University of Chester

Programme Specification
Applied Theology MTh
2017 - 2018

Master of Theology

Applied Theology

Applied Theology (Regents)

University of Chester

Regents Theological College

West Malvern Campus

Postgraduate (Taught)

Full-time and Part-time

Work-Based inc.(practice / placement)

1 year full-time or 3 years part-time

6 Years

Annual - September


17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Arts and Humanities Theology & Religious Studies

Theology and Religious Studies

University of Chester

Theology and Religious Studies

Tuesday 1st May 2012

  • To offer a postgraduate degree programme in applied, contextual and practical theology in a full-time or part-time mode. 
  • To develop systematic conceptual understanding in applied theology that enables the student to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline. 
  • To develop comprehensive facility with skills in applied theology to review, consolidate and extend their knowledge and understanding; 
  • To develop the application of  a number of complementary methods of study, such as, philosophical, historical, systematic, dogmatic, phenomenological, linguistic, hermeneutical, empirical, speculative, social scientific, and to evaluate these methods.  
  • To encourage students to act autonomously in planning and implementing a negotiated study demonstrating critical reading of a wide range of scholarly resources including refereed research articles and primary sources, with evidence of originality in the application of knowledge and critical awareness. 
  • To offer personal and professional development in Christian studies and ministries. 
  • To prepare students for further research.

 Level 7 Students will be assessed on their ability to:

  • demonstrate a competent, critical, self-reflexive engagement with the study of applied theology; (e.g. TH7166)
  • develop methodological and epistemological frameworks appropriate for the study of applied theology; (e.g. TH7166)
  • develop a systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insightsat the forefront of the applied theological context and practice; (e.g. TH7159, TH7161, TH7171, TH7174)
  • demonstrate originality in the application of knowledge, together with an understanding of how methodological assumptions are related to theological content in the study of Theology; (e.g. TH7166, TH7159, TH7161, TH7171, TH7176)
  • use and evaluate a range of appropriate methods: philosophical, historical, phenomenological, hermeneutical, linguistic, speculative, social scientific etc., and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses; (e.g. TH7152, TH7155, TH7157, TH7158, TH7160, TH7172,TH7176)
  • develop the ability to interpret primary and secondary sources, and to develop an appreciation of the complexity of the relationship between texts, institutions, traditions, philosophy, experience and other sources of authority within Theology. (e.g. TH7173, TH7174,TH7176, TH7150)         


Level 7 Students will be assessed on their ability to demonstrate:

  • skills appropriate for the academic analysis of key issues and concepts associated with the study of applied theology;
  • the ability to interpret and express balanced and informed independent opinions on significant issues, drawing on appropriate methodological tools; (e.g.TH7153, TH7154, TH7155, TH7158, TH7160, TH7170, TH7175, TH7176)
  • research skills, appropriate for Master’s level, which could provide a basis for further postgraduate studies and/or professional development; (e.g. TH7150)
  • an ability to understand how people have thought and acted in contexts other than the student’s own, with an awareness of the effects of historical, geographical, philosophical and linguistic contexts on the articulation of applied theology; (e.g.TH7153 TH7154, TH7155, TH7172, TH7173, TH7174, TH7175,TH7176)
  • deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively; make sound judgements based on the evidence available; and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audience; (e.g. TH7152, TH7157, TH7160, TH7161,TH7164, TH7170)
  • self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level. (e.g. TH7150)

Level 7 students should have :

  • developed their research and communication skills to the level that their professional competence is significantly enhanced. This will make them more effective in offering religious and social counsel, support and direction, based upon informed decision-making and the ability to think through theological, ecclesiastical and social scenarios analytically and consistently. The applied perspective of the programme material should assist them to consistently assess and respond to the interaction between the theoretical and practical elements of Christian ministry.(e.g. TH7161, TH7170, TH7160, TH7158, TH7150,TH7164,TH7175)
  • the ability to act autonomously in planning and implementing a negotiated study demonstrating critical reading of a wide range of scholarly resources, including refereed research articles and primary sources, with evidence of originality in the application of knowledge and critical awareness. They will demonstrate the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility, decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations and the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development. The ability to apply their insights into practical situations and contexts of Christian and other work and practice will also be demonstrated (All modules)

Level 7 students should be able to:

  • deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively , make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to a specialist and non- specialist audiences (e.g. TH7150, TH7166) 
  • express themselves clearly through assessment , observing academic form; (in written work)accuracy in spelling and grammar; communicate conclusions  clearly for specialist & non-specialist audiences as appropriate (All modules). 


