Master of Arts in Theology
Dr. Chris Seeman, Director, Graduate Theology Program
By its very nature, theology involves graduate-level learning, teaching and scholarship. As faith seeking understanding, theological reflection presupposes comprehensive, in-depth exploration of divine revelation and the Church’s ongoing engagement with it. As a dialogue between faith and reason, it generates new insights into sacred mystery. As a response to our baptismal call to apply our gifts to the building up of Christ’s body and the evangelization of the world, it obligates us to communicate those insights as competent scholars and to live out their implications as servant-leaders.
Because the one Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church, “which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him” (Lumen Gentium 8), theology must be informed by and faithful to the Church’s magisterium. By the same token, because “many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside” the visible structure of the Church and her teachings (ibid.), it must also be ecumenical in scope, dialogical in approach, and ready to embrace truth wherever it may be found (Unitatis Redintegratio; Nostra Aetate; Fides et Ratio). Finally, because it is never an end in itself but rather a means of deepening Christian discipleship, sound theological education must advance the Church’s mission “of scrutinizing the signs of the times and of interpreting them in the light of the Gospel” (Gaudium et Spes 4).
Although all are called “to the fullness of the Christian life and to the perfection of charity” (Lumen Gentium 40), each of us responds to this call differently in accordance with the vocation and gifts which the Holy Spirit assigns us. The purpose of a theology program is to help clarify that vocation and activate those gifts. Therefore, while all theology students share a common core of learning experiences, they also have the responsibility, in consultation with an academic adviser, of individualizing their curriculum to support their own distinctive form of servant-leadership.
The overarching goal of the Master of Arts in Theology is to form intentional Christian disciples who will use their knowledge and skills to serve the Church and advance its mission in the world. The program helps students realize this goal in three stages:
A core curriculum that provides comprehensive, in-depth knowledge of Scripture and Tradition and cultivates foundational skills of theological reflection
A concentration curriculum that develops specific, interdisciplinary competencies in Pastoral Ministry, Religious Education, or Parish Administration—or, for those who plan to go on to doctoral-level work, elective topics that will support their continued academic development
A culminating assignment (a thesis or project) that integrates, demonstrates, and applies the knowledge, skills, and competencies acquired over the course of the program
A student who successfully completes the program will:
- have in-depth knowledge of the media of divine revelation (Scripture and Tradition) and how they are related.
- have in-depth knowledge of how the Catholic Church interprets and applies Scripture and Tradition.
- be able to engage in theological research.
- be able to communicate their research within a professional context appropriate to their ecclesial role.
- respond to the teachings of Jesus Christ in the context of their personal journey of faith.
- respond to the example of Jesus Christ in the context of professional service.
Student Learning Outcomes
- Students will gain knowledge of Scripture and Tradition – Graduates will demonstrate in-depth knowledge of Sacred Scripture, Catholic Tradition, and Magisterial Teaching.
- Students will gain knowledge of Hermeneutics – Graduates will demonstrate in-depth knowledge of how the Catholic Church systematically organizes, contextualizes, and transmits the Christian Faith.
- Students will gain skill in Theological Research – Graduates will demonstrate ability to engage theological research about the Christian Faith, including its application to moral questions, and produce original theological research of their own that makes a significant contribution to scholarship.
- Students will gain skill in Professional/Academic Communication – Graduates will demonstrate ability to communicate effectively in contexts appropriate to their track (pastoral ministry, religious education, parish administration, or academic scholarship).
- Students will learn formation for Spiritual Growth – Graduates will demonstrate maturation of their own spirituality in relation to the knowledge and skills they have developed over the course of their program.
- Students will learn formation for Ecclesial Leadership – Graduates will demonstrate maturation of their own ecclesial leadership role (pastoral minister religious educator, parish administrator, theological scholar) in relation to the knowledge and skills they have developed over the course of their program.
Master of Arts in Theology Academic Guidelines
With permission of the Director of the Graduate Program in Theology, a maximum of three courses or nine semester credits of graduate work may be transferred from other accredited institutions, provided the work is "B" quality or better. The remainder of the course work for the master’s degree must be earned at Walsh University. Usually no transfer of credit will be allowed for courses taken more than five years prior to matriculation in the graduate program.
Permission to register for a course without formal admission to the Master of Arts in Theology program may be granted to a non-matriculated college graduate by the Director of the Graduate Program in Theology. A maximum of six graduate credit hours may be taken prior to admission to the M.A. program. Once application is complete and approved a student may continue course work.
