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S.T.B. & S.T.L. Programs M.Div & M.A. Programs Pre-Theology Programs Model Curriculum Course Descriptions

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Civil Degree Programs

The Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree provides the knowledge and skills needed to begin the practice of priestly ministry.

Degree Requirements

  1. Completion of the philosophical and undergraduate theological coursework as defined in the current edition of the Program for Priestly Formation;
  2. Completion of 118 semester credit hours with a cumulative Grade Point Average of at least 2.25;
  3. Successful completion of comprehensive examinations with an average grade of 2.5 toward the end of the student’s course program;
  4. The M.Div. program is designed to be completed over an eight (8) semester period. The number of semester credit hours per course is three unless otherwise noted.

Sacred Scripture
Pentateuch and Historical Literature
Synoptic Gospels
Prophetic Literature
Pauline Epistles
Johannine Literature
One elective

Moral-Spirituality Theology
Spirituality and Practice
Foundations of Moral Theology
Catholic Social Ethics
Marriage, Human Sexuality, and Celibacy
Medical Ethics
Sacraments of Penance and Anointing
One elective

Church History
Ancient and Medieval Christianity
Modern and Contemporary Catholicism
American Catholicism

Systematic and Liturgical Theology
Liturgical Theology
Theological Anthropology
Fundamental Theology
Doctrine of God
Theology of the Church
Sacramental Theology: Baptism and Confirmation
Theology of Ministry and the Ordained Priesthood
Theology of the Eucharist and Practicum (4 credits)
One elective

Pastoral Theology
Pastoral Catechetics
Survey of Canon Law
Canon Law of Marriage
Pastoral Care and Practice I (1.5 credits)
Pastoral Care and Practice II (1.5 credits)
Becoming a Pastoral Teacher (1.5 credits)
Becoming a Leader of Prayer (1.5 credits)
Pastoral Internship I (1.5 credits)
Pastoral Internship II (1.5 credits)
Pastoral Internship III (1.5 credits)
Pastoral Internship IV (1.5 credits)
Basic Skills for Effective Preaching
Preaching from the Lectionary
Pastoral Ministry: Ecumenical/Interfaith
Pastoral Administration
Pastoral Leadership

One elective freely chosen
Total Credit Hours 118


B.A./M.A. Degree Program
In the event that a student who does not possess an earned undergraduate degree has been accepted by a diocese to study for the priesthood, St. Mary’s offers a combined BA/MA degree designed to provide the student with all necessary undergraduate philosophy, religious studies, and liberal arts courses, and graduate theology and pastoral requirements (as specified in The Program of Priestly Formation) in the course of six years.

The applicant must:
  • Be 30 years old or older and have graduated from high school and successfully attended college;
  • Be accepted to study for the priesthood and be sponsored by a Roman Catholic diocese;
  • Submit an official copy of all high school and college transcripts.

Requirements to graduate

For the B.A. degree:

  • Completion of 120 semester credits (with the last 30 earned at St. Mary’s);
  • Adequate command of written and spoken English;
  • A cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.0.

For the M.A. degree:

  • Completion of 48 semester credits in theology;
  • A cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.0 in these 48 credits;
  • Successful completion of a comprehensive examination.

The sequence of the B.A./M.A. program is summarized as follows:

Years 1 and 2: Pre-Theology Years
Students undertake all the requirements as outlined in the Program of Priestly Formation, specifically 30 credits in philosophy and 12 credits in religious studies, plus
a general liberal arts preparation in art, literature, history, and language for work in a graduate school of theology.

Years 3 and 4: First and Second Theology Years
With all philosophy and religious studies requirements completed, the first and second years of theology are taken with students studying for the S.T.B. and M.Div. degrees in which students earn junior and senior undergraduate college credit. The B.A. degree is awarded before the end of Second Theology.

Year 5 and 6: Third and Fourth Theology Years
In the final two years, students take all remaining theology courses as prescribed by the Program of Priestly Formation, and complete requirements for the S.T.B and ordination. At the end of the sixth year of study, the student is awarded the M.A. (Theology) degree.


M.A. In Theology
The Master of Arts (Theology) program provides foundational studies in the main disciplines of theology, including Sacred Scripture, Church History, Systematic Theology, Moral Theology, and Pastoral Theology. In the School of Theology, the Master of Arts (Theology) is open to three particular cohorts of student:

  1. School of Theology students who have earned the Bachelor of Arts degree at St. Mary’s;
    For these students the Master of Arts (Theology) is completed over a four semester period. Seminarians in this program must also complete all pastoral assignments which are not credited toward the degree.
  2. Students who have withdrawn prior to completing the Master of Divinity;
    For these students the Master of Arts (Theology) is completed over a four semester period, generally the first two full-time years of theological study. They require the Dean’s permission, and must complete comprehensive examinations with at least B- average.
  3. Students with advanced standing in the Master of Divinity.

In accordance with accreditation standards, the School of Theology allows up to 24 credits from the Master of Divinity to be applied to a concurrent Master of Arts (Theology) program. The remaining 24 credits for the Master of Arts (Theology) are taken as electives in consultation with the Dean. Matriculation in this concurrent program is reserved to students significantly academically advanced, who could reasonably fulfill all requirements in the time frame generally recognized by their respective dioceses.