For the MTh in Applied Theology the structure is:

  • the core module TH7166 Research Methodology and Skills;
  • plus three optional modules, of which one must be selected from: TH7159 Communicating the Gospel in Contemporary Society, or TH7161 Christian Leadership Development,  or TH7171 Practical Chaplaincy Development
  • plus the dissertation (TH7150)

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
TH7150 7 Dissertation 60 Comp
TH7151 7 The Holy Spirit in Luke-Acts 30 Optional
TH7152 7 Healing and Exorcism in the New Testament 30 Optional
TH7153 7 Pentecostal Spirituality 30 Optional
TH7154 7 Roots and History of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement 30 Optional
TH7155 7 Revivals and Revivalism 30 Optional
TH7156 7 The Role of the Spirit in the Old Testament and Inter-Testamental Literature 30 Optional
TH7157 7 Pauline Pneumatology 30 Optional
TH7158 7 Christian Responses to Poverty 30 Optional
TH7159 7 Communicating the Gospel in Contemporary Society 30 Optional
TH7160 7 Issues in Contemporary Christian Ethics 30 Optional
TH7161 7 Christian Leadership Development 30 Optional
TH7164 7 Christian Leadership and Strategic Organisational Transformation 30 Optional
TH7166 7 Research Methodology and Skills 30 Comp
TH7169 7 Contemporary Christian Missions 30 Optional
TH7170 7 Christian Ministry in an Institutional Context 30 Optional
TH7171 7 Practical Chaplaincy Development 30 Optional
TH7172 7 Eschatology and Future Hope in Old Testament Prophetic Literature 30 Optional
TH7173 7 Performance and the Church 30 Optional
TH7174 7 Story and Society 30 Optional
TH7175 7 Towards a Theology of Whole life Discipleship and Mission. 30 Optional
TH7176 7 God and Israel in Biblical Theology. 30 Optional

Postgraduate Certificate 60 credits
Postgraduate Diploma 120 credits
MTh in Applied Theology 180 credits

The academic ability, motivation and potential of a student required for entry to the programme can be established from a number of forms of evidence:

  • an initial degree in Theology or Applied Theology, and/or Religious Studies;
  • an initial degree in another subject, together with evidence of certificated learning in theology or applied theology and/or religious studies or substantial related experience;
  • a non-graduate qualification plus substantial professional experience in theology or ministry, evidenced in a summary of non-certificated and experiential learning. 

Applicants will normally be interviewed. 

Exceptionally consideration may be given without the formal requirements of the above. In these instances  applicants who do not satisfy the above will be offered an opportunity to be exceptionally  considered for admission to the programme by undertaking one of the taught modules as a stand-alone module. If applicants are successful in passing the module then this may be considered for entry onto the programme

Students who wish to be admitted on the basis of non-EU previous qualifications are required to submit a certificate of comparison from NARIC upon which their application might be considered.

The Theology and Religious Studies Benchmark Statement, published by the QAA in 2000 and revised in 2007 and 2014, details the range of subject knowledge (TRS Benchmark 3.1), the qualities of mind (3.2), and generic skills acquired and developed in TRS degree programmes. Appendix A of the subject Benchmark Statement states that a Master’s degree in theology and religious studies is awarded to students who have demonstrated these Graduate standards as well as the more specific standards set out for MA programmes. Level 7 modules on the MTh in Applied Theology build on and extend the benchmarks developed in TRS BA degree programmes, and are in line with the current MA draft benchmarks.

The programme equips students with an ‘expanded range of research and study tools’ (A4.3) beginning initially in the core modules TH7166 and TH7159,TH7161,TH7171 where students learn the research skills needed to engage in advanced independent research, and developed then in a range of optional modules. Students cultivate appropriate knowledge of research methods and ethical research (A4.2, A6.1) and are required to demonstrate an advanced ability to use primary and secondary sources. Optional modules enable students to extend these skills allowing for broadness of scope both in terms of disciplines and theories, and in terms of religious traditions. Field work skills (developed in modules such as TH7158, TH7160, TH7169, TH7170, TH7175) encourage students to integrate theoretical literature with practice (A6.1) and to critically reflect on their own position. Independence and originality of research is encouraged as students design their own projects and form their own – sometimes original – conclusions. The research dissertation (TH7150) allows students to expand their skills in self-directed learning, and to show an advanced ability to source material, think independently, and critically engage with and reflect upon a key area within the study of religion.








