MSt Theology

The Faculty of Theology and Religion offers a nine month full-time Master of Studies (MSt) degree.  The course runs from early October to late June/early July. Students choose to pursue studies in one of the fields below. For information on the application process and to apply, see the Graduate Admissions prospectus.

The course is assessed by three elements:

  • Two essays of not more than 5,000 words each
  • A dissertation of not more than 15,000 words
  • A written examination of three hours’ duration 

Fields of study

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Old Testament

The MSt in Theology (Old Testament) offers an intensive course in Old Testament studies and Biblical Hebrew.  Students develop a comprehensive understanding of the genesis and contents of the Old Testament, conduct in-depth research of several topics within Old Testament studies, selected in close consultation with their supervisor, and develop a high level of competence in Biblical Hebrew through the close study of selected Hebrew texts. Areas chosen by students in recent years include the following:

  • Poetry and Prayer
  • Law and Ritual
  • Prophecy and Apocalyptic Literature
  • Historiography
  • Wisdom Literature
  • Early biblical interpretation
  • Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Text Criticism

 

New Testament

The nine month MSt in Theology (New Testament) offers an intensive training in New Testament studies and New Testament Greek.  Those taking the course develop a comprehensive understanding of the genesis and contents of the New Testament, conduct in-depth research of several topics within New Testament studies and develop a high level of competence in New Testament Greek through the close study of prescribed texts in New Testament Greek.

 

Biblical Interpretation

This 9-month course offers an intensive training in research in the history of biblical interpretation, biblical hermeneutics, reception history and related studies.

The MSt Theology is offered as an intensive training in research in the history of Christian thought during one of four periods:

  • History of Doctrine: Patristic Theology (c.100-787 AD)

This pathway offers an intensive training in research in Patristic Theology including the study of topics in Patristic Theology and the study of prescribed texts from the Patristics period in Greek or Latin.

 

  • History of Doctrine: Scholastic Theology (c. 1050-1350 AD)

This pathway offers an intensive training in research in Scholastic Theology and includes the study of topics in Scholastic Theology and the study of prescribed Scholastic texts in Latin.

 

  • History of Doctrine: Theology of the Reformation period (c. 1500-1650 AD)

This pathway offers an intensive training in research in Reformation Theology and includes the study of topics in Reformation Theology and prescribed Reformation texts in Latin, German or French. 

 

  • Modern Theology (1780 – the present)

This pathway offers an intensive training in research in Modern Theology, including the study of topics in Modern Theology. The degree offers the opportunity to study  a range of methods and styles in western theology from 1780 to the present. In recent years, featured theologians have included Schleiermacher, Kierkegaard, Newman, Barth and von Balthasar.

 

The MSt in Theology (Ecclesiastical History) provides an intensive training in research in Ecclesiastical History and enables those taking the course to study the development of Church History over the past two millennia, exploring the variety of historiographical approaches to key questions in the history of Christianity.  Students focus on a single period and geographical area of Church History selected from the following:

  • The Early Church AD 200-476
  • The Western Church AD 476-1050
  • The Western Church AD 1000-1400
  • European Christianity AD 1400-1800
  • European Christianity AD 1800-2000

The MSt in Theology (Christian Ethics) offers an intensive training in Christian Ethics.   The course offers a comprehensive grounding in Christian ethics, its basic moral concepts and methodological issues, historical evolution, and its discussion of practical issues in the fields of sexual, medical, economic, and political activity. Those taking the course study one or more select texts in Christian ethics which may include expressions of diverse Christian traditions, the works of major theologians, or texts on a chosen ethical theme. 

The MSt in Theology (Science and Religion) offers offers an intensive training in research in the field of science and religion. This course provides the opportunity to deal with leading themes in the historical development of the relation of science and religion, the theological and philosophical questions that arise within the field, and major contemporary debates about God, science, and faith. Topics discussed include the Darwinian debates and their contemporary religious relevance; contemporary cosmology and doctrines of creation; issues in the scientific study of religion; natural theology; theology and the philosophy of science; and the origins and development of scientific atheism.

 

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