Master of Arts in Theology

The Master of Arts in Theology (MAT) is a 36-credit degree program focusing on the academic study of theology. Students enrolled in this graduate program work on developing principals and methods of theological reasoning and research by studying the tradition as well as the contemporary context of theological discourse. Our graduates are prepared to teach in various settings, for public service and further doctoral studies.

The School of Divinity offers the Master of Arts in Theology degree in collaboration with the Theology Department of the University of St. Thomas. Together, the two faculties bring a wealth of expertise in a broad range of areas to the academic study of theology.

Program Objectives

The Master of Arts in Theology degree program seeks to provide the academic preparation and intellectual formation that will enable graduates to:

  • gain mastery of the content of Christian theology - the Bible, the fundamental issues of Christian theology, the history and development of doctrine, especially within the Roman Catholic tradition, moral decision making and the sacramental life of the Church;
  • acquire knowledge of the sources of theology and the ability to interpret and incorporate them systematically into theological discussion;
  • develop competence in addressing the tasks of theology through an understanding of various theological methods and through proficiency in research and theological argumentation;
  • gain an appreciation for the place of theologians and the academic study of theology in the life of the Church; and
  • meet their personal and professional goals.

Program Requirements

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

  • The following five undergraduate courses or their equivalent completed within the last ten years:

Introduction to Philosophy                          
Introduction to Theology
Moral Theology or Ethics                          
Old or New Testament
Sacramental Theology  -or-  Church History  -or-  Historical Theology

  • The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) taken within the last five years with a writing score of 4 or above.
  • A three- to five-page personal essay focusing on the applicant’s expectations of The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity, goals in seeking the master’s degree and a description of one theological work studied in the past year.
  • Three letters of recommendation pertaining to the applicant’s academic abilities.

Degree Requirements

Portfolio Option

  1. Six core courses - 18 credits
  2. Five elective courses - 15 credits
  3. Portfolio of four research papers - 3 credits
  4. Reading proficiency in one foreign research language by the time the student has completed 18 credits in the program; proficiency will be demonstrated through a written examination
  5. Comprehensive exams

Thesis Option

  1. Six core courses - 18 credits
  2. Four elective courses - 12 credits
  3. Thesis - 6 credits
  4. Reading proficiency in one foreign research language by the time the student has completed 18 credits in the program; proficiency will be demonstrated through a written examination
  5. Comprehensive exams

Course Distribution

Core Requirements

Students are required to take: 

DVDT 502 - Theology of the Church - 3 credits

DVDT 661 - Christian Theology of God - 3 credits

DVHS 601 - Patristics - 3 credits

DVMT 601 - Moral Theology - 3 credits

DVSS 525 - Survey of Old Testament Literature - 3 credits

                               ~ OR ~

DVSS 530 - Survey of New Testament Literature - 3 credits

DVST 601 - Eucharist - 3 credits

Electives

The MAT degree, with its research focus, offers elective courses specifically designed to allow students to focus on an area of specialty. Working with an advisor, a student can choose courses that support their thesis research, fulfill a personal area of interest, or prepare a graduate of the program to acquire more in-depth expertise in a particular area.