Department Information

Walvoord – 1st Fl 
M–F: 8:00am-4:30pm

The Advising Center wants to help you make informed decisions as you progress toward graduation. ThM students often ask these questions:

1. How do I qualify for the Last Year (24 hours) Free ThM scholarship (LYF)?

2. What do I need to know as I plan toward completing the ThM?

Face to face requirementat least 48 hours
Locationanywhere at least 49% of the course is face to face with the professor

Courses for which to watch out

(Plan carefully with your Academic Advisor)

PM103 (internship pre-requisite), PM104, and NT105 are typically only offered in Dallas, DC, and Houston during fall and spring semesters; you might spot them during a summer in Dallas, DC, or Houston

Some emphases and electives are offered in DC and Houston.

All emphases and electives are offered in Dallas.

Some electives are offered at other locations.

Time Limit8 years from the start of your first course at DTS
Satisfactory Progress16 hours per calendar year
International StudentsF-1 and J-1 Visa students are required to study in Dallas.


See the course schedule to better understand DTS course offerings.

Internship Pre-Requisites:

wdt_ID Options Declare Emphasis When to Start? Course Prerequisites Number of Semesters
1 INT105 Internship Declare an Emphasis & follow requirements After completion of 60 hours PM103, BC101, SF100-4 OR SF110-2, 2 Agape Projects (began ThM fall 2015 or after) 3
2 EML801/EML802 Ministry in Residency Declare Leadership Studies After completion of 60 hours; apply in January to start in the August PM103, BC101, SF100-4 OR SF110-2, 2 Agape Projects (began ThM fall 2015 or after) 2
5 MW102 Apprenticeship Declare Media Arts After completion of 60 hours PM103, BC101, SF100-4 OR SF110-2, 2 Agape Projects (began ThM fall 2015 or after) 3

Here are some resources you can use to plan toward ThM degree completion.

3. How can I meet the 48-hour face to face requirement?

Work with an Academic Advisor at the location where you will take the majority of your face to face courses.

Students should be aware that some required and most elective courses are only available on the Dallas campus during fall and spring semesters. Some electives are offered in DC or Houston campuses, which restricts the emphases available at these locations. Academic advisors strongly suggest relocating near one of these campuses in order to successfully complete all ThM requirements and plan well for ministry.

Distance and online students should check the course schedule for PM103, PM104, NT105 and electives in Dallas, DC, and Houston campuses, each registration period (October for winter and spring; March for summer and fall). The BE and ST courses are the easiest to complete face to face, so do not rush through these online. Instead, start taking face to face courses your first year.

4. How do I choose a ministry emphasis?

Select an emphasis that aligns best with your own gifts and ministry goals. The documents below provide information concerning our available emphases. They list the professor that oversees the emphasis, course requirements, internship requirements, and portfolio artifacts. Students are required to meet the course requirements for her or his emphasis during the year in which the student declared the emphasis.

Please note: The following emphasis document contains the current options and contain the faculty overseeing the emphasis for the current academic year. If you do not see your emphasis listed, please contact your Academic Advisor. Students should also contact their Academic Advisor for the course requirements in their emphasis, since these may be different than the current catalog requirements listed below.

Key Questions:

  • How does the stated purpose of this emphasis strengthen my gifts and shore up my weaknesses?
  • What skills or concepts do I want to gain or master as a result of my study?
  • Do the internship requirements contribute to my ministry direction? 
  • If I complete the required artifacts will they represent me well to future employers?

Formal Process

Under Advising and “Forms and Information” find “ThM Emphasis Request” on this page.

A faculty advisor and an academic advisor will evaluate your request. They may want to meet with you. You may simply receive an email from the Advising Center reminding you of the requirements and inviting you for a response.

5.  How do I register for or start my internship?

The internship department walks you through the process here. Please contact the internship department directly with any questions you have, as they will be best equipped to help you.

6. Should I write a RS102 paper or a Thesis?


RS102 is a one-semester, two-credit course which provides opportunity and guidance for the writing of a summative research paper on a topic typically related to your ThM emphasis. The majority of students should plan to write an RS102 paper.

A thesis is a two or three credit hour independent research paper on an approved topic under the supervision of two faculty advisors. Students are allowed three semesters to complete a thesis, and may apply to begin a thesis during fall, spring, or summer semesters. Typically, the ThM thesis should directly relate to a student’s emphasis. Students need to contact the department in which they wish to write their thesis for guidance.

All students are encouraged to carefully evaluate which option will best prepare them for their planned ministry contexts. Some doctoral programs require a substantial thesis project for admittance while others request shorter RS102 length writing samples.

Please see the Thesis vs. RS102 handout for more detailed information.

7. Graduation Information:

  • Enter a planned graduation date through the DTS Student Home page (click on your picture in the upper right hand corner, then update biographical information). Keep this updated!
  • Follow along with the Graduation page.

This page provides basic information. Academic Advisors are happy to come alongside you as you journey with the Lord. Schedule an advising appointment