London Program

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London-based Th.M. in Historical Theology

Westminster Theological Seminary offers a Th.M. level degree in association with the John Owen Centre for Theological Study.  The John Owen Centre has been established to promote evangelical scholarship of excellence for the good of the church and the advancement of God's kingdom. This Master of Theology in Historical Theology is taken as a series of modules, making it accessible to those already in full-time ministry.

The purpose of this degree programme is to increase the student's knowledge of a major field of theological learning - concentrating in the Reformed and Puritan periods - particularly through training and practice in the use of the methods and tools of theological research, and thus to further the student's preparation for pastoral or teaching ministry, or for more advanced graduate study. It is aimed especially at theology graduates, ministers and missionaries.

Credentials for Admission

Credentials for admission to the London Th.M. include an initial baccalaureate degree plus the MDiv degree or its theological equivalent from approved institutions. Knowledge of both Hebrew and NT Greek is also required.

Applications must be submitted for entrance to the course by:

October 15 for Winter term matriculation (January module)

January 15 for Spring term matriculation (March/April module)

April 15 for Summer term matriculation (June/July module)

June 15 for Fall term matriculation (August/September modules)

Programme Requirments

  • Coursework: Six week-long modules taught by visiting faculty members of WTS and adjunct faculty members. Essays are required following each module, and five modules are normally offered in each calendar year.
  • Complete and pass the course equivalent of PT 421P Theological Bibliography and Research Methodology, which is offered each year.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in a language relevant to theological study (e.g., Dutch, French, German, or Latin). An examination in this chosen language must be passed before a student can submit their thesis.
  • After the completion of modular work, a thesis is required.

Fees and Accomodations

For a breakdown of tuition and other related costs for the London program, or for the auditing fees, please see the current academic catalog

There is a small charge for meals and facilities. Accommodation, if required, is available during the teaching weeks in single study bedrooms. Residence at the John Owen Centre at other times is also possible subject to availability. 

For more information about accomodations please contact The John Owen Centre 

Location of the John Owen Centre

Situated at the London Seminary, the Centre is within easy reach of central London, offering the vast resources of the British Library, the Evangelical Library and Dr Williams' Library for reference and research. Many students have found visits to Pendlebury's Bookshop and Geneva Books, for second-hand Christian books, to be very worthwhile. 

Those using the Centre will also have use of the library of the London Seminary, which is particularly strong in the area of church history and historical theology.

2017 Courses Offered

January 9-13 | CH 873L John Owen and English Puritanism | Dr. Crawford Gribben

 

Purpose: 

  • Understand the situation of English puritan theology in the period before the development of confessional orthodoxy
  • Explain how this confessional orthodoxy was negotiated in response to medieval, Continental Reformed and English radical perspectives, and in response to national political crises
  • Trace Owen’s involvement in constructing a national orthodoxy which he expected would replace that of the Westminster Confession
  • Explain Owen’s hesitant support of confessional subscription in the early 1660s
  • Critically engage with the course’s content in a written submission suitable to Masters-level work in historical theology

Students will be expected to complete several extensive readings in work by John Owen and his English contemporaries as his ideas are examined in context.

 


March 6-10 | Trinitarian Theology Ancient and Modern | Dr. Robert Letham

Purpose:

  • To explore the doctrine of the trinity from primary texts from the fourth century trinitarian crisis, Augustine, key medieval theologians and a selection of Reformation and post-Reformation authors
  • To give the student a thorough knowledge of the church's historic doctrine of the trinity
  • To develop the ability to read primary theological sources, provide an understanding of how Reformation theologians interacted with the tradition, and enhance the student's ability to appreciate perspectives different than his own
  • To help students gain a base for further scholarly work in theology and/or the application of theology in church ministry

 

Topics include:

  • Reading and seminar discussion of key works of fourth century theologians such as Athanasius, Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa and Gregory of Nazianzus, together with the resolution of the trinitarian crisis at the First Council of Constantinople.
  • A consideration of Augustine's doctrine of the trinity and various critical appraisals of its role in the history of theology.
  • An evaluation of the Eastern and Western doctrines of the trinity, together with claims that such distinctions are inapplicable.
  • Reading and seminar discussion of important works on the trinity from within the Reformed church; such as John Calvin, John Owen, Jonathan Edwards and Karl Barth.

 


June 26-30 | CH 852L History and Theology of the Scottish Reformation | Dr. Aaron Denlinger

Purpose:

  • To introduce students to some of the major figures and events of the Scottish Reformation
  • To explore key texts of the Scottish Reformation and examine theological and ecclesiastical issues related to those texts
  • To facilitate discussion of theological and practical lessons the church today might learn from the early Reformed Kirk

 

Texts and topics covered include:

  • Late medieval Scottish Catholicism
  • The impact of Humanism and Lutheranism in Scotland
  • John Knox
  • The Scots Confession
  • Scottish Presbyterianism
  • The First and Second Book of Discipline; the Book of Common Order

 

August 28-September 1 | CH 820L Classic Reformed Covenantal Theology | Dr. Garry Williams

Purpose:

  • To examine some of the major authors of Reformed covenant theology from Robert Rollock to Herman Bavinck through detailed engagement with primary sources. 
  • To consider the developments and disagreements within classical Reformed covenant theology, as well as more recent critiques and proposals for revision. 
  • To enable students to reflect upon the tradition of Reformed covenant theology and its value for the contemporary church

 

Content:

The course covers the covenant theology of selected major authors, especially Robert Rollock, John Ball, Samuel Petto, John Owen, Thomas Blake, Thomas Boston, Jonathan Edwards, and Herman Bavinck. It works through this material comparatively according to the sequence of the covenants. It examines the evidence for and the relationship between the covenants, and uses the material to assess selected recent critiques of classical Reformed covenant theology.

 


September 4-8 | CH 830L The Doctrine of the Church in Reformed Theology| Dr. Craig Troxel

Purpose:

  • To familiarize students with the theological foundations, principles and practices that embody the Reformed tradition's undersrtanding of the doctrine of the church through its contributions in biblical, systematic and historical theology, by acquainting the student with a variety of the best expressions of ecclesiology in the wider Reformed family
  • To consider the relationship between the church and the state, the world, and the kingdom of God
  • To provide the student with the resources to answer the ancient and modern challenges of sacramental, ecumenical, consumeristic and post-modern views of the church, and to defend--thoughtfully and winsomely--the conviction that the church visible is 'the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ' and the 'pillar and foundation of the truth'.