6.9.2 Degree Requirements

6.9.2.a Courses

Six modular courses are required for the Th.M. Historical Theology degree. These courses are offered at the John Owen Centre for Theological Study at the London Theological Seminary in Finchley, London, U.K. Five courses are normally offered in each calendar year. Each module normally meets for four or five consecutive days in January (winter term), March/April (spring semester), June/July (summer term), and August/September (fall term). These courses deal with a range of topics and themes in Reformation and post-Reformation history and theology and are published in advance on the London Program webpage.
In addition to the six modular courses, students must complete a course equivalent to PT 421P Theological Bibliography and Research Methodology, which is offered each year.

Each course normally requires readings to be completed prior to the beginning of the course. The details of pre-course requirements are available from the Director of the John Owen Centre. Registered students receive a reading list from the Centre approximately six weeks prior to the course, following course module registration.

6.9.2.b Program Time Limit

It is anticipated that candidates will complete all of the requirements for the degree within six years of the date of matriculation including any leave of absence or withdrawal period. Normally, students complete all six module courses, including PT 421P or its equivalent, in no more than the first three years of study, taking a minimum of two courses per year, and complete all other degree requirements in the last three years of study. Students should be aware that module courses are offered on a rotating basis. Course registration should be planned accordingly to ensure time limit deadlines are met. To see all program requirements for planning, students should utilize the Th.M. Degree Completion Worksheet (DCW) which is available on the Registrar’s Office section of the Seminary’s website. Requests for a program extension should be submitted to the chairman of the London Field Committee before the sixth anniversary of the date when the candidate matriculated. Please see the London Th.M. Program Length Table.

6.9.2.c Course Registration

All students in the program are required to register, including students who are not taking modules. The deadline to register for a course is six weeks in advance of the course start date. To register, all students must register for courses through the Registrar’s Office at the Philadelphia campus. The registration form and instructions can be found on the Registrar’s Th.M. London registration webpage. Students should be certain to complete the appropriate registration form for the term in which they are registering. All students must also contact the John Owen Centre by email at: johnowen@ltslondon.org to inform the Centre of their intentions in order to ensure proper accommodations.

6.9.2.d Late Registration

After the registration deadline, students are permitted to register late up to three weeks before the course start date.  A late registration fee will apply.  Students who register late are responsible for completing all pre-course requirements prior to the course start date.  No student is permitted to register after the late registration deadline.

6.9.2.e Tuition

European and U.K. students are charged the citizen tuition rates. U.S. students and all other students entering the U.K. from outside the European Union are required to pay the Philadelphia campus tuition fee and must submit payment to the Philadelphia campus two weeks prior to module start date. Please see the Financial Information section for tuition fees.

6.9.2.f Post-Modular Course Assignment Submission

Post-modular course assignments should be uploaded electronically to Westminster’s course management system. The deadline for submission is eight weeks after the end of the course. For example, if the last day of the module ends on Friday, September 5, the post-modular course assignment submission deadline would be Friday, October 31.

Length of essays should be approximately 25-30 pages, double spaced with a consistent format and style such as Turabian or Chicago style. Students may reference Turabian’s Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations or the Chicago Manual of Style.

6.9.2.g Incomplete Requests (Extension for Completion of Course Requirements)

If extenuating circumstances (unusual and unavoidable circumstances which hinder completion of assigned work) prohibit the student from completing a course on time, a grade of “incomplete” may be given. To receive a grade of incomplete, a student must submit an Incomplete Request prior to the post modular course assignment deadline by:

  • Securing the approval of both the course professor and the Director of the John Owen Centre.
  • Contacting the Philadelphia Registrar at Registrar@wts.edu detailing the course identification, grounds for the Incomplete Request, along with documentation confirming approval from both the course professor and the Director of the Centre.

The deadline to contact the Philadelphia Registrar is the post-modular course assignment deadline. If an Incomplete Request is granted by Westminster, students will be notified by the Philadelphia Registrar and be assigned an interim “incomplete” grade of “I” with a new deadline.  It is important to note that the professor may at his discretion reduce the course grade. The final grade assigned by the professor will replace the “I” grade on the student’s transcript. If an Incomplete Request is not granted, and the student does not submit the course assignment by the submission deadline, the student will be assigned a grade of “W.” If an Incomplete Request is submitted to the Philadelphia Registrar after the deadline, the student will receive a failing grade for the course.

6.9.2.h Course Withdrawal

Students may withdraw from a course at any point from course registration until the post-modular course assignment submission deadline. In order to formally withdraw, students must inform the Director of the JOCTS and contact the Philadelphia Registrar at Registrar@wts.edu. Upon following this procedure, students will be assigned a “W” (withdrawn from course) grade on their transcript record. The effective date for withdrawing from a course is the date on which approval is granted by the Registrar. No refund will be given if the course was attended. If a formal withdrawal request is not submitted by the deadline, the student will receive a failing grade for the course.  

