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Master of Arts in Theology – Bioethics with NCBC Certification

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Holy Apostles College & Seminary
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Cromwell, CT 06416

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Bioethics Concentration with NCBC Certification Overview

Holy Apostles College and Seminary and the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC) are collaborating to provide a unique, affordable educational opportunity for professionals and students interested in receiving general or specialized training in the growing field of Catholic bioethics. The Master of Arts in Theology (M.A. Theology) concentration in Bioethics with NCBC Certification courses are available 100% online. In addition to the courses, the NCBC certification requires attendance at two in-person seminars held in the U.S. The dates, times and locations of the seminars are set by the NCBC.

One result of this effort is a one-year sequence of graduate-level courses in bioethics available through NCBC. Qualified students pursuing Certification in Health Care Ethics with the NCBC may receive 9 graduate-level college credits through the NCBC learning management system for the coursework completed leading to certification.

A detailed description of the new course sequence in Catholic Bioethics is presented below.

The sequence of courses in Catholic Bioethics will be taught by Fr. Tadeusz (Tad) Pacholczyk, Ph.D., who is the Director of Education at the NCBC and is recognized as one of the leading experts in the field of Catholic bioethics. Fr. Pacholczyk serves as an adjunct faculty member at Holy Apostles College & Seminary.

Core Curriculum

Holy Apostles College and Seminary requires M.A. in Theology candidates to complete a total of 12 courses for 36-credits. The first two courses worth six-credits are our co-requisite sequence of PHS 607 Philosophy for Theologians and DTH 600 Faith & Revelation followed by a twelve-credit core curriculum within the program. The core courses are as follows:

  • SAS 651  Synoptic Gospels
  • DTH 731 One & Triune God
  • DTH 751 Christology
  • MTH 611 Fundamental Moral Theology I

Four courses must be taken within the area of concentration which includes the three courses completed through the NCBC certification and one course completed through Holy Apostles College and Semiary. The Bioethics with NCBC Certification degree plan will detail the courses required.  The remaining two courses are electives and can be taken within or outside the concentration as long as the student remains inside the program in which he or she has matriculated.


The NCBC sequence of courses in bioethics is a one-year program that has both fall and spring start dates. The following courses comprise the NCBC bioethics sequence. Students pursuing NCBC certification with or without the M.A. in Theology must take the three bioethics courses described below:

BIE 653 Guiding Principles of Catholic Medical Ethics 
This course explores the extraordinary challenges, both medical and moral, currently facing Health care in the U.S. The Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, will be used to overview critical topics in Catholic medical ethics. Online Only. Taught by Fr. Tad Pacholczyk.

BIE 673 Catholic Bioethics and the Dignity of the Human Person 
This course examines key areas of modern bioethics, and be able to articulate the major ethical concerns raised by these issues and areas where ethical ambiguity may still exist from the vantage point of Catholic teaching. Online Only. Taught by Fr. Tad Pacholczyk.

BIE 675 Case Studies and Applied Topics 
This course examines a number of bioethical topics and critically analyzes case studies from a Catholic perspective, including research ethics, ethics committee process topics, beginning and end-of-life ethical issues, selected clinical issues. Online Only. Taught by Fr. Tad Pacholczyk.

In-Person Seminars

In addition to the courses outline above, the NCBC certification requires attendance at two in-person seminars held in the U.S. The dates, times and locations of the seminars are set by the NCBC. For a listing of the seminar dates, times, and locations please visit the NCBC website by clicking herePlease note, all NCBC Certification students are required to attend the one-day intensive case studies seminar held in Philadelphia, PA.

Renowned Bioethics Faculty

  • Fr. Tadeusz (Tad) Pacholczyk, Ph.D.
  • Rev. Thomas J. Davis, Jr.
Graduate Capstone

The Summative Evaluation is the capstone of the student’s academic work in the M.A. program at Holy Apostles College and Seminary. All candidates for the M.A. degree are required to complete a Summative Evaluation exercise, which may take the form of a thesis or a comprehensive exam. Full descriptions of the Summative Evaluation exercise are available on the Summative Evaluation page.

How Do I Apply?

Professionals and others interested in obtaining Graduate credits while pursuing the Certificate in Health Care Ethics through the NCBC, must work with our Admissions Department and apply to Holy Apostles in one of two ways. One way is to apply as a Graduate student into the Masters of Arts in Theology, concentrating in Bioethics with NCBC. The other way is to apply as a Personal Interest student where you can have the 3 NECHE accredited courses transferred to another Institution.

Applicants for the M.A. program should follow the Graduate Admissions procedures. 

What is the Cost of the Program?

Please contact the Holy Apostles NCBC Liaison, Jennifer Arel, at jarel@holyapostles.edu or (860)632-3070 for further details of the program, including cost.



Program Director:


Concentration Chair:

Rev. Thomas J. Davis, Jr.

For a full listing of our faculty, please visit Faculty Listing.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to complete an MA in Theology?

  • The M.A. degree program may be completed in as little as 2 years.There is a 6 year time limit from entry into the program through completion of the degree requirements. Please see the Academic Catalog for additional information.

Is the program flexible for working individuals?

  • Our 100% online courses make the M.A. degree program flexible for working and busy individuals.

Are the faculty members faithful to the Magisterium?

  • All members of the faculty who teach theology and philosophy must be approved by the Chancellor, make a Profession of Faith, and take an Oath of Fidelity to the Magisterium.

Visit our FAQs page for more information.