Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry

The Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry is a professional degree program “which provides education for the church’s mission and ministry in the world.” (OST Statement of Purpose, paragraph 1)
This program prepares students to serve as pastoral associates, liturgy coordinators, education directors, youth ministers or pastoral care workers.


Preparation for specialized ministries such as religious education, youth ministry, pastoral care, liturgy coordinators, and/or pastoral administration.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion the student will be able:

  1. To use theological reflection as a tool for pastoral planning and personal development
  2. To defend and systematize an ecclesially responsible knowledge of the Tradition appropriate to the chosen specialization
  3. To demonstrate ministerial skills appropriate to the chosen field of specialization
  4. To apply knowledge and skills to specific pastoral issues within particular pastoral settings and cultural contexts
  5. To demonstrate personal spiritual maturity

Admission Requirements

See section on General Admission Requirements for Graduate Studies at Master’s Level.

Degree Requirements

  1. Complete 36 credit hours, 28 of which come from required courses. No more than twelve (12) graduate hours may be transferred from another institution toward the degree.
  2. Complete the Pastoral Formation Seminar which provides for personal and spiritual formation and includes a Supervised Ministry Component which requires the student to:
    • a. perform 108 clock hours of ministry together with a Field Supervisor
    • b. prepare written tools for theological reflection
    • c. present them to the seminar group for critique.
  3. The final project is a Pastoral Practicum.
  4. A minimum GPA of 2.5 is required for the degree.
  5. At least one year of study (16 credit hours) must be completed at OST.
  6. The MAPM program can be completed in 2 years of full-time study.
  7. Ordinarily, the degree must be completed within five years after matriculation. Students may study on a part-time basis.
  8. Complete application for Candidacy to the MAPM.

Application for candidacy

MAPM students may apply for candidacy to the degree after successfully completing 12 credit hours of core graduate courses at Oblate School of Theology. The Admissions Committee, after consultation with the faculty, will decide on the applications for candidacy. Admission to candidacy is the faculty’s attestation that the student has demonstrated capacities to fulfill all academic, spiritual, and professional objectives for the degree and to meet all degree requirements.

Final Qualifying Project

The Pastoral Practicum is the qualifying project for the Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry degree. The goal of the practicum experience is to enable the person to enter into ministry through effective integration of theology and pastoral practice to respond to the needs of the people. The practicum engages the person in a supervised experience of ministry which promotes personal self-understanding and professional growth in competence for ministry.
The practicum may be initiated upon completion of 25 credit hours of the degree. The practicum involves identifying a pastoral need, developing and implementing a pastoral response, and submitting a written report upon completion of the Practicum.
Throughout, the student meets regularly with the Director, supervisor and a field supervisor.


Historical and Cultural Studies (3 credit hours)

  • CH 6311 Church History II: Holy Roman Empire to the Present.

Scripture (8 credit hours)

  • SS 6200 Scriptural Hermeneutics
  • SS 7331 Synoptic Gospels
  • 2 additional credit hours

Systematics (9 credit hours)

  • TS 6350 Foundations of Moral Theology
  • TS 7311 Christology: Jesus Christ and Human Redemption
  • TS 7315 Theology of Church and Ministry

Pastoral (9 credit hours)

  • PS 6350 Basic Pastoral Care
  • PS 6177 Pastoral Formation Seminar I
  • PS 7181 Theological Reflection for Pastoral Leadership (first semester)
  • PS 7182 Theological Reflection for Pastoral Leadership (second semester)
  • TS 6305 Introduction to Missiology: Culture and Religion

Required Courses: 28 credit hours

Elective Courses: 8 credit hours

Final Project (Practicum) for Non-credit


Students who choose to do so may develop their own concentration in a certain area of study within the curriculum of the degree. Three areas of concentration are offered regularly: Scripture, Spirituality and Hispanic Ministry. Other areas may be developed through academic advisement.

A concentration consists of two elements:

  1. At least 7 hours of study in the chosen area, which may include core courses.
  2. The final project addressing a topic within the chosen area of concentration.