Theology Programs

Master of Arts (Theology) [MATh]

Providing students with a fundamental knowledge of theology, the ability to communicate that knowledge effectively to others, and the research tools needed for advanced academic research.

St. Dominic (Detail) - Mocking of Christ - Fra Angelico, 1439-43Choose an Area of Concentration: Students tailor their program by choosing an area of concentration which aligns with their own academic and research interests. While core course requirements provide DSPT MATh students with a common foundation for theological study, electives afford students the opportunity to deepen their knowledge within the area of concentration. Students must declare their area of concentration at the time of application, and may switch this area by submitting a written petition to the Academic Dean.

Philosophy principles: Because the approach to theological inquiry at DSPT relies heavily upon philosophical principles, all MA (Theology) students are required to take PH 1200, Philosophy for Theology in the Fall semester of their first year in the program, or to demonstrate coursework equivalent to any one of the following DSPT courses: Philosophy of Nature, Philosophical Anthropology, or Metaphysics. Those with such prior work may file a general petition with the Academic Dean requesting advanced standing for PH 1200. Students are strongly encouraged to review some of the texts from the recommended reading list as a means of familiarizing themselves with some of the more important philosophical principles which form the basis for theological inquiry at DSPT. They are also strongly encouraged to take ST-1710, "Theology: Method & Structure."

Requirements: The MATh degree is a two-year program which requires a total of 48 semester units: 42 units of coursework in theology, fulfillment of a foreign language proficiency requirement, and the writing and oral defense of a thesis, for which an additional 6 units are given. Students must also complete all of the assessment portfolio requirements as described in the DSPT Student Handbook pdf. The maximum time permitted for the completion of the program is four years computed from the date of initial registration. Students are required to maintain a 3.0 grade point average.

Students in the M.A. (Theology) program can take advantage of the study abroad program at the Angelicum, Rome.

Admissions procedures for the M.A. (Theology) degree program.

Goals and Outcomes.

In addition to the stated institutional goals, students develop:

  1. A foundational knowledge of the fundamental areas of theological inquiry in the Roman Catholic tradition (Biblical Studies, historical theology, dogmatic theology, and moral theology);

  2. A specialized knowledge of one area of theological inquiry (area of concentration) chosen by the student;

  3. The ability to communicate this knowledge effectively through scholarly writing;

  4. The ability to communicate this knowledge effectively through oral presentations and discussions;

  5. The ability to integrate contemporary theological issues with the tradition of the Catholic Church, and where possible with the theological tradition of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Students demonstrate competence in these goals by:

  1. Attaining a grade of B+ or better in the required core courses in four fundamental areas;
  2. Producing a thesis proposal which articulates and effectively communicates clear goals & outcomes for the proposed thesis;

  3. Produce a well-written thesis that meets specified criteria, e.g. theological knowledge, writing skills, etc.;

  4. Use the oral defense to demonstrate their skills for collaborative learning. While working with faculty on the proposal & thesis and in the oral defense itself, students demonstrate an ability:

    • to listen attentively to input from faculty on questions or points of disagreement, and

    • to formulate responses which incorporate issues raised.

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