Certificates in Theology

  • Overview

    These online theology programs are 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 programs serve Catholic deacons and lay ecclesial ministers in their families, parishes, diocesan agencies, hospitals, work places, retreat/spiritual centers, or social service agencies.

  • Curriculum

    Catechism for Catechists (non-credit)

    The Catechism for Catechists is an online non-credit course that provides intellectual formation for catechists and can serve ideally as the doctrinal component for any diocesan catechist certification program. For those serving as parish catechists or teaching the Catholic faith in the Catholic school system, as well as those interested in general adult faith formation, it enables students to develop an understanding and appreciation of the Catholic faith.

    Bachelor's Certificate in Catholic Theology

    The online Certificate in Catholic Theology enables students who are interested in Catholic Theology and service to the Church to obtain a college level certificate as a stepping stone toward an eventual Bachelor of Arts in Theological Studies.  

    Bachelor's Certificate in Ministry to Black Catholics

    This 21-credit online undergraduate certificates is for those involved with or interested in pastoral ministry and religious education among Black Catholics, especially largely African-American communities. The certificate can be a stepping stone towards the B.A. in Theological Studies, as all credits earned may be applied to the degree program.

    Bachelor's Certificate in Ministry to Latino Catholics

    The 21-credit online undergraduate certificate applies to those who are involved with or interested in pastoral ministry and religious education among Latino Catholics, especially among those communities that self-identify as Latino or Hispanic. The certificate can be a stepping stone towards the B.A. in Theological Studies, as all credits earned may be applied to the degree program.  

    Certificate in Catholic Catechesis

    The Certificate in Catholic Catechesis is ideal for the Parish Catechetical Leader, Director of Religious Education, and the advanced catechist. Students develop an understanding and appreciation of the Catholic faith. The curriculum is derived from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The required texts are the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The course provides links to both resources at the USCCB website.

    Graduate Certificate in Theology
    This 18-credit online graduate certificate in theology enables students who have a bachelor’s degree who are interested in Catholic theology to obtain an advanced certificate as a stepping stone toward an eventual Master of Arts in Theology. The purpose of the certificate is to develop the student’s understanding and appreciation of the Catholic faith, rooted in God’s revelation and embodied in the living tradition of the Church. The courses can be used toward credit fulfillment of the master of arts degree.  

    Graduate Certificate in Ministry to Black Catholics

    This 21-credit online graduate certificate allows students to apply the credits earned towards a master's degree in theology. The certificate program is for those who are interested in pastoral ministry and religious education, and the history and cultural diversity of among Black Catholics in the United States.  

    Graduate Certificate in Ministry to Latino Catholics

    This 21-credit online graduate certificate allows students to apply the credits earned towards a master's degree in theology. The certificate program applies to those who are involved with or interested in pastoral ministry and religious education among Latino Catholics, especially among those communities that self-identity as Latino or Hispanic.

    International Graduate Certificate in Christianity & an Integral Ecology

    This five-course certificate is a collaboration with the College and the Instituto Laudato Si’ in Granada, Spain and is inspired by Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ and the social teachings of Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. The curriculum covers topics from environmentalism & the New Evangelization, the environment, metaphysical and theological integral ecology and living Laudato Si’.

    Post-Graduate Certificate in Theology and Ministry

    This post-graduate certificate in theology and ministry consists of six 1-credit courses that benefit laity as well as clergy in their continuing education at a post-master’s level. The certificate is offered for anyone who has earned a master’s degree in theology, pastoral ministry, religious education, or divinity.  

  • Some of our faculty
    • Carmina Magnusen Chapp

      PhD, Duquesne University
      MA, Providence College
      BA, University of Notre Dame

      Learn more about Carmina

    • The Rev. Frank Donio, S.A.C

      D.Min., The Catholic University of America

      MS, Villanova University
      MA, The Catholic University of America
      BA, The Catholic University of America

      Learn more about Fr. Frank

    • Patricia Sodano Ireland

      Director, Theology Programs & Dean of the College

      PhD, Drew University
      MPhil, Drew University
      MDiv, Andover Newton Theological School
      MA, Boston College
      BA, Boston College

      Learn more about Dr. Ireland

    Carmina Magnusen Chapp

    PhD, Duquesne University
    MA, Providence College
    BA, University of Notre Dame

    Learn more about Carmina

    The Rev. Frank Donio, S.A.C

    D.Min., The Catholic University of America

    MS, Villanova University
    MA, The Catholic University of America
    BA, The Catholic University of America

    Learn more about Fr. Frank

    Patricia Sodano Ireland

    Director, Theology Programs & Dean of the College

    PhD, Drew University
    MPhil, Drew University
    MDiv, Andover Newton Theological School
    MA, Boston College
    BA, Boston College

    Learn more about Dr. Ireland

  • Student Stories
    • Dennis Reichard, Business Manager, Allentown, Pa.

      The courses are challenging and the professors do give you good feedback and are easy to get in contact if you are having a problem. The tuition is very reasonable for graduate studies and if you need an extension it isn't a problem.

    • Karen Mentlewski, Director of Religious Education, Clovis, California

      During my studies I was diagnosed with cancer. I was, and continue to be, supported by my advisor and professors through their understanding, encouragement and prayer. What a blessing!

    • Kevin P. Cannon, Clinical Hospital Chaplain, Gilbert, AZ

      St. Joseph's College has provided an excellent educational process for me. The professors have been top notch, are always readily available to assist in my education process and have shared a wealth of knowledge above and beyond the coursework they have presented.

  • Career Moves

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 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.