believers and communities of faith for engagement in the world."