Master of Arts - Research
The MA is a graduate level program which consists of 60 credit hours of study. An undergraduate degree in biblical and(or) theological studies is a prerequisite. There are five components to this program: completion of Scholarly Research and Writing, completion of required reading, thesis proposal, thesis submission, and thesis review.
Theological Studies (Systematics or Biblical Theology)
Biblical Studies (NT or OT)
Apologetics (Polemics or Christian Philosophy)
Historical Studies (Biblical History or Church History)
Classical Studies (Christian Literature & Languages)
I. Coursework: Scholarly Research and Writing
Scholarly Research and Writing is the only formal course required in the MA program. Students who have completed a previous graduate level degree program with FTS may opt out of taking this course. All other students must complete this course before moving on to a thesis proposal.
For this course, read the following:
Richard A. Holland Jr., Benjamin K. Forest, Good Arguments: Making Your Case in Writing and Public Speaking, (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2017).
C. H. Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students, (Peabody: Hendrickson, 2016).
Brian Rosner, Andrew Cameron, The Trials of Theology: Becoming a 'Proven Worker' in a Dangerous Business, (Ross-shire: Christian Focus, 2010).
John Piper, Mark A. Knoll, Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God, (Wheaton: Crossway, 2001).
Ben Witherington III, Is there a Doctor in the House?: An Insider’s Story and Advice on becoming a Bible Scholar, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011).
Todd Wilson, Gerald L. Hiestand, The Pastor Theologian: Resurrecting an Ancient Vision, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2015).
Complete a research paper of no less than 15 pages on prayer or a topic of your choice. Be sure to utilize Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 7th-9th Ed., (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 2018) in terms of format and footnotes. Refrain from relying upon secondary or internet sources. Submit your paper in either .doc or .docx format to your academic adviser.
II. Coursework: Reading
For each course students must read 1000 pp. of reading per course. There is no written assignment for these courses, only reading and research in preparation for the thesis proposal and thesis. Students may also substitute lectures, debates, and other audio/video resources for reading. Every hour of lectures, etc., will count as 30 pp. of reading, up to two-thirds of the reading requirement. Once each course's reading is completed, students must submit a complete bibliography detailing their reading in .doc or .docx format to their adviser.
II. Constructing a Thesis Proposal
Thesis topics must relevant to student's MA concentration. Using the materials from Scholarly Research and Writing and the information available at this web page to develop your thesis statement. Submit your thesis proposal to your academic adviser. Upon approval you may begin constructing your thesis.
III. Construct and Submit Thesis
The construction of a thesis affords you the opportunity to conduct scholarly research into the area of your choice, albeit limited to theological disciplines. Your thesis must be no less than 90 pages and be in accordance with Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, esp. 371-408. A thesis must interact significantly with primary sources, resulting in credible and helpful research, critique, and evaluation. Utilize the resources used in Scholarly Research and Writing for questions of grammar or syntax. Every eight weeks you must submit your progress to your academic adviser for review. Your academic adviser will offer constructive critique of your work throughout the program, helping to prepare your work for committee review. Upon completion and approval from your academic adviser, submit your thesis in either .doc or .docx format.
IV. Thesis Review
The Thesis/Dissertation review committee will thoroughly review your paper. The committee will either issue a submission approval and accept your thesis as fulfillment of the requirements of the degree program, or the thesis will be returned for further clarification or correction.