Teaching the Next Teachers
The Master of Theology is the highest degree offered by Yellowstone Theological Institute and prepares students for a variety of careers, most notably as a teacher at Bible college or similar training position. The degree is typically earned in 18 to 24 months by students seeking a deeper knowledge of the Bible and more training for a role in ministry. It is primarily for students who have already earned a Master of Arts or Master of Divinity degree.
Enriching Seminars for Students
The Master of Theology is a research program and under most circumstances is the degree required for teaching in an undergraduate program at a Bible college or working full time as a senior or associate pastor in a church or as a chaplain. Incoming ThM students who have already earned a master’s degree in Bible studies or theology will complete a total of 18 hours of seminars and thesis work.
Many students become Bible college teachers after earning a Master of Theology degree. But others use their deep knowledge to launch a career in pastoral ministry as a chaplain or pastor, a Christian counselor, community service professional, youth minister or other related position.
18 Hours of Required Courses
18-24 Month Program
3 Advanced Seminars
Students seeking a Master of Theology degree who have already earned a master’s degree in Bible or theology must complete a total of 18 hours in seminar courses and thesis work. Students who do not have the prerequisites in biblical and theological studies must complete an additional 18 hours of leveling courses for a total of 36 hours. Students can earn the degree in 18 to 24 months.
YTI students in the ThM program will enroll in Readings for Advanced Studies and three advanced seminars focused on their particular area of study. Master’s degree candidates will also complete a substantial thesis project, preceded by a preparatory Research Methods Colloquy.
Required ThM Courses
- THM 501Research Methods Colloquy
The art and process of conducting research for a postgraduate degree is an important aspect of the degree program. The course covers the following issues: how to construct a viable thesis statement; how to construct a research program around the thesis; the importance of chapter outlines and general structuring of the paragraph, to the section, to the chapter and to the paper itself; and how to use databases in research. Non-credit. Meets for one 3-hour session.
- THM 530Readings for Advanced Studies
THM 530 is a core course for the Master of Theology degree. The course reads and discusses one pivotal book in theology, history, or philosophy each week of the term for a total of eight books. The readings give the student a basic platform from which to conduct postgraduate thesis studies. Offered biennially.
- THM 631Thesis
The final accomplishment of a Master of Theology student is the writing of a thesis, as the outcome of his or her research program. The thesis will answer a primary research question, and is to be no less than 50,000 words, and no more than 75,000 words.
- 3 Advanced Seminars
ThM students complete 9 hours of advanced seminars in their area of study.
*Required for students entering with insufficient background in biblical and theological studies.
- BIB 530Biblical Interpretation
In this course, students will learn the basics of biblical interpretation with its cultural elements and theological implications. This course is basic for the Master of Arts degree.
- BIB 532Old Testament 1: The Torah & Histories
The Old Testament is vast, spanning from the creation of the cosmos to the exile and return of God’s people Israel. In this course, we examine the fundamental texts of the Hebrew faith, called the “Torah” and the “Histories.” The Torah consists of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The Histories cover Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah. The course focuses on the narrative and theology of the Torah and Histories in the quest to understand Judeo-Christian origins, holiness, obedience, and disobedience
- BIB 533Old Testament 2: The Prophets & Poetry
The Old Testament is vast, spanning from the creation of the cosmos to the exile of God’s people Israel. In this course, we examine the particular contexts, images, and stories of the prophetic and poetic books within their historical contexts (Isaiah-Malachi, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, and the Five Scrolls), focusing on the theology and interpretation of these texts over time.
- BIB 534New Testament: The Gospels and Acts
The New Testament continues and consummates the drama begun in the Old Testament. In particular, it focuses on Jesus of Nazareth as the solution to the cosmic problem originating in Genesis 3. This course focuses on the person, work, and teaching of Jesus provided for us in the four Gospels, as well as the birth of the church in Acts.
- BIB 535New Testament 2: Romans to Revelation
Following the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus, the earliest expressions of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church are articulated by Paul, the apostle. This course covers the narrative, history, and theology of the Paul’s epistles: Romans, 1 & Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, Philemon, 1 & 2 Timothy, and Titus; as well as the general epistles: Hebrews, James, 1 & 2 Peter, John’s epistles, Jude, and the Apocalypse of John. The course covers the context, theology, and history of reception of these writings.
- THEO 532Theology for the Church
THEO 532 examines the earliest articulations of Christian belief with its evolution to the present day. The course takes the students from the biblical confessions through the patristic creeds to the Reformed confessions to contemporary Christian doctrines in the postmodern era. The student will develop a firm understanding of theological method and how to instill in the church the process of theological reflection. The course has a special emphasis on classic Christian teachings (doctrine) for the contemporary church.
- THEO 538Introduction to the Wild God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
THEO 538 introduces the student to a “renewed” doctrine of the Trinity, describing the very nature of God — the nature of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — as well as their roles as described in the biblical revelation and in the experience of the church. It is an important, foundational course to understand how the Holy Spirit desires to work in the hearts and lives of believers, the church, and the world.
The Master of Theology may be earned in the following concentration areas:
- Biblical Studies
- Missional Theology
Gaining a Deeper Knowledge
Students who earn a Master of Theology degree will find many opportunities for a stimulating and spiritually enriching career. Our ThM program opens doors to a variety of professions – from teaching students at a Bible college to serving others as a chaplain or church pastor. The format of our program accommodates the particular needs of students with its hybrid residential/online curriculum. While they are on campus for engaging seminars, students find an uplifting atmosphere as they interact with YTI’s dedicated faculty and staff amid the beauty of the Bozeman region.
“We are secure, not because
we hold tightly to Jesus,
but because He holds
tightly to us.”
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