Th.M. Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I apply for admission to the Th.M. program? Instructions for how to apply can be found here.
  2. How long does it take to complete the Th.M. program? The Th.M. program can be completed in one year. Students for whom English is a second language may complete it in one year, but they are advised to do it in two years, especially if they intend to apply to Ph.D. programs. International students with F-1 or J-1 visas may spread their course work over two years and still maintain full-time status. Part-time students are also welcome, but they must complete their program within seven years of matriculation.
  3. What is considered full-time status in the Th.M. program? North American students must take a minimum of 6 credit hours per semester to be considered full-time. International students with F-1 or J-1 visas must take 3 to 6 credit hours per semester for four semesters in a row to maintain full-time status.
  4. When can I begin the course work for the Th.M. program? Students ordinarily begin their course of studies in the fall semester. If you are interested in beginning in the J–term or spring semester, please contact the Admissions Office.
  5. How do I register for courses?All registration is done on-line. Beginning students can expect information and instructions from the Registrar’s Office in the summer before they start their studies. They will also meet with the Th.M. Program Director during orientation to discuss their course plan.
  6. Are any modern foreign languages required for admission to the Th.M. program? No.
  7. Are there any biblical language requirements for a Th.M. program in Old Testament or New Testament? All Th.M. students are required to have completed at least two courses in Hebrew language and two courses in Greek language before they begin their program. Because the Th.M. programs in OT and NT require competency in the corresponding biblical language, applicants to these programs will be asked to take a proficiency test in Hebrew (OT) or Greek (NT). If a student’s performance on this test indicates the need for greater competency, the student will be asked to take an additional course in that language at CTS.
  8. What are the requirements for the Th.M. in Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Literature? The program requires 21 credit hours of academic work: a 3-credit research methodology course; 15 credit hours of course work in Ancient Near Eastern Language and Literature (two of the three electives in the area of specialization must be Ancient Near Eastern Languages {Akkadian, Aramaic, Ugaritic}; students are encouraged to take four electives in the area of Ancient Near Eastern Language and Literature when possible); and a 3-credit major research paper. Students who prefer to write a 6-credit thesis may do one of the following: (1) transfer in a qualifying course completed earlier, or (2) add another 3 credit hours to the program, bringing it up to 24 credit hours. Students who wish to complete the program in one year should take all the courses that are available in Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Literature that year. They can then supplement their program with Old Testament exegetical courses (3 credit hours each). Courses offered in the program are Basic Akkadian, The Ugaritic Language, Biblical Aramaic, Comparative Semitic Grammar, Ancient Near Eastern and Biblical Law, The Art of Hebrew Narrative, and Ancient Near Eastern History (offered at Calvin College).
  9. What are the requirements for the Specialized Program in Pastoral Care and Counseling? The program requires 21 credit hours of academic work: a 3-credit research methodology course; 6 credit hours of Clinical Pastoral Education; 9 credit hours of course work in Pastoral Care; and a 3-credit major research paper.
  10. Is there a minimum GPA requirement for the Th.M. program? To graduate, a student must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 (B). Students who wish to write a 6-credit thesis must also have an overall GPA of 3.3 (B+) in their area of specialization.
  11. What are the requirements for the 3-credit major research paper?The 3-credit major research paper will be done under the supervision of a faculty member in the area of specialization. The paper should be 30-40 pages in length, not including bibliography. The professor assigns the paper a final grade, but no oral examination will be required. (Note: Students must complete their major research paper by the end of the semester in which it was registered.)
  12. How do I register for a Th.M. major research paper? You must register your major research paper by the registration deadline for the semester in which you intend to write the paper. Before your research paper can be registered, however, you must select a professor in your area of specialization to supervise the paper, and you must negotiate an acceptable research proposal (in the Major Research Paper Proposal Format (pdf)) with that professor. Then you should download and fill out the Th.M. Major Research Paper Registration Form (pdf), sign it, have your research paper supervisor sign it, and give it to the Th.M. Director. The Th.M. Director will then sign the form and give it to the Registrar’s Office to complete the registration process.
  13. What are the requirements for the 6-credit thesis? The 6-credit thesis will be done under the supervision of a faculty member in the area of specialization and will be read by one additional faculty member. Before beginning the thesis, the student must prepare a proposal that is approved by the supervisor and the other members of the department in which the student is specializing. The thesis should be about 100 pages in length, not including bibliography. After finishing the thesis, the student will meet with the two faculty readers for a one-hour oral defense, in which the faculty members will ask questions arising from or related to the thesis. The readers will then determine whether the student has sustained the examination. A student who does not sustain the oral examination may request of the Th.M. Program Director one more opportunity to be examined. When the student has passed the oral examination, the thesis supervisor will notify the registrar. (Note: Students must register their thesis within five years of matriculation and must complete it within two years of registration. For graduation purposes a defensible thesis must be completed by April 20 of the year of graduation.)
  14. How do I register for a Th.M. thesis? You must register your thesis no later than January 20 of the year that you intend to graduate. Before your thesis can be registered, however, you must prepare a thesis proposal (in the Thesis Proposal Format (pdf)) that is acceptable to your thesis supervisor and the other faculty members in your department of specialization. Then you should download and fill out the Th.M. Thesis Registration Form (pdf), sign it, have your thesis supervisor sign it, and give it to the Th.M. Director. The Th.M. Director will then sign the form and give it to the Registrar’s Office to complete the registration process.
  15. Can I transfer academic credit from other institutions into the Th.M. program? A maximum of three credit hours of Th.M.-level course work at an accredited school may be transferred in upon approval of the Director of the Th.M. program.
  16. Which doctoral programs have accepted Th.M. graduates from Calvin Seminary? Th.M. graduates from Calvin Seminary have been accepted into doctoral programs at many schools and in a variety of specializations. Recent graduates have entered doctoral programs at:
      • Boston University
      • Brite Divinity School
      • Calvin Theological Seminary
      • Claremont Graduate University
      • Concordia Theological Seminary
      • Dallas Theological Seminary
      • Evangelical Theological Institute of Louvain
      • Free University of Amsterdam
      • Fuller Theological Seminary
      • Garret Theological Seminary
      • McMaster University
      • Princeton Theological Seminary
      • Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
      • Toronto School of Theology
      • Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
      • University of Leiden
      • University of Wisconsin
      • Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia)
      • Wheaton Graduate School