Master of Arts:
Catholic Education

“And he gave… teachers to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.”
Ephesians 4:11-12

About the Program

The mission of Catholic schools and teachers is a participation in the Church’s mission of evangelization and catechesis (cf. Ex corde Ecclesiae, #49). In the present cultural climate, Catholic schools urgently need teachers who are effective witnesses to Jesus Christ and his Church. To that end, Catholic educators require a graduate program that joins the return to classical pedagogical methods to the communication of an integrated theological worldview. The MA in Catholic Education was designed to meet this crucial need in today’s classrooms.

This master’s program forms men and women who will teach in schools across the United States and internationally. Graduates of the program will manifest the knowledge and ability to deploy the pedagogical principles and practices that have been handed down through the ages by the leading educators of the classical and Christian tradition. In addition, they will obtain mastery over the philosophical and theological principles that govern and direct Catholic education.

The Master of Arts in Catholic Education is a 36-credit-hour program available to on-campus or
distance students at either a full-time or part-time pace. The program’s entrance requirements are:

  • Undergraduate degree or equivalent experience
  • 3.25 GPA or higher preferred
  • Demonstrable ability to read and synthesize insights into thoughtful written work and expression
  • Employed as an educator at a school or parish, or the aim to be employed as such
  • Strong Catholic identity
  • Commitment to evangelization and the renewal of education


The Master of Arts in Catholic Education curriculum includes twelve courses, each of three credit hours: four courses in theological and biblical foundation, four courses treating the liberal arts and Catholic education, and four classes in classical education or specific teaching areas.

Core Theological Courses

Salvation History


This course helps students to understand the unity of God’s plan of salvation from Creation to the Second Coming. By a thorough overview of the Old and New Testaments, this course introduces Catholic exegetical approaches and theological interpretation, aiding students in reading Scripture as the Word of God. Students engage some comparative primary texts and grapple with historiographical questions that help them to demonstrate the reliability of the Bible. With a special focus on the themes of covenant and mission, the course illustrates how Jesus fulfills God’s promises and how He invites His followers to share in His work of evangelization.

The Rule of Faith


Students will read substantially the entire Catechism of the Catholic Church together with selections from the Fathers of the Church, noted saints such as St. Augustine, and key post- conciliar papal teachings.

Jesus and the Gospels


Among all the books of the Bible, the Gospels have “a special preeminence,” according to the Second Vatican Council, “for they are the principal witness for the life and teaching of the incarnate Word” (Dei Verbum, 18). This course examines Jesus’ life and mission in light of the Synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John. Students engage insights from historical research into the life of Jesus and the world of first-century Judaism as well as gain a deeper understanding of the Gospels as narrative. In addition, the Gospels are also studied for their perennial theological and spiritual significance.

Light to the Nations


Students will be introduced to the history of the Church and her mission of evangelization and catechesis by reading texts from Ignatius of Antioch, Athanasius, Augustine, Benedict, Gregory the Great, Bernard, Francis de Sales, John Henry Newman, and Karol Wojtyła (JohnPaul II).

Core Catholic Education Courses

Catholic Education: Ends, Principles, and Means


Students will be introduced to the ends, principles, and means of Catholic education, with special emphasis placed upon the human person, the classical liberal arts, and the integration of all learning in the light of the Catholic Faith.

Christian Anthropology


Students will receive a firm grounding both in philosophical and theological anthropology as well as in what it means to be a human person, with special emphasis on the teachings of Sts. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and John Henry Newman.

History of Catholic Education


Students will gain a knowledge of key figures and schools of education through the centuries and be able to identify how the history of Western education was informed and enriched by the Catholic Church and its influence on society and culture; special attention is given to the teachings of Fathers and Doctors of the Church, Church documents on education, and the rich, centuries-long tradition of Catholic liberal education.

The Art of Teaching


Student will be encouraged to see and to experience their teaching vocation as the loving formation of their students in moral, intellectual, and theological virtue; students will acquire a firm, experiential knowledge of the best teaching styles, from leading stimulating and productive Socratic conversations to delivering dynamic, engaging lectures (as well as various “hybrid” forms of teaching).

