Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.)

Purpose and Need

Gothenburg 093c

Our two institutions, LSTG and CTS, are convinced that making the STM program more accessible to northern European students fits with the mission statement of CTS: “Forming servants in Jesus Christ who teach the faithful, reach the lost, and care for all.” By offering STM courses in Gothenburg, we will also foster international collegiality among the participating students, help develop theological leaders for a number of confessional European Lutheran churches, encourage an important center for confessional Lutheran theology, and broaden the global awareness of confessional Lutheran scholars.

Educational Standard and Resources

This extension site in Gothenburg will offer the same ATS-accredited STM program as offered on the main campus of CTS in Fort Wayne.  This means the standards as in Ft. Wayne will be applied to all courses offered at the Gothenburg site in this program (i.e., the purpose, goals, student learning outcomes, educational assessment, program content, educational resources and learning strategies, and admission).

It will contain 27 credit hours of course work (18 in the major field, and 3 hours in each of the three remaining areas), three written examinations (a biblical language qualifying exam, a research language qualifying exam, a comprehensive exam in the major field), and 6 credit hours of a thesis work.  For the moment, the major area will be limited to systematic theology alone both for practical and theological reasons reflecting the particular need of this extension site. Out of 27 hours of course work, 18 will be taught by CTS faculty and 9 by LSTG faculty, functioning as adjunct instructors at this STM site.  All three examinations will be written and read by CTS faculty and administered by CTS’s Office of Graduate Studies. The thesis committee, which includes an advisor, two readers, and STM Director, will include one faculty member of LSTG.

The proposed plan is that the students will complete the degree in four years, but under certain conditions it will be possible to make it in three years (If any student decides to take some of the courses on the CTS campus in Ft. Wayne, it might be possible to take it in even shorter time). The students complete three courses and one examination a year during the first three years and will devote themselves in research and writing of a thesis during the fourth year.  The students will be formally admitted into this program by the CTS Graduate Studies Committee, as are all other graduate students at CTS.

Concerning the teaching faculty of CTS and their credentials, see the CTS website.  The  following LSTG faculty will teach as adjunct instructors at the site: Rev. Dr. Rune Imberg (D.Theol, Lund, Sweden), Rev. Dr. Timo Laato (D. Theol, Turku, Finland), and Dr. Daniel Johansson (PhD, Edinburgh, Scotland).  In the future, two more members of the LSTG faculty may also teach at this site: Dr. Torbjörn Johansson (D. Theol, Lund, Sweden) and Johannes Hellberg (ThM, PhD candidate).

Facilities and Resources

Because everyone taking classes at this site will be a CTS student at the same time, everyone will have access to all CTS electronic library resources. As in all other courses offered by CTS, the STM courses offered at the Gothenburg site will also utilize the CTS’s MyClass system in which students will have electronic access to syllabi and reading assignments that are outside of the required textbooks in advance. Students will also be permitted to use all available resources at LSTG. This library holds some 16,000 theological volumes and a large number of theological journals. LSTG will provide students with spaces for studying, reading, and writing as well. In addition, the main library of the University of Gothenburg is adjacent to LSTG. Students studying at LSTG, including STM students of this site, are permitted to use all the resources of this 2.8 million volume library.

Financial Issues 

CTS and LSTG are at present working with the financial issues in order to assist students with scholarships etc. Further details will be announced when all the details are settled.

Assessment

The same assessment tools used at the CTS’s main campus will be used for the program offered at the Gothenburg site. Each course will be evaluated by students electronically at the end of the course through the student learning outcomes of that particular course.  After the oral examination is conducted, students are asked to assess the entire STM program experience by answering questions concerning the student learning outcomes of the STM program and by expressing their thoughts on all aspects of their learning experience (course work, exams, thesis), the impact of the program for their theology, ministry, and life, as well as their future plans after completing the STM degree.

From the side of faculty, the thesis committee members (an advisor, two readers, and STM Director) are asked to complete the STM Faculty’s Assessment Questionnaire in which they assess the students achievement by using the same student learning outcomes of the STM program. They are also asked to offer evaluative comments on each student. In addition, STM Director conducts an exit interview after the oral examination.