At level 7 a wide range of learning and teaching methods will be adopted. The course offers an integrated programme of lectures, seminars and tutorials, together with opportunities for individual consultation with the module lecturer.  There will be 25 contact hours per module. 

50 hours would be dedicated to directed prior reading study hours. A pre-reading of 2 books related to the contents of (or part of ) the module would be the basis of the residential programme A review of the pre-reading material, of 1000 words per book and constructed according to a template, must be presented to the tutor on the first day of the module teaching period, and selected reviews will presented as seminars at times during the teaching period.

Lectures are intended to give the students the basic knowledge needed for them to develop their own ideas and arguments. It will be the responsibility of the tutor to facilitate discussion and interaction within the group.  During the periods of modular instruction, guidance will be offered for the on-site research and development that will occur during non-contact occasions.

Students will have access to module leaders and tutors via email, telephone, skype or face-to-face interviews as they prepare their research projects. Students will be supported by means of one-to-one supervision of the dissertation process.

Immediately preceding the first day of the first module that students take for this programme a half-day campus orientation will take place at Regents Theological campus, to introduce the students to the postgraduate programme. It will incorporate matters relating to library usage, financial administration, campus operations and facilities.

Each module would consist of 25 hours residential teaching, taken as two-day couplets over consecutive weeks according to an annually devised and publicised module calendar from September-May each academic year.

Distance Learning ( DE)

The alternative teaching, learning , support strategy and assessment implications for distance education modules can be summarised as follows;

Provision of a distance education handbook explaining to DE students the significant differences between residential and distance education modes of teaching and learning. This document spells out the challenges, possible pitfalls, opportunities and strengths of the DE mode ,and also explains the nature and provision of tutoring available to DE students as well as the nature and process of administrative support and assessment submission.

 At least two Skype conference sessions of 60-120 minutes will be organised, between the tutor and registered DE students  for a module.

Individual students will be provided with e- mail, phone and Skype support by the module tutor up to a maximum 2 hours per student per module.

A detailed tutorial letter will be compiled for each DE module, guiding the student through the process of pre- reading,obtaining research resources, additional reading, assessment topics, proposals and preparation, and required feedback to tutors to enable monitoring of progress.

Additional reading reviews will be required of DE students , over and above those completed by residential students as the standard module pre-reading reviews.

Detailed module notes will be provided for each DE module, utilising the following forms of guidance:

Comprehensive notes containing tutored course material;

A comprehensive guide to the literature, taking the student step by step through each prescribed work, cross- referencing to additional reading, and indicating points to be reflected on;

Summarised course material with regular pointers to prescribed and additional/ material related to the course material;

Regular quiz boxes within course notes containing a set of questions for the student to reflect upon at that stage of the material, including instructions of short submissions to be sent to the tutor to enable monitoring of the student's progress.

DE students will be granted more time to submit assessments - the standard at present is 12 weeks from end of residential module to assessment submission, for DE students this will be 16 weeks from the official module commencement date to assessment submisson. 


Students are expected to be able to compile a substantial research paper for each module they complete, according to the appropriate methodology for the theological discipline and research topic they are addressing.

One research paper of 6,000 words will be required per module for all modules (except TH7166 Research Methodology and Skills) including, appendices, charts and diagrams, but excluding footnotes and bibliography.  While the module lecturer may allow students to submit their own suggested research paper topics, the final decision on the titles for module papers remains that of the lecturer, in consultation with the Director of Postgraduate Studies.

For TH7166 the assessment consists of a 4500 word publication-ready journal article and a 1500 word Masters dissertation research proposal.


Students will be required to submit a full draft of the research paper for the first module they undertake, which will be marked by the lecturer, with a provisional grade being indicated.  This will enable students to submit a finalised improved draft.  Students will not be permitted to present the latter if initial draft papers have not been first submitted and marked. 

This programme of study will appeal particularly to Christian ministers and workers, although graduates from theological college, Bible School or seminary Bachelors graduates may also find it useful. 

The programme may be used for personal and academic development, and by some for initial ministerial training or continuing ministerial education. Students on this programme are often engaged in lay or ordained ministries - the study equips them theologically and practically, and the awards signal professional ministerial achievement. The programme also offers initial training and experience in academic research.

 The programme also prepares graduates for PhD study in Theology

Modules in the programme offer opportunities for addressing questions of gender, sexuality, race and religious identity. There are no confessional requirements for entry to or success in the programme.

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