Preparation to produce Bible expositors who are qualified to serve God effectively as pastors, missionaries, or leaders in other areas of vocational Christian ministry. 

Contact Information

Dallas Location: 
1st Floor of Walvoord Student Center
Dallas Office Hours:
Monday-Friday 8am-4:30pm (Central)
General Advising Number: 
General Advising Email:

Degree Overview

Total Hours120 credit hours
Degree Time Limit8 years from first DTS class
Real-time courses10 courses required
(i.e. 30 credit hours)
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) 15 credit hours per academic year

0-30 Credit Hours

Main priorities during this time:

  1. Refer to the degree plan for your entering catalog as an overall guide.
  2. Register for core courses: BE5101,  ST5101, and PM5101.
  3. Start Greek (NT5101) or Hebrew (OT5101) sequence. The following courses are offered live, on-campus in the following semesters:
    • Fall semesters – 5101 & 5103 (odd numbers)
    • Spring semesters – 5102 & 5104 (even numbers)
    • Summer semesters – five-week intensives in Dallas for OT5101 & 5102 and OT5103 & 5104. 
    • NT5105 Exegesis of Romans is typically offered every fall-spring in Dallas and will vary at other locations depending on campus need, including the summer semester.
  4. Register for Spiritual Formation (SF5100 – two-semesters in Dallas, Houston, or DC; SF5110 – two-semesters for Online and Extension students). 
  5. Familiarize yourself with the Academic Success Resource Center for various tools and links to assist with your courses, including information about Greek and Hebrew.
  6. Meet with an academic advisor to discuss:
    • What led you to DTS
    • What elective courses might be helpful to take
    • When, where, and what courses to take in Real-time in the coming semesters. (See the Real-Time Courses chart for more information.)

Can I complete the ThM from a distance?

The ThM is not currently designed to be completed for students living outside of the Dallas, Houston, or DC areas. More courses are available online (OL), by Remote Video (RV), Live Stream (LS), or in various hybrid and intensive formats. The main challenges in completing the ThM from a distance:

  1. Obtaining the 30 credits hour in real-time 
  2. Finding specific required courses in an accessible format outside of Dallas, Houston, or DC (PM5103, PM5104, PM5110, NT5105, and concentration electives)

Students are encouraged to relocate near the Dallas, Houston, or DC campus for more course options and concentration electives. The BE and ST courses are usually available in a one-trip hybrid for real-time credit with some electives available by RV or LS. 

If students plan to pursue the ThM from a distance, he/she will need to meet with an academic advisor every 6-9 months to develop a plan for meeting degree requirements and plan to take courses each fall, spring, and summer.

What are ThM tuition-free courses?

ThM students can do five (5) tuition-free courses. These are courses above and beyond the 120-hours. Tuition-free courses cannot apply toward a concentration or emphasis. 

  • Tuition-free courses can be taken for credit or audit.
  • Students pay $50 to take the course (regardless of taking it for credit or audit).
  • Students may do one tuition-free course per semester/term and no more than five courses total.
  • There must be open seat in the class you request. Students taking the course for credit and using this to complete their degree requirements are given priority registration. Tuition-free students are added to the class the week before or first week of the semester.
  • The course and accompanying grade (if applicable) will go on your transcript and impact a student’s cumulative GPA.

Students can request tuition-free registration from the Registrar’s Office on the Enrollment Forms section of the student portal.

31-60 Credit Hours

Main priorities during this time:

  1. Start/continue in Greek and Hebrew courses
  2. Complete Spiritual Formation
  3. Work toward real-time course requirements
  4. Meet with a faculty member
  5. Take an elective in anticipated or actual concentration
  6. Work toward internship prerequisites (see chart in 61-90 hour section).
  7. Select a ThM Concentration

How do I select a ThM concentration (previously called Emphasis)?

All ThM students have 24 hours of electives and of those 9-hours must be taken from the Ministry and Communications divisions. Ministry Communication electives (M&C or M/C) are upper-level electives taken in: PM, WM, EML, BC, MW. Students must select an emphasis/concentration listed in their specific catalog.

A few questions to ask yourself and discuss with friends, faculty, or an academic advisor:

  • What gifts and abilities has the Lord given you?
  • What do you enjoy studying? 
  • Where do you sense the Lord leading in future ministry?
  • What ministry skills do you need to develop or sharpen? 
  • What ares of knowledge would you like/need to expand for future ministry?
  • Are you planning to pursue doctoral studies? If so, in what discipline?
  • The DTS course schedule page will provide you with a list of courses available.
    • If you click “info” next to a course, you can see the course description and option to download the syllabus to understand what the course involves.

The emphases or concentrations listed in the student’s ThM catalog year either by matriculation or reclassification, are the options available to that student. Students will need to change ThM catalog years to select new concentrations available in the ThM (with a potential for more hours with changes to the core curriculum over time) or work with the department and your academic advisor to complete the requirements in your catalog. 

To select a concentration/area of study, please submit the form in the Student Portal. 

