Master of Arts in Theological Studies

The Master of Arts in Theological Studies degree seeks to provide students with a thorough understanding of theology that simultaneously increases knowledge of the faith and incites the humble adoration of the mysteries of divine revelation. A student can take this degree in Catholic theology online or on campus.

The MATS program is highly customizable as students are able to concentrate their study in one of four areas that most aligns with their interests and goals:

  1. Biblical Studies
  2. Historical Theology
  3. Systematic Theology
  4. Pastoral Theology

Those preparing for teaching or advanced studies will wish to explore this degree program. This degree is built with two tracks: an all-course track that culminates in comprehensive exams, and a thesis-track that culminates in the writing of a master’s thesis. A student who completes the MATS can expect to demonstrate:

Program Outcomes

  • critical thinking
  • excellent writing skills
  • methodological rigor
  • ability to integrate disciplines
  • openness (academic)
  • spiritual component
  • depth of knowledge
  • competence in designated areas
  • connection to academy (SBL, AAR, CTSA)
  • capable of producing work for publication

Program Overview:

15 courses (45 credits)

  • All-Course Track
    • 2 Foundational Courses:
      • C215 Introduction to Theological Studies
      • D214 Spiritual Formation
    • 8 Courses in Chosen Area of Concentration
    • 5 Elective Courses from other Areas
    • Comprehensive Exams
  • Thesis Track
    • 2 Foundational Courses:
      • C215 Introduction to Theological Studies
      • I350 Introduction to Research
    • 8 Areas of Concentration Courses
    • 3 Elective Courses in other Areas
    • Thesis (equivalent to 6 credits)


C215 Introduction to Theological Studies

This course orients students to the various aspects of theological studies and the way theology functions in a faith community. Key issues such as faith, revelation, scripture, tradition, human experience, and worship are explored with an eye to how they are integrated into the entire discipline of theology. The course aims at helping the student develop a framework in which to understand how one engages in critical theological reflection in light of human experience in general and pastoral/ministerial life in particular.

D214 Spiritual Formation

This course provides a broad introduction to the ways in which people appropriate the mystery of faith, the process entailed in that appropriation, and an overview of the history of that process and the types of experience which have emerged in that history. Students can achieve reflective understanding of their own practice, develop it more consciously and be enabled to appreciate and assist others in this area of ministry.

I350 Introduction to Research

A basic introduction to the process and issues of theological research with particular attention to (a) methodologies, (b) strategies, and (c) skills for those preparing to write their thesis. Students will become familiar with various approaches to research in general and theological research in particular. Students will acquire a variety of skills ranging from compiling research bibliography to evaluating scholarly work and writing a thesis proposal.

A student can take any of these courses in Catholic theology online or in person. A complete list of courses that can be used as electives towards the Master of Arts in Theological Studies can be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions: