Master of Sacred
Theology  S.T.M.

Only courses passed with a grade of B (3.00) or better receive graduate credit and only courses designated for graduate credit apply. S.T.M. courses are offered every Fall and Spring semester by the following departments:


• Biblical Theology

• Ethics, Philosophy, and Religion

• Historical and Systematic Theology


S.T.M.-level Old Testament courses require basic competency in Hebrew (BT 308 or equivalent) and S.T.M.-level New Testament courses require basic competency in New Testament Greek (BT 302 or equivalent).


Library Access

Because students at the S.T.M. level will be expected to write research papers for their classes, as well as complete a thesis paper, students will be expected to work closely with library services, which will aid in the finding and use of research materials.

The Program

Course Requirements

Six courses at the 700 or 800 level (18 credits) including the following:

  • PTE 750: Methodology and Approaches to Graduate Study (3 credits)

  • BT 798, PTE 798 or HST 798: Thesis Research (3 credits)

  • BT 799, PTE 799 or HST 799: Thesis (6 credits)

Total: 30 Credits


Thesis Requirement


A 50-75 page (12,000-20,000 word) thesis paper is required for completion of the degree. 
Thesis Research course (BT 798, HST 798 or PTE 798) 
This is a readings course on the student’s proposed thesis topic.
The student and his or her advisor agree on a reading program before the start of the semester.
The student reads independently, meeting with his or her advisor regularly for consultation.


Thesis Proposal

In consultation with a thesis advisor, the student develops a thesis proposal (900 words). At least 60 days prior to the first
day of classes in the semester when the student will enroll in the STM Thesis course, the student submits the proposal to a thesis committee.
The thesis committee consists of 2-3 faculty members (including the advisor), at least one of whom should be a member of ILT’s permanent faculty.


STM Thesis course (BT 799, HST 799 or PTE 799)

If the thesis committee approves the proposal, the student enrolls in the STM Thesis course as an independent study.
This course can be continued through the following 
semester if needed. The student completes the research and writing
of the thesis during this time, in consultation with the advisor. The thesis should use the Chicago Style (guidelines are available from the librarian.)


The thesis must include:
    • Title page
    • Copyright page
    • Signatory page
    • Librarian Certification page 
    • Table of Contents
    • Text of thesis 
    • Bibliography


Thesis Defense

When the thesis is completed and approved by the advisor, the student schedules a defense of the thesis. The defense occurs before the last day of classes within the semester. The student should supply the members of the committee with a copy of the thesis in good time to allow them to read and comment on it. The Thesis Committee determines the final grade for the thesis, which is the grade for the Thesis course. The student provides a bound copy of the completed thesis to the ILT Library. (Consult the librarian for guidelines on printing and binding the thesis.)

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