Vanderbilt Divinity to offer master of theology degreeby Joan Brasher Sep. 18, 2018, 7:52 PM
Students pursuing advanced theological study will soon have a new degree program option at Vanderbilt Divinity School. In fall 2019, the school will offer a master of theology designed to deepen the theological foundations for students’ vocational and ministerial practice in a particular discipline.
“This advanced theological degree helps to make our school more flexible and welcoming to students who wish to hone their research skills or gain advanced training in areas such as chaplaincy,” said Emilie M. Townes, dean of Vanderbilt Divinity School and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of Womanist Ethics and Society. “It is, for us, a thoughtful and rigorous postmodern exclamation point for those seeking wisdom and understanding.”
The Th.M. degree, which is recognized internationally and nationally, enables students who already possess a master of divinity or equivalent first theological degree to return to school in order to prepare more fully for applying to doctoral programs or deepen their study in a ministerial area of focus. Vanderbilt’s program will prepare candidates for doctoral study at one of the nation’s leading research universities, allowing students to tailor their course of study around their academic interests and to access the breadth of resources available across the university. It will afford the opportunity to develop meaningful research questions and rigorous research methods in order to explore, analyze and ultimately formulate constructive insights in a particular area of advanced theological study.
“Whether you want to enrich your professional practice or prepare for doctoral study, a Th.M. from Vanderbilt provides the opportunity to work closely with a faculty mentor and diverse colleagues to sustain and further your vocation,” said C. Melissa Snarr, associate dean for academic affairs. “There is no better time to expand the way you can make a difference in the world.”
Vanderbilt’s Th.M. program may be paced full time for one year or part time for up to five years. With a flexible, 30-credit-hour curriculum, the degree will be tailored to meet the needs of both domestic and international students. Scholarship support also will be available to those who qualify.
“Vanderbilt is one of the only theological schools in the country that guarantees scholarship support for all Th.M. students,” said Katherine Smith, assistant dean for admissions, vocation and stewardship. “For those pursuing careers in the academy or wishing to expand their theological imagination, we offer an academically rigorous program that is supported by highly engaged faculty, small class sizes, world-class library resources and robust financial aid.”