Previous/Current ThM Emphasis and Concentration by catalog:

2016-2017 ThM Emphases

2017-2018 ThM Emphases

2018-2019 ThM Emphases

2019-2020 ThM Emphases

2020-2021 ThM Concentrations

2021-2022 ThM Concentrations

61-90 Credit Hours

Main priorities during this time:

  1. Continue in Greek and/or Hebrew courses
  2. Finish Spiritual Formation
  3. Work toward real-time course requirements
  4. Take required concentration courses and discuss electives and/or internship with faculty concentration advisor
  5. Finish internship prerequisites
  6. Identify when to start internship, Ministry Residency, or Apprenticeship (Media Arts concentration only)
  7. Develop a plan for Last Year Free with an Academic Advisor 
Internship & Residency Prerequisites
Credit Hours

– 60 hours completed 

 – Concentration selected


– Completed SF5100 or SF5110

– PM5103 Expository Preaching I

– BC/CM 5101 Pastoral Counseling and Ethics

Internship Information

Phone Number: 
Internship Email: 

Should I do the Ministry Residency or Internship + Electives?

The Ministry Residency is limited to students serving in full-time vocational ministry. The internship requires fewer hours each week during the three-semesters and designed for students serving in a volunteer or part-time capacity. 

Those in the 2022-2023 academic catalog and beyond who opt to do the Ministry Residency will also register for a concurrent internship at their Ministry Residency site. For those in prior catalogs, the Ministry Residency will take the place of the internship and nine hours of electives.

Both the Ministry Residency and internship require an application. Ministry Residency applications are due in January for the upcoming year (ex. January 2023 for Fall 2023). The internship application is required the semester before starting. If students pursue the Ministry Residency option, they must select Leadership Studies as their concentration.

Some students may benefit from specific electives courses they may not be able to obtain serving in ministry. While others who are working or are given the opportunity to work in full-time vocational ministry may benefit from the Ministry Residency program.

 InternshipMinistry Residency + Internship

INT5130 (3 hours)

+ 9 hours Ministry Communication Electives

+ 15 Hours Open Electives

Fall: EML5801 (6 hours)

Spring: EML5802 (6 hours)

INT5130 (3 hours)

+ 12 Hours Open Electives

Semesters33 (Fall-Summer)
Hours7-10 hours per week30+ hours in local church or parachurch ministry 
On-campusNot required

Fall: One-week in Dallas

Spring: One-week in Dallas

Start Dates

Starts any semester

(fall, spring, or summer)

Fall semester only

91-120 Credit Hours

Main priorities during this time:

  1. Apply for Graduation (including references)
  2. Apply for Last Year Free
  3. Confirm final courses with Academic Advisor
  4. Meet with Career Services or faculty regarding post-graduation plans
  5. Identify a topic for RS5102 or a Thesis (see more information below)

What is required for Graduation?

  1. Students must submit the Graduation Application in the Student Portal and send Church and Pastoral references link.
  2. Confirm the Graduation Date listed in the system corresponds to your plan along with your Academic Advisor and Registrar’s Office. (Update graduation date here)
  3. Review/Confirm upcoming semester plans with an academic advisor to ensure all degree requirements are met.

How do I meet Last Year Free criteria?

Students should review the full criteria on the Last Year Free page and review their plan with an Academic advisor. Last Year Free covers only the final 24 required credit hours and usually applies from hours 97-120. 

Students must apply for Last Year Free (LYF) using the need-based scholarship application each semester they intend to use LYF. Other scholarships are applied to a student’s account first and then Last Year Free is applied. A few general criteria to keep in mind:

  • Must take at least 6 hours each semester 
  • Must have and maintain a 2.5 GPA or higher
  • Be and remain in good standing with the Seminary 
  • Online courses (with the exception of RS5102), immersion courses, or other trips are not covered by Last Year Free
  • Last Year Free covers tuition only and not fees

Who do I contact if I’m interested in applying for various ministry positions or need help with other ministry/job plans after graduation?

Students will benefit from a meeting with Career Services to discuss their ministry resume, interview skills, and ministry opportunities. Students are encouraged to work with Career Services 9-12 months before graduation.

What are the main difference between an RS5102 and Thesis paper?

All ThM students write a final research paper. The topic will often be related to the concentration students select. Students should discuss potential topics with their faculty advisor or another staff member. Some concentrations allows students to choose a research topic outside of their selected concentration. A few key differences between an RS5102 and Thesis are:

Paper Length20-25 pages

2-hour Thesis = no more than 12,000 words

3-hours Thesis = no more than 17,000 words

Semesters to Completeone-semesterthree-semesters (one-year)
Faculty Members1

Selection of FacultyAssigned based upon topic submitted in the courseStudents find faculty supervisor and second reader with department approval
RegistrationLike other coursesRequires Thesis Registration form and faculty approval (topic, due dates, etc.)

Degree Worksheets

The following are degree worksheets specific to students who entered the ThM or reclassified to the ThM in the following academic years. If students have questions about their specific degree requirements or degree audit, students should contact their academic advisor.

After Graduation

Master’s level students keep their current Logos Bible Software package. Future Logos updates or upgrades are the responsibility of each person and not done through DTS.

DTS graduates have three options for further training:

  1. Self-paced learning through Online Videos – All online courses and lectures are available for graduates to access through the Alumni portal. No application is required.
  2. Alumni nondegree – Graduates may take additional DTS courses as a nondegree student, either for audit or credit at a reduced rate. If students take courses for Alumni nondegree credit and want to use the course(s) toward another Master’s degree, then the student will need to pay the difference of tuition between the Alumni rate and current tuition rate.
  3. Pursue an additional DTS degree – Graduates may return to DTS to pursue a second Master’s degree or a Doctoral degree. Graduates must reapply through Admissions and previous DTS credits are reevaluated and remaining requirements are evaluated upon readmission. Doctoral degrees may require additional Master’s level work.