Theology Programs

Master of Divinity

DSPT Dominican Student Friars in PrayerThe Master of Divinity program (M.Div.) is designed to prepare students academically, pastorally and spiritually for ordained ministry in the Roman Catholic Church. In collaboration with the faculty of the School, they integrate their academ­ic and spiritual formation through participation in the formation programs of their religious community or diocese. These students are particularly advised and encouraged to augment the three-year M.Div. program with the complementary curriculum in order to fulfill the four years of theological study canonically required for ordination to priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church and to meet the course requirements outlined in the Program of Priestly Formation pdf (PPF) of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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

Goals and Outcomes.

Following the concepts outlined in Pastores dabo vobis external link and in the Program of Priestly Formation pdf (PPF), as well as the formation requirements of the Western Dominican Province, the M.Div. program helps students integrate four key areas of formation: human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral. The goals and outcomes of the program reflect the various emphases of that unified formation.

Upon completion of the M.Div. degree, students will demonstrate:

Academic Outcomes:

  • The capacity to recognize and respect the unity and diversity of the Church in light of its history, tradition, and teaching charism (Magisterium);

  • The capacity to analyze theological issues appropriately through their historical contexts and contemporary contexts;

  • The ability to use a variety of contemporary scholarly methods for Scriptural interpretation;

  • The ability to analyze contemporary theological issues from the perspective of the tradition of St. Thomas Aquinas;

  • The ability to apply analytical skills and knowledge of theology to contemporary min­isterial settings;

  • The ability to use library research tools effectively;

  • The ability to express theological concepts clearly in writing.

Pastoral Outcomes:

  • The ability to integrate personal faith and theological study in the context of pastoral ministry;

  • A practical competence in preaching which integrates theological insight, aware­ness of contemporary issues, and pastoral sensitivity;

  • The ability to plan and lead celebrations of prayer and liturgy;

  • The ability to work collaboratively with clergy and lay women and men in ministry;

  • An understanding of the principles of effective pastoral counseling;

  • A thorough understanding of professional and ministerial boundaries;

  • Cross-cultural competency, i.e. the capacity to work effectively with people of vari­ous religious, cultural, gender, and ethnic groups;

  • The ability to apply the principles of the moral theology of St. Thomas Aquinas, particularly those concerned with virtue and law, to pastoral situations.

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.