Master of Arts in Theology (MAT)

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The Master of Arts in Theology (MAT) is a general theological studies degree that provides foundational studies in the main disciples of theology, including biblical studies, history, moral theology (theological ethics), spirituality, systematic theology, and ecumenical and interfaith studies. Electives are also available in practical theology and religious education. The degree is earned with the successful completion of 51 credits plus a culminating experience. Students may pursue a general program or concentrate in biblical studies, history, moral theology, or systematic theology.

Educational Goals and Opportunities

Students in the MAT program pursue the following goals:

  • To gain knowledge and understanding of the Christian and Jewish traditions as contained in Scripture, creeds, theological writings, and denominational statements
  • To foster personal religious commitment through theological reflection, reading, writing, and discussion
  • To relate theological knowledge and religious convictions to the personal and social issues of contemporary life, and to articulate an informed understanding of these issues
  • To develop research, writing, and communication skills in preparation for further professional or academic activities

The Curriculum

The curriculum of the MAT program consists of 17 three-credit courses and a culminating experience. The courses include:

  • An introduction to theological study and an orientation to biblical studies
  • Requirements (with some choice) in six departments
  • Four free electives

For their culminating experience, students may do one of the following, depending on their interest, background, and grade point average:

  • Take a comprehensive exam
  • Participate in a colloquium (integrative seminar)
  • Write a thesis

Graduation Requirements

Graduation requirements for the MAT are as follows:

  • Satisfactory completion of 51 credits, according to specific distribution requirements
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 for all courses taken at St. Mary’s
    Note: Students whose GPA falls below 3.0 risk academic probation or dismissal.
  • Satisfactory completion of the culminating experience