Master of Arts, Catholic Studies
Recognizing that the nexus of truth and culture as being rooted in the Incarnation of the Eternal Word of the Father, the Masters of Arts in Catholic Studies (MACS) aims to penetrate the breadth of the Catholic intellectual tradition through the lens of Christian humanitas – the essence of the human person, ‘fully alive,’ participating in the very life God (see St. Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, Lib. IV, Cap. 20, n. 7). Since the Church “must enter into dialogue with the world in which she lives,” having “something to say, a message to give, a communication to make” (Paul VI, Ecclesiam Suam  65), the starting point for this dialogue is a recovery of the “wild and soaring sort of imagination” (G.K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man [San Francisco: Ignatius, 1993] 14) that seeks to bring people “to look beyond penultimate realities and to seek those that are ultimate” (Benedict XVI, Address at the Cultural Center of Belém, Lisboa, Portugal [May 12, 2010]).
The MACS degree program ties together foundational courses in the Church’s philosophical and theological tradition with specialized electives that invite the student to deeply probe the Catholic intellectual life in literature, film, history, and art. Furthermore, a major research paper and comprehensive exam at the conclusion of the program help foster a synthesis of the student’s approach to Catholic Studies and provide a foundation for further study and research.
Admission to the MACS requires an earned bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 cumulative GPA.
Prospective students should submit the School of Theology General Application, two letters of recommendation, and official transcripts from any prior college course work. Applicants must possess an earned baccalaureate degree with a 3.0 average.
The MACS requires 36 credit hours of graduate course work, including the writing of a synthetic research paper (25 pages). Students must maintain a 3.25 GPA during their studies in order to be in good standing. After completing all course requirements, students must pass a comprehensive examination consisting of objective and essay-based questions.
Course of Study: 36 credit hours
- Philosophy: 12 credit hours
- PH 511 Ancient Philosophy (3 credits)
- PH 521 Medieval Philosophy (3 credits)
- PH 531 Modern Philosophy (3 credits)
- PH 541 Contemporary Philosophy (3 credits)
- Theology: 12 credit hours (choose a track)
- Catechism Track:
- S 501 Catechism: Catholic Doctrine (3 credits)
- S 511 Catechism: Liturgy & Sacraments
- S 521 Catechism: Moral Life in Christ
- S 531 Catechism: Prayer (3 credits)
- Systematic Theology Track:
- S 541 Fundamental Dogma (3 credits)
- LS 6120 Sacramental Theology (2 credits)
- MT 5000 Fundamental Moral Theology (2 credits)
- S 6110 Ecclesiology (2 credits)
- S 591 Christian Anthropology (3 credits)
- Catechism Track:
- Electives: 10 credit hours (choose 5)
- Theology of the Body
- Theology of Saint Augustine
- Theological Themes in John Henry Newman
- Virtue Theory of Saint Thomas Aquinas
- Theology of Martyrdom
- Theology of Evangelization
- Carmelite Mysticism
- Sacraments in Film
- The Writings of Flannery O’Connor
- Immanence Apologetics of Walker Percy
- Memory and Psychology
- Foundations of Catholic Political Philosophy
- Religious Freedom in the American Context
- The Church in the Civil War
- Sacred Scripture Seen Through Sacred Art
- Sacred Music Seminar: The Requiem Mass
- Sacred Music Seminar: Holy Week
- Major Research paper: 2 credits
Major Research Paper
The paper topic will be established with a professor in an area of research proposed by the student. The format for the identification of the professor to direct the paper, and the chosen topic, will follow the format for independent studies. The length will ordinarily be 25 pages, a standard length for articles published in academic journals. The student will receive 2 credits for the work, with the professor serving as evaluator of the work.
The exam will consist of objective and essay questions covering the core content of the degree program. Study materials for the Comprehensive Exam will be furnished to the students at the end of the Fall Semester of the academic year in which the completion of the degree program is anticipated.
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