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Master of Theology (ThM)

MASTER OF THEOLOGY PROGRAMME

The Master of Theology (ThM) programme is designed to equip ministers and theological educators with skills in critical thinking and advanced research, to enhance their ability to serve the church through academic excellence as it responds to the needs of the time. The programme also seeks to prepare students to do doctoral work either locally or overseas. The programme may be completed in two years. The first year focuses on four required courses (two area seminars, a readings course, and an elective course), and the second year on thesis writing and oral defence. Four areas of concentration are offered through two academic divisions: (1) Biblical Studies in Old Testament and New Testament, and (2) Theological Studies in Systematic Theology and Historical Theology.

ThM General Studies

As an alternative to these concentrations, the ThM programme also offers a General Studies track for those who would like to pursue advanced studies without having to write a thesis. This will be a two-year terminal degree, requiring the completion of four ThM area seminars (two from Biblical Studies and two from Theological Studies), two readings courses in Biblical and/or Theological Studies, and two elective courses. The basic entrance and graduation requirements apply, except for the completion of the thesis and oral exam, and no scholarship or financial aid will be offered.

PROGRAMME STRUCTURE

Biblical/Theological Studies

  SEMESTER ONE SEMESTER TWO
YEAR ONE Core course I (6 credit hours)
  • Biblical Studies: Philosophical Hermeneutics 
    or
  • Theological Studies: Philosophy of Religion
Core course II (6 credit hours)
  • Biblical Studies: History of Interpretation 
    or
  • Theological Studies: History of Christian Doctrines
Readings course (6 credit hours)
  • OT/NT/ST/HT based on area of research
Elective course (6 credit hours)
  • Guided study / external work / special arrangement based on area of research
YEAR TWO

 

Thesis proposal and writing 

 

 

Thesis completion and oral examination (6 credit hours)  

 

General Studies

  SEMESTER ONE SEMESTER TWO
YEAR ONE Core course I (6 credit hours)
  • Biblical Studies: Philosophical Hermeneutics 
    or
  • Theological Studies: Philosophy of Religion
Core course II (6 credit hours)
  • Biblical Studies: History of Interpretation 
    or
  • Theological Studies: History of Christian Doctrines
Readings course I (6 credit hours)
  • OT/NT/ST/HT (choose one)
Elective course I (6 credit hours)
  • Guided study / external work / special arrangement
YEAR TWO Core course III (6 credit hours)
  • Biblical Studies: Philosophical Hermeneutics 
    or
  • Theological Studies: Philosophy of Religion
Core course IV (6 credit hours)
  • Biblical Studies: History of Interpretation 
    or
  • Theological Studies: History of Christian Doctrines
Readings course II (6 credit hours)
  • OT/NT/ST/HT (choose one more)
Elective course II (6 credit hours)
  • Guided study / external work / special arrangement

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

TMBS7011 Philosophical Hermeneutics

The purpose of this course is to assess foundational issues in hermeneutics; topics cover the nature of meaning, the problem of historical relativity, problems of circularity, incompleteness and probability, and the work of the Holy Spirit in hermeneutics.

TMTS7011 Philosophy of Religion

The objective of this course is to examine the central themes and concepts of religious traditions; topics cover metaphysics, epistemology, logic, ethics, philosophy of language, impacts of historical events, etc.

TMBS7012 History of Interpretation

This course is to introduce biblical interpretation through the ages; topics cover inner biblical interpretation, Early church fathers’ interpretation, historical critical methods, postmodern biblical criticism, etc.

TMTS7012 History of Christian Doctrines

This course introduces the historical origin and development of church dogma; topics cover formation of the early church, the early theologians, doctrine of the Trinity, Christology, Pneumatology, etc.

TMOT7010 / TMNT7010 / TSHT7010 / TMST7010 OT/NT/HT/ST READINGs

The readings courses provide a wide range of introduction to specific fields of study. In the area of Biblical Studies, topics cover general introduction (canon, text, historical background, and language), special introduction (background to the individual books), critical methodologies, and Old/New Testament theology. In the area of Theological Studies, topics cover general introduction (systematic theology, church history), special introduction (classic creeds and confession, God, Jesus Christ, salvation, problem of evil, Scripture, contemporary issues), theological methods and reasoning.

Electives (OT Theology, NT Theology, OT Studies, NT Studies, OT Ethics, NT Use of the OT, Second Temple Judaism, Contextual Theology, Religious Dialogue, Early Church Fathers, Contemporary Issues, etc.)

  • Students on the thesis track are required to complete 2 core courses, 1 readings course and 1 elective related to their area of concentration. Students on the non-thesis, General Studies track are required to complete all 4 core courses, as well as 2 readings courses and 2 electives.
  • Full-time students must carry no less than 12 credit hours per semester from the ThM programme, while part-time students must carry a minimum course load of 6 credit hours per semester. Both full-time and part-time students must complete their thesis writing and defend the thesis in an oral examination within 2 semesters. Part-time students on the General Studies track must complete their coursework in no more than 8 semesters.
  • All core courses are conducted in seminar format. Each student is required to attend lectures, participate in discussions, present a research paper, and respond to a classmate’s paper. English/Mandarin interpretation of the lectures is provided.
  • The readings course is designed to orient students to the wide scope of scholarship in their area of concentration. Students must pass a written examination.
  • The elective course is designed to prepare students to do advanced research in their field of study. Prior approval of the director is required before students may register for elective courses related to their research.

ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS

Other than SBC's general entrance requirements (see link), the following requirements must be met before enrolment may be considered (see also this link):

  • MDiv or MA (Biblical/Theological Studies) or equivalent from an accredited institution
  • GPA of 3.3 in all master’s level work
  • For non-native English speakers and whose language of learning is English, a TOEFL score of at least 570 (Paper Based Test) or 89 (Internet Based Test) and a TWE (Test of Written English) score of at least 4.5; or an IELTS score of at least 6.5. They may also be required to pass an additional English entrance exam.
  • Biblical Studies applicants must demonstrate their Greek/Hebrew language proficiency by passing a biblical language entrance exam.
  • Theological Studies applicants must pass a theological thinking and writing exam.
  • Applicants must submit a research paper (related to their intended area of study) that demonstrates their ability to research and write at a high level.

 

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

  • Earn a cumulative GPA of not less than 3.0.
  • Complete required coursework: 2 core courses, 1 readings course and 1 elective (General Studies track: 4 core courses, 2 readings courses and 2 electives).
  • Submit an approved thesis (around 30,000 words) and successfully defend it in an oral examination (exempted for General Studies track).
  • Demonstrate Christian character and spiritual maturity.

 

FINANCIAL INFORMATION

  • The coursework tuition fees are S$2,880 (excluding GST) and the thesis fee per school year is S$800 (excluding GST). For the General Studies track, the tuition fees for all coursework are S$5,760 (excluding GST).
  • Students who have been accepted into the full-time programme may apply for a tuition scholarship and/or financial assistance for living expenses. Students on the General Studies track are not eligible for scholarships and other financial assistance.

 

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

  • Applicants are encouraged to submit their application early and take the necessary entrance exams. All international applications must reach SBC by 1 March, and local applications by 15 April of the intended year of enrolment.
  • The academic year begins in the middle of July. All new students are to report to SBC before the New Student Orientation week begins. All ThM students enrol in the programme in the first semester.
  • Please click here for further details on entrance requirements, or click here for the application form. For enquiries, please contact our Registrar’s Office at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or (65) 6559 1521.