Master of Theology in Scottish Church History and Theology

by Taught Courses

A unique postgraduate programme, exploring our theological heritage within the context of Presbyterianism, Scottish Theology and Scottish Church History.

This degree programme is validated by the University of Glasgow.

This is a programme delivered by means of prescribed courses involving either one year of full-time study or two years part-time study. The courses are provided by means of supervised research and short essays rather than by classroom-based lectures.

The programme is designed primarily for graduates in History or Theology and will serve as an introduction for further research in Scottish Church History and/or Scottish Theology at doctoral level. It will also be attractive to those whose desire is to develop their academic interests without necessarily proceeding to doctoral level.

The programme will also provide a useful historical and theological framework for church leaders who are assessing the need for change in the contemporary church.

This programme is proving to be attractive to people who wish to study Presbyterianism, Scottish Theology, Scottish Church History or even Gaelic historical and theological documents. The range of students, thus, is international and national.

In the full-time programme, during the first term students will be required to study a compulsory Research and Study Skills module which will introduce them to the world of postgraduate study in the relevant areas together with the first of three main courses. In subsequent terms, students will study the second and third main courses. Each main module will be assessed by means of two 4,500-word essays. Part-time students will normally complete the same programme over two years.

At the completion of the taught modules, students will then write a 15,000-word dissertation on a topic of their own choice, under the guidance of a supervisor. The main supervisor for each candidate will be a member of ETS academic staff.

Students will select any three of the following modules in consultation with the Programme Director.

Scottish Church History

  • The Scottish Reformation (including the pre-Reformation period)
  • The Second Reformation to the Marrow Controversy (1578-1723)
  • The Scottish Enlightenment to the Twentieth Century (1723-1929 and beyond)

Scottish Theology

  • The Doctrine of the Church in Scottish Presbyterianism, 1560-1690
  • The Political Theology of Scottish Presbyterianism, 1560-1707
  • The Doctrine of the Atonement in Scottish Theology, 1740-1920
  • The Development of Covenant Theology in Scotland
Play Video

In this video, Dr John R. McIntosh and MTh graduate Allan Shearer explain to prospective students what the Master of Theology (Taught) programme involves.

Distance Learning

While being present on campus may help with access to research resources, all the Masters programmes can be completed on campus, off-campus or a mixture of both.  This can enable you to remain in your present position, if desired, making trips to ETS when required.

See Distance Learning FAQ for more information on distance learning at ETS.

Further Information

The Postgraduate Admissions Policy can be found here.

Applicants for admission would normally be expected to hold a good honours degree in History or Theology/Divinity of a recognised university or college/seminary, or the Bachelor of Theology degree of Edinburgh Theological Seminary at distinction or merit level.

In exceptional circumstances, applicants without this qualification might be admitted subject to having an alternative qualification, at an approved level of achievement, appropriate to their proposed field of study, and subject to any conditions laid down by the Seminary Senate with the agreement of the Higher Degrees Committee of the University of Glasgow.

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to sit a Secure English Language Test (SELT) and achieve an equivalent of IELTS 6.5 prior to entry onto the programme. 

Find out more here.

Course fees can be found here.

For further information, please email ETS Offices or Dr Alistair Wilson, Postgraduate Studies Director.

We will be accepting applications from November 2023 for September 2024 entry.