The Master of Arts in Theology program offers students a substantial academic background in specific theological disciplines. ICSST offers the M.A. in Theology in two formats: general and research. The general M.A. is for students seeking a terminal degree in theology that allows them to pursue in-depth studies without a formal research component. The general M.A. is well-suited for persons teaching at the secondary school level. The research M.A. serves as the basis for further graduate studies and includes language reading and research requirements usually deemed prerequisites to doctoral studies. Admission and matriculation requirements and concentrations are the same for both formats.
Students considering further studies in theology are advised to pursue the research M.A., which leaves more options available. Because the general format M.A. is a terminal degree, ICSST will not recommend general format graduates to doctoral programs.
In addition to the aforementioned general admission requirements for all ICSST programs, M.A. applicants:
Note: At least two years of service to the Church is preferred.
All students must maintain an average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in coursework leading to the M.A. in Theology. Students must complete degree requirements within five years. Extensions of time to fulfill degree requirements may be requested from the ICSST Educational Policy Committee for justifiable reasons.
Concentrations are available in four areas: Biblical Studies, Moral Theology, Systematic Theology and Church History. A fifth concentration, in Jewish-Christian Studies, is available by taking courses offered through the University’s Department of Jewish-Christian Studies.
All students must take STHO 6020 Research Seminar early in their course of studies.
In addition, students must complete certain core courses, according to the area of concentration for their M.A.
1. Students enrolled in an M.A. with a concentration in Biblical Studies (BIBL/BIBN) must complete:
|N.T. Greek I
|N.T. Greek II
|Biblical Hebrew I
|Biblical Hebrew II
|Select one of the following:
2. Students enrolled in an M.A. with a concentration in Church History (HSTD/HSTN) must complete:
|From Church Fathers to 1500
|Church of Reformations-Mission
|Select one of the following:
|Popes and the Papacy
|History of Vatican II
3. Students enrolled in an M.A. with a concentration in Moral Theology (CETH/CETN) must complete:
|Fundamental Moral Theology
|Select one of the following:
|Health Care Ethics
|Catholic Sexual Teaching
|Catholic Social Teaching
4. Students enrolled in an M.A. with a concentration in Systematic Theology (STHN/STHO) must complete any two of the following:
|Select two of the following:
|Revelation and Faith
|Worship of the Church
|Sacraments of Initiation
In exceptional circumstances, the Associate Dean who serves as the student’s adviser, as well as the chair of the department in which the student is pursuing an M.A., may permit the substitution of another course for one of those required above. The M.A. degree program is normally two academic years of full-time study.
Students selecting the M.A. in Theology, general option, must complete 36 credits of coursework, divided into 21 credits in one of the major areas listed under “concentrations” and 12 credits in the other areas of concentration, divided as evenly as possible among them. Students concentrating in Biblical Studies also must complete:
As close as possible to their final semester of studies, students also must complete 3 credits in the M.A. Seminar (STHO 6999), a capstone course integrating their theological studies from among the various concentrations.
The M.A. in Theology program, research format, consists of four components: coursework, language reading requirement, comprehensive examinations and thesis. These four components are divided as follows:
Students must complete 36 hours of graduate coursework, divided into 21 credits in one of the major areas listed under “concentrations” and 15 credits in the other areas of concentration, divided as evenly as possible among them. No pastoral theology (PTHO) courses are applicable to the M.A. in Theology degree.
Students must demonstrate reading knowledge of French or German. This requirement should be met as early as possible; no student will be permitted to advance to comprehensive examinations without satisfying it. Substitution of other languages is generally not permitted unless the student demonstrates a compelling relationship between the proposed language substitute and his area of research. Students meet the language reading requirement by taking a one-hour translation examination administered and graded by a faculty member chosen by the Associate Dean. The exam may be taken during the Fall or Spring semester.
Students must complete written comprehensive examinations in their areas of concentration, demonstrating relative mastery of the chosen area of concentration. Comprehensives are taken after coursework and the language reading requirement have been fulfilled. Exams may be taken during the Fall or Spring semester.
Students must submit an acceptable thesis of substantial length (80-100 pages) in the chosen field of concentration on a topic previously approved by the Educational Policy Committee, only after all other degree requirements have been met successfully. The thesis is read by a mentor and a reader, each of whom grades the thesis, with the final grade established as an average by the Associate Dean. The final thesis must be filed in the ICSST Library.
In addition to the requirements described in I-IV, students concentrating in Biblical Studies must successfully complete 6 credits in Biblical Greek (BIBL 6006 N.T. Greek I and BIBL 6007 N.T. Greek II) and 6 credits in Biblical Hebrew (BIBL 6113 Biblical Hebrew I and BIBL 6114 Biblical Hebrew II) prior to comprehensive examinations.
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