The Master of Theology (MTh) course has been designed for study and research to be undertaken normally in one field of specialisation within the Department of Bible and Language, Department of Christian Thought, or Department of Ministry and Practice.
From its inauguration the MTh has been used as a research degree for theology graduates who are already engaged in the ministerial profession as aspiring teachers in theological colleges in Australia and overseas.
Graduates of the course may articulate to the ACT’s ThD, DMin and PhD.
Academic Admission Rules
- All applicants must have the support of an ACT supervising college which must provide the principal supervisor.
- All applicants with non-ACT qualifications must submit along with their completed application form original or certified copies of transcripts or certificates of all tertiary study completed in theology or ministry.
- All applicants seeking entry to the MTh must have completed biblical and other language requirements that lay the foundation for research in their topic.
- All applicants must demonstrate English language skills appropriate to this level of study. Candidates will either have satisfactorily completed a qualification solely in English at an approved tertiary institution OR have been resident in Australia with English spoken at home and work for at least 10 years OR have achieved a minimum overall band score of 7.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), with a minimum of 7.5 in reading and writing, 7.0 in listening and 6.5 in speaking.
Candidates must either be a graduate of one of the following awards of the ACT or its equivalent as determined by the Research and Research Studies Committee of the ACT.
- ACT BTh or BMin graduates with an overall GPA of 2.0-2.99 and a Credit grade in a minimum 8cp project may become candidates for the MTh degree but will not be permitted to upgrade during the MTh to a doctoral program.
- ACT BTh or BMin graduates with an overall GPA of 3.0 or more, and Distinction grade in a minimum 8cp project may become candidates for the MTh and will be permitted to upgrade during the MTh to a doctoral program with no reduction in candidature time for the doctorate.
- ACT graduates of the BTh (or BMin) Honours IIB with 65% in the dissertation may become candidates for the MTh and will be permitted to upgrade during the MTh to a doctoral program with the time taken in the MTh program deducted from candidature time for the doctorate.
- ACT Master of Divinity (MDiv) graduates with an overall GPA of 2.0-2.99 and a Credit grade in a minimum 8 cp project may become candidates for the MTh degree but will not be permitted to upgrade during the MTh to a doctoral program.
- ACT Master of Arts (Theology) or Master of Arts (Ministry) graduates with an overall GPA of 2.0-2.99 and Credit grade in a minimum 8cp project may be granted candidature in the MTh and will be permitted to upgrade during the MTh to a doctoral program with the time taken in the MTh program deducted from candidature time for the doctorate.
- Master of Arts (Christian Studies) graduates who have an Honours or research degree in a non-theological discipline may seek to become candidates on condition that the MTh thesis integrates the study of theology with their non- theological discipline.
The minimum time for candidature in the Master of Theology is two years. The maximum time for candidature is four years. Candidates may study full-time or part-time. Full time students will normally take 16 credit points per semester from the scheduled subjects.
Credit points refer to the overall student effort including contact hours and time on assessment tasks. The degree requires the satisfactory completion of 64 credit points.
There are three different pathways to complete the MTh:
- 40,000 – 50,000 word thesis (64 cps)
- Coursework of 2x 8cp individual study units at 700 level (16cp) followed by 28,000-35,000 word thesis (48 cps)
- Two research papers of 8,000 words each (8 cps each), followed by 28,000-35,000 word thesis (48 cps)
- Demonstration of research skills and advanced knowledge in a specialised area of the discipline of theology, by which is meant a topic from one of the unit fields of the Departments of Bible and Languages (LA, OT, NT), the Department of Christian Thought (TH, CH, PE) including Integrative Studies (IN), and Ministry and Practice (EM, PC, DM)
- Demonstration of a high order of skill in analysis, critical evaluation and/or the professional application in a piece of extended research that exhibits comprehension and evaluation of new information, concepts and evidence encountered both in primary sources and also the secondary literature arising out of scholarly reflection in a specialised area of one or more of the major disciplines in theology such as Biblical Studies, Theology, Church History, Ethics, or Ministry and Practice
- Demonstration of a high order of skill in analysis and critical evaluation transferred from undergraduate study and showing evidence of the ability to think independently
The thesis of 40,000–50,000 words (or 28,000–35,000 words if a coursework phase has been undertaken) including footnotes, which should also contain a synopsis of about 300 words, must not incorporate any material previously submitted by the candidate for any other degree or similar award.
The thesis must contribute to theological learning. Where no new material is presented, the thesis must give evidence of correcting or supplementing earlier work or of presenting the material in fresh perspective. The thesis may be a critical survey of existing knowledge or an original contribution to its subject. In either case, it must give evidence of some originality and independence of thought. The literary style must be acceptable.
The candidate must demonstrate that he or she is aware of and understands the primary and scholarly literature directly relevant to the topic as well as related areas of significance, is able to make considered judgments, and can report sympathetically points of view different from those of the candidate. Where the primary documents on which the thesis is focussed are in a language other than English, such as biblical and modern languages, the candidate may be required to show evidence that he or she is able to read and analyse them.
Normally, candidates will complete the degree by writing a thesis only. Candidates who choose to or are required to complete some coursework units (16 cps) must complete this before commencing their research.
If coursework is approved units must be taken from those offered at 700 level.