All around the world, at parishes, high schools, and college campuses, in healthcare and social service settings, our M.A. graduates serve as leaders in ecclesial ministry roles. Grounded in the methodology of practical theology, this 48-credit program is particularly well suited for students seeking intensive study of theology, pastoral development, active engagement in spiritual formation, and practical experience gained through a supervised ministry placement. Students engage in deep academic inquiry intentionally integrated with contextual realities, seeking to more deeply understand and respond to the diverse needs of our Church and world.
Those who pursue the program full-time can expect to complete it in two years. Alternatively, acknowledging the unique realities of those who work full-time or who otherwise can't commit to moving to Boston, our M.A. can also be completed through a hybrid format, combining online and summer options to allow you to tailor the program to your needs.
Deepening your faith through study, praxis, and prayer is an essential part of the STM experience. Students in the M.A. program take a one-credit Spiritual Formation for Ministry seminar in their first year, during which they design a spiritual formation plan to be completed during their time in the program. The STM also offers funding for students in spiritual direction and who want to attend a retreat.
The M.A. program includes a year-long contextual education course, comprised of field experience in which you observe and explore ministerial work in different contexts, deepen practical skills, and examine how your experience relates to theological study. Practicum placements can be done during the academic year in Boston, or over the summer throughout the country and world. Learn more.
Our dual degree programs pair our M.A. in Theology and Ministry with a master's in social work (M.S.W.), business (M.B.A.), or counseling (M.A.). Students in our dual degree programs combine graduate-level coursework across disciplines and incorporate spirituality, pastoral care, and faith-based approaches in their work. They learn to integrate the best of theological study with scholarship and practices from diverse fields.
97% of 2019 M.A. graduates found placement within six months of graduation.
"Upon finishing my missionary work, I realized how much I wanted to empower young people. My latest VIDES+USA volunteer placement in Geneva, Switzerland, at the UN, filled me with great dreams. I wanted to inspire youth to see that they mattered and that their one small voice, together, made a difference. Coming home to assist with my parish Confirmation program was a challenging and humbling experience. As a young person, compelled to serve the youth, here at the STM, I am reminded that although I am an educator, I am first and foremost, a learner, a seeker – created in the imago Dei to live the very theology I spoke."
Within the M.A. in Theology and Ministry degree, students interested in working with Latino/a populations and communities of faith may choose the Hispanic Ministry track. Graduates of this track within the M.A. in Theology and Ministry demonstrate particular competence in leading and resourcing the pastoral life of communities of faith which serve the Latino/a population in the United States.
Within the M.A. in Theology and Ministry degree, students interested in being involved in religious education either within the parish or in Catholic Schools may select this track. Graduates of this track demonstrate competence in the area of the theory and practice of religious education/catechesis as it responds to the pastoral needs of the church today.
Please note that students are not required to choose a track, and can follow the general program of study linked below.
Upon completion of the MA program, student should be able to:
Our 48-credit M.A. degree program in theology and ministry can now be completed through a hybrid model of combination of on-campus courses during the summer and online courses taken during the academic year.
Students in this program will be guided by our faculty advisors to craft the best program of study and sequence of courses for you. Through an intensive program of study, it is possible to complete the program in 3 years. However, you have up to 5 years to complete the program, if you would rather focus on taking one or two courses at a time.
Connect with STM to learn more about the M.A. application process.
This 48-credit program is typically completed in two years of full-time study. Part-time study is an option as well.
Veteran supervisors oversee your work, and bi-weekly meetings provide a forum for
STM students to reflect on and synthesize ministry experiences within a classroom setting. | Supervised Ministry
Each student completes a thesis that explores a topic of interest and gives the student
an opportunity to demonstrate their learning across theological and pastoral coursework and applied contextual experiences. | Thesis Guidelines
Scholarships and on-campus assistantships are available. | Financial Aid
The application to STM must be completed online.
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 form, resume, and personal statement.
A non-refundable fee of $75 is required for every degree and non-degree application submitted.
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 automatically granted to the following applicants: Jesuits, veterans, applicants currently completing a year of service, and current STM students. We do not waive the application fee for other reasons.
The GRE is optional but preferred for spring 2021, summer 2021, and fall 2021 applications. 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.
The GRE is waived for applicants who have completed a previous graduate degree.
All applicants for whom English is not their native language must also provide TOEFL or IELTS test score results. An acceptable TOEFL score is 85 or above on the internet-based test. When taking the exam, include STM’s institutional code – 3971 – so that your scores may be sent directly to the school.
To request a TOEFL waiver, you must email email@example.com.
One copy of each transcript is required 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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).
For applicants using the U.S. Postal Service:
Boston College School of Theology and Ministry
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
For applicants using FedEx or UPS, please use this address:
Boston College School of Theology and Ministry
9 Lake Street
Brighton, MA 02135-3841
M.A. applicants are required to submit three recommendations using the online application system.
Each recommender should be familiar with the applicant’s academic competence. For applicants who have been out of school for a significant amount of time, recommenders should be familiar with the applicant's professional competence. One recommender should be familiar with the applicant's ministerial potential and experience. 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 applicants to the M.A. program. All interviews take place remotely. International applicants are asked to submit a video essay on their application instead of a live interview.
The resume must be uploaded as part of the application. It is helpful if you highlight relevant ministry, service, and leadership positions you have held.
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: