Students must complete 6 courses as a baseline requirement for either field in the ThM program. At least 3 of these courses must be in the candidate’s concentration. The candidate may choose the remaining courses from among any of the ThM/PhD courses. Up to 2 of the 6 courses may be taken as directed readings or independent studies. However, a maximum of 3 non-classroom courses (such as directed reading, independent studies, and approved transfer credit from other institutions) is allowed. A student may petition to take up to 2 courses offered to students at Westminster’s London-based ThM program, subject to advisory approval and space availability.
In addition to the 6 required courses, each candidate must complete PT 421 P Theological Bibliography & Research Methods. Candidates must take this course (on a pass/fail, non-credit basis and without tuition charge) within one year of acceptance.
ThM Greek or Hebrew Competency
While knowledge of the original languages of Scripture is required of all ThM students, admitted ThM students with the Old Testament concentration must demonstrate knowledge of grammar and reading proficiency in Hebrew at an advanced MDiv level prior to acceptance/commencement.
Admitted ThM students with the New Testament focus must demonstrate the same level of expertise in New Testament Greek prior to commencement. Such expertise will be demonstrated by means of a competency exam.
Failure to demonstrate competence on the required examination will result in remedial language study and evaluation, which must be completed during the first semester of enrollment. For the timing of language exams for modular ThM students, see the Modular ThM section.
The competency exams are similar to the placement exams described under the MDiv, MAR and Certificate general requirements, except that they test translation in significantly greater depth than the MDiv/MAR placement exams and do not include discourse analysis.
For further information, to view upcoming exam dates, and/or to register for an exam, please visit the Greek and Hebrew Languages page on the Seminary’s website.
ThM Research Language Exam
The candidate must demonstrate a working knowledge of one language for research purposes. Students in the Biblical Studies field should know either French or German. Students in the Theological Studies field should know French, German, Dutch, or Ecclesiastical Latin.
If another language is of particular value for the candidate’s studies, the field committee, upon request, may approve its substitution. An examination in the language chosen must be sustained prior to completion of the comprehensive exam. If the examination has not been sustained, the candidate cannot submit the thesis to the academic affairs office.
ThM Comprehensive Examination
Either an oral or written comprehensive examination is administered after submission of the thesis or, for students completing the 2-course capstone, within a student’s final term of coursework.
The comprehensive examination must be sustained at least 2 weeks before the commencement at which the degree is to be conferred. If the comprehensive examination is oral, it shall be conducted by the appropriate field committee under the direction of the coordinator of the department in which the student is concentrating. All current faculty members shall have the opportunity of taking part.
To be sustained, the oral examination must be approved by a majority of the faculty members present. If the comprehensive examination is written, it must be approved by the faculty members of the department in which the student is concentrating in order to be sustained.
You will also need to complete a capstone program. Learn more here.