Licentiate of Theology

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

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

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

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