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MA Pastoral Studies

This program combines on-campus and online learning

The M.A. (Master of Arts) in Pastoral Studies program is a professional degree program designed to prepare students to serve competently and effectively in contemporary ecclesial ministries and lay leadership, especially within parish settings. A primary objective of the program is to develop in students an understanding of ministry within the life and mission of the Roman Catholic Church.

A student enrolled in the M.A. in Pastoral Studies Program may elect one of the following areas of concentration:

  • Pastoral Ministry
  • Parish Administration
  • Religious Education.

Students enrolled in the M.A. in Pastoral Studies Program must complete a total of 39 semester hours of graduate course work and maintain a G.P.A. of 3.0 or better.

The program consists of eight (8) core courses and five (5) courses in an area of concentration. One of the required core courses is a field education course. The program offers both-on-campus and distance learning options. All degree requirements must be successfully completed within six years from the date of acceptance into the program.

Admission Requirements for the M.A. in Pastoral Studies Program

  1. Applicants should follow the College Division Admissions Procedure as described in the Catalog.
  2. Applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0.
  3. Applicants must be able to show proficiency in English, either evidenced by previous college experience or by proficiency exam.
  4. Applicants must demonstrate an undergraduate-level of competency in philosophy, scripture, dogmatic theology, moral theology, and Church history. Applicants who do not meet this standard of competency may be conditionally accepted and required to take specific undergraduate level introductory course work and complete it with a grade of 3.0 or better, prior to being considered for acceptance into the Pastoral Studies Program.
  5. Applicants must submit three (3) letters of recommendation from individuals who can assess the applicant’s academic and ministerial abilities.
  6. Applicants must submit an autobiographical essay that includes a history of the applicant’s religious and spiritual development and a resume of previous experience in ministry or other professional work, as well as a personal assessment of strengths and weaknesses for ministry.
  7. Applicants will receive an entrance interview with an admissions committee.

Core Curriculum

The 24 credit hour core curriculum required for the M.A. in Pastoral Studies Program is as follows:

STM 650 Compendium of Moral Theology
STM 805 Catholic Social Teaching
STM 807 Contemporary Moral Problems
CH 901 The Church in America
SS 637 New Testament Themes
STD 805 Fundamental Doctrines of the Catholic Church, OR
STD 624 Norms of Catholic Doctrine
PM 500 Pastoral Ministry
FE 703 Field Education in Pastoral Ministry

Concentration Curriculum

In addition to the 24 credit core course curriculum, students in the M.A. in Pastoral Studies Program must successfully complete fifteen (15) credit hours of coursework in their elected concentration area as follows:

Pastoral Ministry

PM 501 Human Development and Interpersonal Relations for Ministry
PM 502 Models of Ministry and Leadership in the Church
PM 503 Ethics in Pastoral Ministry
PM 504 Theology of Ministry
PM 516 Youth Ministry
PM 506 Crossing Cultural Boundaries: Ministry at the Margins
STD 614 World Religions and Interreligious Dialogue

Parish Administration

PS 602 Administration and Management of the Catholic Parish
PS 604 Financial Management of the Catholic Parish
PS 503 Leadership in the Christian Community
PS 617 Catholic Parish Development
PS 619 Data Management in the Catholic Parish

Religious Education

PS 609 Sacraments and the Pastoral Life of the Church
PS 620 Characteristics of Contemporary Youth
PS 702 Catechetics
PS 704 Media and the Learning Environment
PS 799 Directed Study in Religious Education
PS 503 Leadership in the Christian Community

For more detailed course descriptions, please visit the Graduate Course Descriptions page.

(860) 632-3010