The School of Theology. Sewanee: The University of the South

Masters of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.)

The Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.) degree provides the opportunity to gain further mastery in a chosen area of theological study. Students will attain and apply the skills needed for scholarly research in a theological discipline at an advanced level. The S.T.M. program is intended for those who may wish to prepare for graduate study at the doctoral level, preparation for various forms of teaching, the scholarly enhancement of ministerial practice, or disciplined reflection in an area of ministry.


The Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.) degree program may be taken during the summer sessions, or in a combination of summer session(s) and term(s) during the academic year. Students must complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of academic credit with a grade point average of B or higher. Six of the hours must be in the form of a thesis. The student, working in consultation with an advisor from the faculty of the School of Theology, will develop a proposal and write a thesis demonstrating scholarly competence, and pass an examination covering the area of the thesis and major specialization.

The Association of Theological Schools states the S.T.M. degree should be completed within six years. A student who experiences extenuating circumstances which prevent him/her from finishing in six years may petition the Advanced Degrees committee to allow one or two additional years for completion. A continuance fee may or may not be required. The petition must set forth the reasons why an extension is necessary and should be accompanied by appropriate documentation. The committee’s refusal to authorize an extension of a student’s course of study is final. In no case may a student take more than eight years to complete a degree.


The student will be required to complete a thesis demonstrating scholarly competence. A grade point average of B or higher is required to register for thesis hours. The process for the thesis is stated in the D. Min. section.


An oral defense covering the area of the thesis and major specialization is also required.