Pastoral Studies

Program Goals

The Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies is a professional degree program which provides education for the Church’s mission and ministry in the world. Pastoral Studies encourages students to discover their gifts and develop them for service. This degree program provides a solid theological foundation, as well as the basic pastoral skills necessary for ministry in a variety of settings. This program also provides a venue for the integration of theology and the practice of ministry, and fosters an enriched spiritual life.

Learning Outcomes

Students who have successfully completed this program:

  • are able to demonstrate the ability to analyze, reflect, synthesize, communicate, interpret, and apply the Catholic theological tradition both rigorously and responsibly in a religiously and culturally diverse world;
  • are able to demonstrate knowledge of pastoral ministry through the concentration courses: Theology of Ministry, Pastoral Ministry: the Other; Pastoral Ministry: Self; Canon Law for Ministry;
  • are able to put into practice an integration of the principles learned in course work through a field-based practicum;
  • are able to model spiritual maturity, including an integration of affective and intellectual growth and commitment to theology and be conversant in how theological study serves the ongoing life of the Church and the world;
  • have developed further their personal spiritual lives.

Course Requirements

Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies 

42 credits

CORE COURSES (24 credits)

PHIL 501: Philosophical Themes in Catholic Theology

THEO 501: Foundations of Theology

SCRI 500: Introduction to Old Testament

SCRI 510: Introduction to New Testament

THEO 510: Christology and Trinity

THEO 530: Christian Morality

THEO 540: Liturgy and Sacraments

THEO 551: Ecclesiology of Vatican II



THEO 525: Theology of Ministry

PAST 501: Pastoral Ministry: The Other

THEO 570: Canon Law for Ministry

PAST 510: Pastoral Ministry: Self


ELECTIVE (3 credits)

Any 500-level SMC course


Note: If a student wishes to take an elective course with the other Theological Colleges, the Dean’s approval is needed.



MTHD: Basic Research Skills Modules

2 obligatory basic research modules: Basic A & B

Recommended module: Basic C: How to write papers


RMTHD: Advanced Research Skills Modules

5 obligatory Advanced modules, which must include:

Module 4: Advanced Research and Writing Skills

Module 5: Research Methods in Theology


Working with a ‘professor of record’ on annotated bibliographies, etc.


PAST 600: Field-Based Learning Project (3 credits)