Master of Arts (Theology)

The Master of Arts degree in Theology provides a professional enriching experience in theological research in the context of Oblate School of Theology’s attention to evangelization and ministry in multi-cultural, collaborative, and ecumenically conscious environments. The degree is primarily an academic degree to prepare students for research at the doctoral level or for teaching at the secondary or college levels.


Preparation of candidates for ongoing scholarly research and publishing that is suitable for doctoral study or for teaching at the secondary or college levels.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion the student will be able:

  1. To discuss and analyze theological issues and questions through habitual knowledge appropriate to Master’s level achievement.
  2. To demonstrate graduate-level familiarity with the Bible and multiple other theological sources and databases while assessing and applying such sources critically and appropriately.
  3. To compose research papers or articles appropriate for scholarly publishing.

Admission Requirements

See section on General Admission Requirements for Graduate Studies at Master’s Level. Note that for the MA Degree there is no exception to the requirement of having a bachelor’s degree.

Degree Requirements

  1. The candidate must complete 36 credit hours in the areas of Cultural and Historical Studies, Scriptural Studies, Systematic Theology, Moral Theology, Sacramental Theology, or Spirituality. Not more than 12 credit hours of graduate studies completed in other graduate schools may be transferred. Normally credits earned more than ten years prior to admission will not be transferred.
  2. Candidates must complete:
    • a. 20 credit hours of core courses.
    • b. 16 (for the Paper Option) or 10 (for the Thesis Option) credit hours of elective courses. These electives may normally include no more than 2 credit hours in a relevant language and may not include courses whose primary outcomes are the acquisition or refinement of non-research skills (e.g. preaching or liturgical practice).
    • c. 3 courses at the 8000 level must be included in the total number of credit hours required for the degree. These 8000-level courses in the MA (Theology) Program require a particularly notable demonstration of research and writing skills.
    • d. 1 Scholarly Paper (non-credit) or a Thesis (6 credit hours), depending on the Option chosen.
  3. The objective and methodology of the Thesis may require the working knowledge of a second language.
  4. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 is required for all courses applicable to the degree.
  5. The degree program normally requires two years of full-time study but must be completed within five years after matriculation.

Application for Candidacy

MA (Theology) students will apply for candidacy to the MA (Theology) degree after successfully completing 12 graduate credits in required courses at OST. The Admission 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 the objectives for the degree and to complete the degree requirements.


  • SS 6200 Scriptural Hermeneutics: 2 credits
  • SS 7331 Synoptic Gospels: 3 credits
  • TS 6301 Theologies of Revelation and Faith: 3 credits
  • TS 6305 Introduction to Missiology: Culture and Religion: 3 credits
  • TS 6350 Foundations of Moral Theology: 3 credits
  • TS 7311 Christology: Jesus Christ and Human Redemption: 3 credits
  • TS 7315 Theology of Church and Ministry: 3 credits
  • Total Core Credit Hours: 20 credits

(N.B. Students not concurrently enrolled in the MDiv program and who have not taken a Church History course must also take one of the following as an elective course:)

  • CH 6310 Church History I: The Patristic Era
  • CH 6311 Church History II: Holy Roman Empire to the Present
  • CH 7220 United States Religious History
  • CH 7235  History of Hispanic/Latino Christianity in the U.S.

Two tracks: A General Research Track, where the emphasis is on wide-ranging theological research, and a Thesis Track, where research includes extended attention to a specific theological issue. A Concentration may be earned in one of the following areas: Cultural and Historical Studies; Scriptural Studies; Systematic Theology; Moral Theology; Spirituality.

Paper Option: Electives 15 credit hours

  • (3 courses at the 8000 level and included among the total required hours)
  • 1 Scholarly Paper (non-credit)
  • Total Credit Hours - 36 credit hours

Thesis Option: Electives 9 credit hours

  • (3 courses at the 8000 level and included among the total required hours)
  • Thesis - 6 credit hours
  • Total Credit Hours - 36 credit hours


For a concentration in one of the five appropriate areas (Cultural/Historical, Scriptural, Systematic, Moral, or Spiritual) the above requirements should include 15 credit hours distributed in one of two ways, either:

    • 9 credit hours in selected area
    • 3 courses at 8000-level cr. hrs. in selected area
    • 1 Scholarly Paper in selected area

    • 3 credit hours in selected area
    • 3 courses at 8000-level cr. hrs. in selected area
    • 6 credit hour Thesis in selected area