Program Director: Teofilo Correa
Associate Program Directors:
Aivars Ozolins (Applied Theology Concentrations)
Carlos Mora (Biblical Studies Concentrations)
Kyungho Song (Theological-Historical Studies Concentrations)
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.
The Master of Theology program aims:
The MTh degree is not earned by the mere accumulation of credits but is conferred in recognition of outstanding standards of scholarship and level of expertise in a student’s main area of concentration and cognate, as demonstrated orally and in writing following independent research based on in-depth analysis, mature synthesis and interpretation of evidence, and responsible application.
MTh specialists should possess the following competencies, and demonstrate the outcomes:
|Faithfulness to God and Scripture||Candidates should be able to clearly describe the theological, philosophical, epistemological, and cultural assumptions on which their theology is based.|
|Comprehensive understanding of the chosen area of concentration||Ability to deal with philosophical underpinnings of different theories or positions in their concentration area, as well as a thorough knowledge of their cognate.|
|Advanced research and writing capability in the chosen concentration||Logical, clearly written papers, following accepted written standards, based on original ideas and objective research that contribute to the field of study.|
|Expertise in teaching and other forms of communication, as well as networking with other professionals||Candidates are expected to publish and present at scholarly meetings, as well as demonstrate teaching skills and cultural sensitivity in the classroom and pulpit|
Each MTh candidate will choose one area of concentration from the following:
Old Testament Studies
New Testament Studies
Church Leadership and Administration
Intercultural Studies and World Mission
In addition to a concentration, students should choose a cognate from a different field of study. Possible options for the cognate are as follows:
Church Leadership and Administration
Students may also choose a different graduate level cognate approved by the Programs Committee.
All application materials must be submitted to the Office of Admissions and Records no later than six months before the intended beginning of the program. The entry point for the MTh in Religion is June (the first semester of the school year) for in-residence MTh students, and March for In-Ministry MTh students. Late applications may not be considered until the following year.
The minimum time to complete an MTh program is two years for in-residence candidates (4 years for In-Ministry candidates), if no remedial or pre-requisite courses are needed. All degree requirements have to be completed within four years (6 years for In-Ministry candidates) of initial registration.
The regular full-time coursework load for in-residence students is 9-12 units per semester, and 6 units during the Intersemester. Sponsored students are expected to take a full load of 12 units per semester. On-campus students who are registered for comprehensive preparation or examination are considered as fulltime students.
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.
|Rest of year||Aim to Complete|
|1||6 credits (AIIAS)||6 credits (home)||12 credits|
|6 credits (AIIAS)||6 credits (home)||12 credits|
General knowledge examination,
6 credits (AIIAS)
|6 credits (home)||Pre-candidacy, 12 credits|
6 credits (incl. teaching
|MTh degree awarded|
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), publishablequality, 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.
In order to complete the MTh program, the following requirements must be met:
|GSEM 894 Course Development and Teaching Practicum||3|
|TOTAL Program Credits||48|
2. Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or above. Only grades of B- or above (or S) can apply toward the degree program. The matriculation of students who accumulate three grades below B- (including U) is normally terminated.
3. Language Requirements. In addition to biblical languages proficiency, students with an OT concentration are required to take OTST 658 184 Master of Theology Biblical Aramaic and OTST 852 Advanced Hebrew. Those with a NT concentration are required to take NTST 852 Advanced Greek. If they have taken these advanced courses or equivalents in another context (graduate level) they may choose to replace them with other courses.
4. Students with a concentration in Biblical Studies are required to take OTST/NTST 809 Seminar in Biblical Methods or OTST/NTST 813 Seminar in Biblical Interpretation as part of their studies.
5. Students with a concentration in Applied Theology are required to take at least one 3-credit, doctoral level, methodology course based on the approach proposed for their dissertation. In consultation with the program director the student may choose; RESM 715 Advanced Statistics; RESM 740 Qualitative Research Methods; RESM 751 Applied Qualitative Research Methods; RESM 730 Documentary Research; MSSN 795 Approaches in Applied Theology Research; MSSN 795 Approaches in Applied Theology Research in Mission.
6. Register for GSEM 894 Course Development and Teaching Practicum and teach a course under the instruction of the department of the concentration. This will give the student experience in teaching in the field of concentration at graduate level, after pre-candidacy is granted. If the student has had a record of 3 years teaching at graduate level, this requirement is waived, and the student will register for another course.
7. Demonstrate, by a proficiency exam taken at AIIAS, a working knowledge of one or more modern and/or ancient language(s) (other than English, Biblical Hebrew, Biblical Greek, and/or a research tool needed for theological studies as determined in consultation with the student’s program director and approved by the Program Committee. This requirement must be completed before taking the comprehensive examinations.
8. Not earlier than the last semester, five comprehensive examinations will be taken that will proportionately cover material from both the student’s concentration and cognate.
Advancement to Pre-candidacy
The department will evaluate all students in the program upon completion of their first 24 credits of MTh program. The evaluation will be based on grades, research skills, and general aptitude for the proposed program of study. Approved students will be advanced to pre-candidacy for the MTh degree by the Program Committee. The following aspects must be noted:
If the last courses remaining to be taken in the course work of a student amount to 6 units or less, a MTh student may enroll them together with Preparation for the Comprehensives (no credit) which is counted for study load purposes as equivalent to 6 units. The comprehensive examination (also no credit) has a load value of another 6 units. Preparation for Comprehensives and the examination itself may be enrolled together, or in different semesters, as long as the preparation represents between 3 and 5 months of study for the examinations.
Upon completion of coursework and an appropriate period of intensive study and research, five comprehensive examinations will be taken. Four 6-hour examinations will be taken in the concentration area, and one 6-hour examination in the cognate. These examinations are normally given one each week over five weeks. Areas of focus for the comprehensive examinations are within the fields of study as follows:
Methodology & Hermeneutics
Historical Background & Archeology
General Christian Studies
Distinctive Seventh-day Adventist Doctrines
Christian Philosophy and Ethics
Theology of Ministry and Mission
Culture and Context
Church Leadership and Administration
Credits accrued during the MTh program at AIIAS are fully transferable toward a PhD in Religion at AIIAS, conditional to meeting the PhD program requirements, and the MTh degree not being awarded.