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Master of Arts Degree in Theology


Theology is the study of religious belief, practice and experience. At the Athenaeum, theology is focused on the beliefs and practices of the Roman Catholic Church and the experience of its members. Theology is subdivided into study of five different subjects: philosophy as a preparation for theology, biblical studies, moral theology, Church history, and systematic theology. Graduates of the Athenaeum's master's degree program will have a broad, master's level ability to study and teach theology and will be prepared to pursue doctoral studies if they wish.


Course and research requirements

Students in the program take the following 24 credits of required courses:

Students also take 6 credits of elective courses, chosen from the areas of biblical studies, moral or spiritual theology, Church history or systematic theology.  If a special studies student takes any of the required two-credit courses for three credits, the extra credits earned can be applied to the fulfillment of these elective hours.

Students will also complete 4 credits of major research in theology by writing a thesis.

Comprehensive Examination

After completing all course requirements, students take a comprehensive examination. The exam is divided into two parts. The first part is a written examination, consisting of essay questions on theological study in the areas of biblical studies, moral theology, Church history and systematic theology, and the integration of these areas of study. The second part is a 30-minute oral defense of one's major research before a board of three faculty members, including the director of the research. The student must pass both parts of the examination.

Prerequisites for Admission to the Program

In order to apply, a candidate must have completed a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 average.


Application and letter of recommendation forms are available below for download or from the registrar's office.

Master Of Arts Application Form

Master Of Arts Letter Of Recommendation Form

Someone who is interested in theology, but not in a full master's degree, can take many of the Athenaeum's theology courses individually.

Percentage of students admitted each year who have graduated:










Five-year total




Average time from admission to graduation:  3.3 years

Percentage of students admitted each year who are still enrolled (or have already graduated):






Three-year total



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