Persons with bachelor’s degrees from accredited colleges, with promising scholastic standing, and with personal and professional potential will be considered for admission to the Master of Arts in Theology program. New students planning to take graduate courses should contact the Program Director at least six weeks before classes begin.
Requirements for admission as a matriculated student in the Master of Arts in Theology program include:
Completed application form.
Official transcript(s) of undergraduate and all other graduate study sent directly from the applicant’s college(s) to Walsh University Admissions Office.
Recommendations by three persons qualified to appraise scholastic aptitude, personal and professional promise.
- One affidavit of good moral character
- A minimum of a 3.0 grade point average at the undergraduate level (4.0 scale).
- Interview with the Program Director.
- Evidence of proficiency in written English. Student will be required to produce a writing proficiency sample.
- Miller’s Analogy 40 or GRE Scores.
An applicant who has completed the admission process but does not satisfy the admissions criteria may be granted a conditional acceptance. To convert the conditional acceptance to full acceptance, the conditionally accepted student must successfully complete all the admissions criteria. A conditionally accepted student may complete a maximum of 6 credit hours in the program.
Students who are fully admitted to the program may register by either of the following procedures:
Call 330-490-7367 to reserve a place in a class. You will be asked to provide your name, address, telephone number and social security number. You will process the official registration at the first class meeting.
Complete the registration form provided with each semester’s Schedule of Classes and return it in person, by mail or fax (330-490-7372) or use the online registration process.
Categories Of Graduate Students
NON-MATRICULATED: A non-matriculated student is a student enrolled in a graduate course who has not completed admission requirements or does not intend to pursue a graduate degree but wishes to enroll in graduate coursework for professional development. A non-matriculated student may apply for transfer as a matriculated student. No more than 6 semester hours taken as a non-matriculated student may be applied toward the master’s degree.
MATRICULATED: A matriculated student is a degree-seeking student who has met all admission requirements for the degree program.
CANDIDATE: A candidate is a matriculated student who has successfully completed at least one half of the coursework for the degree program with a cumulative quality point average of 3.0 or higher (based upon a 4.0 scale).
Upon admission to the master’s program, the student is assigned to a graduate faculty member who will then work with the student to develop a plan that will allow the student to progress through the program as efficiently as possible. Students are encouraged to meet with their advisors prior to registration each semester to confirm their program plan.
The Master's level program in Theology requires a curriculum of 36 hours. The Core courses consist of 24 credit hours. In addition to completing the core courses the student may choose one of the following options:
- Thesis Option: The student may choose six credit hours from courses offered in a particular theological concentration, and opt for a six-hour thesis to attain a master’s degree.
- Concentration Option: The student may choose one of three concentrations (Parish Administration, Religious Education or Pastoral Ministry), choosing three courses offered in a particular theological concentration (3 credits each), and a three-hour capstone Integration Project that relates to and applies in a practical way to the track in which the student has chosen to concentrate.
|Core graduate courses required (24 hours)|
|THEO 670||Catholic Tradition||3|
|THEO 679||Christology and the Trinity||3|
|THEO 680||Catholic Moral Life||3|
|THEO 682||Old Testament Scriptures||3|
|THEO 683||New Testament Scriptures||3|
|THEO 690||Spiritual Formation||3|
|THEO 691||Liturgy and Sacraments||3|
|THEO 600||Spec Topics in Ecclesial Lead||3|
|THEO 610||Spec Topics in Moral Theology||3|
|THEO 620||Spec Topics in App Pract Theo||3|
|THEO 630||Special Topics in Scripture||1-3|
|THEO 640||Special Topics in Theology||3|
|For those not opting for the 6 hr. thesis, please select one of the three concentrations below (choosing three courses from a particular concentration in addition to a 3 hr. capstone Integration Project).|
|Religious Education Concentration|
|Lay Ecclesial Leadership|
|Psychology of Learning|
|Teach Strateg in Nursing Educ|
|Pastoral Ministry Concentration|
|Lay Ecclesial Leadership|
|CPE: Eccl Leader/Pastoral Care|
|DV:Intro Counsel/Counsel Prof|
|Parish Administration Concentration|
or THEO 676
|Lay Ecclesial Leadership|
|THEO 701||Integration Project||3|
|THEO 702||Integration Thesis||6|