Master of Arts, Theology
The Master of Arts, Theology (MAT) at MTSM is designed to guide the student’s exploration of the rich patrimony of Catholic theological thought. This exploration is accomplished through an engagement with the five key disciplines of Catholic theology – biblical, historical, liturgical/sacramental, moral, and dogmatic – as well as the foundational principles of the Church’s philosophical tradition.
The goal of this degree program is to steep the individual in the “dialogue between faith and reason” that bears witness to the place of Christ as “the center of creation and of human history” (John Paul II, Ex corde Ecclesiae  16-17).
It is the goal of MTSM to assist individuals to serve the Church and the world in the “diakonia of the truth” (John Paul II, Fides et Ratio  2).
Recognizing that “faith is necessarily ecclesial” (Francis, Lumen Fidei  22), the MAT degree program at MTSM places the study of theology “at the service of the faith of Christians” and sees its communion with the pastors of the Church as providing the “certainty of attaining to the word of Christ in all its integrity” (Francis, Lumen Fidei  36).
Admission to the MAT requires an earned bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 cumulative GPA for admission.
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 MAT requires 36 credit hours of graduate course work, including the writing and successful defense of a thesis. 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: 2 credit hours
- PH 509 Philosophy for Theological Studies (2 credits)
- Biblical Studies: 4 credit hours
- B 501 Old Testament (2 credits) or any B 500-level course
- B 601 New Testament (2 credits) or any B 600-level course
- Church History: 2 credit hours
- H 570 Church History (2 credits) or any H 500- or 600-level course
- Liturgy and Sacraments: 2 credits
- LS 6120 Sacramental Theology (2 credits) or LS 612 Principles of Sacramental Theology (3 credits)
- Moral Theology: 4 credit hours
- MT 5000 Fundamental Moral Theology (2 credits) or MT 500 Fundamental Moral Theology (3 credits)
- Choose one:
- MT 560 Catholic Medical Ethics (2 credits)
- MT 580 Catholic Sexual Ethics (2 credits)
- MT 6000 Catholic Social Doctrine (2 credits)
- Systematic Theology: 10 credit hours
- S 541 Fundamental Dogma (3 credits)
- S 5600 Christology (2 credits) or S 560 Christology (3 credits)
- S 591 Christian Anthropology (3 credits)
- S 6110 Ecclesiology (2 credits) or S 611 Ecclesiology I: The Church (3 credits)
- Electives: 6* credit hours
- Research & Thesis: 6 credit hours
- MA 696 Research Seminar (2 credit)
- MA 697 Directed Research (2 credits)
- MA 698 Thesis (2 credits)
- MA 699 Thesis Defense (0 credits; Pass/Fail)
*Students opting for 3-credit courses rather than 2-credit courses (e.g., S 560 in place of S 5600) may reduce their elective requirement accordingly. However, the degree still requires a minimum of 36 credit hours.
Completion of the MAT requires the writing and successful oral defense of a thesis in systematic theology. The process for submitting a thesis topic, outline, and bibliography, and for writing the thesis, can be found in the Thesis Guide for MA Students. Students begin with MA 696 Research Seminar and MA 697 Directed Research in the Fall Semester of their final year, followed by MA 698 Thesis and MA 699 Thesis Defense in the Spring Semester. Visit the Maly Library page for more information on the thesis writing process.
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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