Master of Arts in Theology

The Master of Arts in Theology is a 36-credit degree program that prepares students for the academic study of theology. Students develop principles and methods of theological reasoning and research by studying the tradition, as well as the contemporary context, of theological discourse. This degree is especially suited to those who may wish to go on to further study in the theological disciplines. Graduates from this degree program are also employed in a variety of contexts, including secondary and post-secondary educational institutions, diocesan offices, non-profit organizations, and Catholic parishes.

The Master of Arts in Theology degree program enables students:

  • to gain mastery of theology as conducted in the Roman Catholic Tradition with particular emphasis on the Sacred Scriptures, the fundamental content of Christian theology, the history and development of doctrine, moral decision making, and the sacramental life of the Church;
  • to develop competence in addressing the tasks of theology through an understanding of various theological methods and proficiency in research and theological argumentation;
  • to apply the content of the Roman Catholic Tradition in an academically rigorous way to pressing contemporary concerns including ecumenical, global, and multicultural issues;
  • to gain an appreciation for the contribution and place of the academic study of theology in the life of the Church.

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

  • 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 that assess the applicant’s academic abilities and his/her readiness to undertake the study of Theology at the graduate level.

Students in the Master of Arts in Theology degree program complete eleven courses (33 credits) across a broad spectrum of theological sub-disciplines.  The culminating capstone experience for the degree is either a set of (written and oral) comprehensive examinations or the research, writing, and oral defense of a masters-level thesis in a particular sub-discipline of theology.

Curriculum Outline

  1. Eight core courses - 24 credits
  2. Three elective courses - 9 credits
  3. Reading proficiency in a second language used for research. Competency is normally demonstrated through the successful completion of a language proficiency exam administered by personnel of The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity. 
  4. Comprehensive exams or Research Thesis - 3 credits

Core Requirements

Students are required to take:

DVDT 502 - Ecclesiology - 3 credits

DVDT 503 - Theological Anthropology - 3 credits

DVDT 661 - Christian Theology of God - 3 credits

DVHS 601 - Patristics - 3 credits

DVMT 601 - Fundamental Moral Theology - 3 credits

DVSS 525 - Survey of Old Testament Literature - 3 credits

DVSS 530 - Survey of New Testament Literature - 3 credits

DVST 608 - Sacramental Theology - 3 credits


Electives in the Master of Arts in Theology may be chosen from the complete course listing for The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity with the approval of the student's academic advisor.  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.

Students enrolled in the Master of Arts in Theology degree program may visit the "SPSSOD Student Resources" Canvas site for complete information including the Master of Arts in Theology Handbook and all pertinent forms.

For more information, please contact Dr. Kenneth Snyder, Associate Academic Dean of The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity.

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