Master of Theology (Th.M.)

The Master of Theology (Th.M.) is an advanced degree that offers students who already possess an M.Div., M.A., or M.T.S. the opportunity to create their own customized program of advanced study in either theology or ministerial practice.

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At a Glance

Program Duration

This 24-credit program typically takes one year, but can be completed part-time as well.

Two Tracks

Choose either the advanced theological study track or the ministerial practice track, crafting a customized program around your interests.

Customized Degree

Choose an area of concentration within theology or ministry and develop your own program of study in collaboration with a faculty advisor. 

Program Options

Our Th.M. has two tracks: Advanced Theological Study and Ministerial Practice. 

Advanced Theological Study

Tailor your academic program around your theological interests, working closely with a faculty advisor. Complete your choice of an academic thesis or intensive Biblical language preparation.

Areas of Concentration

  • Biblical Studies and Languages
  • History of Christianity
  • Systematic Theology
  • Moral Theology
  • Pastoral Studies
  • Spirituality Studies
  • Religious Education

Coursework and Thesis Option

  • 4 courses minimum in your area of concentration
  • 2 electives in related areas
  • 6 credits that count toward either the Th.M. thesis or 2 courses in Biblical languages (for those concentrating in Biblical Studies and Languages).
  • The Th.M. thesis is an advanced research paper that demonstrates advanced competence in a particular subfield within theological studies. The topic of the thesis should be defined narrowly enough to permit some depth of treatment within the scope of 50-60 pages. Those who opt to concentrate in Biblical Studies and Languages complete two courses in Biblical languages instead of the thesis.

Ministerial Practice

Develop an advanced understanding and pastoral competence in a particular form of ministry through a combination of coursework and professional ministry practica. 

Areas of Concentration 

  • Spirituality Studies
  • Spiritual Direction
  • Pastoral Care
  • Cross-Cultural Ministries
  • Religious Education
  • Preaching of the Word

Coursework and Advanced Practicum

  • 6 courses (18 credits) in your area of specialization
  • 6 credits of advanced ministry practica (3 credits per semester). Learn more about supervised ministry.
  • An additional 6 credits of supervised ministry may be applied toward the degree with the approval of the program director.
  • The Ministerial Focus Paper concludes the Th.M. in Ministerial Practice. It advances students' intellectual and experiential understanding of ministry in a particular area of focus; demonstrates the possibilities, problems, and issues raised by this kind of ministry; and indicates relevant resources and practical strategies for others undertaking a similar ministry. 

Meet Our Faculty

Church History

Catherine M. Mooney

Old Testament

Andrew R. Davis

Spirituality Studies

Colleen M. Griffith

Early Christian Thinkers

Franklin T. Harkins



of 2021 Th.M. graduates secured placement within six months of graduation.


Sample Placements

Ph.D. Student, Boston College

Ph.D. Student, Durham University

Ph.D. Student, St. Louis University

Religious Studies Teacher, Brophy College Preparatory School

Ethics Instructor and Writer, U.S. Army

Director of Children's, Teens, and Families Ministry, Church of the Redeemer



Application Requirements



Spring 2024: November 15, 2023

Fall 2024 Priority Scholarship Deadline: January 11, 2024. Applications are still accepted after this date as space allows.


Spring 2023:
November 15, 2022
Fall 2023 Priority Scholarship Deadline:
January 13, 2023. We will continue to accept applications on a rolling basis after this date.
Summer 2023:
Summer applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Application Form

The application to CSTM must be completed online.

Application Form

Please note you can submit your application form once it is completed; you do not need to wait for all of your supplemental materials to arrive.

Admission Prerequisites for the Th.M.:

  • Applicants must possess a first-level master's degree in theology
  • 3.3 G.P.A. (or its equivalent) in previous coursework
  • For Ministerial Practice option: Previous ministerial experience

Religious & International Applicants

Applicants who are Catholic diocesan priests or deacons or members of religious orders must submit a letter of approval and financial support from their bishop, major superior, or Provincial. Please select "Bishop/Major Superior" as the recommender type on the application form.

