Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry

The Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry is a 48-credit degree program that provides, in a systematic way, the opportunity to consistently think through the relationship between theology and pastoral life. Students considering the graduate degree are seeking an integrated program in formation designed to prepare them for service in the Church. Our graduates serve in various ministries, including parish catechetical leaders, youth ministers, pastoral associates, and parish life coordinators.

The program is grounded in the understanding of the integral role of lay ministers as complementary to and in support of the priesthood and meets the competencies set forth the the National Certification Standards for Lay Ecclesial Ministers.

Program Objectives

The Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry Program seeks to integrate human, intellectual, pastoral and spiritual formation in order that our graduates:

  • acquire a unified theological understanding of Catholic faith rooted in God's revelation and embodied in the living tradition of the Church;
  • are equipped with the practical skills needed to serve the mission and ministry of the Church in a manner proper to the laity's share in Christ's role as priest, prophet and king;
  • develop a personal ecclesial relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit by practicing the attitudes, personal disposition, and habits of prayer required for Christian discipleship; and,
  • live an integrated life and express Christ-like character that fosters healthy ministerial leadership and service.

Program Requirements

In addition to the application requirements, these additional items are required for a complete application to the Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry degree program.

  • The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test taken within the last five years
  • A three- to five- page personal essay describing the applicant’s goals in pursuing the master’s degree, previous ministerial experience and training (if any), and plans for the future. If the applicant has completed any non-degree study or ministerial training, detailed information about the content, format and length of the program should be included.
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can assess the applicant’s academic and ministerial abilities.
  • If the applicant is currently involved in ministry in a setting other than their home Parish, a fourth letter of recommendation addressing that ministry.

Degree Requirements

Core Courses - 30 credits

Human, Spiritual and Pastoral Formation - 4 credits

Internship and Project - 2 credits

Elective Courses - 12 credits

Course Distribution

Core courses

DVDT 530 Nature and Mission of Church - 3 credits

DVDT 561 Christian Theology of God and the Human Person - 3 credits

DVMT 602 Fundamentals of Moral Theology and Catholic Social Teaching - 3 credits

DVPT 510 Theology of Pastoral Ministry - 3 credits

DVPT 605 Canon Law and Civil Law for Pastoral Ministry - 3 credits

DVPT 612 Prayer Leadership for Lay Ministry - 3 credits

DVPT 618 Community and Mission in a Diverse Church - 3 credits

DVSS 501 Old Testament - 3 credits

DVSS 505 New Testament - 3 credits

DVST 605 Catholic Sacramental Worship - 3 credits

DVPT 719 Spiritual and Human Formation - 2 credits

DVPT 732 Pastoral Formation - 2 credits

DVPT 999 Internship/Project - 2 credits

Elective Courses - Total 12 credits

Electives in pastoral ministry may be chosen from the complete course listing for the School of Divinity with the approval of the student's academic adviser. Students may also select additional courses in theology, provided they have met the necessary prerequisites for a particular course.