Theology Programs

Master of Divinity

DSPT Dominican Student Friars in PrayerThe goal of the Master of Divinity (MDiv) program is to prepare clerical candidates for general apostolic, ministerial, pastoral, and administrative leadership in the Catholic Church of the United States. As a center of studies of the Dominican Order located in the Western Dominican Province, DSPT aligns the structure of the MDiv program with the requirements articulated in the formation documents of these two entities, namely the Ratio Studiorum Generalis and Ratio Studiorum Particularis, and the Ratio Formationis Generalis and Ratio Formationis Particularis (see "Formation Documents for Student Friars"). The DSPT MDiv curriculum also follows the general requirements of the Program of Priestly Formation pdf (PPF) of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops which governs the preparation of clerical candidates for dioceses in the United States.

Lay students who are interested in theological study may wish to explore the Master of Arts (Theology) program.

Goals and Outcomes.

As the PPF calls for a priestly formation that is “in communion with Jesus,” enabling “participation in his mission” (see PPF nos. 7-9), the outcomes for the MDiv program express how the candidates will develop this communion with Christ and participation in his mission, a mission that is understood under the aspect of the three-fold office of Jesus Christ the High Priest, who is Prophet, Priest, and King. Furthermore, as a Center of Studies of the Order of Preachers, DSPT places an emphasis on fostering the prophetic element, while also developing the priestly and kingly aspects. The outcomes also relate to the four pillars of formation for clerical candidates articulated in the Program of Priestly Formation (PPF), namely: a) intellectual; b) pastoral; c) human; and d) spiritual. At DSPT, these pillars are viewed through a lens which encourages a human and graced discipleship with Christ in the context of the ordained priesthood.

The overall focus of these outcomes is to inculcate knowledge of the religious and particularly theological heritage of the Roman Catholic Church; to foster the human and cultural contexts of priestly life; to nurture evangelical characteristics of the priestly following of Christ; and to instill a capacity for ministerial and public leadership.

By the end of the program, students will demonstrate ministerial and pastoral competency through the ability:

  1. to communicate simply, accurately, and effectively the theological tradition of the Roman Catholic Church through preaching, teaching, and writing;
  2. to preach in a manner that is grounded in scholarly methods of biblical interpretation, and is doctrinally sound, pastorally focused, and rhetorically effective;
  3. to analyze, assess, and critique theological perspectives through scriptural, historical, and systematic theological methods, and to assist others in doing the same;
  4. to fulfill their responsibilities with the moral, intellectual, psychological, and emotional maturity that grounds vigorous discipleship of Christ and priestly service to others;
  5. to lead a faith community in prayer, worship and theological reflection, centered on the Eucharist, respecting both the liturgical tradition of the Church and the pastoral needs of the local community;
  6. to apply the principles of the moral theology of St. Thomas Aquinas to pastoral situations in general and confessional situations in particular;
  7. to both lead and work collaboratively with others in a just, charitable, and generous manner, respecting the relevant cultural, social, and ecclesial circumstances, all the while maintaining professional, ethical boundaries;
  8. to foster Church communion, demonstrated through personal and liturgical prayer, regular observance, and life in community.

The Learning Environment and the Primary Formation Community.

The DSPT MDiv program presupposes a dynamic learning environment which supports the holistic development of each clerical candidate. The Faculty at DSPT works collaboratively with other entities to ground the discipleship of Christ of the clerical candidate in personal maturity, intellectual accomplishment, and pastoral leadership. In addition to the academic learning community found at DSPT and across the GTU, MDiv students are assigned a primary formation community according to their own particular vocation. Students are normally assigned to the primary formation community by their proper ordinary. For students who are members of WDP this community is normally St. Albert Priory. The primary formation community is charged with guiding the candidate in human and spiritual formation as articulated in the respective documents particular to the religious community, e.g. the formation documents of WDP that are listed above.

Continue on to the M.Div. Degree Requirements. Students currently enrolled in the M.Div. must consult the DSPT Student Handbook pdf for program details.