International Applicants

Application Fee

A non-refundable fee of $75 is required for every degree and non-degree application submitted.

Payment Options

  • Pay by credit or debit card via the web. You can pay the application fee at the same time you submit your application form. However, if you do not pay the fee at the same time you submit your application, you can pay online at a later date through the Agora Portal. You must use your BC Username and password to log in.

  • Pay by check or money order made payable to Boston College, via regular mail.  Please include your check with a copy of your application form submission confirmation page and include your name and intended degree program.

Please note: The application fee cannot be refunded for any reason. If you qualify for a fee waiver, you should not pay the fee when you submit the application form. Fee waivers are granted to the following applicants: Jesuits, veterans, applicants currently completing a year of service or who are Pell Grant-eligible, and current CSTM students. We do not waive the application fee for other reasons.

Standardized Tests

GRE scores
GRE scores are not required for Th.M. applicants.

English Proficiency Exam

All applicants for whom English is not their native language must also provide TOEFL or IELTS test score results. Read more about special instructions for international applicants here. This webpage will also indicate under with criteria a waiver may be granted. Waivers must be approved in writing by the admissions office.


We require transcripts from all colleges, universities, seminaries, or theological schools that you have attended. Each transcript should contain a list of all coursework taken, grades/marks received, and, if applicable, degree granted and date of degree confirmation. If your college or university will send official transcripts electronically, they can be emailed to  Otherwise, transcripts must be mailed and be contained in a sealed, signed envelope. If the official transcript is not English, a translation should be provided with the official document. Please alert us if your transcript will be arriving with a different name than the one you are using on your application (e.g. your maiden name). Please note that a transcript is only considered official if received directly from the institution issuing it.

Please note that your application may be reviewed with unofficial copies of your transcripts, though we prefer official copies at the time of application. If you send unofficial copies, please note that if admitted, you must sent official copies before you begin coursework. In addition, if you are currently finishing a degree, you must send a final, official version of the transcript upon graduating, and before beginning coursework at CSTM.

Mailing Addresses
For applicants using the U.S. Postal Service:
Boston College Clough School of Theology and Ministry
Simboli Hall
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

For applicants using FedEx or UPS:
Boston College Clough School of Theology and Ministry
Simboli Hall
9 Lake Street
Brighton, MA 02135-3841


Th.M. applicants are required to submit three recommendations using the online application system. 

At least two recommender should be familiar with the applicant’s academic background and potential. For applicants who have been out of school for a significant amount of time, recommenders should be familiar with the applicant's professional competence.

Applicants who are Catholic diocesan priests or deacons, or members of religious orders must submit a letter of approval and financial support from their bishop, major superior, or Provincial. This is in addition to the other three recommendations. Please select "Bishop/Major Superior" as the recommender type on the application form.

Please be sure that your recommenders are aware of the application deadlines and online process, and choose them carefully to ensure that they can write on your behalf in a timely manner.


The admissions office may contact applicants to set up an online interview.


The resume must be uploaded as part of the application.  It is helpful if you highlight relevant ministry, service, research, teaching and/or leadership positions you have held.

Personal Statement

The personal statement must be uploaded as part of the application.  The personal statement should be three pages in length, double-spaced.

Your statement should address the following:

  • The academic, professional, and personal development that has motivated you to apply to the Th.M. and to CSTM. How has your education and/or experience impacted your discernment?
  • Information outlining your specific area and field of academic interest (this includes both your Th.M. track and concentration) and how your previous academic, professional and/or pastoral experience has prepared you for studies within that particular field.
  • If choosing Advanced Theological Study, what topic(s) would you explore for your thesis and why? With which faculty members do you hope to study?
  • If choosing Advanced Ministerial Practice, how do you hope to improve your skill set?
  • Your understanding of theological education and ministry in the context of the Church's mission.
  • How you plan to apply your theological education.
  • Given your experience, how you assess your principal strengths for theological education and ministry as well as your areas of needed development

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