Master of Arts in Theology

  • Overview

    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
  • Curriculum

    Saint Joseph's College's Master of Theology offers three specializations, all of which require 36 credits.

    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.

    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.

    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. 

    Fast-Track Option

    Current undergraduate students also have the opportunity to fast-track into the Master of Arts in Theology.

  • 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 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.