Master of Arts Degree
The Master of Arts degree is designed as an academic degree that investigates the theological disciplines in an in-depth manner focusing on speculative and historical aspects of knowledge received in the various courses offered in the Theology Division. The program is open to Seminarians who have already earned the Master of Divinity degree and have met all other program prerequisites.
1. Successful completion of two electives (6 credits) from the area of concentration (Sacred Scripture, Systematic Theology, Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology).
2. Successful completion of the Master of Divinity degree (88 credits) earning a 3.00 cumulative grade point average.
3. Attaining a minimal 3.00 cumulative grade point average in the area of concentration.
1. Successful completion of all courses in Fourth Theology (24 credits plus 6 elective credits in the area of concentration plus 6 credits for the research and thesis; thus a total of 36 credits).
2. Successful completion of a thesis expected to be a minimum of fifty pages (double-spaced typing) of text in the area of concentration (6 credits—3 credits for research and 3 credits for the written thesis).
3. Maintaining a 3.00 cumulative grade point average.
4. Maintaining a 3.00 cumulative grade point average in the area of concentration.
5. Successful completion of the Comprehensive Oral Examination. For more information see below.
Comprehensive Oral Examination
The Theology Division maintains the oral comprehensive examination as an essential component of the Master of Arts Degree Program. Neither extra course work nor a research paper are acceptable substitutes for this examination.
Degree candidates are required to take an oral comprehensive examination in order to integrate their course work within an area of concentration chosen by the student. The areas of concentration currently available include: Sacred Scripture, Systematic Theology, Moral Theology and Pastoral Theology. Registration forms for the comprehensive examinations are available in the Office of the Academic Dean.
Students are eligible to enroll for the oral comprehensive examination only after the successful completion of the Master of Divinity Degree, with an overall 3.00 cumulative grade point average and a 3.00 cumulative grade point average in core and elective courses within the area of concentration chosen for the Master of Arts Degree, along with the successful completion of a research paper in courses within the area of concentration.
The comprehensive examination is designed to:
a) foster the candidate's ability to synthesize the content of the various courses in the Theology Division curriculum, along with independent reading within one's chosen area of concentration;
b) provide the candidate an opportunity to demonstrate the scope of his knowledge;
c) encourage in the candidate a scholarly attitude, critical thinking and a sustained personal commitment to independent reading within the field of theological scholarship.
Guidelines for Research Papers
Students in the Theology Division who intend to qualify for the Master of Arts Degree are required to choose two elective courses within a specific area of concentration (Sacred Scripture, Systematic Theology, Moral Theology or Pastoral Theology) and successfully complete a formal research paper in the same area of concentration. The topic of this research project may be generated out of the content of an individual core course or an elective in the area of concentration, or may be drawn from a key topic in the area of concentration which is of particular interest to the student. Although length is a function of content and some topics may require more extensive treatment, the research paper is ordinarily expected to be a minimum of fifty pages (double-spaced typing) of text.