Sacred Heart School of Theology
Programs

Master of Arts

The Master of Arts (MA) Program is designed for students who seek an academic degree in theology in a Roman Catholic graduate school of pastoral ministry. It is intended to strengthen the religious basis for one's life and work, either in a secular career or in a Church ministry career.

The objectives of the MA Program are to develop in the student:

  • a theologically and pastorally rich appreciation of the Christian message,
  • an in-depth critical understanding of the concepts, issues, and methods of their chosen area of concentration,
  • a more broadly-based theological knowledge beyond their chosen area of concentration, and
  • the ability to integrate theological analysis with daily life and social issues.

The MA Program is a 33 credit hours degree. The 33 credits are distributed as follows:

PLAN A: 33 credits of course work plus comprehensive examinations.

  • 9 credit hours from Required Courses.
  • 15 credit hours from courses from the chosen area of concentration. SHST offers three areas of concentration, Sacred Scripture, Spirituality, and Systematic Theology
  • 9 hours of elective credits.
  • Comprehensive Examinations (written and oral).

PLAN B: 27 credit hours of course work plus 6 credit hours of the MA Thesis.

  • 9 credit hours from Required Courses.
  • 15 credit hours from courses from the chosen area of concentration. SHST offers three areas of concentration, Sacred Scripture, Spirituality, and Systematic Theology.
  • 3 hours of elective credits.
  • 6 credit hours from the MA Thesis.

Admission Requirements

In order to be admitted to the Master of Arts program, an applicant must

  • Possess an undergraduate degree (transcripts must be sent by the college/university directly to the director of the Master of Arts Program).
  • Possess six credits of undergraduate philosophy in the areas relevant to theological studies, and possess six credits of undergraduate theology. These prerequisite credits may be earned at Sacred Heart School of Theology prior to starting core MA Program coursework.
  • Submit a personal history containing: past education or specialized training, employment record; church activity or service; and a personal goal statement describing why the applicant is interested in pursuing the MA degree
  • Submit a letter of recommendation from the pastor or other competent authority in a parish, diocese, religious community or the equivalent.
  • Applicants who do not possess at least a master's level degree from an accredited institution are required to take the “Miller Analogies Test.”
  • Possess advanced knowledge of English is required.

Contact the director of the MA Program for a catalog and an application form.


Graduation Requirements

  • Complete 33 credits of graduate work (Plan A or Plan B) in the appropriate areas.
  • Achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.0.

Course Listing

Prerequisites:

Requirements for admission include six credits in philosophy and six credits in religious studies or theology. These 12 credits may be fulfilled at Sacred Heart School of Theology.

Philosophy

  • Ancient Philosophy
  • Medieval Philosophy
  • Modern Philosophy
  • Contemporary Philosophy
Introduction to Theology
  • Catholic Doctrine I
  • Catholic Doctrine II
  • Introduction to Christian Morality
Language Requirement

Language requirements vary according to the chosen plan as follows:

PLAN A
Advanced understanding of English is required.

PLAN B
Advanced understanding of English is required. Other language requirements for those MA students in PLAN B vary according to their chosen area of concentration.

a. Area of Concentration in Sacred Scripture

MA students in PLAN B who choose the area of concentration in Sacred Scripture must demonstrate a basic working knowledge of either Greek or Hebrew before registering their MA thesis. This competency can be demonstrated by receiving a passing grade in either Biblical Greek I and II or Biblical Hebrew I and II at SHST, by providing official transcripts of credit hours in Biblical Greek or Biblical Hebrew from another accredited institution, or by taking a written exam administered by Scripture faculty.

b. Area of Concentration in Spirituality

MA students in PLAN B who choose the area of concentration in Spirituality must demonstrate a basic working knowledge of either Latin or a modern language other than English before registering their MA thesis.  This competency can be demonstrated by receiving a passing grade in either Ecclesiastical Latin I and II or Spanish I and II at SHST, by providing official transcripts of credit hours in Ecclesiastical Latin or a modern language other than English from another accredited institution, or by taking a written exam on Latin or a modern language administered by a faculty member assigned by the MA Director.

c. Area of Concentration in Systematic Theology

MA students in PLAN B who choose the area of concentration in Systematic Theology must demonstrate a basic working knowledge of either Latin or a modern language other than English before registering their MA thesis. This competency can be demonstrated by receiving a passing grade in either Ecclesiastical Latin I and II or Spanish I and II at SHST, by providing official transcripts of credit hours in Ecclesiastical Latin or a modern language other than English from another accredited institution, or by taking a written exam on Latin or a modern language administered by a faculty member assigned by the MA Director.

The Core Courses

This is the course work the student must complete before beginning the comprehensive requirement.

PLAN A: The student must at least complete a total of 33 graduate credit hours of course work.

PLAN B: The student must at least complete a total of 27 graduate credit hours of course work.

This is the distribution of the courses:

Required Courses

As part of the degree requirements , all students must complete 9 credit hours of required core courses. These courses are:

SS 510 Scriptural Foundations - 3 credits
DT 515 Fundamental Theology - 3 credits
And one of the following courses:
SP 510 Foundations of Christian Spirituality - 3 credits

or:

MT 510 Fundamental Moral Theology - 3 credits

Area of Concentration

There are three areas of concentration, Sacred Scripture, Spirituality, and Systematic Theology. The student must complete at least 15 credit hours in the chosen area of concentration. These are the profiles and the distribution of courses by area of concentration:

a. Sacred Scripture

Students who successfully complete the area of concentration in Sacred Scripture will be able to demonstrate:

  • an ability to critically approach the Sacred text;
  • an ability to understand the issues involved in this critical approach;
  • an ability to use basic biblical tools;
  • an ability to offer presentations and write on subjects related to this area.

