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Master of Theological Studies - Thesis Option

Subject to sufficient Faculty resources, a thesis option may be available for students in the M.T.S. degree program.  The purpose of this thesis option is to give students an opportunity to conduct a comprehensive inquiry into a particular area of theology and to prepare a well-argued document as a result of this inquiry.  The M.T.S. - Thesis Option requires the equivalent of twenty three credit hour of courses as follows:

Biblical Studies Major

4 courses in Biblical Studies (3000-Q, 3200-Q, plus two others)
1 course in Church History
3 courses in Theological Studies (3500-Q, plus two others)
1 course in Liturgical Studies (3808-Q)
1 Integrative Seminar (3900-Q)
1 course in Moral Theology
4 elective courses
5 courses are credited toward the successful completion of a thesis

Application for admission to the program can only be made upon completion of at least five three-credit- hour courses (usually at the end of the first semester).  To be considered for admission a student must (a) have an 80% average in all courses and (b) demonstrate an ability to undertake independent research. Once these conditions are met and provisional admission granted to the program, a proposed thesis supervisor will be appointed by the Faculty in consultation with the student. At this point the student will begin working on a thesis proposal. Admission to the M.T.S. – Thesis Option is dependent on sufficient Faculty resources in a given area of research.

Only after the successful completion of ten three-credit-hour course, together with an approved thesis proposal, will full admission to the thesis option be granted.  The supervisor is responsible for informing the Faculty when the student qualifies for the thesis option and begin the process of establishing a thesis committee.

Since the College is committed to quality research and well-argued theses, the following guidelines are fundamental in achieving these goals. The proposal shall state in detail:

(a) a clearly defined topic for detailed con­centrated investigation;
(b) a thesis statement related to said subject;
(c) a rationale as to why this is an appropriate topic for investigation;
(d) a description of the research methodology and tools to be employed in the study;
(e) the intended goal or outcome of the study;
(f ) an initial annotated bibliography; and
(g) a thesis title.

The proposal shall bear the endorsement and signature of the student’s supervisor.

The thesis may be written over one  semester or spread out over two, in consultation with the student’s supervisor and must normally be completed within four years of being fully admitted to the M.T.S. thesis option. Any extension must be approved by the Faculty.

The approved style manual for the writing of theses is Kate L. Turabian’s, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Thesis and Dissertations, 8th ed., (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013).  The expected length of the thesis is 25,000 - 30,000 words (about 100 pages).

In the year in which the student expects to receive the degree, he or she shall present three complete drafts of the the­sis (ring bound at the student’s expense) to her or his supervisor by no later than February 1.  Upon receiving the bound theses, the supervisor shall arrange for internal (i.e., full-time Faculty) and external readers of the thesis, including a time at which the student must defend the thesis orally.  The public defense will be moderated by an individual of the Faculty who is not on the examining committee, and attended by the internal and external readers.  If the external reader is not able to attend, then another member of the Faculty should replace this examiner for the purposes of the defense.  The Faculty member should read the external examiner’s report and pursue any questions raised by the external examiner.  The following options are available to the examiners:

  1. Grant the M.T.S. degree.
  2. Grant the M.T.S. degree with minor revisions. That is, revisions that can be completed before Convocation.  The supervisor will ensure/confirm that the necessary revisions have been completed.
  3. Grant the M.T.S. degree after major revisions have been completed. That is, revisions that cannot reasonably be completed prior to Convocation.  The supervisor will ensure/confirm that the necessary revisions have been completed.
  4. Recommend that the thesis be re-submitted at a later time after substantial revisions and modifications have been made. That is, revisions and modifications are so substantial (e.g., missing or irrelevant chapters/sections) that the thesis must be formally re-submitted.

Following the oral defense, and upon final approval by the internal and external examiners, three (revised) bound copies of the thesis must be made available by the student to the College.  One copy is for the supervisor, one copy is the property of Queen’s College, and one copy will be placed in the Library.  Only when these final three copies are submitted to Queen’s College will the degree be granted.

Students who have completed their M. Div. may also apply to the M.T.S. program - Thesis Option -  in order to write a thesis.  Students in this category are not required to do a year of course work, but may begin work on a thesis immediately.

It is recommended that students working in a particular area complete any language studies which are necessary for study in this area.  The language requirements necessary for a particular project should be determined in consultation with the supervisor and completed as soon as possible.