Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry (M.A.)

In the M.A. in Theology and Ministry program, students engage in deep academic and pastoral inquiry attuned to present societal challenges as they prepare to respond to the complex needs of our Church and world. Offered in both in-person and hybrid formats, as well as 36- and 48-credit tracks, the M.A. combines intensive theological study, spiritual formation, and ministerial development.

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Why Our M.A.?

Spiritual Formation Seminar

Participate in a small group seminar that allows you to integrate spiritual growth with ministerial identity.

Spiritual Formation Plan

Design your own formation plan and complete it during your time in the program. 

Pair your M.A. with an M.B.A., an M.S.W., an M.Ed., or an M.A. in Mental Health Counseling.

Capstone Project

Complete a project that synthesizes your theology studies with a pastoral program of your own design.

Contextual Education

On the 48-credit track, complete a field experience to deepen your understanding of ministry in a particular context.

Theological Reflection

Develop the skills to integrate life experience and service with theology, scripture, and pastoral studies.

Retreats & Spiritual Direction

We offer funding for all students to pursue spiritual direction and attend the guided retreat of their choice.

Optional Concentrations

On the 48-credit track, tailor your M.A. degree with one of six optional concentrations.

Our Students and Alumni

Our M.A. can be completed in a number of ways, including academic year or hybrid models, as well as four dual degrees. Explore some of our student and alumni stories.

Hispanic & Latinx Programs

Learn to lead in an increasingly Hispanic church.

Academic Programs

Haciendo Caminos

In partnership with Notre Dame, this $7.9 million grant from the Lilly Endowment will reduce barriers and increase support for graduate theological education for young adult Catholics with a particular commitment to serving Hispanic communities.

Formación Continua 

A través de cursos virtuales, una oferta de formación, y herramientas digitales, Formación Continua aporta a miles de personas de todo el mundo en sus viajes de fe.


Curriculum

Typically completed in two years of full-time study or three years for dual degree and hybrid modality students, this program provides students with a thorough grounding in theology and ministry. This program can be completed on either a 36- or 48-credit track. See below for the differences between the two tracks:

48-Credit Track

  • Available in academic year, hybrid, or dual degree formats
  • Includes contextual education component, excluding M.S.W., M.Ed., and M.A. Mental Health Counseling dual degrees (practicum completed through partner school for these dual degrees)
  • Option to choose degree concentration (excluding dual degrees)

 

36-Credit Track

  • Only available in hybrid or dual degree formats
  • Hybrid students in 36-credit track must be working in full time ministry

Theology & Scripture Core

21 credits

Course AreaCredits
Theological Foundations in Practical Perspective3
Christology3
Systematic Theology or History of Christianity3
Ecclesiology or Ecumenical/Interreligious Studies3
Ethics3
Old/New Testament3
Scripture course that includes a focus on the other Testament3

 

Pastoral Studies for Ministry Core

12 credits

 

Course AreaCredits
Religious Education3
Pastoral Care3
Spirituality3
Pastoral/Practical Theology or Liturgy3

Formation for Ministry

6 credits

 

Course Area Course NameCredits
Spiritual FormationTMPS 7080: Spiritual Formation For Ministry1
Contextual EducationTMPS 7280: Introduction to Theological Reflection1
Contextual EducationTMPS 8139: Internship Reflection Group            4

Electives

9 credits

 

Course Area Course NameCredits
Elective  
Elective  
Elective             

The 36-credit M.A. track is only available to dual degree students and hybrid modality students. Hybrid modality students in the 36-credit track must be working full-time in ministry.

Theology & Scripture Core

18 credits

Course AreaCredits
Theological Foundations in Practical Perspective3
Systematic theology or History of Christianity3
Ecclesiology or Ecumenical/Interreligious Studies3
Ethics3
Old/New Testament3
Scripture course that includes a focus on the other Testament3

 

Pastoral Studies for Ministry Core

12 credits

 

Course AreaCredits
Religious Education3
Pastoral Care3
Spirituality3
Pastoral/Practical Theology3

Formation for Ministry

3 credits

 

Course Area Course NameCredits
Spiritual FormationTMPS 7080: Spiritual Formation For Ministry1
Theological ReflectionTMPS 7280: Introduction to Theological Reflection1
Module             1

Electives

3 credits

 

Course Area Course NameCredits
Elective  

Hybrid

Hybrid Option

For those who can't move to Boston, the M.A. can also be completed through a combination of online courses and in-person summer sessions. Students work with an advisor to craft a program of study that fits their schedule and needs.

 Summer
FallSpring
Year 12 courses* and Spiritual Formation for Ministry1 course (online) and Intro to Theological Reflection1 course (online) and Intro to Theological Reflection
Year 21 May course (online)
2 summer courses*
1 course (online) and Internship Reflection Group1 course (online) and Internship Reflection Group
Year 31 May course (online)
2 summer courses*
Capstone Proposal
1 course (online) and Capstone Project1 course (online) plus Capstone Project

*at least one course each summer must be in-person

Dual Degrees

Our M.A. can be paired with a top-ranked master's in business administration, social work, mental health counseling, or curriculum and instruction (through a partnership with BC's Urban Catholic Teacher Corps). 

Explore Dual Degree Programs


Careers

100%

 of 2022 M.A. graduates found a placement within six months of graduation.

Recent Placements

Director of Faith Formation, St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish

Campus Minister for Retreats, Loyola University Chicago

Hispanic Youth and Young Adult Coordinator, Diocese of Mobile

Theology Teacher, Mount Alvernia High School

Therapist/Case Manager, McLean Hospital

Chaplain Resident, New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care

 

 


Apply

Application Requirements

Print

Deadlines:

Spring 2024: November 15, 2023

Fall 2024 Priority Scholarship Deadline: January 11, 2024. Applications are still accepted after this date as space allows.

