Master of Arts in Theology Degree


The online Master of Arts in Theology program, rooted in Roman Catholic doctrine and life, and fully in accord with the magisterium, serves Catholic deacons and lay ecclesial ministers in their families, parishes, diocesan agencies, hospitals, work places, retreat/spiritual centers or social service agencies.

The program is based on the philosophy that effective ministry requires a solid theological foundation, grounded in solid Catholic doctrine, with a deep spiritual and pastoral orientation. The program is also useful for Christians interested in deepening their faith. The curricular design of the program is in accord with the United States’ Catholic Bishops, Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord: A Resource for Guiding the Development of Lay Ecclesial Ministry (2005) and the National Directory for the Formation, Ministry, and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States(2005). Students of all faiths who may profit from the study of Catholic theology are welcome to the program.

 At a Glance

Successful completion of this online theology program will allow you to:

  • Serve the Church at the parish and diocesan levels
  • Prepare to be a Catholic chaplain
  • Help you as you approach the Catholic Church
  • Be a better prepared catechist or minister in your parish’s RC
  • Be better informed in your faith and equip those who serve the Church as lay ecclesial ministers with an understanding of their faith


Saint Joseph’s College’s Master of Theology offers three specializations.

Pastoral Theology

The pastoral theology specialization will serve those involved with parishes, religious education, diaconal preparation, diocesan agencies, hospitals, retreat and spiritual centers, and social service agencies (36 credits).

View Course Catalog

Sacred Theology

The specialization in sacred theology will serve those involved with teaching as well as all types of pastoral ministry and spiritual formation programs (36 credits).

View Course Catalog

Advanced Diaconal Studies

The advanced diaconal studies specialization will provide theological and pastoral education for ordained deacons and those who are in formation in diocesan diaconal programs (30 credits).

View Course Catalog

Why study theology online at Saint Joseph’s College?

Are you looking for a convenient program, or need an affordable one? Then check out our frequently asked questions by clicking on the button below.



Carmina Magnusen Chapp
Carmina Magnusen Chapp
Ph.D., Duquesne University
M.A., Providence College
B.A., University of Notre Dame
The Rev. Frank Donio, S.A.C.
The Rev. Frank Donio, S.A.C.
D.Min., The Catholic University of America
M.Div., Washington Theological Union
M.S., Villanova University
M.A., The Catholic University of America
B.A., The Catholic University of America


Catherine Mackey
Catherine Mackey Syracuse, NY
“The professors were second to none. They were professional, brilliant, compassionate, loving. By the end, they were my friends. I could reach out to them at any point. I ended up developing professional, educational, and personal relationships throughout this program.”
Mariann Gilbride
Mariann GilbrideCherry Hill, NJ
“I was told the Moral Theology would be the hardest, but most rewarding course. It was challenging and invigorating. It stretched me to understand what God is asking of us, morally.”


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistic, directors of religious activities and religious education direct and coordinate activities of a denominational group to meet religious needs of participants. These individuals plan, direct, or coordinate church school programs designed to promote religious education among church membership. They may provide counseling and guidance relative to marital, health, financial, or religious problems. Learn more about what you can do with this major.



Tuition Discounts

You may qualify for a discount on tuition through your employer.

From online faculty

Theology Blog

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    April 17th, 2019

    “Morning after morning he wakens my ear to hear as disciples do.” -Manuel Aliaga I serve as a Lector in my parish, which has a large immigrant population.

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    March 13th, 2019

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  • Humanae Vitae and the Words of Christ in Scripture

    July 25th, 2018

    “God did not make death, nor does He rejoice in the destruction of the living.  For He fashioned all things that they might have being; and the creatures of the world are wholesome, and there is not a destructive drug … Continue reading

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