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

In the Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry (M.A.) program, students engage in deep academic 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, this program combines intensive theological study, pastoral development, spiritual formation, and ministerial experience.

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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 your academic work.

Formation Plan

Design your own personal 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.A. in Mental Health Counseling, or an M.Ed.

Integrated Thesis

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

Contextual Education

Complete a year-long field experience to deepen your understanding of ministerial work in different contexts.

Theological Reflection

Develop the skills to integrate life experience and service with theology, theory, and knowledge of scripture.

Retreats & Spiritual Direction

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

Optional Concentrations

Tailor your M.A. degree with an optional concentration in Hispanic Ministry or Religious Education.

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.

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 U.S.-born Hispanic Catholics who will be the next generation of pastoral leaders.

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.


Typically completed in two years of full-time study, this 48-credit program provides students with a thorough grounding in sacred scripture, theology, and ministry. Under the guidance of a mentor, students complete an extensive Spiritual Formation Plan.

Theology & Scripture Core

21 credits

Course Area Credits
Theological Foundations in Practical Perspective 3
Christology 3
Sacraments  / Theology of Ministry  / Theological Anthropology /  Church History** 3
Ecclesiology 3
Ethics 3
Old Testament 3
New Testament 3


**Students should consult their advisor to determine which course is most appropriate to their course of studies. 

Pastoral Studies for Ministry Core

12 credits


Course Area Credits
Religious Education 3
Pastoral Care 3
Spirituality 3
Pastoral/Practical Theology or Liturgy 3

Formation for Ministry

6 credits


Course Area  Course Name Credits
Spiritual Formation TMPS 7080: Spiritual Formation For Ministry 1
Pastoral Formation TMPS 7280: Introduction to Theological Reflection 1
Pastoral Formation TMPS 8139: Internship Reflection Group             1  

Capstone Thesis

Upon completion of coursework, students write a thesis that provides them with the opportunity to creatively synthesize their studies in theology, address a question about their particular concentration in pastoral ministry, and outline a pastoral program appropriate to their own ministerial context. 

Course Name
TMST 8101: Master's Interim Study


Hybrid Option

The M.A. can also be completed through a combination of in-person summer sessions and online courses. Students work with faculty advisors to craft an individualized program of study that fits their schedule and needs, typically completing the program in three to five years.

Fall Spring
Year 1 2 courses (in person) and Spiritual Formation for Ministry 1 course (online) 1 course (online)
Year 2 1 May course (online)
2 summer courses (in person)
1 course (online) and Contextual Education 1 course (online) and Contextual Ediucation
Year 3 1 May course (online)
2 summer courses (in person)
Thesis Proposal
1 course (online) plus Thesis 1 course (online) plus Thesis

Dual Degrees

Our M.A. can be paired with a top-ranked master's in business administration, social work, or mental health counseling. We also offer a dual M.A./M.Ed. with BC's Urban Catholic Teacher Corps.

Explore Dual Degree Programs



 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




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 STM alum from their program of interest to learn more about STM and provide support during the discernment process.

Application Form

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 your 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 STM students. Email the admissions office at 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.


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  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 STM.

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

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


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.


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


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 STM. 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


Learn More

Graduate studies at STM 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

Learn More

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

Learn More

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

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