Pastoral Studies

Discover your gifts and develop them for service.

This program is a professional degree program which provides education for the Church’s mission and ministry in the world. Providing the opportunity for an integration of theology and the practice of ministry, students will become more intentional about their ministerial experiences. 

Build towards a Master's degree. Credits earned at one level can count towards requirements of a higher level program. Students can start with a Graduate Certificate, build to a Graduate Diploma and then to a Master's degree.

  • Master of Arts in Pastoral Education (42 credits)



    Program Goals

    This program is designed to:
    (1)    foster a deeper understanding and integration of Catholic theology and its connection to pastoral ministry; 
    (2)    develop the knowledge and skills required for effective pastoral ministry in contemporary contexts;
    (3)    encourage growth in personal and spiritual maturity.

    CORE COURSES (24 credits)

    PHIL 501: Philosophical Themes of Catholic Theology
    THEO 501: Foundations of Theology
    SCRI 500: Introduction to the Old Testament
    SCRI 510: Introduction to the New Testament
    THEO 510: Christology and Trinity
    THEO 530: Christian Morality
    THEO 540: Liturgy and Sacraments
    THEO 551: Ecclesiology of Vatican II

    CONCENTRATION COURSES (12 credits)

    THEO 525: Theology of Ministry
    PAST 501: Pastoral Ministry: The Other
    THEO 570: Canon Law for Ministry
    PAST 510: Pastoral Ministry: Self or
    THEO 560: Christian Anthropology

    ELECTIVE (3 credits)

    Any 500-level SMC course

    RESEARCH METHODS (no credits)

    MTHD: Basic Research Skills Modules

    Field-Based Learning (3 credits)

    PAST 600: Field-Based Learning Project


    Learning Outcomes
    Students who have successfully completed this program:

    • Students demonstrate an ability to conduct informed biblical interpretation within the Catholic tradition and will demonstrate an understanding of the church’s teaching and practice from historical, doctrinal and systematic perspectives;
    • Students demonstrate knowledge of pastoral theology and  its cognate disciplines and develop pastoral skills essential to its application in diverse contexts;
    • Students demonstrate capacities for theory-praxis integration and for theological reflection in the context of their chosen area of ministry.





  • Graduate Diploma in Pastoral Studies (24 credits)


    The Graduate Diploma programs consist of 24 credits of core and diploma specific course work.

    12 Credits from the Core Courses (*including required)
    12 Credits of Concentration Courses

    CORE COURSES (12 Credits)

    Choose 12 credits including * required courses

    PHIL 501: Philisophical Themes in Catholic Theology
    THEO 551: Ecclesiology of Vatican II
    THEO 501: Foundations of Theology *
    THEO 510: Christology – Trinity
    THEO 530: Christian Morality *
    THEO 540: Liturgy and Sacraments
    SCRI 500: Introduction to the Old Testament
    SCRI 510: Introduction to the New Testament

    CONCENTRATION COURSES (12 Credits)

    THEO 525: Theology of Ministry
    PAST 501: Pastoral Ministry: The Other
    PAST 510: Pastoral Ministry: Self
    THEO 570: Canon Law for Ministry


  • Graduate Certificate in Pastoral Studies (15 credits)


    The Graduate Certificate programs consist of 15 credits of core, elective and certificate specific course work.

    9 Credits of the Core Courses
    6 Credits from Concentration Courses

    CORE COURSES (9 Credits)

    THEO 501: Foundations of Theology
    THEO 530: Christian Morality
    SCRI 505: Introduction to Scripture

    CONCENTRATION COURSES (6 Credits)

    THEO 525: Theology of Ministry
    PAST 501: Pastoral Ministry: The Other
    PAST 510: Pastoral Ministry: Self
    THEO 570: Canon Law for Ministry
    SPIR 537: Leadership and Spirituality

  • Catholic Core (9 credits)


    Catholic Core

    Strengthen your personal faith understanding by starting with our core programming.
    Credits can later be applied to a Graduate Certificate or Master’s Degree, based on eligibility requirements. Learn more. 




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