• To understand and integrate the theological disciplines within the Roman Catholic Faith and Tradition.
  • Student Learning Outcomes
  • To demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of Catholic theology, both in its tradition and in its contemporary perspectives.
  • To display an ability to evaluate critically theological issues.
  • To demonstrate an ability to reflection human experience within the context of Christian faith.
  • To communicate how the Catholic faith, and tradition and theology illuminate the meaning and purpose of human experience.
  • To demonstrate both orally and in writing the ability to communicate effectively the Catholic faith and tradition in relation to human experience.
  • To apply the world view and value system of Catholic theology to the pertinent issues of our time, for example, ecumenical, global, multicultural, scientific and economic issues.
  • Course of Study (40 credit hours)

    Theological Core (26 credit hours)

    ST 500 Theological Methodology* 2 cr
    SS 521 Method and Pentateuch 3 cr
    SS 525 Synoptics 3 cr
    SS 625 Pauline Literature 3 cr
    ST 5351 Human Person and Grace 2 cr
    ST 6351 Nature and Mission of the Church 2 cr
    ST 650 Trinitarian and Christological Foundations of the Christian Faith 3 cr
    MT 675 Foundations of Christian Moral Life 3 cr
    LS/ST 575 The Sacramental Life of the Church 2 cr
    SP 735 History of Christian Spirituality 3 cr

    *ST 500 must be taken in conjunction with IS 505: Theological Research and Writing, 1 cr.

    Research Concentration(10 credit hours)

    A planned program of 10 credits or more designed to lay the foundation for the student's thesis work. This program must be planned with the student's academic advisor and Thesis Director and submitted in writing to the Dean of Studies Office before the completion of the Theological Core.

    Thesis (4 credit hours)

    IS 899 M.A. Thesis 4 cr

    The thesis demonstrates research ability and a contribution to the field; it is presented orally before a board of at least two professors. Thesis guidelines are available from the Dean of Studies' Office. Students are advised to obtain thesis guidelines and to discuss thesis plans with their academic advisors early in their program of study.

    For Thesis Guidelines, click here.  For the Thesis Grading Rubric, click here.

    IS 8991 is provided for the student who does not complete the thesis during the semester for which she/he is signed up for IS 899. The course is required for each semester that a student wishes to use the library for thesis research or to have contact with the Thesis Director until the thesis is completed.

    Program Requirements  

  • A minimum of 40 credit hours must be earned through completion of the course of study.
  • A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.7 is required.
  • A maximum of thirteen hours may be applied to the degree from other institutions or from other credit earning options.
  • The program must be completed in six years from time of matriculation.
  • Students must complete a one credit course in graduate theological research, IS 505: Theological Research and Writing. This course must be done in conjunction with ST 500: Theological Methodology, and should be done within the student's first year of study. The course is graded pass/fail; credits earned do not count toward the 40 credits required in total for the degree.
  • Students must participate in assessment of the academic program, including completion of a Graduating Student Questionnaire during their final year of study.
  • Reading ability in Latin must be shown during the first year of the program, and reading ability in a modern language pertinent to the student's course of studies must be done before completion of half of the degree program (20 credits). The MA/MAPS admissions committee determines whether the student needs to demonstrate comprehension in a given language based on an examination of previous transcripts.
  • Language competency can be demonstrated by the following  

  • SHMS provides a course called Latin for Graduate Students that satisfies the Latin language requirement.
  • Students can demonstrate competency in either Latin or a modern language through successful completion of a three credit hour undergraduate course with a pass grade of 'C' or better, or a two credit hour graduate course with a 'pass' or grade of 'C' or better. Courses must be taken for credit from an accredited institution of higher learning.
  • Students could also study a language on their own. The student should contact the Dean of Studies when ready to be tested. The Dean of Studies will arrange with an instructor to conduct the examination. The Modern Language examination will consist of a written translation of a text of about two pages from the beginning of an article in the student's field from a theological journal. The student will have one and one-half hours and may use a dictionary to translate the pages. The student will also compose a paragraph summary of the two pages to demonstrate comprehension. Judgment of pass/fail will be based primarily on comprehension.
  • Formation Opportunities  

    A specific program in formation is not required by students in the Master of Arts in Theology, which prepares the student for teaching and research. However, each student is encouraged to participate in the formation opportunities available at SHMS through the Institute for Ministry.