advanced studies

Boston University School of Theology offers the following three advanced degrees: Master of Sacred Theology (STM), Doctor of Ministry in Transformational Leadership (DMin), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

The STM is a second-level graduate professional degree for those who wish to pursue a year of more advanced coursework focusing on a particular discipline. The degree is a highly customizable, eight·course degree program that allows those with previous graduate theological study to focus on one academic discipline full-time for one year. There is a thesis option, which makes this an excellent second-level master’s option for MDiv, MA, or MTS graduates anticipating doctoral study, who would like to take an additional year following their graduation in order to strengthen their knowledge in a specific subject area to the benefit of their journey in ministry, the academy, or both, without the commitment to a lengthier program.

The Doctor of Ministry degree (D.Min.) in Transformational Leadership is a professional doctoral degree meant to enrich religious leaders in traditional and non-traditional settings, to deepen their understanding of and commitment to ministry, and to refine its practice. The focus of the Boston University DMin is Transformational Leadership, and persons admitted into the degree program may develop a specialization within this track based on their particular interests.

The PhD degree program is offered to students wishing to enhance their knowledge and competence in
teaching and research and to contribute to scholarship in a specialized area of theological studies.  The PhD is a research doctorate, and requires students to give evidence of the highest standards of scholarship at every stage of the degree program.  STH PhD degrees are to be distinguished from other PhD degrees by their focus on theological approaches to the histories, communities, practices, beliefs, and ethical values of Christian institutions and traditions (and the institutions and traditions of other faiths, resources permitting); and by their intention to prepare students for scholarship and teaching in a broad range of institutions, including seminaries, schools of theology, divinity schools, and religiously affiliated colleges.

The Advanced Studies Committee is a faculty committee that provides oversight for the operation of the STM and PhD Degrees and is comprised of a rotating group of STH faculty members representing all three doctoral tracks. Dr. Christopher Brown is presently the Chair of the Advanced Studies Committee. The DMin Committee is a faculty committee that provides oversight for the operation of the DMin Degree. Dr. Claire Wolfteich is presently the Chair of the DMin Committee. The two committees serve as the admission committee for the degrees, review and approve plans of study and dissertation and project proposals, make recommendations to the faculty regarding degree program policies, and monitor student academic progress. For questions on ASC or DMin Committee petition or prospectus/proposal procedure, contact Blake Fox at 617-353-3045 or ascsth@bu.edu

Note: The general petition form can be used for any petition to the Advanced Studies Committee or D.Min. Committee. All petitions must be approved by the student’s advisor(s), and course instructor where applicable, before they can be reviewed. If your petition involves a directed study, a minimum one-page synopsis of course requirements or syllabus is required in addition to the petition form.

  • Graduation Deadlines, Format Review, and Electronic theses and dissertation guidelines can be found here.