Summer 2024: Rolling Admissions

Application Form

Please note you can submit your application form once it is completed; you do not need to wait for all of your supplemental materials to arrive. We are able to schedule your interview once we have received your submitted application 

On the application form, applicants will have the opportunity to indicate interest in being paired with an CSTM alum from their program of interest to learn more about CSTM and provide support during the discernment process.

Application Form

Students interested in completing the M.A. program through the hybrid modality (summers in-person, academic year online) should plan to start during the summer so they begin the program with hybrid student orientation and progress through the program as part of a cohort. If there is a reason why starting in the summer is not possible, please reach out to the admissions office.

Religious & International Applicants

Applicants who are Catholic diocesan priests or deacons or members of religious orders must submit a letter of approval and financial support from their bishop, major superior, or Provincial. Please select "Bishop/Major Superior" as the recommender type on the application form.

International Applicants

Application Fee

A non-refundable fee of $75 is required for every degree and non-degree application submitted.  

Payment Options

  • Pay by credit or debit card via the web. You can pay the application fee at the same time you submit your application form. However, if you do not pay the fee at the same time you submit your application, you can pay online at a later date through the Agora Portal. You must use your BC Username and password to log in.

  • Pay by check or money order made payable to Boston College, via regular mail.  Please include your check with a copy of your application form submission confirmation page and include your name and intended degree program.


Please note: The application fee cannot be refunded for any reason. If you qualify for a fee waiver, you should not pay the fee when you submit the application form. Fee waivers are granted to the following applicants: Jesuits, veterans, applicants currently completing a year of service or who are Pell Grant-eligible, and current CSTM students. Email the admissions office at stmadm@bc.edu to request a waiver.

Standardized Tests

The GRE is optional, but preferred. We especially recommend applicants submit scores if 1) they feel their undergraduate transcript is not indicative of their capacity for success in graduate studies, OR 2) they do not have a strong background in the humanities. We review all applications holistically. Applicants who choose not to submit GRE scores will not be penalized in the admissions process.

Applicants who do send GRE scores should have them sent directly from ETS. Our GRE code is 2508.

English Proficiency Exam

All applicants for whom English is not their native language must also provide TOEFL or IELTS test score results. Read more about special instructions for international applicants here. This webpage will also indicate under with criteria a waiver may be granted. Waivers must be approved in writing by the admissions office.

Transcripts

We require transcripts from all colleges, universities, seminaries, or theological schools that you have attended. Each transcript should contain a list of all coursework taken, grades/marks received, and, if applicable, degree granted and date of degree confirmation. If your college or university will send official transcripts electronically, they can be emailed to stmadm@bc.edu.  Otherwise, transcripts must be mailed and be contained in a sealed, signed envelope. If the official transcript is not English, a translation should be provided with the official document. Please alert us if your transcript will be arriving with a different name than the one you are using on your application (e.g. your maiden name). Please note that a transcript is only considered official if received directly from the institution issuing it.

Please note that your application may be reviewed with unofficial copies of your transcripts. If you send unofficial copies, know that if admitted, you must sent official copies before you begin coursework. In addition, if you are currently finishing a degree, you must send a final, official version of the transcript upon graduating, and before beginning coursework at CSTM.

Mailing Addresses
For applicants using the U.S. Postal Service:
Boston College Clough School of Theology and Ministry
Simboli Hall
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

For applicants using FedEx or UPS:
Boston College Clough School of Theology and Ministry
Simboli Hall
9 Lake Street
Brighton, MA 02135-3841

Recommendations

M.A. applicants are required to submit three recommendations using the online application system. 

At least two recommenders should be familiar with the applicant’s academic background and potential. For applicants who have been out of school for a significant amount of time, recommenders should be familiar with the applicant's professional competence. 

Applicants who are Catholic diocesan priests or deacons, or members of religious orders must submit a letter of approval and financial support from their bishop, major superior, or Provincial. This is in addition to the other three recommendations. Please select "Bishop/Major Superior" as the recommender type on the application form.

Please be sure that your recommenders are aware of the application deadlines and online process, and choose them carefully to ensure that they can write on your behalf in a timely manner.

Interview

The admissions office interviews all master's applicants. All interviews take place remotely.

Résumé

The resume must be uploaded as part of the application.  It is helpful if you highlight relevant ministry, service, research, teaching, and leadership positions you have held.

Personal Statement

The personal statement must be uploaded as part of the application.  The personal statement should be three pages in length, double-spaced.


Your statement should address the following:

  • The academic, professional, and personal development that has motivated you to apply to CSTM. Include a sketch of your educational background and interests, any experience you have in ministry and/or religious education, and any other relevant professional and volunteer experience
  • Your understanding of theological education and/or ministry in the context of the Church’s mission, as well as the role and responsibilities of a minister and/or theologian today.
  • How you plan to apply your theological education
  • Given your experience, how you assess your principal strengths for theological education and/or ministry as well as your areas of needed development

STM Opportunities

Chaplaincy

Graduate studies at CSTM offer a unique opportunity to engage in rigorous theological studies for ministry in the context of one of the world's most expansive healthcare settings.

Theology & the Arts

Seeking God in all things, our engagement with artistic mediums like poetry, music, drama, and literature nourishes our imagination, informs our ministry, and enlivens our theology.

Hispanic Ministry

Mindful that nearly 45 percent of all Catholics in the United States identify as Hispanic/Latino, CSTM is at the forefront of the conversation about how to serve the needs of an increasingly Hispanic church.

Explore CSTM's hilltop home, Simboli Hall, virtually or in-person.

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