Specialization Areas



Four courses in which students explore the areas of catechetics appropriate for K-12 Catholic schools and acquire the best methods and skills for teaching the basic truths of the Catholic Faith to their students.  



Four courses to prepare students to teach literature, history, and related subjects from a Catholic perspective and informed by the Catholic tradition.

Classical Pedagogy


Four courses that will extend the students training in the principles and practices of Classical pedagogy, with special emphasis on the seven liberal arts and the formation in students of a disciplined mind that has learned how to learn.  

Science and Mathematics


Four courses that begin with a study of the quadrivium and proceed to an integrated approach to mathematics and natural science within a well-ordered Catholic curriculum, with special attention to questions about the relationship between faith and reason.  

Grammar School


Four courses that prepare aspiring teachers to teach in Catholic grammar schools, with emphasis on the formation of the imagination, the trivium (grammar, logic, and rhetoric), and elementary math and science.  

Program Faculty

Jeffrey Lehman, Ph.D.

Professor of Philosophy and Theology | Director of M.A. Catholic Education

Jeffrey Lehman earned a B.A. in Philosophy and Biblical Literature from Taylor University, an M.A. in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics from Biola University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Dallas. In addition to serving on the teaching faculty of Biola University, Thomas Aquinas College, Hillsdale College, and the University of Dallas, he also developed curriculum for the undergraduate Classical Education Program at Hillsdale College and for the graduate Classical Education Program at the University of Dallas, both of which programs grew substantially under his guidance and influence. He has published essays and books on a wide array of authors and texts, including Augustine: Rejoicing in the Truth and Socratic Conversation: Bringing the Dialogues of Plato and the Socratic Tradition into Today’s Classroom.

Christopher Blum, Ph.D.

Provost | Professor of Philosophy and Theology

Christopher Blum was educated at the University of Virginia and holds a Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Notre Dame. He taught history, philosophy, and natural science for many years at Christendom College and Thomas More College before joining the Augustine Institute in 2013 as Academic Dean. Now serving as Provost, Blum is responsible for the overall direction of the Graduate School of Theology and the development of its programs and alumni outreach. He is the author, with Joshua P. Hochschild, of A Mind at Peace: Reclaiming an Ordered Soul in an Age of Distraction.

Andrew Seeley, Ph.D.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Andrew Seeley received a Licentiate from the Pontifical Institute in Medieval Studies in Toronto and a Ph.D. in Medieval Studies from the University of Toronto. In three decades as a Tutor at Thomas Aquinas College, Dr. Seeley taught every subject in its integrated Great Books curriculum. He is co-author of Declaration Statesmanship: A Course in American Government. Desiring to share his love of learning, Dr. Seeley co-founded the Institute for Catholic Liberal Education in 2005, where he served as Executive Director for 12 years, and is now Director of Advanced Formation. He became Executive Director of the Arts of Liberty Project in 2021. For his work in the renewal of liberal education, he was named as the 2023 recipient of the Circe Institute’s Paideia Prize.

Gwen Adams, Ph.D.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Theology

Gwen Adams earned a B.A. in History from Christendom College, an M.A. in Catholic Studies from the University of St. Thomas, and a Ph.D. in Theology from Liverpool Hope University. Dr. Adams is a writer and playwright, teacher and speaker. She has worked in parish, diocesan, middle-school, high-school, undergraduate, and graduate settings, teaching history and literature and directing plays including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Winter’s Tale, Uncle Vanya, and Life Is a Dream. She has taught several classes at the Augustine Institute, including Conscience, Truth, and Charity: Social Teaching of Benedict XVI, Catholic Education, and Reform, Renewal, and the Lay Faithful. Dr. Adams is the author of By an Unexpected Way: Stories of the New Evangelization (Augustine Institute, 2019) and the founder of, offering new plays and youth and young adult theater.

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