Students pursuing the revised STM degree are required to earn 4 credits in the following two courses:
Pastoral Theological Research (2 credits)
- This course seeks to help pastors grow in the practical skills of approaching real-life opportunities and challenges of ministry as Lutheran theologians who know how to study the literature and practice of the visible church on the issue and who know how to assess that accurately from a thorough Confessional Lutheran scriptural perspective.
- Those who have completed a WLS M.Div. with a senior research thesis may omit this course if they begin their STM course work within five (5) years of graduation. 32 credits must still be earned for the degree, but the two credits that otherwise would have been earned in this course can be earned in another STM course.
- Since the STM was designed to be pursued with a much narrower focus than WLS’s M.Div. degree, this course provides an overview of current challenges facing Confessional Lutheran pastors in all the major areas of theological study. The course seeks to help the pastor be aware of recent trends in scholarship in each major area of theological study while at the same time assisting the pastor to take captive all such claims of theological scholarship and make them obedient to the unchanging gospel of Christ.
- For those who have completed their basic theological degree within five years of beginning their STM studies, this course is recommended but not required.