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School of Theology and Ministry

The Th.M. and S.T.L.

what's the benefit of getting a second post-graduate degree?

The STM offers two post-masters degrees: a Master of Theology (Th.M.) and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.).  Each degree is structured to uniquely benefit the student as he/she continues to pursue his/her academic and ministerial goals.

Master of Theology (Th.M.)

The Th.M. is a 24-credit one-year program.  It is designed to give students an additional year of academic studies in preparation for doctoral studies and is uniquely suited for those students who have earned masters degrees that have a ministerial focus.  The Th.M.’s flexibility allows students to concentrate in particular areas of theological study.  As a result, the Th.M. is also appropriate for students seeking more concentrated knowledge in a particular theological discipline.

Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.)

The S.T.L., the second in the cycle of the three canonical degrees, is an Ecclesiastical Degree granted in the name of the Holy See.  Requirements for graduation include two years of coursework, as well as a nine-credit thesis.  Completion of the S.T.L. allows students to teach at Catholic seminaries and other equivalent institutions.  It also gives graduates opportunities to work in higher-level diocesan positions and other Catholic institutions.  Other students use the S.T.L. to prepare for doctoral studies.

Because the S.T.L. is a degree specific to the Catholic Church, it may not be appropriate for students wishing to engage in ministries outside the church.  This would include theology schools at universities rooted in a different Christian or religious tradition.