The Th.M. and S.T.L.
what's the benefit of getting a second post-graduate degree?
The School of Theology and Minsitry (STM) offers two post-masters degrees: a Master of Theology (ThM) and a Licentiate in Sacred theology (STL). Each degree is structured to uniquely benefit the student as he/she continues to pursue his/her academic and ministerial goals.
The ThM is a 24, credit one year program. It is designed to give students another year of academic studies in preparation for doctoral studies. It is uniquely suited for those students who have earned master’s degrees that have a ministerial focus. The ThM’s flexibility allows students to concentrate in particular areas of theological study. As a result, the ThM is also appropriate for students seeking more concentrated knowledge in a particular theological discipline.
The STL is an Ecclesiastical degree granted in the name of the Holy See. It is the second of three canonical degrees. It features two additional years of coursework as well as a nine credit thesis as requirements for graduation. Completion of the STL 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 STL to prepare for doctoral studies.
Because the STL is a degree specific to the Catholic Church, it would not be as appropriate for students wishing to engage in ministries outside the church. This would include theology schools at universities which would prefer or require a PhD or another terminal degree.