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Master of Arts In
Pastoral Studies

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Explore the Possibilities with
a Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies

Overview

Earn your Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (MA Pastoral Studies) 100% online.

The MA in Pastoral Studies program is an award-winning, professional degree program offering 7 concentration choices.

This program is designed to prepare you to serve effectively in contemporary ecclesial ministries and lay leadership, especially within parish settings. Specifically, this includes religious education at all levels, catechetical leadership, and youth ministry. Altogether the primary objective is to develop in students an understanding of ministry within the life and mission of the Catholic Church.

Career Opportunities

  • Theology Teacher
  • Youth Minister
  • Director of Religious Education
  • College Professor
  • Spiritual Director

Looking for information on programs, admissions, or financial aid? We’re here to help.

Graduate Degree

Master of Arts in
Pastoral Studies

  • Online
  • Eligible for transfer credits

2 to 6 years

Program Length

$390

Per Credit Hour

36

Total Credits

Jan. 9th

Next Start Date

Ready to Apply?

Take your next step toward your success and your future!

“The Apostles themselves, on whom the Church was founded, following in the footsteps of Christ, “preached the word of truth and begot churches.” It is the duty of their successors to make this task endure “so that the word of God may run and be glorified and the kingdom of God be proclaimed and established throughout the world.”

– Ad Gentes, Second Vatican Council

The Pastoral Studies Core

Co-Requisites

PAS 602 Fundamentals of Practical Theology
DTH 645 Nature and Grace

Core Courses

PAS 805 Trinity and the Incarnation
APO 512 Apologetics
DTH 512 Spiritual Life in the Classics
PAS 785 Pastoral Issues Concerning Human Sexuality

Concentration Courses

See concentrations below for required courses and recommended electives.

Concentration Information

At Holy Apostles, you decide your passion!

With 7 concentration options, you’ll have the opportunity to study what you feel most passionate about!

Not sure what that might be? No problem! We’re here to help you discern!

Apologetics
Catechetical Ministry
Marriage & Family Studies
Pastoral Counseling
Spiritual Direction
Youth & Young Adult Ministry
General Studies

Apologetics Overview

Apologetics concentration provides students with a biblical basis for the key Catholic teachings and customs.

Students will be equipped with apologetic knowledge that non-Catholics wonder about, object to, and preach against. Topics include an introduction to apologetics, Catholic norms, nature and grace, the moral magisterium of John Paul II, and non-Catholic beliefs.

The concentration faculty includes noted Apologetic experts Trent Horn and Dr. Stacy Trasancos.

The Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (MAPS) concentration in Apologetics is available 100% Online.

Coursework

A candidate for the M.A. in Pastoral is required to complete all course work detailed in the degree plan. The specific degree requirements for the Apologetics concentration may be found in the Sample Degree Plan below.

Concentration Core:
APO 535 Moral Apologetics
APO 540 The New Atheism
APO 565 Reading Science in the Light of Faith
APO 631 Social Media & the New Evangelization

Concentration Electives (Choose two of the following):
APO 520, APO 620, CHH/SAS 720, PAS 511, PAS 605, PAS 660, or consult the MAPS Program Director for approval of your alternate selection.

Summative Evaluation
All MAPS students must complete the Comprehensive Examination.

Apologetics Concentration Sample Degree Plan

Supervised Ministry (Three 0-credit supervised field experiences)
Human Formation (5 hours minimum)
Spiritual Formation (5 hours minimum)
Pastoral Formation (5 hours minimum)

Catechetical Ministry Overview

The MAPS Catechetical Ministry Concentration at Holy Apostles College and Seminary provides learners with the abilities and skills necessary to teach others about the Catholic Faith and to administer catechetical or religious education programs in parishes and Catholic schools. This concentration would be an excellent fit for those who wish to:

Direct a religious education/faith formation program in a parish.
Pursue a career in diocesan catechetical ministry.
Coordinate a religion program in a Catholic school.
Be more effective as a catechist or religion teacher.

The MAPS Catechetical Ministry concentration is available 100% online.

Coursework

A candidate for the M.A. in Pastoral is required to complete all coursework detailed in the degree plan. The specific degree requirements for the Catechetical Ministry concentration may be found in the Sample Degree Plan below.

Concentration Core:
PAS 651 History and Foundations of Catechesis
PAS 653 Child and Adolescent Catechesis
PAS 660 Thanatology
PAS 891 Methods in Teaching

Concentration Electives (Choose two of the following):
APO 535, APO 540, CHH/SAS 720, PAS 511, PAS 720, PHS 628, or consult the MAPS Program Director for approval of your alternate selection.

Summative Evaluation
All MAPS students must complete the Comprehensive Examination.

Catechetical Ministry Concentration Sample Degree Plan

Supervised Ministry (Three 0-credit supervised field experiences)
Human Formation (5 hours minimum)
Spiritual Formation (5 hours minimum)
Pastoral Formation (5 hours minimum)

Marriage & Family Studies Overview

The MAPS Marriage and Family Studies Concentration provides learners with a strong understanding of both the role of the family in the life of the Church and society, and the responsibilities involved in living out the covenantal relationship between God, man, and woman. This concentration would be an excellent fit for those learners who wish to:

  • Serve as both diocesan and parish-based marriage and family life ministers.
  • Conduct effective marriage preparation and enrichment programs.
  • Promote the relational and spiritual well-being of couples and families.
  • Provide front-line pastoral support for couples and families in crisis.

The MAPS Marriage & Family Studies concentration is available 100% online.

Coursework

A candidate for the M.A. in Pastoral is required to complete all coursework detailed in the degree plan. The specific degree requirements for the Marriage & Family Studies concentration may be found in the Sample Degree Plan below.

Concentration Core:
CLA 715 Canon Law of Marriage
PAS 621 Pastoral Care of Marriage and Family
PAS 660 Thanatology
PAS 720 Nurturing the Domestic Church

Concentration Electives (Choose two of the following):
APO 535, APO 540, MTH 851, PAS 511, PAS 700, or PAS 780, or consult the MAPS Program Director for approval of your alternate selection.

Summative Evaluation
All MAPS students must complete the Comprehensive Examination.

Marriage & Family Studies Concentration Sample Degree Plan

Supervised Ministry (Three 0-credit supervised field experiences)
Human Formation (5 hours minimum)
Spiritual Formation (5 hours minimum)
Pastoral Formation (5 hours minimum)

Pastoral Counseling Overview

The Pastoral Counseling MAPS Concentration is intended to give learners the skills they need to help people lead more fulfilling, healthy, and godly lives and relationships. Students will acquire the skills necessary for fostering the emotional, spiritual, and relational development of people-of-faith, in addition to being able to develop ethical and effective psycho-spiritual interventions to assist people in crisis. This concentration is an excellent fit for:

Persons in church ministry who would like to sharpen their psycho-spiritual intervention skills and be more effective, first-line responders to people needing emotional and relational support;
Any person who wishes to practice as a Christian Life Coach and/or Board Certified Professional Life Coach;
Licensed mental health counselors who wish to engage in ethical and effective faith-integrated approaches to professional counseling.

The MAPS Pastoral Couseling concentration is available 100% online.

Coursework

A candidate for the M.A. in Pastoral is required to complete all coursework detailed in the degree plan. The specific degree requirements for the Marriage & Family Studies concentration may be found in the Sample Degree Plan below.

Concentration Core:
PAS 641 Methods in Counseling
PAS 683 Pastoral Counseling I: Spiritual Helping and Accompaniment
PAS 684 Pastoral Counseling II: Spiritual Diagnosis and Accompaniment
PAS 791 Morals and Psychology

Concentration Electives (Choose two of the following):
MTH 851, PAS 621, PAS 660, PAS 705, PAS 720, or PAS 780, or consult the MAPS Program Director for approval of your alternate selection.

Summative Evaluation
All MAPS students must complete the Comprehensive Examination.

Pastoral Counseling Concentration Sample Degree Plan

Supervised Ministry (Three 0-credit supervised field experiences)
Human Formation (5 hours minimum)
Spiritual Formation (5 hours minimum)
Pastoral Formation (5 hours minimum)

Spiritual Direction Overview

The MAPS Concentration in Spiritual Direction is intended to give learners the skills they need to help people experience God and their Catholic faith in a more meaningful, dynamic, and integrative manner. Learners will develop the skills necessary to assist the faithful in discerning God’s will, growing in virtue, developing a more intimate relationship with God, and experiencing the Holy Spirit at work in the blessings and challenges of everyday life. This concentration is an excellent fit for:

  • Those who are currently engaged in ministry work but who wish to be able to make a more effective use of the mystical and spiritual traditions of the Catholic faith to facilitate spiritual growth and healing in the people they serve.
  • Persons interested in pursuing a career in diocesan and parish ministry, faith formation, spiritual care, and other lay ministry careers.
  • Licensed mental health professionals who wish to add spiritual direction services to their current practice.

All graduates will also be qualified to practice as Christian Life Coaches and have advanced standing to become Board Certified Coaches through the Center for Credentialing and Education (whether or not they are licensed mental health providers).

The MAPS Spiritual Direction concentration is available 100% online.

Coursework

A candidate for the M.A. in Pastoral is required to complete all coursework detailed in the degree plan. The specific degree requirements for the Spiritual Direction concentration may be found in the Sample Degree Plan below.

Concentration Core:
CHH 631 Mystical Theology & the Church Fathers
DTH 890 Spiritual Theology
PAS 660 Thanatology
PAS 671 Spiritual Direction

Concentration Electives (Choose two of the following):
MTH 851, PAS 621, PAS 700, PAS 705, PAS 720, or PAS 780, or consult the MAPS Program Director for approval of your alternate selection.

Summative Evaluation
All MAPS students must complete the Comprehensive Examination.

Spiritual Direction Concentration Sample Degree Plan

Supervised Ministry (Three 0-credit supervised field experiences)
Human Formation (5 hours minimum)
Spiritual Formation (5 hours minimum)
Pastoral Formation (5 hours minimum)

Youth & Young Adult Ministry Overview

The MAPS Youth & Young Adult Ministry Concentration provides learners with the ability to help teens and young adults apply their faith to the difficult emotional, spiritual, and relationship challenges that accompany the high school, college, and young adult years. This concentration would be an excellent fit for those learners who wish to:

  • Pursue careers in diocesan and/or parish-based youth/young adult ministry.
  • Pursue careers in campus ministry.
  • Pursue careers in family life ministry.
  • Be more effective in connecting teens and young adults with a meaningful experience of their Catholic faith.
  • Graduates will also be able to practice as Family Life Coaches and be eligible for advanced standing to become a Board Certified Coach through the Center for Credentialing and Education.

The MAPS Youth & Young Adult Ministry concentration is available 100% online.

Coursework

A candidate for the M.A. in Pastoral is required to complete all coursework detailed in the degree plan. The specific degree requirements for the Youth & Young Adult Ministry concentration may be found in the Sample Degree Plan below.

Concentration Core:
APO 535 Moral Apologetics
APO 540 The New Atheism
PAS 607 Contemporary Youth Culture
PAS 660 Thanatology

Concentration Electives (Choose two of the following):
CHH/SAS 720, MTH 851, PAS 605, PAS 641, PAS 780, or PAS 891, or consult the MAPS Program Director for approval of your alternate selection.

Summative Evaluation
All MAPS students must complete the Comprehensive Examination.

Youth & Young Adult Ministry Concentration Sample Degree Plan

Supervised Ministry (Three 0-credit supervised field experiences)
Human Formation (5 hours minimum)
Spiritual Formation (5 hours minimum)
Pastoral Formation (5 hours minimum)

General Studies Overview

Courses provide the student with a strong understanding of pastoral issues in the areas of family life as they affect the activity of the Church in the pursuit of its missionary mandate and prepare students to provide direct assistance in the salvation of souls. To equip students with the skills needed to:

  • Educate students in the primary issues pertaining to family life for the purpose of their being able to engage others within them.
  • Prepare students for the kind of engagement that will be necessary to assist others in the fostering of strong family bonds.

The MAPS General Studies concentration is available 100% online.

Coursework

A candidate for the M.A. in Pastoral is required to complete all coursework detailed in the degree plan. The specific degree requirements for the Youth & Young Adult Ministry concentration may be found in the Sample Degree Plan below.

Concentration Core:
Marriage and Family Life : CLA 715, PAS 621, PAS 653, PAS 660, PAS 720, or PAS 780

Spiritual Direction Course: CHH 631, DTH 890, PAS 660, PAS 671, PAS 700, or PAS 705

Pastoral Counseling Course: MTH 851, PAS 641, PAS 660, PAS 700, PAS 780, or PAS 791

Apologetics, Youth and Young Adult Ministry: APO 535, APO 540, MTH 851, PAS 607, PAS 660, or PAS 891

Concentration Electives:
Any 2 courses from the concentration lists above not already completed or consult the MAPS Program Director for approval of your alternate selection

Summative Evaluation
All MAPS students must complete the Comprehensive Examination.

General Studies Concentration Sample Degree Plan

Supervised Ministry (Three 0-credit supervised field experiences)
Human Formation (5 hours minimum)
Spiritual Formation (5 hours minimum)
Pastoral Formation (5 hours minimum)

Who Is This Program For?

  • Those working in ministry
  • Educators
  • Catholic Professionals
  • Clergy
  • Those pursuing doctoral work
  • Personal Formation
  • Those in hospital ministry

FAQ

How long does it take to complete an MA in Pastoral Studies?

The M.A. degree program may be completed in as quickly as 2 years. However, there is a 6-year time limit from entry into the program for completion of the degree requirements. Please see the Academic Catalog for additional information.

 

Is this an Online Program?
Yes, our 100% online courses make the M.A. degree program flexible for working and busy individuals. The MA in Pastoral Studies degree may be completed completely online.
How do I apply?
Applicants for the M.A. program should follow the Graduate Admissions procedures.
What is the 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.
Is Holy Apostles College & Seminary accredited?
Holy Apostles College and Seminary is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), the Connecticut Office of Higher Education (CTOHE), and the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). For more accreditation information visit here.
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.
Who is the Program Director?
Program Director:

Dr. J. Marianne Siegmund

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

FAQ

Is this an Online Program?
Yes, our 100% online courses make the M.A. degree program flexible for working and busy individuals. The MA in Pastoral Studies degree may be completed completely online or on campus.
How do I apply?
Applicants for the M.A. program should follow the Graduate Admissions procedures.
How long does it take to complete an MA in Pastoral Studies?
The M.A. degree program may be completed in as quickly as 2 years. However, there is a 6-year time limit from entry into the program for completion of the degree requirements. Please see the Academic Catalog for additional information.

 

Is Holy Apostles College & Seminary accredited?
Holy Apostles College and Seminary is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), the Connecticut Office of Higher Education (CTOHE), and the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). For more accreditation information visit here.
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.
Who is the Program Director?
Program Director:

Dr. J. Marianne Siegmund

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

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What You’ve
Been Looking For

 

An authentically Catholic education should be available to everyone.
Time and cost should not stand in your way.

You deserve the highest quality academics that are both convenient and affordable.

Let Holy Apostles set you on the path to achieving your goals.

Why Holy Apostles

Flexible & Online

Holy Apostles makes a quality education accessible. You can complete your degree any time, anywhere. Our small class sizes make learning easier, providing personalized attention from our excellent faculty.

Tuition you can afford

At Holy Apostles, we believe that a debt-free graduate is a gift to the Church. We are one of the most affordable colleges recommended by the Cardinal Newman Guide.

FAITHFULLY CATHOLIC

The Catholic university is “born from the heart of the Church,” as St. John Paul II stated in Ex Corde Ecclesiae.

From its very foundation, Holy Apostles College & Seminary has dedicated itself to proclaiming the truth and forming our students to do the same.

Explore the Possibilities

Looking for information on programs, admissions, or financial aid? We're here to help.

 

Speak to your personal Admissions Counselor today for more information.

Graduate Admissions Phone :
860-632-3066

Undergraduate Admissions Phone:
860-632-3026

Admissions Email:
admissions@holyapostles.edu

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