The Master of Theology (MTh) degree is a two-year advanced research program with an MDiv/BD degree as its pre-requisite. The courses are designed with an inter-disciplinary approach with the provision for specializing in a particular research area of studies. OTS offers majors in Biblical Studies, Applied Theology, Christian History, and Theology and Ethics.
The MTh program is designed for students who are intent on broadening and deepening their theological knowledge and to sharpen their critical-analytical skills through higher levels of reading and research works. This goal is achieved by providing students with the opportunity to take courses at an advanced level to major in an area of preference. The program incorporates all disciplines in theological studies to allow students to become conversant and competent in developing a methodological framework, enabling them to write a thesis as part of the requirement for the program.
21 Course Units + 9 Units Thesis + 12 Units Practical Ministry = 42 Units
The Master of Theology is a two-year full-time research degree program and can be extended up to four years part-time to complete the prescribed requirements for graduation. A minimum grade of “B” should be secured to graduate with the Master of Theology degree in all course works and thesis.
Theory and Praxis in Theology/Theological Method – (3 Units)
Major – 3 Courses (9 Units)
Electives – 3 Courses (9 Units)
Thesis – (9 Units) 100-120 pages
General standards for admission may be found in the Admissions section of the catalog. Applicants should possess an MDiv/BD degree with a GPA of 3.0 in a scale of 4 (B grade) with no less than 120 credit units. Applications for admission including all transcripts from high school onward to MDiv/BD must be submitted.
During the application process, applicants are encouraged to contact faculty members with whom they would like to work to discuss their area of interests. Decisions concerning acceptance and appointment of mentors will, however, depend solely on the interview conducted and on the Academic Committee.
Admission to the program is done with good faith but if the faculty find any student lacking the academic capacity and the aptitude for the degree to which he/she is admitted he/she will not claim the right for continuation. This policy is based on the fact that MTh degree, like any other academic degree in the academic pursuit, must be pursued only by those who are capable. Therefore, when such case arises, the decision of the Academic Committee shall be final.
Credit is given only to the approved courses which a student successfully completes. No course which receives a grade lower than a B may count toward the degree. In this case, the Instructor will determine if extra work needs to be done to improve the grade or to retake the course.
Students may be required to seat for courses offered in the MDiv program, but in that case the Instructor will personally design the course outline and set the requirements for MTh students. The requirements will be over and above the course syllabus requirements for the MDiv students.
Reading course or directed study will be offered and the requirements will be set by the instructor. In any case, students will read no less than 1500 pages and will include book summary, review, interaction and a term paper of no less than 25 pages.
Biblical Language: The students should have a working knowledge of Hebrew and Greek. This should be shown in their transcript. Students who do not have this requirement will have to take language course offered in the MDiv level. This requirement should be fulfilled in the first year of enrolment.
Students are given provisional admission to the program in the first year. Only upon successful completion of the required course works with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of B, the provisional admission will be removed enabling the students to proceed to the second year. Students must also write and present a thesis proposal for approval to the Academic Committee to be granted the status of candidacy by the end of the first year. This status will entitle the student to begin to write the thesis. No student will be permitted to proceed with thesis research until candidacy is granted.
Residency and Non-residency
Students will be required to be in residence until all the course works are complete. However, exceptions can be made when a student is left with only writing of the thesis. In this case, he/she can do the research off campus. For this status to be granted, he/she will petition to the mentor and the Academic Committee. This status will be granted if the student can provide evidence that he/she can be off campus and finish the research without any hindrance to the progress of the research.
Deficiency and Incomplete Status
1. In some cases if the Academic Committee feels that a student is ill prepared for the degree, but nonetheless sees the potential and the prospect of developing the student, he/she will be required to take some remedial courses in the MDiv level to make up the deficiencies. Courses taken under this category will be entered as elective and will not count toward the total unit required for the MTh degree.
2. After a completion of one academic year the student’s academic performance will be reviewed by the Academic Committee. If the Committee feels that the student will not be able to do an advance study and research he/she will be asked to withdraw and will be awarded a Post-graduate Diploma in Theological Studies (PGDTS). In any case, students whose GPA falls under B will not be permitted for continuation unless the student agrees to make up the deficiencies by taking extra courses. Alternative arrangements must be made in consultation with the subject instructor and the Academic Dean. This may eventually lead to the extension of study duration.
Fees and Payment
Since MTh is the highest academic degree offered by OTS, there is no reduction of fees based on the units taken. The students will have to pay the stipulated fees as stated in the catalog. Apart from the fees stated in the catalog, MTh students will have to pay thesis fee and the cost for hood. The hood will be given to the candidates upon graduation. After a completion of two academic years if, however, the student has not completed the work, he/she will have to pay a full registration and admissions fee as stated in the catalog and another Rs 10000 (ten thousand) as thesis continuation fee and all other applicable fees. This is to activate the student to a full time status. Other fees such as dorm fee, library fee and others will be determined according to the need and utilization of the seminary facilities. A thesis registration fee of Rs. 10000 (Rupees ten thousand only) will be realized separately once the Thesis Proposal is approved by the Academic Committee.
At the outset of a student’s program the Faculty will assign a mentor. The mentor, who teaches in the area of the student’s concentration, is responsible for advising the student about courses and for supervision and examination of the thesis.
The writing of thesis is designed to demonstrate the student’s competence in his/her area of concentration. It should deal with a specific topic in a way comparable with a paper published in professional journals. The normal length of the thesis is 100-120 pages exclusive of bibliography. The thesis will be examined by the student’s mentor and a Second Reader. Until and unless the research satisfies the mentor and the Second Reader the Academic Committee will not consider the candidate for graduation. A minimum B+ must be secured on the thesis for graduation.
A thesis is considered complete/done when the following expectations are fulfilled:
The research satisfies the mentor and the Second Reader
The thesis is orally defended
Two standard bound copies with high quality paper are submitted to the Academic office.
Duration of the Program
It should be clearly understood that completion of the two years in residency or whatsoever without fulfilling the requirements does not constitute the completion of the program. Though the program is designed for two years the progress and completion of the requirements will solely depend on the student’s ability. However, the normal upper limit for completion of the MTh degree is four years. This time limit may only be extended in special circumstances by petition to the Academic Committee.
Graduation is the final stage of the student’s work. Upon fulfillment of the requirements, the Academic Committee will recommend the candidate for graduation. A minimum GPA of B+ must be secured for graduation. No student will be allowed to march in the graduation with any hang over. Students may be cleared for graduation during any quarter of the academic year, but conferring of degree will only take place during the Commencement Exercises. All academic requirements and dues in the accounts office must be cleared for graduation.