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Master of Theology


1.  Objectives

The Th.M. program is particularly designed for persons who desire to enhance a scholarly dimension in their priestly or ministerial vocations.  It is especially appropriate for those preparing to teach, those interested in furthering their theological knowledge and spiritual life, or those intending to pursue doctoral work.

2.  Program Learning Outcomes

Holy Cross seeks to prepare students in the Master of Theology program to:

  1. Knowledge of the area of concentration

    a. Assimilate and critically analyze the data in any of these subjects by taking 6000-7000 level courses
    b. Articulate how their proposed topic relates to current scholarly discussion acquired in the 6000-7000 level courses
    c. Undertake and complete a project (ThM thesis) of specialized research within the prescribed time framework
  2. Acquirement and integration of scholarly tools and skills

    a. Read ancient / modern theological texts of moderate difficulty using the dictionary
    b. Perform thesis research and gain admittance to a doctoral program for those who want to continue their academic work
    c. Produce a bibliography in the subject of a specific area of concentration
    d. Use efficiently library and online resources in the area of research
    e. Produce standard forms of graduate-level scholarly works (e.g., seminar papers and oral presentations) consistent with the requirements of a 6000-7000 level course

3.  Admission Requirements

Holy Cross welcomes applications from qualified applicants to the Th.M. program.  In addition to regular admission requirements, applicants must have completed the Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent, such as the Licentiate of Theology, with an accumulative GPA of 3.3 or better.  Applicants who hold only the Master of Theological Studies degree (M.T.S.) are required to complete an additional four theology courses (or twelve credits) prior to their matriculation into the Th.M. program.  Language requirements include intermediate knowledge of New Testament or Patristic Greek, proficiency in English, and a reading knowledge of one of the following: French, German, Greek, or Russian.

4.  Degree Requirements

Students who are accepted into the program are required to complete a one-year residency, eight theology courses (or twenty-four credits), and a thesis of 75-100 pages in length.  The program is also open to qualified part-time students; however, it must be completed, including acceptance of the thesis, within a period of up to four years.   Th.M. students must complete at least four upper-level courses (or twelve credits).  The remaining four courses (or additional twelve credits) may be taken according to a student's program needs. 

Candidates without a previous degree in Orthodox theology are required to complete two additional core courses, one in patristic studies and one in dogmatic theology, beyond the twenty-four required course credits.  They will be expected to meet all the requirements for these courses for which a Pass/Fail grade will be given.  Students may also cross-register for as many as three courses (or nine credits) within the member schools of the Boston Theological Institute (BTI) or other accredited theological schools. 

Upon enrollment in the program, candidates must choose a concentration among the basic fields of theology.  These include the biblical field (Old and New Testaments), historical field (Church History and Patristics), systematic field (Dogmatics and Ethics), and practical field (Liturgics, Canon Law, Pastoral Theology, and Homiletics).  Four courses in any of the above fields are considered a concentration.  The remaining four courses are to be selected from the three fields other than one's area of concentration.

The thesis will be written in the area of concentration in close collaboration with a faculty advisor chosen by the student from among the faculty teaching in that field.  The thesis must demonstrate critical understanding and competent research at an advanced level.  Students are urged to seriously consider a topic for research as soon as possible during the semester in which they are enrolled.  A prospectus outlining the way in which the thesis will be developed must be approved by the Th.M. Committee before writing can begin.       

Thesis seminars, to be held periodically during the academic year, will be a forum for candidates to exchange ideas and information about their topic of research.