These are the courses offered regularly during the school year:

SS 515 Pentateuch and Historical Books - 3 credits
SS 520 Prophetic Books - 3 credits
SS 525 Psalms and Wisdom Literature - 2 credits
SS 600 Synoptic Gospels and Acts of Apostles - 3 credits
SS 605 Pauline Literature - 3 credits
SS 610 Gospel of John and Catholic Epistles - 3 credits

There are elective Scripture courses that an MA student could choose. Since these elective courses change each semester, please consult the current catalogue/schedule. However, examples of these elective Scripture courses are:

SS 571 Historical Jesus - 2 credits
SS 572 Qumran and Christian Origins - 2 credits
SS 573 Book of Revelation and Apocalyptic Literature - 2 credits
SS 582 Passion Narrative in Mark - 2 credits
SS 583 Non-canonical Religious Writings - 2 credits
SS 584 The Art of Biblical Stories - 2 credits

b. Spirituality

Students who successfully complete the area of concentration in Spirituality will be able to demonstrate:

  • an understanding of the importance of personal spirituality;
  • familiarity with the major Catholic spirituality traditions;
  • knowledge of the major spirituality practices, including liturgical and personal prayer;
  • an ability to comprehend the meaning of liturgical spirituality;
  • an appreciation for the spirituality of reconciliation and justice;
  • an ability to articulate the meaning and importance of spiritual direction;
  • an ability to offer presentations and write on subjects related to this area.

These are the courses offered regularly during the school year:

SP 500 Prayer Styles - 2 credits
SP 510 Foundations of Christian Spirituality - 3 credits
SP 600 Theory and Practice of Spiritual Direction - 2 credits

There are elective Spirituality courses that an MA student could choose. Since these elective courses change each semester, please consult the current catalogue/ schedule. However, examples of these elective Spirituality courses are:

SP 571 Major Figures - 2 credits
SP 573 Doorways to the Divine -2 credits
SP 575 Spirituality and the Arts - 2 credits
SP 574 African-American Spirituality - 2 credits
SP 576 Sacred Heart: Devotion and Doctrine - 2 credits
SP 577 Psychology and Religious Experience - 2 credits
SP 579 Spiritual Stages of Faith Development - 2 credits
SP 581 Global Spirituality - 2 credits
SP 582 Liturgical Spirituality - 2 credits
SP 583 Reconciliation Spirituality - 2 credits
SP 585 Franciscan Spirituality - 2 credits
SP 586 Carmelite Spirituality - 2 credits
JW 571 Life of Holiness: Introduction to Judaism - 2 credits
JW 572 Jewish Prayers and Liturgy - 2 credits
PS 572 Hispanic Devotional Practices - 2 credits

c. Systematic Theology

Students who successfully complete the area of concentration in Systematic Theology will be able to demonstrate:

  • an ability to formulate a coherent, orderly, and rational account of the Christian faith;
  • an ability to articulate a Christocentric understanding of Revelation;
  • an understanding of the Catholic Church's teaching regarding faith and morals;
  • an understanding of the principles of Sacramental/Liturgical Theology in general and the Sacraments in particular;
  • an ability to offer presentations and write on subjects related to this area.

These are the courses offered regularly during the school year:

DT 510 Catechesis and Evangelization - 2 credits
DT 520 Eschatology & the Human Person - 3 credits
DT 525 Ecclesiology, Mary & Mission - 3 credits
DT 530 Patrology and Patristic Theology - 3 credits
DT 615 Liturgy and Sacramentology - 3 credits
DT 605 God: One and Three - 3 credits
DT 610 Christology - 3 credits
DT 620 Sacraments of Initiation - 2 credits
DT 625 Sacraments of Pastoral Activity - 2 credits
MT 520 Medical-Moral Ethics - 3 credits
MT 530 Sexual Morality - 2 credits
MT 600 Social Ethics - 3 credits

There are elective Systematic Theology courses that an MA student could choose. Since these elective courses change each semester, please consult the current catalogue/ schedule. However, examples of these elective Systematic Theology courses are:

DT 572 Ecumenism - 2 credits
DT 573 World Religions: Diversity and Dialogue - 2 credits
DT 579 What really happened at Vatican II - 2 credits
JW 571 Life of Holiness: Introduction to Judaism - 2 credits
JW 573 Messianism and Salvation in Judaism - 2 credits

Elective Credits

PLAN A: The student must complete 9 credit hours of elective credits.

PLAN B: The student must complete 3 credit hours of elective credits.

Elective credits are those courses that an MA student may freely complete from either outside or inside of his or her area of concentration.

Historical courses are available as elective credit courses. These courses are:
CH 510 History of Church Universal I - 3 credits
CH 515 History of Church Universal II - 3 credits
CH 600 American Catholic Church - 3 credits

Some pastoral courses are not available for lay MA students because of their specific focus on ordained ministry. Any of the following may be taken for credit toward the MA degree:

CS 600 Introduction to Canon Law - 3 credits
CS 605 Canon Law of Marriage - 3 credits
PS 571 Hispanic Presence - 2 credits
PS 572 Hispanic Devotional Practices - 2 credits
PS 578 Transitions in Adult Life Cycle - 2 credits

MA students may take up to two of the following "practicum" courses and apply them toward their elective credits requirement.

PS 510 Pastoral Care & Counseling I - 3 credits
PS 600 Pastoral Care & Counseling II - 2 credits
LS 600 Fundamental Preaching Skills - 2 credits
LS 610 Preaching the Word of God - 2 credits
LS 620 Preaching Practicum - 2 credits

For further information contact Rev. Javier I. Bustos, STD (414) 425-8300, ext 7213 or e-mail jbustos@shst.edu

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