ACTS Master of Theology Degree
The Master of Theology is an advanced, thesis-based research program.
The Master of Theology degree is designed for those who have already completed a Master’s degree (normally a Master of Divinity degree) with a significant number of hours in biblical studies, theology, history of Christianity and/or religious studies.
The program is ideal for those whose sense of vocation includes teaching and scholarship, for those planning to go on to doctoral studies, and for those interested in acquiring advanced training and knowledge in a specialized area to enhance church-based ministries or to enrich a teaching role.
The program requires 30 semester hours to complete and requires strong research skills and a commitment to academic excellence. This degree program culminates in a written thesis that demonstrates competency in academic research and writing. A range of specializations that build upon previous biblical, theological and historical studies are available. The program generally takes between 1-2 years to complete.
Each area of specialization can accommodate a wide range of particular research interests due to the diversity of expertise among the faculty at GSTS / ACTS Seminaries and the broader Trinity Western University campus. This faculty includes specialists in Christian scriptures, Septuagint studies, Second Temple Judaism, early Christian origins and Graeco-Roman culture, patristic studies, contemporary theology, social ethics, cross-cultural studies, evangelical Protestantism, Christianity in Canada, and contemporary apologetics.
The diversity and depth of the course offerings and the flexibility of the program structure are augmented by an environment characterized by the personal attention and mentoring of faculty, and enriched further by interaction within the student community.
The Master of Theology program will:
- Expand students’ knowledge of a theological discipline through advanced study and practice that includes attention to methodology, significant issues, interrelationships, implications, and teaching competency.
- Improve students’ competency to do research in an area of specialization;
- Enhance students’ research-writing skills through scholarly presentations and the preparation of a graduate thesis;
- Develop students’ philosophy and theology of scholarly ministry;
- Develop a sufficient foundation of knowledge necessary for teaching in a particular discipline;
- Prepare students for doctoral studies;
- Equip students to serve as better-equipped leaders for church-related, educational, or community work.
- To receive Master of Theology degree students will complete 30 semester hours of graduate courses as prescribed for the program, including the thesis, with a cumulative GPA of 3.0. A minimum of 24 hours must be completed at ACTS.
- Completion of research requirements, which include presentation of a satisfactory thesis that is no more than 32,000 words in length, that shows adequate research, balance and literary style, and that conforms to the format prescribed by the faculty; and successful passing of an oral examination based upon the thesis.
- Students will normally have five years from point of initial admission within which to complete the degree.
- Students will also give evidence of consistent Christian character, conduct, and biblical faith and must be recommended accordingly by the faculty.
Brian M. Rapske, Ph. D.
Master of Theology Program Chair
An established scholar, Brian strives to educate and encourage his students to live a life that interconnects the life of faith and the life of learning. He, himself, strives to emulate the words of pietist scholar Johann Albrecht Bengel: Apply thyself wholly to the text; apply the text wholly to thyself.