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
- 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
- We are recognized by the National Association of Catholic Chaplains
Saint Joseph's College's Master of Theology offers three specializations.
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).
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).
Advanced Diaconal Studies
For Permanent Deacons and Candidates - partner with Saint Joseph’s College and receive a reduced rate on tuition. Contact Online Admissions at email@example.com for a consultation.
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).
For admittance into this program, an ordained deacon must present a letter from his diocese stating he is in good standing, and a diaconal candidate must present a letter from his diocese stating he is in formation.
Intellectual Formation for Permanent Diaconate Candidates
“The commitment to study, which takes up no small part of the time of those preparing for the diaconate, is not in fact an external and secondary dimension of their human, Christian, spiritual and vocational growth. In reality, through study, especially the study of theology, the future deacon assents to the Word of God, grows in his spiritual life and prepares himself to fulfill his pastoral ministry.” (NDFMLPD, #118)
The intellectual dimension of diaconate formation introduces the candidate to the essentials of Christian doctrine and practice. It must be faithful to the Magisterium of the Church and based on Scripture and Tradition, the documents of the Second Vatican Council, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the General Directory for Catechesis. Saint Joseph’s College Online Theology Programs can provide the intellectual formation that provides these essentials and enables candidates to earn a Master of Arts degree, or an undergraduate certificate (for those not prepared for graduate study).
Course content from the intellectual formation program can be integrated into diocesan human, spiritual, and pastoral formation programs through local meetings of the candidates. The curriculum for the online courses is based on the norms from the National Directory for the Formation, Ministry, and Life of Permanent Deacons, including topics and resources. Activities of the diocesan formation program can draw from and dovetail with the content the candidate is learning in the online classroom.
Candidates can go through the program together at a set pace, so as to enable the diocesan program to be planned in conjunction with it. Assignments within the online course can assess academic knowledge, while corresponding activities in the diocesan program can assess the candidate’s ability to integrate the intellectual formation into their human, spiritual, and pastoral formation.
Saint Joseph’s College works closely with the diocese to create an affordable and accessible program that serves its unique needs. Contact Online Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org for a consultation.
Turn Your MAT into ThD and Save Time and Money
We've partnered with Pontifex University giving our MAT grads an automatic exemption from all core coursework (24 credits) for their Theology Doctorate. The program's emphasis is on research, has a low coursework requirement, and can be done online (even the dissertation). Learn more about this exciting ThD opportunity.
Why study theology online at Saint Joseph's College?
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