The University of St. Thomas

Master of Arts in Religious Education

Master of Arts in Religious Education (MARE)

The Master of Arts in Religious Education degree program prepares men and women for leadership and service to the Church's educational mission, including the direction of religious education, faith formation, evangelization, and catechesis.  This preparation is in accordance with the National Directory for Catechesis.  It also prepares candidates to demonstrate competence in the criteria approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Commission of Certification and Accreditation in the National Certification Standards for Lay Ecclesial Ministers.

A cohort option is offered in cooperation with the Murray Institute, a collaborative venture between the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and the University of St. Thomas.  For more information about the Murray Institute cohort model go to


Program Goals

The goals of M.A.R.E. program are:

  • to equip students with a unified theological understanding of the Catholic faith, rooted in God's revelation and embodied in the living tradition of the Church;
  • to support students in the development of a Catholic ecclesial identity, rooted in an appreciation of baptismal dignity and ordered to the exercise of the priestly, prophetic, and kingly offices of Christ in a manner proper to their ecclesial vocation;
  • to help students develop the pedagogical, pastoral, administrative, and leadership skills necessary to witness effectively to Christ and to contribute to the Church's educational mission.



Candidates for the M.A.R.E. degree demonstrate the first program goal by:

  • demonstrating an understanding of the tradition and teachings of the Catholic Church in the various disciplines of theology;
  • applying and effectively communicating theological knowledge in both academic and pastoral settings.

Candidates for the M.A.R.E. degree demonstrate the second program goal by:

  • exhibiting a deep love of God and commitment to the Church, with an understanding of their work as something recognized, sustained, and guided by the Church;
  • collaborating with others engaged in the teaching ministry of the Church in a manner that respects the diverse and complementary roles of the clergy and the laity.

Candidates for the M.A.R.E. degree demonstrate the third program goal by:

  • using leadership and administrative skills in areas such as curricular design, teaching, decision-making, and group management;
  • collaborating with men and women of varying perspectives in a spirit of mutual trust and respect.


Admission Requirements

  1. An application form with nonrefundable application fee
  2. An official transcript sent directly from an accredited college or university indicating an earned bachelor's degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
  3. Official transcripts of all college and previous graduate work sent directly from the academic institution(s)
  4. The Miller Analogies Test or Graduate Records Exam (taken within the last five years)
  5. Three letters of recommendation from a supervisor, a colleague and a person of the applicant's choice
  6. An interview with the Admissions Committee