Licentiate of Theology

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For the similar degree in the Catholic Church, see Licentiate of Sacred Theology.

The Licentiate of Theology or the Licence in Theology (LTh is the usual abbreviation) is a theological qualification commonly awarded for ordinands and laymen studying theology in the United Kingdom, Malta, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The academic rank varies from undergraduate degree to master's degree.

A qualification similar to the LTh is the two-year postgraduate Licentiate of Sacred Theology (STL), available from Pontifical universities.

United Kingdom[edit]

The University of Wales, Lampeter LTh, introduced in 1940, was intended for graduate ordinands, and was a one-year full-time, or five years part-time, Degree. It is now awarded by the new University of Wales, Trinity Saint David. The University of St Andrews offered the LTh (Licence in Theology), a three-year course open to non-graduates. A full-time three-year LTh is available from the Universities of Glasgow and of Edinburgh.


In Canada, a four-year LTh is offered by Emmanuel College, Toronto


In Australia in former years, theological colleges that were not associated with Universities offered programmes which led to the award of a Licentiate in Theology, abbreviated ThL. For many years the ThL was a prerequisite to ordination as an Anglican priest, however nowadays the ThL is a "non award" course: i.e., it is not recognised by other institutions for entry to higher degrees, and persons wishing to be ordained usually complete a Bachelor of Theology at an accredited university, to enable them to later take an advanced degree if desired.

New Zealand[edit]

In New Zealand the LTh is offered by the Ecumenical Institute for Distance Theological Studies and was the standard avenue to ordination in the Anglican Church; it remains the standard for part-time distance ordinands.

See also[edit]