MTh

The Master of Theology is designed to strengthen leaders in their gospel ministry. It deepens leaders’ biblical and theological knowledge while strengthening their pastoral, preaching and leadership skills. With options for full and part-time study, and offered on campus or in Learning Communities, the MTh provides church leaders with a feasible option to study alongside current ministry commitments.

Overview

Our MTh in Scripture and Theology, validated by The Open University, is designed with two purposes in mind: depth and flexibility.

Firstly, leaders who want to grow their understanding and skills in specific areas can choose to focus their studies through a range of biblical, linguistic, historical, systematic or pastoral studies. As well as a wide range of modules, you also complete a core dissertation where you can explore a chosen subject in more depth with the guidance and support of a faculty member.

Secondly, the MTh is tailored for those in existing ministry, work or academic positions. If you are in full-time ministry, you can choose to study over an intensive few days on campus or over a more extended period in our off-campus Learning Communities.

Most students on the MTh already serve as pastors, elders, church planters, women’s workers and ministry leaders, or are studying alongside other work or family commitments. Students come from a variety of backgrounds and ministry contexts across the UK, as well as many overseas students from the US, Canada, Europe and further afield. This diverse community means that students not only learn from and build friendships with faculty, but also one another – supporting them in their ongoing ministry.

Programme Details and Contents

The MTh programme gives students the opportunity to explore topics at graduate level and strengthen their existing understanding and pastoral skills. Each module is focussed on specific areas of biblical, linguistic, historical, systematic or pastoral studies, but is broad enough to meet the needs of students across a variety of ministry contexts. Using a variety of teaching methods, including lectures, seminars, class discussions and placements, our faculty guide students through their studies, exposing them to a range of theological scholarship and beliefs while equipping them with concrete skills for ministry.

The MTh programme is made up of two parts, totalling 180 credits (90 ECTS). Part One consists of six taught modules each worth 20 credits (10 ECTS). There are two core modules that everyone must complete: Doctrine of Scripture and Research Methods. Reflecting our Evangelical and Reformed distinctives, we believe studying scripture is foundational to theological study. Meanwhile the Research Methods module introduces students to graduate-level theological study and research.

Part Two consists of a 15,000-word dissertation worth 60 credits (30 ECTS). With approval from their supervisor, students can choose their own area of research and will receive regular support and guidance. Successful completion of Part 1 and Part 2 will lead to the award of an MTh.

It is possible to take individual MTh modules rather than as part of a full degree course. The admissions officer will be happy to advise.

Biblical Studies Theological and Historical Studies Ministerial Practice
Research Methods (Team)

Hebrew Texts*

Greek Exegesis*

Advanced Greek Reading*

Advanced Exegesis of Biblical Texts in English

(not available in LCs)

Biblical Theology

Doctrine of Scripture

Theology of Early Church Fathers

History & Theology of Evangelicalism

Creation and the Environment

(not available in LCs)

Spiritual Formation of the Leader

Contemporary Church Issues for Evangelicalism

Popular Culture & the Christian Worldview
(not available in LCs)

Preachers and Their Preaching

(not available in LCs)

Dissertation

These modules are not available in Learning Communities. Any student interested in these modules should contact the School directly to discuss possible options.

The availability and running order of the modules listed above varies from year to year, so please be sure to check that the modules you wish to take are being run during the academic year(s) you are planning to attend.

MTh Campus Schedule 20/21 Module Descriptors Overview

“I perhaps shouldn’t have been surprised, but what’s continually struck me is the warmth of the community. Studying here isn’t simply an opportunity to study the scriptures and understand theology and ministry better, it’s also an opportunity to be refreshed personally and spiritually.” - David, an MTh student and church planter in the Balkans

Two routes for MTh study

There are two approaches to studying on our MTh programme. You can choose to study through intensive weeks on campus, either full- or part-time. Or you can choose to study part-time on a weekly basis in one of our MTh Learning Communities.

On-campus study

If you choose the campus option, you’ll attend the campus for week-long intensive teaching blocks, and you can select which modules you’d like to take. Six intensive teaching weeks (corresponding to the six taught modules required for Part 1) are scheduled each year, in three periods of two consecutive weeks. Two weeks are held at the end of August and beginning of September, two are held in early January, and two are held in March.

If you choose to take the optional language modules as part of your MTh, three additional visits are required each year for each language module - the nature of language teaching involves more extended periods of face-to-face time.

The programme may be completed on a full-time basis in 12 months, or on a part-time basis taking up to 4 years.

Full-time

A full-time student will typically need to attend all 6 teaching weeks in the academic year. If they choose an language module, they attend 5 teaching weeks plus 3 more teaching weeks for their language module (please note, only one language module may be taken on the full-time MTh).

Once they have completed the assessments for the taught modules, they will then need to complete the dissertation in the following months.

Part-time

Most part-time students complete their taught modules in 2-3 years and the dissertation in the following months or year.