6.9.2.i Academic Progress

Candidates are required to maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 after the completion of three courses. Each candidate will be informed of his or her GPA by the Philadelphia Registrar after completion of the third course and advised about his or her continuation in the program. If the candidate’s GPA is below 3.00 after the completion of three modules, the candidate will be withdrawn from the program. All inquiries about a candidate’s academic standing should be addressed to the Registrar at the Philadelphia campus. See section 5.2.2.b for the Academic Standing chart.

6.9.2.j Language and Comprehensive Oral Examinations

Requirements for the Th.M. London program Language and Comprehensive Oral Examinations are congruent with the Philadelphia-based Th.M. program.  Internet video and phone conferencing may be used for Comprehensive Oral Examinations.

6.9.2.k Thesis


Students should consult the Director of the John Owen Centre prior to applying for thesis topic approval.  Upon approval, students must contact the Director of the London Program who will assign a “first reader” and a “second reader.” The role of the second reader will vary.  In certain cases, the role will involve reading the thesis at the marking stage; in other cases, it may involve some supervision.


The master’s thesis must reflect a high standard of scholarly research and writing. 
The thesis must conform to the format and bibliographic style requirements in Format Guidelines for WTS Theses, Dissertations and Projects, available from Westminster’s Montgomery Library and online.  Format guidelines are revised and re-posted each September.  See the Westminster website for the current version. In addition, the London Theological Seminary library contains copies of previous theses that can serve as excellent examples to students of high quality, proven standards.


Candidates in the Th.M. London program should be aware that members of the Philadelphia faculty will be available in person in London at least twice each year to consult about the thesis subject and the candidate’s progress towards completion of the thesis. This time generally coincides with the time the Philadelphia faculty member teaches a module course.

From the beginning stages of thesis work, open communication between the student and the advisor is encouraged in order to guide student progress.  Students should freely communicate with their advisor regarding feedback and need for clarification.  Students may contact the Director of the John Owen Centre if in need of more detailed expectations from their advisor.


Stage 1: Three copies of the completed thesis, with the appropriate fee, must be submitted to the Westminster Philadelphia campus Academic Affairs Office by March 1 (see the Academic Calendar if the 1st falls on a weekend) for the following May. Each copy should be submitted in a two or three ring binder.  The thesis fee should be paid to the John Owen Centre by March 1. If one of the student’s readers is located in the U.K., the student must submit a fourth copy to the John Owen Centre for the reader by March 1.  
Stage 2: The faculty committee must approve the thesis by May 1. If approved, some minor corrections may be required. The student must submit two copies of the approved thesis with revision to arrive at Westminster’s Philadelphia campus Academic Affairs Office by May 15 (see the Academic Calendar for the date if the 15th falls on a weekend). One copy must be printed double-spaced on good quality A4 paper.  The other copy may be printed on white multipurpose paper.  No holes should be punched in the pages and the thesis should be submitted flat in a box that is well protected so that pages do not bend.  Students are required to use the A4 Title Page Template entitled “London Thesis Th.M. Title Page” that is available online at www.wts.edu under WTS Resources, Center for Theological Writing. U.S. based students may follow the paper and title page requirements of the Philadelphia campus.  The copies will be bound and shelved in Westminster’s Montgomery Library.  Students must send a third copy electronically or by mail to the John Owen Centre in order to be shelved in the London Theological Seminary library.

A graduation service will be arranged in London for those graduating from the Th.M. London degree program, normally in September. U.S.-based students may choose to graduate at the Philadelphia service in May.

6.9.2.l Continuation Fees and Billing

For candidates who have completed all of the required courses, a continuation fee will be due for each semester following the first year in which no new course work will be taken, until a student has been fully approved to graduate. The fee is due on February 1 or September 1 and should be paid directly to the John Owen Centre in Pound Sterling. U.S. students must send their continuation fee directly to the Westminster Philadelphia campus Finance Office in U.S. Dollars.

U.K. and European students: The John Owen Centre will send students a bill from Westminster. All bills should be paid directly to the Centre in Pound Sterling.

U.S. students and all other students entering the U.K. from outside the European Union:
All bills should be paid directly to Westminster’s Philadelphia campus Finance Office in U.S. Dollars.

Please see the Financial Information section of the catalog for
tuition and continuation fee rates.

6.9.2.m Auditing

It is also possible for those not enrolled in the program to attend the lectures at a reduced fee. Accommodation, if required, will be available (single study bedrooms) during the teaching weeks. See Tuition and Special Fees for more information.