MA in Pastoral Theology Requirements 42 Unit Program

REQUIREMENTS for students admitted August 2009 or later.

All students must complete 42 semester hours , maintaining a minimum grade point average of "B" (3.0). All courses are 3 semester hours unless noted.

Core Courses (24)
The following eight courses ( 24 semester hours ) are required.

  • THST 600 Foundations of New Testament Theology or THST 603 Foundations of Old Testament Theology
  • THST 630 Introduction to Systematic Theology
  • THST 660 Foundations of Christian Moral Life or any one Historical Theology course form the 620s
  • THST 670 Foundations of Pastoral Theology
  • THST 675 Spiritual Integration for Pastoral Ministers
  • THST 692 Graduate Pro-Seminar (taken in the first semester)
  • THST 695 Supervised Pastoral Field Education (taken after completion of 27 hours)
  • THST 696 Pastoral Synthesis Project (taken after completion of 36 hours)

Elective Courses (18)
Pastoral Theology students are required to take one three unit course in either Liturgy, Religious Education, or Spirituality and select other elective courses offered by the Department of Theological Studies after consultation with their advisor.

The program is designed to allow students to pursue general interests or a particular concentration. Concentrations are offered in two areas:

(1) Pastoral Leadership and (2) Spiritual Direction. Under special circumstances, students may take up to two courses (six semester hours) outside the department.

Concentration in Spiritual Direction
This concentration is designed for anyone enrolled in the Master of Arts in Pastoral Theology who would like to acquire the art of Spiritual Direction, a ministry of accompanying others in their spiritual journey. The purpose of the concentration is to provide a course of studies that integrates Theology, Scripture, Psychology, Spirituality, skills acquisition and supervision in the art of Spiritual Direction. Students who wish to concentrate their elective in a spiritual direction would take the following four courses in sequence:

  • THST 685 Theory and Practice of Spiritual Direction
  • THST 686 Ignatian Spirituality and Discernment (3 hours)
  • THST 687 Psychological Foundations of Pastoral Ministry
  • THST 688 Practicum and Supervision


Concentration in Pastoral Leadership
The concentration is designed to educate those who will serve (or who currently serve) as leaders in pastoral settings, either as leaders in specialized ministries or as leaders in general ministry positions. Examples of leaders in specialized ministry: Directors of Religious Education, Directors of Youth Ministry or Campus Ministry, Directors of Catechumenate/RCIA. The concentration is deliberately open to the students to design under the guidance of the academic advisor. In this way, students who find themselves actively engaged in, or aspiring to, leadership ministries within schools or parishes will choose courses for the concentration that fit their current or aspired ministry commitments. Students who choose to do this Concentration are required to take:

  • THST 6** Pastoral Leadership


In addition, students are required to take two (2) of the following (or other courses approved by the academic advisor):

  • THST 650 Liturgical Theology: History and Interpretation
  • THST 652 The Rites
  • THST 671 Pastoral Approaches to Religious Education
  • THST 673 Faith and Culture: Catechesis in Southern California
  • THST 677 Pastoral Liturgy
  • THST 678 The Theology of the Parish
  • THST 679 Special Topics in Pastoral Theology
  • THST 687 Psychological Foundations of Pastoral Ministry


Capstone Experience

Students who enrolled before Fall 2009: Please see the Capstone Experience page. Students who will begin their program in Fall 2009: Description and policies for the Capstone experience will be published in the Capstone Experience page at a later date.