Examples of schedules:

You may wish to take the taught modules over 2 years (a popular approach)

  • You could take 3 modules in the first year, 3 in the second. Or depending on your commitments, 2 in the first, 4 in the second, or 1 then 5.
  • You could then complete the dissertation in the third year

You may wish to take the taught modules over 3 years

  • To spread the time evenly, you could take 2 modules per year, involving two week-long visits to campus
  • You would then need to complete the dissertation in the fourth year

For students choosing to take language modules, the schedule would involve additional weeks. So, for example, if you choose to take one language module, you will attend 5 teaching weeks for your other taught modules (spread across your chosen number of years), plus 3 more teaching weeks in a single given year for each language module. If you choose two language modules, you will attend 4 teaching weeks for your other taught modules (spread across a number of years), plus 3 more teaching weeks in one year, and 3 more teaching weeks in a further year. To discuss delivery and entry requirements for the languages modules, please get in touch

It is possible to begin the part-time programme with any of the six intensive teaching weeks. In the case of entry at weeks 1 or 2 teaching block, applications must be received by 26th June. For entry at weeks 3 or 4, applications must be received by November 1st. For entry at weeks 5 or 6, applications must be received by 31st July. Note, however, it is only possible to study on a full-time basis by beginning the programme at teaching week 1 in August.

Living on campus during the MTh and sabbaticals

During the intensive teaching weeks most students stay in our on-site accommodation and eat meals together with faculty in our dining hall. This is a very well-priced option and allows students to build friendships with faculty and other students. Students are also welcome to bring their family if they wish to have a ‘mini-break’ from home – the surrounding area has award-winning beaches, countryside and leisure facilities.

The campus is in easy reach of motorways, Bridgend train station and Cardiff Airport, with connecting international flights.

Some students studying on a full-time basis choose to live on campus for an academic year and join in the community life which includes pastoral workshops, research seminars, and daily worship and prayer. A number of students have chosen to take a year out of ministry and complete the MTh in this way, seeing it as a refreshing time of theological and spiritual growth. For sabbaticals, it’s also possible to live on site for a few months while attending MTh teaching weeks.

In Learning Communities

We also offer the MTh through our approved Learning Communities across the world. This route provides the opportunity for students to work through the MTh modules in a less intensive way by meeting on a weekly basis across two semesters. The MTh accessed through Learning Communities is only available part-time and each Learning Community offers a predetermined set of modules, but students are able to choose the option of language study on campus, and the topic of their dissertation.

All the teaching and assessment is delivered by UST lecturers, with a local Lead Mentor facilitating the work of the Learning Community.

The entry point for study of the MTh in a Learning Community is September of each year. Applications for a September start should be submitted by 31st July.

Six 20 credit modules are delivered in alternate years (3 modules one year and three the next) so that new students study the same modules as students in their second year. Students studying in a Learning Community who wish to take language modules must visit the campus for intensive weeks and will ‘swap’ the language module in place of another module from the Learning Community. See above for more details. With the achievement of 120 credits, Part One of the MTh is successfully completed, with the Dissertation remaining. The Dissertation may be completed over the summer months following the second year of taught modules, making it possible to complete the programme in 2 years. Alternatively, as with campus students, it is possible to take up to a year to complete the Dissertation.

Students will typically need to study around 20-25 hours per week over the 22 teaching weeks of each academic year. This includes the one study day a week generally spent in the Learning Community.

Our network of Learning Communities is spread throughout the world and a select number offer the MTh. Please visit this page to see if your nearest one offers the MTh. If it doesn’t, please get in touch with our team who will try to help.

Admission Requirements

MTh applicants should normally have a lower second-class honours degree in Theology or a closely related discipline. Applicants may also be admitted who have achieved an average of 50% in UST’s Graduate Diploma in Theology. Please visit this page for more information on the GDip. Where applicants do not meet the normal entry criteria, admission may be permitted if the applicant can demonstrate that they have the experience and / or prior qualifications to be reasonably expected to succeed on the programme.

Students exiting the MTh programme early will achieve a Postgraduate Diploma if they have successfully attained 120 credits (i.e. all of Part One but not the dissertation).

Essential Information

  • Full-time completion in 1 year, or part-time in up to 4 years
  • Can be studied on campus or in Learning Communities
  • Modules may be studied individually rather than as part of a full degree programme
  • Students must complete a total of 6 taught modules then a dissertation
  • The MTh corresponds to Level 7 in the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications
  • On-campus study can begin with any of the three teaching blocks. Learning Community based study always begins in September

Regulations for Open University Awards at Union School of Theology

2019-20 Master of Theology in Scripture and Theology Student Handbook: Union School of Theology - Open University Validated Programme

Click here to view student fees

University Logo QAA Review Grpahic thumbnail

This award is validated by The Open University

Next Steps

If you have any questions about this course or the application process, please get in touch.

Apply