Master of Theology

The Master of Theology Program offers a third level degree in theology and is similar to the Doctor of Philosophy in Religion (PhD). It is intended for MDiv or MA-R graduates with a strong academic orientation, who wish to become specialists in Applied Theology, Biblical Studies, or Historical-Theological Studies. It is accredited by the Adventist Accreditation Association (AAA) and the Association for Theological Education in South East Asia (ATESEA).

The degree involves a minimum duration of two years of specialized study and research beyond the master’s degree. The student chooses a concentration and a cognate from one particular field of study. This degree program equips individuals for research and qualifies them to teach in theological colleges in their area of concentration.

Program Length

Two years for in-residence candidates. Four years for in-ministry candidates.

When to Begin

August for in-residence MTh students. May for in-Ministry MTh students.

Admission Requirements 

1. An MA in Religion (MA-R) or MDiv degree.

2. A minimum entrance GPA of 3.50 on a four-point scale (or equivalent).

3. A minimum of two years of full–time church ministry experience.

4. The following additional documents must be submitted to the Admissions Office:

  • Recommendations from the following using the forms provided: An academic administrative officer or leader of the applicant’s employing organization in the last five years, and the school from which the applicant received the graduate degree, if other than AIIAS.
  • Personal statement of approximately 600 words explaining the student’s purpose for seeking the Master of Theology degree, and his/her philosophical perspective and professional goals.

5. Demonstrated proficiency in English.

6. A Research Paper with an original (20-page minimum), publishable quality, academic article (or thesis summary) in the area of interest, which is to be reviewed and approved by the major department and program director of the area of concentration. Detailed guidelines will be made available to the applicant as part of the enrollment package. In case the paper is not written in English, the original and a translated version need to be submitted.

7. An interview with the candidate.

Prerequisites

  1. At least 15 graduate semester hours in the proposed area of concentration.
  2. Those applying for a Biblical Studies or Theological-Historical concentration should have a pass (B or above) in GSEM 630 Documentary Research and Writing.
  3. Those applying for an Applied Theology concentration should have a pass (B or above) in both of the following: GSEM/RESM 615 Statistics GSEM/RESM 610 Research Methods or ____ 600 Applied Theology Research and Writing or equivalent.
  4. A pass (B or above) in OTST/NTST 612 Biblical Hermeneutics.
  5. MTh applicants must demonstrate proficiency in both Greek and Hebrew (Grammar and/or Reading) before entrance into the program, by a proficiency exam. Students whose concentration is OT or NT should demonstrate proficiency in both Hebrew and Greek Readings level (B, 83%). Students with another concentration should choose the language in which to demonstrate Reading proficiency (B, 83%) while the other language will only require Grammar proficiency (C, 73%). Applicants who do not fulfill this requirement may be admitted on provisional status and fulfill it by taking remedial course(s) concurrently with their MTh coursework, but not later than 50% of the coursework has been completed. Theological Seminary 183 Students who fail to meet this deadline will not be allowed to register further for regular course work until the biblical language proficiency is met.
  6. GSEM 608 Advanced Methods of Teaching Bible is a prerequisite for GSEM 894 Course Development and Teaching Practicum. This prerequisite can alternatively be fulfilled by providing evidence of three years of full-time undergraduate teaching at an accredited institution.

Areas of Study – Concentration

Each MTh candidate will choose one area of concentration from the following:

Biblical Studies

  • Old Testament Studies
  • New Testament Studies

Theological-Historical Studies

  • Theological Studies
  • Historical Studies

Applied Theology

  • Church Ministry
  • Church Leadership and Administration
  • Intercultural Studies and World Mission

Areas of Study – Cognate

In addition to a concentration, students should choose a cognate from a different field of study. Possible options for the cognate are as follows:

  • Biblical Studies (Old Testament or New Testament)
  • Theological-Historical Studies (Theological Studies, Historical Studies, Adventist History, or Historical Theology)
  • Applied Theology (Church Ministry, Church Leadership and Administration, Intercultural Studies, and World Mission)

In-Ministry MTh Track

The In-Ministry track of the MTh in Religion program allows candidates to save on the total cost of earning an MTh as well as continue their employment. However, candidates should meet the English proficiency and clear all prerequisites before being allowed to enter this track:

  • Biblical languages proficiency
  • Prerequisite credits in their concentration area
  • Academic publishable paper

Candidates and their employers should sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) making sure that students will be able to come to AIIAS one term (2 months) per year during Sessions 1 to 3 of their program, for 6 months during Session 4 (see table), and be able to spend at least 10 quality hours a week to complete assignments during the rest of each year while in the program. Candidates should also have an adequate Internet connection, and access to suitable academic libraries online and offline while studying at home. The Seminary will contact and evaluate, and may even visit the proposed libraries in the student’s country.

In-Ministry MTh Students will spend a term during each of their first three years at AIIAS taking classes, attending doctoral seminars, and completing Directed Readings/Research during the rest of the year. This way, the student will register for up to 12 units a year. At the beginning of the Session 3 on campus, students will take the general knowledge examination. For Session 4, students will come for 6 months finishing the rest of the course credits and preparing for comprehensive examinations. The last month will be reserved for taking the comprehensive examinations. This schedule requires good time management and planning.

It is recommended that the student comes alone to take courses on AIIAS campus. The Seminary will provide the necessary doctoral seminars when InMinistry MTh students are on campus. Before going home every year the student should propose topics and sign a number of contracts for Directed Readings/Research in order to fulfill the planned credits for the yearly session, make the necessary arrangements with professors, examiners, advisors, or committees, and to renew their library research. All other program requirements specified in the MTh description of the AIIAS Bulletin apply to the In-Ministry MTh track as well.

Session On-Campus Residence Rest of year Aim to Complete
1 6 credits (AIIAS) 6 credits (home) 12 credits 
2 6 credits (AIIAS) 6 credits (home) 12 credits
3 General knowledge examination,
6 credits (AIIAS)
6 credits (home) Pre-candidacy, 12 credits
4 6 credits (incl. teaching
practicum-AIIAS)
6 credits,
preparation for
Comprehensive
examination 
12 credits
Comprehensive
examinations (AIIAS)
  MTh degree awarded

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