Theology is the study of God and religious concepts. A person who wants to earn a master's degree in theology usually has to complete high school or earn an equivalent diploma and then attend undergraduate school in pursuit of a bachelor's degree. Next, an individual hoping to earn this degree has to secure acceptance to a Master of Theology program. These programs typically take about two to three years to complete. The required length of time may depend on the particular program's content and whether the student is working toward his degree full time or part time.
The exact admissions requirements a person has to meet to gain admission to a Master of Theology program depend on the school in question. Often, however, a person has to hold a bachelor's degree in theology or in a related subject. Some schools may accept individuals who have degrees in non-related subjects if they can demonstrate that they meet certain requirements, such as a background of religious service and faith, understanding of related concepts, and ability to succeed in the program. Some schools do not require candidates to hold degrees in theology; they will accept any bachelor's degree.
In addition to holding a bachelor's degree, a person may also have write an essay as part of the admissions process. This essay allows the person to explain why he wants to pursue this degree and show why he is a good candidate for the program. Additionally, a master's degree program candidate usually has to submit official transcripts and secure personal recommendations as well.
A person who wants to earn a master's degree in theology studies a range of topics related to religion. This usually includes the study of not only religious beliefs, but also religious traditions. A person may decide to earn a master's degree in theology in the hopes of advancing in his church or ministry career. Some seek this degree to have more opportunities for advancement at religious schools as well. Additionally, a person may work toward a master's degree in theology in preparation for a research-based career or a teaching position at an institution of higher education.
While working toward a master's degree in theology, a person may study such topics as biblical history, the history of religion, and religious texts. Usually, such courses are focused on Christianity and cover both the Old and New Testament of the Bible. An individual who is working toward this degree may also study theological research techniques, pastoral theology, Bible exposition, and systematic theology. Often, an individual pursuing this degree also has to complete a thesis. Sometimes these master's programs require students to pass comprehensive subject exams and learn a foreign language as well.